Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Our Chicken Mystery

If you've followed this blog, you know we have had trouble with chickens. Over the past year and a half we've bought 12 chickens. Several died in the first few days. A couple got eaten by dogs. A bunch got eaten by skunks. We killed a rooster who had started attacking us. And then we were down to just two chickens. They seemed to be getting on well, but then one of them started not laying in the coop. We searched our bushes but couldn't figure out where she was laying. Then she started disappearing at night. At first we thought a dog or fox had eaten her, but then she appeared again. And throughout the summer, she disappeared for stretches of time, sometimes up to two weeks. If there had been a wild rooster around, I would have thought she was raising chicks, but we're the only ones in the neighborhood who let our chickens free range. And then she disappeared again.

We shrugged our shoulders and accepted it, what else could we do? Our remaining chicken (pictured above) seemed to be getting on okay, although she stopped laying and we talked about giving her away so she would have company.

Then the second chicken reappeared, her comb duller, her legs yellower. And she kept reappearing every day, staying for the whole day, eating food we put out.

Now she's even staying the night in the coop. There must have been a good summer home for her to visit. But now it seems she's back for winter.

The color and size of the combs of the two chickens is quite striking. They used to be nearly identical, but now they're easy to tell apart. (Plus the resident chicken must have had something attack her because she only has one tail feather left.) We're back to an egg a day (the runaway still isn't laying in the coop).
It's nice to have the chickens wandering around the yard. But I still won't give them names.


Alica said...

Wouldn't it be interesting to have some kind of a tracking device on the roamer? Practical? No...but interesting to see where she's been, and to try to figure out the difference in the colors of their combs. It is quite a contrast!

Desert Survivor said...

Alica, I agree! I was hoping for a little early snow so we could follow her tracks to whereever she went.

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