Tuesday, April 17, 2012
After supper I thought I would do a small bit of mowing, in the far off corner of the dog yard. But the mower wouldn't start, despite two trips to Dr. Ron, it chose to backfire. The whipping wind made any weeding seem like torture. So even though it was still light out, I decided to close up the chickens and go in for the evening. I was not careful about counting the hens. So what happened next is my fault.
I spent the evening paying bills, reading online, watching television. All was well when I retired to my bed.
This morning I returned to the barn to feed the chickens. Something seemed off -- not the hens, they were behaving normally enough. But the balance was wrong. Not enough yellow. Now, you should know that one of the three yellow hens died last week. It appeared to be a natural death, which happens among chickens. But now I only saw one yellow girl. And I realized why. I must have left a hen outside when I closed up last night.
I opened the hatch door and looked out, hoping she'd hop up on the ramp and scold me for leaving her alone. Instead I saw nothing. Then I saw a few feathers.
The best vantage point across the back field is at the side of the barn. At first I just saw a pretty morning field (photo above). Dandelions ready to sprinkle their seeds throughout my grass. The soft western light of sunrise.
Then I looked closer.
Possibly this happened during the day and I did not notice. But much more likely this hen was taken by a night stalker. And while that is bad news for the hen, it is worse news for the survivors. Because now the stalker knows where they live. I have to ask, was the yellow hen's loss last week actually a natural death, or something much grimmer?
After last June's serial murders I locked the barn up pretty tight. It looks like the birds will go on lock-down now, in April. I hope that they are safe during the day. But one more loss and they are stuck inside the barn until the terrorist moves on.
Posted by Johanna at 7:46 AM