Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Matter of Time

The woman selling the pullets said, "Livestock is deadstock," and warned The Man not to get too attached to the chickens she had just sold him.

Yesterday when I came home from work The Man told me one of the chickens was missing. He had been working in the garage, heard a loud noise, and all the animals--goats and chickens--ran into the garage. When he was able to do a head count he realized a Buff Orpington was missing.

Sophia, aka "the Hag", followed me as usual but I found the remaining four chickens hiding under the deck with Brandy amongst them. I was not surprised that Tandy was missing. She's the one who likes to be carried, the sweet one. I looked at Sophia and gave her the chicken stare: "It could have been you."

Still in my work scrubs, The Man and I walked the chickens down to their coop and locked them in the pen. We searched the area around the Vista and the fence line but we only found a handful of soft blonde feathers. No body, no blood. We reassured ourselves that it must have been very quick.

As we searched, I kept looking upwards towards the treetops and the sky. No turkey vultures circling. No golden eagle--since November we've had an eagle occasionally perch in the pine tree next to our driveway. It could only have been an eagle to take down a chicken as large as Tandy. No hawk could have carried her away.

I finally went inside to change out of my work clothes. As I looked out the upstairs bedroom window I saw one lone chicken on the outside of the pen. I hurried back down to the pen with The Man and scooped Tandy up. I checked her over for injuries or blood. Nothing.

When I put her back down she went on her merry way, pecking at the green sprouts, clueless.

Photo by Barbie 12/13