“Not many chickens deserve an obituary, but she does.”

By Brooke Schuldt
Updated January 24, 2018
Sophie Higginbottom/Unsplash

Pets are more than just animal companions—they are a part of the family. So when one passes on, the grieving process is just as important as it would be for any other family member. That’s why one family in College Station, Texas, decided to honor the death of their beloved pet chicken, Big Mama, by posting an obituary in their local paper. This family’s love for their chicken is sure to warm your heart.

Stephanie and Gregory Sword and their two sons adopted Big Mama in September 2013 after hearing that her previous family was going to have her euthanized. “We were hooked instantly,” the family said in their obituary. “Did we want to give Big Mama a second chance at life? Absolutely!”

The Swords picked up Big Mama in Houston, where she'd been living with her previous family in a small apartment. Once settled into her new, more spacious home in College Station, the chicken became a member of a flock, spending time outdoors and being cared for by the Sword family.

“Big Mama flourished in her new life,” the obituary read, “growing into the beautiful Rhode Island Red chicken we knew she could be.”

According to The Eagle, the newspaper that printed the obituary and later published an article about Big Mama on their website, The Sword family loved Big Mama so much that she was featured on their Christmas card last year, and they decided to pay for the obituary in the paper because they wanted to spread a powerful message.

“Big Mama was very close to being euthanized, but through the kindness of friends and vet techs and veterinarians that saved her, she made her way to us and had this beautiful life as part of our family,” Stephanie Sword told the paper. “We really felt if any chicken deserves an obituary, it was Big Mama.”

The internet has become attached to this story, with people tweeting their condolences to the family. The Eagle reports that a local bar in College Station, The Dixie Chicken, even plans to memorialize Big Mama by hanging the obituary at the bar.

Big Mama is a chicken that is sure to be missed, and according to her obituary, is survived by the rest of her flock—Bubbles, Runt, Ms. S, Funky, Lucky, and Blondie.

The Eagle has posted Big Mama’s obituary on their website for anyone who wants to learn more about her life and her legacy.