Lucky April 21st – May 4th, 2011

After a week long battle with an upper respiratory infection, little Lucky succumbed to his illness.  He died in my hands at 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 4th.  We did everything we could for Lucky.  We got him antibiotics and vitamins and his own cozy warming lamp.  We made sure he ate and drank and was comfortable.  But despite our best efforts, little Lucky died.   He will be greatly missed.


Lucky was sickly from the moment we got him.  He was weak and small and fragile.  We knew he didn’t stand much of a chance.  So we named him Lucky, knowing if he did survive,  it would be the most fitting name in the world.

Since I got my chickens I’ve found myself wishing my Dad could have lived long enough to see them.  Nobody would have loved them more than him.  Norm loved animals and he always bought farm fresh eggs.  Even before it was cool.  Norm didn’t much care about being cool.

He would have been thrilled that I owned my own chickens.

Since he was a bit gruff he certainly wouldn’t have shown how much he loved them.  Not in a typical way anyway.    He definitely wouldn’t have gushed.  Norm wasn’t a gusher.  He would have come to visit them every day.  He would have brought them treats.   He would have dropped off pine shavings for their henhouse at my backdoor.  He would have asked about their health.

Of all the 365 days in the year … my little chick died on May 4th.

My dad’s birthday.  He would have been 80.

It’s kind of fitting really when you think about it.   Consider Lucky my birthday gift to you dear old dad.   Happy Birthday.  Watch out Lucky.  He’s a little gruff.

I leave you this weekend with this thought.  If you’re thinking of getting baby chicks.  Remember Lucky.   It’s not all eggs and fluffy feathers.



  1. Brittanie says:

    This is so sweet and sad. <3

  2. celia says:

    growing up, we had a mini-farm. we had chickens, pigs, several dogs, cats. we had fruit trees. it was great! i used to be in-charge of taking care of the baby chicks. they are so precious at that stage so extra attention has to be given. you can’t help but adore them. so sorry for your lose. i know how you feel. hugs!!!

  3. Christina says:

    I very nearly teared up reading this. And I am at work. That would have been embarrassing.

    There are geese that live right outside my office building. One day I saw a family with 5 young ones and the next day I saw a family with just 1 and had a bit of a panic thinking that 4 had died. And then I realized that there are several families and calmed down.

    The idea of any baby dying is heart breaking to me. Even when it’s just chickens or geese. Thanks for the touching post.

  4. Brenda says:

    Thanks for sharing such a personal post, Karen…sending you much love & friendship!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Brenda. I’ve also shared about how to cure a bladder infection so … this was nothing. :) ~ karen

  5. Judy says:

    Sorry to hear about Lucky. I foster young and sometimes orphaned kittens and understand the feeling of loss and failure when you lose a little one. Sometimes it just wasn’t meant to be, even with your best effort.

  6. shari says:

    Your loss was your daddy’s gain. xo

  7. Gina says:

    Lucky was lucky to have you. He was loved his whole life .

  8. nancy says:

    okay, i’m bawling.

    • Karen says:

      Sorry Nancy! You should have seen my sister when she came over and ready my post yesterday. Yup. Tears. I didn’t realize it would make people cry. I guess everyone just needs a good cry sometimes. ~ karen

  9. Christie says:

    I’m sorry to hear of little Lucky’s passing. I take comfort in the fact that in spite of his/her short lifespan you gave him/her the best life a chick could ever have on this earth. <3 <3 <3

  10. Thera says:

    Beautiful, sad and what a wondrous gift for your father.

  11. Kasia says:

    Gruff dads, aren’t they the best? I lost my dad two years ago. Would have been 71 two weeks ago. He didn’t have chickens or grow up on a farm, but he had dogs, and he loved them like crazy. And he could build anything, out of anything. Amazing.

    Sorry about your little chick Karen!

  12. westinflorida says:

    So beautifully written. Thank you for sharing and best wishes for a relaxing weekend.

  13. alana says:

    I shed a few silent tears while reading this because that reminds me sooo much of my dad. I was also watching Days Of Thunder when the tears came, which was very confusing for my boyfriend!

