Bonafide Farm

Fowl foul

May 29th, 2013 § 0

I stepped out on the front porch early this morning and what should I see but Cora, my once-scalped Wheaten Ameraucana hen, strutting across the front yard. That’s weird, I thought. Maybe I shut up the coop last night before she had a chance to get inside? But then, oh crap, I realized, I had totally forgotten to close the coop at sunset.

Cue the sick sinking feeling I was describing in yesterday’s post. Visions of a chicken massacre scene ran through my head, all red blood and multicolored feathers spattered in the coop. My entire flock dead and either dragged into the woods by the fox or eaten where they fell by the marauding raccoon or dog or whatever.

But just then the rest of the flock came strutting around the corner of the house, where I assume they had been enjoying their first uncooped sunrise. I did a quick, heart-in-throat scan, and found only one black chicken to be missing: Lilac.

I quickly recalculated the damage potential in my head. Losing Lilac would be, well, a loss, but she was one of my two oldest hens and her laying days were shorter than those of the younger birds. And then I remembered one important thing about Lilac: she’s my most consistent layer.

I ran to the coop, steeling myself for a possibly messy scene. But there was Lilac, hunkered in the nesting box, working on laying today’s egg. I have never been more relieved to see a hen on the nest.

All’s well that ends well, but I definitely messed up. I really lucked out last night that no birds were killed. I need to be a more vigilant chicken keeper, and I’m setting a daily close-the-coop phone alarm today!


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