Today went with dd (just 3) to put body of dead chicken in the hedge across the road (my usual disposal method - the foxes eat them and it's nicer than the dustbin). She suprised me by being very upset. 'Mummy is NOT NICE. Poor chicken. It's all alone. Put it in the cage.' She spent the rest of the afternoon trying to persuade me to take it some food. I had not expected that. Perhaps we will have to have chicken funerals? Or would that be worse?
Sorry; I didn't mean to hijack your thread; I meant to share experience. Same dd's cat has disappeared - we fear the worst - and she stopped asking for him after about 10 days. She still talks about him as a reality though and spends a lot of time as a cat, complete with pinned-on tail. I would get your dd a budgie. It can't be that much work.
Have a nice funeral for poor budgie and see how it goes in the next few days.
The 'circle of life' for ex-chicken via foxes is commendably environmentally friendly but perhaps a bit difficult for a 3-year old. Chicken funeral worse though because foxy would probably disinter the corpse anyway and make a mess.
Different pet? My DD is rather keen to have goldfish and she totally loves her guinea pigs. Admittedly they squeak when hungry, but I forgive them for that since they put up with a lot of being wheeled about in pushchairs.