Tuesday, September 15, 2009
The Lost Hen
One of the hens is missing. She didn't come to the coop Friday night. It had been raining in the evening, so we thought she might have gone under some kind of shelter and not wanted to venture back to the coop once it was dark. So my husband and I went looking for her. We even brought our son out, since he tries to chase the chickens out of the woods and knows where they usually go. But we couldn't find her anywhere. A predator must have gotten her.
It wouldn't surprise me if it were the chicken we call the Lost Hen. There's one that loses track of the group. All twelve don't stick together all day, but they tend to stick together in small groups. The rooster usually has five or six hens with him; that seems to be all he can handle.
In any case, this hen loses track of the others. She realizes she's alone and starts crying. Once I heard this terrible chicken-wailing outside my window. I looked out and this hen was warbling with her beak open. Then she ran to the garden. Then after a few seconds, she ran back to our house, all the while making a racket. So I went out and said, "Let's go find the others." I persuaded her to follow me to the coop where, lo and behold, there were a half a dozen hens. Girl, don't you think you could have checked there first?
So that's not a bright chicken. It wouldn't be a stretch to imagine a coyote could notice her if she got lost in the woods. I just hope that she didn't lead a coyote to discover that this is a great place to find tasty chicken.