We moved those sweet little fluff-balls of baby chickens who had grown into noisy, smelly teen-aged chickens to the coop. A friend had said our two remaining “old hens” would mother them. Not so much.
The one hen was downright mean to them, and the teenagers cowered in the corner. When we saw the mean “mother hen” pick one up and shake it by it’s wing, we knew we needed to do something. We unrolled chicken wire inside of the chicken coop and divided the space so that the new residents have their own space, and the two crotchety, old hens have their own space. At least for the time being. We’re waiting for a week to ten days until we give them common space again.
In the meantime, we let the old hens out for their daily stroll where they scratch the dirt and eat the grubs and ticks and anything else they can find. Except this time, something went wrong. When we went to put them back in the coop – we only had one old hen. The other disappeared. There were no feathers, no note saying she ran away from home — nothing. We waited until it got dark out, expecting her to return home and say she didn’t want to run away from home after all. But she didn’t return. It wouldn’t have been so bad if it was the mean one that went missing, but it was the other one — not that she was nice, but at least she wasn’t mean.
Then Saturday morning the chicken riddle was solved (no… not the age of old question of “why did the chicken cross the road?”, but our chicken riddle… where did the chicken go?).
We saw a FOX sitting in the yard eyeing the chicken coop, waiting for breakfast! Now we only let our remaining hen out on supervised recess. We’re down to getting just one egg a day until the teenagers get a bit older.
In the meantime, we took a look at our trail cam and found a good picture of our fox trotting past the bee hives. Now that I have his picture, I think I’ll put up a “Wanted: Dead or Alive” poster for our chicken killer.