I go to the hospital. I get discharge plans. I swing through my mother's apartment for clothes, make a few stops for various paperwork, then run home and write on a lot of clothing with permanent marker. I check my eggs which are not hatching and need to be got rid of. I am sad. My dad drops by and I give him his house pictures for his roof warranty claim. I leave, returning to the hospital to get my mother and take her to the nursing home. I spend some time there, and ponder just how much I miss the act of nursing though not the politics. I come home and begin to walk dogs, start supper; normal evening stuff. I notice Mr. W. is walking Boo and looking oddly at the chickens. I say "Who's missing??" I am thinking maybe a rooster...save me the trouble.
But no, that would be too easy, after this week, way too easy for me to be missing one bird or two. Six. Including both roosters and the best hen I ever had, the only one I let myself get attached to, who was more pet than layer, Tut. Woe be unto the predator. I cannot think of a single animal that would or could in broad daylight, take SIX birds unless for sport. Half of my birds gone in one fell swoop. Half. And the six remaining hens showing varying signs of damage to feathers or personality. We found some piles of feathers scattered in the woods.
This is, in 10 years of rearing poultry, the worst loss to predator ever. The max before this was two stupid hens who one night would not go in the house and fell asleep with their heads against the wire of the yard. Survival of the fittest, no?? The roosters did their jobs. Both are gone. Preserve the flock at all costs. They just failed to save the one chicken who could make me cry.