Then they started to wander a bit. Not too far at first but further and further every day. One day they followed the goats out to the pasture and didn't come back with them until later in the day. I was a bit stumped as to what to do and a few times herded them in myself when I thought they had gone to far. They seemed to have little fear and don't even know enough to come in out of the rain. Which is very strange for chickens. All during the downpours this week I could seem them out in the pasture by the barn happily digging away.
Then it happened. We had a huge front move through on Wednesday and the lightening was so heavy I didn't dare go outside. The rain was so heavy it filled our 50 gallon rain barrels in 15 minutes flat. I've seen a few storms like it but not many. Shortly after the rain let up I hurried outside to check on everyone and found one lonely soaking wet chicken in the field all by herself. There was no sign of her partner. Not worrying that it was starting to rain again I searched and called everywhere but to no avail. She was gone. What took her I have no idea as I didn't even find a single feather.
What to do with this girl now? I didn't want to leave her in the barn by herself but know from experience how difficult it is to integrate new chickens, or ones that have been elsewhere for a while, into a flock so was a bit hesitant to put her back in the chicken house. Then again I really didn't have much of a choice. She had to go back with the others.
I waited until just before sunset when they were all roosting. Plopped a light jacket over her and carried her back to the chicken house. Once inside I watched in amazement as the rooster jumped down from his roost. Pounced on her a few times as roosters will do. Then started to cluck at her and feed her little bits of this and that. The other hens came down and checked her out and then they all went back up to roost together. I just stood there and shook my head in amazement. You never really know what chickens will do. So, she is back in the chicken run and everyone seems happy.
She doesn't seem very happy to have her picture taken though
Our beautiful rooster keeping a watchful eye on his little flock.
I'm still worried however. The chicken run does not have a cover on it and while I do have plans for one soon I'm fearful I may lose more. Sigh.... One day at a time.
A technical note:
If you are subscribed to receive my updates via email you may not have received Wednesdays post. For some reason Thursdays came out early and Wednesdays didn't get sent. You can find it here.