    • Karen says:

      Alana – LOL. I dunno. I saw that movie. Didn’t love it. In fact, I think crying is a perfectly appropriate response to it. :) ~ karen

  14. Carol says:

    I’m sure I would have liked your Dad,,,he sounds so much like my dad,,,who would have been 80 years old this year too. He was also a member of the original hipsters club, recycled, upcycled and repurposed waaaaayy before it was trendy. If I had chicks he’d be here building the coop,,,,out of old hockey sticks and scrap wood. I’m so sorry about Lucky, I cried the second I saw the caption under the photo. I could never have been a vet either. Happy Birthday Norm, 1931 was a good year.

  15. Joni Nawrocki says:

    Oh dear. I’m so sorry. Poor little chick. You were such a good chick mommmy, though. It was still a lovely (albeit sad) post regardless and a wonderful way to remember your Pa.

  16. Jennie says:

    I love your baby chick post! I grew up on a farm in south Arkansas and my sweet Dad used to give me the baby chicks that couldn’t keep up with their mom. I loved them so much I would sleep with them…unfortunately for them that is! Poor poor baby chicks! I really love your blog!

  17. marilyn says:

    karen i just came from visiting my 91 yr old dad who is having a rough day, just not quite up to snuff ya know..wanted me to make sure his good suit was in order cause ya never know when the big day might happen…wanted to try the jacket on ..i said dad you will be lying down it will fit..we both had a good chuckle. lucky thing cause i would have been crying otherwise. he is a little on the gruff side too but they cant fool us can they? your post was sweet and i am sorry about your little chick but maybe Norm will be happy eh? keep your chin up and happy moms day ! xo

  18. marné says:

    I’m so sorry about Lucky, life on the farm can be tough sometimes :(.

    I loved the sweet words about your dad, and maybe he’s got Lucky with him now.

    My dad grew up on a farm, his dad raised chickens and was a beekeeper, among other things. I love having this connection with my granddad, he lived pretty far away, so I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with him, just the occasional summer vacation, but he was the best. He always had a beautiful garden, he had a very quiet, dry sense of humor, and he looked like Paul Newman.

  19. Mickey says:

    This is both sad and heartwarming.
    Goodbye little chick.

  20. Evalyn says:

    I wanted to be a vet too, until I talked to my vet about it and she told me how many animals she puts down in a year just because the owners are tired of them, are moving, the animal gets old etc. I knew I wouldn’t be able to do that. Natural deaths are hard enough, choosing to relieve suffering is hard, but cold hearted choice out of convenience to the owner . . . I wouldn’t be in the business very long.

    Lucky was truely a lucky chicken to have landed in your hands for his short life.

  21. Anita says:

    I’m sorry to hear of little Lucky, but I’m sure he was grateful all the love he got in his unfortunately short life. And it is indeed very fitting that it’s your dad’s birthday. (Happy birthday Norm!) Maybe that’s a reason Lucky came into your life. Animals have this knack of doing that. We lost the family dog earlier this week and he seemed to know that the end was near, and comforted us, telling us that it was okay to let him go. We all had a happy life together, and that’s really the most important thing.

  22. Shea says:

    I’m sorry about little Lucky, but what a nice tribute to your dad.

  23. Shauna says:

    Poor little Lucky Chickadee, but you made his/her last days filled with love and all the care she could have. Condolences.

  24. Amy in StL says:

    And here I was trying to figure out how to convince my parents to get chickens – which would be tricky since my mom is terrified of birds. I kept thinking how dad hasn’t raised chickens since he was a kid and blah, warmblah, fuzzyblah. Thanks for the reality check. Wow.

  25. mimi says:

    Aw, I’m so sorry.
    A timely reminder that, as you say, it’s not all fluff and feathers. I would hate this part of it.

  26. Trysha says:

    Yup, I’m all teared up. Of all days, how fitting.

    Beautiful post.

  27. Angela Giampietri says:

    I am so sorry Karen :( And what a beautiful post. You are a gifted wordsmith. May peace be with you :)

  28. Liz S. says:

    Oh… I got all teary eyed when I read that he died on your dad’s birthday. Hopefully Lucky and your dad are taking care of each other in heaven.

  29. Mindy says:

    Did not see that coming. I was completely in an egg and fluffy feather mind set, owning baby chickens vicariously through you. To put it bluntly, that completely sucks.

