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Chicken Mystery

You know it can’t be good when your hubby returns from checking on the hens and asks, “How many chickens do we have?”  Of course, I couldn’t be sure.  I spent some time trying to figure it out…How many had we started with?  How many had we lost to the fox.  How many did I sell?  I should know this!  Finally I thought we must’ve had 13 and then we just added the 2 cuckoo marans hens and the roo…so that would make 16.  Wrong answer.  He’d found a pile of downy buff feathers on the inside of the electric netting and a few on the outside.

a pile of downy feathers...that sinking feeling in your stomach

a pile of downy feathers...that sinking feeling in my stomach

He’d done a head count…15.  Then he closed the hen door so they’d at least be safe for the night but we’d have to do more investigating in the daylight.

We couldn’t imagine the fox coming back…he’d had numerous encounters with the electric fence and didn’t enjoy any of them at all…he has to be smart enough to realize that this is the same fence in a different place, right?   There are loads…I mean loads…of turklings (baby turkeys) and chukars all over the place.  Why risk the sharp bite of the fence for a chewy old hen?!  We wondered whether this could be an airborne predator?  A sleepless night…

This morning Jim made a quick trip to the back to let the chickens out onto the pasture.

As happy hens exit the henmobile, it's easy to do a headcount

As happy hens exit the henmobile, it's easy to do a headcount

When he opened the hen door, they all started down the ramp to the grass in single file so he did another head count — 16!  What?!   Of course I was thrilled to hear that but the question still remains…where did those feathers come from?  I checked all the hens for bald spots and did find that one of the NH Reds was a little bald just above her tail.  She’s a lighter red than the Rhode Island types and her downy feathers are buff-ish so maybe…  I’m wondering whether the roo might be pulling feathers out when he’s courting the girls?  I love a good mystery…  We’ll keep a close eye on things.

Our new Cuckoo marans roo and his 2 girlfriends came from Vinalhaven and seem to be very happy with their new accommodations.

Our new Cuckoo marans roo and his 2 girlfriends came from Vinalhaven and seem to be very happy with their new accommodations.


Our current chicken count:
1 cuckoo marans rooster
2 cuckoo marans hens
4 Ameracaunas
4 Buff Orpingtons
3 NH Reds
1 Silverlaced Wyandotte
1 Goldenlaced Wyandotte

2 comments to Chicken Mystery

  • mother katherine

    Loved the chicken story – read it out loud to our chicken woman. She laughed and identified with it.
    I’ll be at Rhinebeck in the breed barn again with white Romneys.
    Found the spindles. They were hiding out in plain sight on a stool. I’m so relieved.
    I’ll be checking your booth for another gem.
    See you at rhinebeck.
    Mother Katherine

  • Pam

    So good to hear from you, Mother Katherine! You’re scaring me…lost spindles?! Will stop by to see you & your breed display at Rhinebeck. We’ll be neighbors…ACR Coopworths will be displayed, too. The Hatchtown booth has been moved to Building B so you’ll have to take a little walk to find your gem. Looking forward to seeing you!!