Saturday evening my husband and I went out. That in itself is an amazing statement, because we so rarely go out. But the point of it is what happened as a result of us going out!
My normal routine these days is to feed the animals just before dusk. This makes it much easier for me to lock the chickens in their pen to keep them safe through the night. There is always one rogue leghorn (I don't know if it's the normal or super sized egg layer) that likes to insist on roosting on top of the pen rather than inside the pen. I am usually able to persuade her to join her flockmates with a 12 foot section of pvc pipe.
Saturday we had to leave at 5:30. When we got back at around 11pm I went out to close the door on the chicken pen. I didn't see the white leghorn on top, but then I didn't bring a flashlight with me to count the chickens either. I usually do a quick head count before I close the door.
Sunday morning I went out to feed and found a big white trail of feathers.
It doesn't show up as well in the photos but the trail was very obvious.
My husband talked to the neighbors. One said she saw a fox and the other and said he heard "a ruckus" around 5:30 in the morning. My guess is that the chicken hopped down from her roost early and was pecking around. They are used to the dogs racing around the backyard so probably wasn't too concerned when the fox came in. That was her undoing.
Here's what's left. : (
Every time I put the chickens in I can't help thinking about a story I read when I was in elementary school. As I recall it was based in China and it was about a huge flock of geese. Every morning they were let out to the fields to eat and every evening they came back to their farm where they lived. The last goose in always got a hard smack across his back. One day a young goose lingered too long and didn't want to get smacked so he stayed out. The story goes on about all the dangers he had to avoid that night. The next day the goose decided it was worth the smack if he was the last one in.
Too bad that chicken didn't know the story of the goose.