  30. Cheryl says:

    Your father and mine seem to have been similar in demeanor. I lost mine 26 years ago. When his birthday rolled around in February this year and I realized he would have been 80, my reaction was strange. It doesn’t seem possible.
    Lucky was lucky. His short little life was made wonderful by you.

  31. Design Love says:

    Aw, poor lucky! He was lucky to have you care for him!

    Wierd how things happen….makes you wonder.


  32. Laura says:

    I’m sorry about Lucky. If I’d been there for the naming ceremony I would have told you about my sister’s runt puppy & duckling. Both named Lucky & both destined to die. I hope the others are well :)

  33. Sharon says:

    I just had a little cry for little Lucky, and for you, Karen! He seems like a perfect companion for your dad though.

    Looking forward to hearing more about how the rest of the chicks settle into your lovely home!

  34. Susie Heller says:

    So sorry about your little one! Hard to stand by as they succumb to illness. I foster cared four little sick tiny 2 week old kittens once and cried my eyes out when they all died. But at least your dad has something to care for and fresh eggs to come! Maybe in heaven they will be golden eggs! Susie Heller

  35. maggie says:

    Lucky is a lucky little guy he is with Norm celebrating Norms BD.

  36. Diana says:

    Lucky was indeed very lucky to have landed in the hands of someone who cared so much for him.

    Your post was heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time.

    R.I.P. Lucky & happy birthday to your dear old dad.

  37. cred says:

    Way to make me all teary- I can barely see to type.
    Sorry to hear about Lucky. But I liked hearing about the type of man Norm was. Lovely story!

  38. Wanda says:

    Sorry for your loss – and a lovely tribute to Lucky. I was raised as a farm kid and it was always tough when one of them died. I never seemed to be able to toughen up and accept the “circle of life”.
    I once wrote an obit for a pair of shoes that succumbed to old age after a life of giving me much happiness.

  39. Carol-Anne says:

    Such a beautiful, touching post Karen. My condolences for your losses.

  40. Annika says:

    Sorry that Lucky had to move on to the big farm yard in the sky. And Happy Birthday, Norm!

  41. Pam'a says:

    My dad and your dad may have met up there by now (‘lost mine in ’98). Now they can sit around pretending to be gruff while your dad holds that little chick and Glen waxes nostalgic about dehorning cattle. Heaven’s a bit like a great big country club, I think. Enjoy your weekend. :)

  42. Saskatchewan Farm Girl says:

    Karen, now you’ve gone and brought a tear to me eye :( Funny how we get so attached to our furry/fuzzy friends, they become like family! You’re daddy needed that chick more than you did; think of it as his 80th birthday present. Gotta go get some Kleenex now, blow my nose and as a result wake my sleeping 75 lb lap dog! Lovin’ your blog more and more every day! “Peep, peep” to the other chicks!

  43. Jennifer says:

    Sweet post and a lovely tribute to your dad. Sorry for your loss…

  44. Mary says:

    Aww, poor little fella. There just aren’t really any words for this post, but I wanted to offer my condolences. I’ll echo Kate with a solid “Happy Birthday to your Pa!”

  45. Renee says:

    Aw, I’m sorry to hear the sad news.

    On a more positive note, your comment that your dad bought farm-fresh eggs before it was cool reminded me of this blog I just found:
    “Dads are the Original Hipsters”

  46. Sorry about your baby, Karen! We’ve lost chickens here and there and it’s never easy, I love them as much as I love all of my animals and sometimes even as much as my kid-animals! May the Fourth be with you, and your Dad, and Lucky! ;-)

  47. Happy Birthday to your Pa. He’s smiling now with Lucky in his hands. Loved this.

  48. Pati says:

    Wow…he died the same day as your Dad? ..amazing that life has ways of connecting things like that. I hope you’re ok and the other chicks are healthy? Oh and May the 4th is Star Wars day…May the 4th be with you seems kind of appropriate..touching post..thanks.

    • Karen says:

      Pati – No, he died on the day my father was born. I’m fine. I bawled for about a half an hour for the poor little guy. The only thing that kept me from being a vet was the death. :( I’ve started the other chicks on a quick course of antibiotics just in case. They seem fine so far. Thanks for asking! ~ karen

  49. Alanna says:

    Beautiful post.

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