Generally, we get the chickens into the coop at the end of the day before the sun sets to ensure that they’re safe during the evening hours. Many predators lurk in the darkness and I don’t know of many predators who will turn down a good chicken dinner. So each day, near sunset, we call to the birds and close up the coop. Everyone is safe for the evening because the coop really does lock up nicely and keeps out the predators.
We had guests over this last Saturday and time got away from us because everyone was laughing so hard while playing a game named Telestrations. We’ve played the game a number of times now and it has never lost its appeal. In the meantime, the sun had set and I saw that we were now in the subtle glow of twilight. So, I quickly rushed to the chicken coop to get our chickens up for the night. Fortunately, the chickens had already come in for the night and were resting on top of the nest box. That is, all of the chickens were there except one—a beautiful buff orpington that has a tendency to fly out of the run to peck at the grass on the other side of the fence. I counted the chickens several times and decided that I really must find this chicken before it got much darker.
After hunting around the run and not finding her, I started calling to her in the woods. She wasn’t anywhere to be found. The first thought that came to mind was that a predator had a chicken dinner on us. Even so, I continued to look.
By now it was dark. So, I went into the house and got out my flashlight. I decided to look once again inside the coop. The chickens were still roosting comfortably next to each other and were quite annoyed at me for disturbing their sleep with that obnoxious flashlight. A count showed one chicken still missing. However, that was when I noted a hump in the row of chickens. On a hunch, I moved the chickens aside (one of whom pecked my hand for my efforts). There under the rest of the chickens was missing buff orpington—quite warm from being under cover of the remaining chickens.
At that point, I laughed to myself and closed up the coop. The chickens went back to sleep and all was well with the world. The next time I’ll be sure to move the chickens around a little to ensure I’m not missing anyone who has hidden from view. Let me know about your interesting chicken stories at John@JohnMuellerBooks.com.