Monday, 5 October 2015
The Tale of the Disappearing Chicken
A couple of weeks ago I bought 4 chickens to add to our laying flock. I like to keep new birds separate from my existing ones, for a few days, to check everything is OK with them so these new birds went in the small pen near the log piles. One seemed a bit wheezy so I decided I would treat all for the snuffles and worm them at the same time, which meant they would have to stay away from the main flock for a month as during this time their eggs can't be eaten.
So far so good. Night number one and I went to put them to bed and found them all huddled outside the shed, not having worked out where the door was. Night number two, 3 of them were in the shed but where was number 4? I searched and I searched but she was nowhere to be seen.
I thought maybe she'd got in between logs. No
I thought maybe she'd got on top of the shed. No
I thought maybe she'd got behind the shed. No
Maybe she was huddled along the fence line or in the patch of nettles? No
I searched outside the pen. Nothing.
However, the next morning there she was, strutting round the pen demanding breakfast.
This went on for several nights. No chicken at night. Chicken there in the morning. Oh and she is a black chicken so hard to find in the dark.
So where the heck was she?
Well, it turned out that this little Madam managed (despite having a clipped wing to stop her flying) to flutter up into the hedge and hide in amongst the foliage, almost perfectly camouflaged there. I eventually found her as one night, she had not got her head tucked under her wing and the light reflected back from her eye.
I moved all 4 birds into another pen hoping that would stop her but now she just flutters up into the fence and every night I have to scoop her out and put her in the pen. Last night it was raining for the first time since I bought her and there she was, all wet, but otherwise quite happy.
Has anyone any ideas how I can get this daft chicken into the shed at night?