Big Mama, chicken with Houston ties, gets epic obituary

Houston chicken adopted by College Station family dies

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Obituaries are meant to pay tribute to loved ones that we have lost. They highlight the accomplishments and attributes of those who have made impressions on our lives. That is why a College Station family wrote an obit about one of their favorite souls that recently passed to the other side: their pet chicken.

The first paragraph gets you hooked: "It is with great sadness that we report the passing of our all-time favorite chicken, Big Mama. Not many chickens deserve an obituary, but she does." 

As the obit goes on, we learn this chicken had quite a life. Her owner wrote: "Big Mama came into our lives in September 2013. A family friend told us about a chicken who had been spayed, raised alone in a Houston apartment, and then taken to a veterinarian to be euthanized after the family grew tired of it. That vet was a graduate of Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine, and instead of euthanizing her, had the owner relinquish rights so Big Mama could be adopted."

PHOTOS: Looking back at "Big Mama"

An email about the chicken got circulated and found its way to the Sword family of College Station. It was love at first sight.

"Our first glimpse of Big Mama was a grainy photo, showing a skinny, indoor chicken looking at herself in a mirror. We were hooked instantly," the Sword family wrote in the obituary. "Did we want to give Big Mama a second chance at life? Absolutely!" 

After that, an adventure full of twists and turns began.

"We drove to Houston and smuggled her into our hotel, where we were staying to watch a Houston Astros game with extended family. Big Mama joined us in College Station shortly thereafter, and soon discovered how beautiful life could be walking in the grass, being a member of a flock, and having 24-7 love," the obituary stated. 

The first thing the Sword family did when bringing her to College Station was tackle the living arrangements. Since the chicken started her life living indoors in an apartment, they had to get her acclimated to outdoor living. 

"She refused to go in the chicken coop at times, and she would try to come into the house," Stephanie Sword told The Eagle. In bad weather, the chicken would stay at the back door and sleep on the patio furniture. But over time, "she came into her own and flourished as a chicken should: living in a flock, outdoors, free-ranging," Sword said in the article. 

Big Mama became part of the family, spending years with the Sword clan; and she even earned a spot in the family's Christmas card last year. 

But sadly, the beloved chicken's time on this earth would soon come to an end.

Sword told The Eagle that they noticed Big Mama had started slowing down recently, and on Sunday, the knew the end was near.

"She was in her favorite spot in her coop. She just went to sleep, and that was it," Sword said.

On Tuesday, the Sword family shared their loss with the world in the obituary, which is now going viral.

Even the famous College Station hangout The Dixie Chicken is making plans to remember her. It sent out this tweet on Tuesday: "She'll soon be memorialized at the #DixieChicken! #RIPBigMama"