Missing the Chicken

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.


Author: John

John Mueller is a freelance author and technical editor. He has writing in his blood, having produced 99 books and over 600 articles to date. The topics range from networking to artificial intelligence and from database management to heads-down programming. Some of his current books include a Web security book, discussions of how to manage big data using data science, a Windows command -line reference, and a book that shows how to build your own custom PC. His technical editing skills have helped over more than 67 authors refine the content of their manuscripts. John has provided technical editing services to both Data Based Advisor and Coast Compute magazines. He has also contributed articles to magazines such as Software Quality Connection, DevSource, InformIT, SQL Server Professional, Visual C++ Developer, Hard Core Visual Basic, asp.netPRO, Software Test and Performance, and Visual Basic Developer. Be sure to read John’s blog at http://blog.johnmuellerbooks.com/. When John isn’t working at the computer, you can find him outside in the garden, cutting wood, or generally enjoying nature. John also likes making wine and knitting. When not occupied with anything else, he makes glycerin soap and candles, which comes in handy for gift baskets. You can reach John on the Internet at John@JohnMuellerBooks.com. John is also setting up a website at http://www.johnmuellerbooks.com/. Feel free to take a look and make suggestions on how he can improve it.