The Littlest Chick


Sleepy was the littlest chick. He walked funny and he slept–a lot. The other chicks ran over Sleepy sometimes, even in the big new brooder where they all have plenty of room. The kids were the ones who named him Sleepy, and they loved him.

Then 15 said, “There’s something in Sleepy’s butt.” (14 is the new 15–he had a birthday.)

I got out my chicken books and studied up. I think Sleepy was “pasted up”–his stool was sticking to his bottom, closing up the vent, which can harden, seal up, make the chick unable to poop, and then die. So we cleaned little Sleepy’s butt.

But maybe we didn’t notice Sleepy’s problem soon enough. Or maybe Sleepy’s failure to thrive went deeper than his bottom. Sleepy went to sleep, and he didn’t wake up. And since Sleepy had become our little favorite, we are sad.

The other chicks seem to be doing great.

Eating and drinking…..

…..and grooming….

…..and growing as they should.

They have lots of room to run around so there isn’t too much pecking at each other.

Lucky is still the big guy.

And we’re grateful for our little band of 11.

But we’ll miss our little Sleepy.


  1. Kim A. says:

    Aw, poor little Sleepy. But that’s Nature’s way and it’s wonderful the others are doing well.

    Have a lovely weekend, everyone.

    -Kim ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Nicole Reising says:

    I’m so sorry about your little guy Suzanne. It is amazing how quickly these creatures become near and dear to our hearts isn’t it? I’ve enjoyed ‘sharing’ in this with you guys as they grow. I in fact just told my hubby the other day that I want some chickens. He was not amused. But then I’ve always wanted to have a farm whereas he is my city guy. And of course we do live in town so it really isn’t possible but I keep thinking one day I’ll return to the country. Actually I’ve also told him that when I make my first million from writing we ARE moving to the country and he has agreed. ๐Ÿ˜Ž Guess he feels pretty confident he has nothing to worry about. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

    Have a great weekend!

  3. Chris Griffith says:

    R.I.P. Sleepy.

    How is *LUCKY*?

  4. sunshine says:

    AWW I am sorry about SLEEPY that makes me sad you are doing a great job with the others

  5. Carolyn says:

    God must have had other plans for Sleepy, but he knew you all loved him very much. Sorry for your loss. xxoo

  6. Amelia says:

    It is amazing how quickly we grow fond of little animals. Yes, it hurts deep in our heart when they “leave us”.

    Your other chick-lets are so cute.

    Amelia in Oklahoma

  7. Ann from Montana says:

    I get “attached” just reading about them and seeing their pictures…

    But as you say, the 11 you have are 11 reasons to be grateful. They all look so full of personality.

  8. Lauri V says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about little Sleepy. I think he’s at the Rainbow Bridge with all of my beloved critters that have passed on. If you have never read the Rainbow Bridge poem, google it. It has always comforted me.

    Have a great weekend,

  9. wkf says:

    CHICKENS WILL BREAK YOUR HEART! I am sorry but they will.
    I know I sound like a sap, but you can get real attached.
    Good luck with them. Isn’t the little araucana cute with their little sideburns.

  10. Kacey says:

    Man, I’d have a rough time with this. Farm girl or not, it’s hard to lose such a cute animal!!

  11. Dru says:

    It’s so sad to hear about Sleepy.

  12. Happy Mommy says:

    We are have 5 grown chickens, we love them! We are picking up baby chicks on monday, 3 of them. Sorry for your little chick!

  13. Granny Sue says:

    Darn, Suzanne. You hate to lose even one, especially one that grabbed your heart. I have seen chicks like Lucky–they walk kind of sideways like they can’t quite get their balance. We used to try everything we could think of to save them, but they always died. I think there was just something wrong with their development in the shell.

    The rest of them look so happy and contented in their little home.

  14. Sandy says:

    AWW! I am so sorry! They are all growing so quickly already – we can see changes just from the pics you post everyday! Thanks for sharing all this with us – it brightens our day! Blessings!

  15. Marianne says:

    Oh… that makes me so sad ๐Ÿ˜ฅ .

    Poor Sleepy. Poor you and the kids.

  16. Jodie says:

    Sorry to hear about Sleepy. ๐Ÿ™ But it’s natures way of making the flock healthier. Have a great weekend! And HELLO 15!

  17. Treasia says:

    Aww I’m sorry for the loss of Sleepy. May he R.I.P. in chicken heaven.

  18. annbb says:

    Bless his/her soul!
    I’m so enjoying reading about your chickens. A wonderful ever-unfolding story.



  20. Jill S. says:

    Ah, poor little Sleepy! He’ll be missed!

  21. Remudamom says:

    It’s sad to lose them. I don’t think we’ve ever not lost one or two during a hatch.

  22. Maria says:

    These pictures are incredibly lovely. Beautiful, sweet, precious. I’m sorry about Sleepy…I heard a Calvin and Hobbes quote yesterday…(Okay, stick with me on applies..) Calvin had discovered a hurt raccoon and when it died Calvin says ” He’s gone outside, but he’s still here, inside…” that’s how death feels no matter how tiny the creature.

  23. Beckynsc says:

    Sooo sorry about Sleepy. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ
    Love your new baskets and your chicks are adorable.
    I know you can’t wait to get up in the morning and hear their little peeping.

  24. Claudia W says:

    Awww, sorry about Sleepy. I like what Maria said about Calvin and Hobbes racoon. I know Sleepy is up there with Rhodey and her sisters, being chicken angels. You’ve done so well with these though, they are adorable and all look so healthy!

  25. Tori Lennox says:

    I’m so sorry about Sleepy. Poor baby. *hugs*

  26. robin says:

    and you will always remember Sleepy, me too!

  27. catslady says:

    It really is amazing how our brains can separate loving baby chicks and animals and yet we can still eat them. I’m guilty as charged. My sister and nephew are vegetarians but I’m too lazy. I have a friend who breeds Maltese dogs and there’s always ones that die even after she tries nursing them to health. Besides my own inside pets, I’ve had some with my outside ferals/strays and I never seem to get over it. On the other hand – horray for 11 heathly chicks!!!!

  28. Debbie in Memphis says:

    I’m sorry about Sleepy. Growing up on my grandparents’ farm, the best thing was always the babies – cows, pigs, chickens etc. It was always heartbreaking to lose any of them. Best wishes and prayers for the 11.

  29. Estella says:

    I am sad for you!

  30. Susan says:

    Iโ€™m so sorry to learn of the passing of Sleepy. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

    I am glad you explained 15. You had me wondering if you had been keeping a big secret from us! :birthday1: 15!

  31. Sonya says:

    I sure hope the rest do well. I’ve raised many a batch of chicks without too much trouble from “pasty butt” as its officially called in the scientific realm. Our recent hatch though went from pasty to black droppings (coccidosis) and we’ve lost all but 7 out of 17. So saddening. Have five goslings in the incubator right now so making plans to keep them separate. Good luck, chickens are alot of fun.

  32. Donna says:

    :no: Ohhh, that is sooo sad. I think Sleepy is in Heaven….with our other beloved pets waiting on us. The rest are precious and fuzzy and adorable…I hope they all thrive and stay alive!

  33. Amy Addison says:

    Hugs to the McMinn gang on Sleepy’s loss.

  34. DW says:

    Aw, Suz, I’m so sorry!

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