Thursday, May 29, 2014

Lost and Found

As I do obsessively all the time, I was taking a head count of the chickens the other day. I came up with 6, not 7 as it should be. With two separate runs and the inside of the coop, it took me awhile to confirm that there were definitely only 6 chickens in the yard.

I looked everywhere I could think. There wasn't any obvious signs of distress or carnage that would have been there had it been a hawk strike. It had just vanished.

So I thought.

Later in the day, determined not to lose yet another chicken, I had a better look around. I was aware that they had been going under the coop on one end for shade or escape from the rooster. So I knelt down as best I could to see if it was under the coop. The coop is on a slight slope, so the space underneath is wedge shaped. I had been looking on the higher end, thinking the lower end would be too low for a chicken.

Well, I was wrong. Tucked in the lowest section was the missing hen. I got a stick and eventually encouraged her out. Then I discovered FOUR eggs under there as well. I wasn't sure what was going on, but I knew I didn't want her laying eggs under the coop. Or if she was possibly a broody hen, I didn't want chicks hatching under there, too.

I stacked up the old boards around the gap, yet again, and will be more watchful in future.

The height under the coop is about 4 inches where the chicken was hiding.

The lost chicken

Old boards stacked up to prevent the chickens getting under the coop.

One of the eggs cracked as I was getting them out.

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