Can animals die of sorrow?

Can animals die of sorrow?
Honestly, I believe they can! I do not have scientific proof of it, but there is a lot of evidence that it is so. The reason for this short tale is not about a dog dying alongside its owner. We all have heard such stories, I`m sort of believing them, despite I personally have never heard one first hand or experienced anything like that in my surroundings.

This story is about a rooster.
The question came to my mind a few days ago, when I heard that one of my mother’s roosters died.
He was a beautiful white mixed breed and was not yet three years old, so age was not likely the cause of death.

Goldy, as I named him for his white-golden color as a chick, was born 2015 as I spent several months in my hometown in Austria.

Baby chicks
Goldy and Franklin barely a week old

He grew up together with his black feathered sister, Franklin. Yes, I gave them names, and only two chicks were hatching out of nine eggs. It was okay since my mother had no need for more chickens but let the hen have her way when she obsessively wanted to brood.


Last year then, when I was again spending several months in my hometown, for vacation and doing healing work on people and animals I was lucky again to watch baby chicks grow up. Franklin, the black hen, born alongside Goldy, the white rooster, obsessively wanted to brood as well. She was now two years old and a full grown hen. Of small size with shiny, black feathers. My mother took the eggs away for weeks, hoping she would stop but then finally gave in, again. I admit, I was talking a bit on Franklin’s behalf and persuaded my mother to let the hen brood.

Franklin as mom and still three chicks

Since I had access to eggs of the so-called Sulmtaler breed which she actually wanted to have for years, I could convince her. The Sulmtaler is an Austrian breed which originates in a valley of the Sulm river, in southern Styria. We put only five eggs of that particular race in the nest in good faith all of them would hatch. Little did we know, the end result was, as in 2015, one rooster and one hen, and I called them Hedda and Fenrich. In fact, there were three baby chicks, but one was taken by a crow within the very first days. It was quite a heartbreak for us all, and my mother swore never to let the hens brood again. Writing about them would fill pages, since I pretty much was a sort of surrogate mother to them, at least regarding protecting against anything dangerous. Because, Franklin, the mom of Hedda and Fenrich, had no sense of alertness. She was a brilliant mom and teacher to her babies, but she was not protective at all. In contrast to Franklin’s mom, who protected her and her brother Goldy in the most furious way against anybody. It was difficult for me to get close enough to take pictures of them when they were baby chicks.

Goldy and mom
Goldy and his protective mom

When they came into age and were united with the other hens, it did not take long until Goldy took over the regime. His competitor and father was a very small white Silkie mixed-blood, a bit of age and very peaceful, so it was not difficult for him to take over. These two shared the housing and hens in peace until his father died.
Anyway, last time I talked to my mum everything between the two roosters seemed to be fine, but of course, we were both wondering how long it would last. So, until recently there were two roosters in my mothers garden, and everything was okay until clearly Fenrich came entirely into his male power and decided to take over completely.

I have to mention that Goldy was also very peaceful just like his father, but quite a bit larger and he was extremely eager with his hens. To me he appeared quite proud, maybe even a bit vain and he loved to pose when I took the camera out. I could fill the page with dozens of his photographs.

Goldy presenting his beauty

So what happened to Goldy? I was told that he stopped eating and drinking after Fenrich took over the hens. And then he died. I was very sorry and heartbroken to hear that, and I wonder if I could have helped them with Bach Flower Remedies to balance the differences. Unfortunately, I am on a different continent, and I did not get any notice until it was too late. It would have been worth finding out. I had used Bach Remedies and Energy Healing on some of the hens that same summer when Hedda and Fenrich were born. One of the hens, in particular, she was on the brink of death, and she got homeopathy, Bach remedies and local treatment for some wounds, plus Energy Healing. She needed many weeks of treatment, and she was not only getting well on a physical level but had quite a transformation, her name is Missy, and this is a whole new story.

So, the question remains unanswered; can animals die of sorrow and is that what happened to Goldy?



Author: Your Holistic Vet

DVM, Ph.D., former medical scientist, Certified Healer, Bach Flower Therapist, Holistic Animal Healing

8 thoughts on “Can animals die of sorrow?”

  1. Really interesting history about the original of the rooster, very cool.

    Franklin and Goldy’s mother looks tough in that picture! Poor Goldy, that is a beautiful looking bird, very photogenic. Have never seen such pure white and red color, would be really cool to take a picture of the red on his crown and get it paint matched for a kitchen color. Beautiful photos. Seems to know he was being photographed with that confident strut. Sorry about his passing.

    I think there is definitely something to animals passing of sorrow. My good friends parents had two German Shepherd’s, and one’s stomach turned upside down, (or something to that effect,) and he wasn’t that old, and only a few weeks later the other one died of unknown causes, and he was really depressed after the passing of his companion.

    I’d be really interested to see a future post on the recuperation of Missy, energy is so crucial to all living creatures (and plants).

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you!
      It is indeed very common that cats or dogs that live together frequently die together, I have also seen that in other mammals. I don´t doubt that what happened to that dog after his brother had a gastric volvolus (some dogs have a disposition and shall never do any physical activity after a meal, which enhances the risk of inducing a volvulus)…
      I admit, it was a rather rhetorical question 😉 but also a question for people who still regard animals as things -yes, they still exist!
      Undoubtedly, when it comes to animals that people usually eat, the BEING factor is ignored and that they have a heart and soul too. But those people probably don´t read posts like this anyway 😉
      As I mentioned when I took the camera out, he forgot his shyness and gave me dozens of opportunities for good pics., so yes, he loved to pose.
      I think I will write missy´s story, I wanted to for quite a while, primarily because to most people chickens are nothing but something to eat …

      So I warn everybody 😉 never look a chicken in the eyes (or any farm animal) you might not want to eat them anymore.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, you definitely hear stories a lot about mammales who live together dying within a close amount of time to each other, I know I’ve read about it more than a few times.

        That’s funny you say that about looking a chicken in the eye : ) My Dad grew up on a farm and doesn’t like to eat swine, as he knew how intelligent they were/are.

        No farm trips for me anytime soon it sounds like lol, though I do feel better at least getting a good majority of the animal (sounds awful that way) from the co-op/local farm as it least it’s not caged up in a factory farm. Though I can completely see how easy it is to go vegan after being around it, (or even thinking about it) more.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I honestly do not condemn any meat-eater, it is everybody’s own choice and conscience. As I once mentioned my main reason for being vegetarian is that I don`t like meat and it never agreed well with my physical well-being. But, yes I am an absolute advocate for raising awareness about the possibilities of getting meat and animal products from happy and NATURAL held animals (emphasis on their nature and natural behavior). It is possible, and it is already done … So one does not have to throw the baby out with the bathwater 😉 and then having setbacks and blaming the diet or whatever …

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, I believe so. My male mastiff mourned for weeks when his sister died. He lost a ton of weight, wouldn’t eat, and had to go to the hospital for fluids. We got him another dog to ease his loss. I don’t think he ever got over it though…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for sharing, Jen.
      Yes, it`s very probable that he never really got over this loss, and I hope that the new companion helped somewhat at least. I use Energy Healing and Bach Flowers for grieving animals and other emotional issues.

      Liked by 1 person

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