The morning started just like any other morning.
Bleary-eyed, I started the coffee pot.
Yawning, I looked out the back door.
Uh. Oh. The chickens were out.
I forgot to put them away. Again.
Their coop had been open all night. Again.
Sighing, I started breakfast.
‘I have to start remembering to lock the hens up,’ I thought to myself.
Later, I went outside to move the little girls out to the playpen. After getting them situated (with only a few squacks and pecks), I did my morning headcount.
Nine pullets and six hens.
Wait. Six? Where were the other two?
I looked around a little, not too concerned yet. They’d been out for most of the morning after all and they’d been getting braver, venturing further away from the coop. Surely they’d come back when they got hungry.
I went about my day, forgetting about the missing ladies.
Early evening, after eating dinner, I went out to pull the little girls back to the garage and shut the big girls in for the night. My niece came out to help me.
I only counted 6. I asked my niece to check too. She only counted 6.
Where were they?
I called out the troops.
Joe, Jake, Issabella, Cheyenne, Charlie and I walked the property searching for the two rogue hens.
We trudged up and down the swales, walked around the house, double checked the coop and peeked in the garage.
We couldn’t find them. They were gone with no sign of a struggle.
Even with the occasional threat of the freezer, they would not have run away. They have it too good…shelter from the cold and rain, all the food they can eat, treats, kitchen scraps and a steady supply of water.
No, the only plausible explanation is that these two unlucky ladies were late getting back up into the coop and a hungry coyote or two caught an easy meal.
Farewell Matilda and Enid!
(Or Hester and Henny, or Edith and Tabitha, or…well, whoever you were.)
I can’t say you will be missed, but we sure will miss the eggs.
Goodbye my ladies
Oblivious to danger
You were gobbled up