Friday night, after getting home from the spaghetti dinner and silent auction fund raiser at the elementary school, the chicken coop was needing to be closed. After dropping my stuff in the house and grabbing a flashlight, I headed down to the coop to lock up. There is a routine: close the fence door and flip the latch, look through the gap in the door of the Guinea Ghetto with the flashlight to count the ladies, walk around to the Chicken Condo to collect any eggs, and then head back to the house to deposit the eggs in the fridge.
This night was different. When counting the ladies with the flashlight, there were only five. Five? There were supposed to be six. Occasionally one will split from the crowd and go upscale and roost in the Chicken Condo. After checking there with no luck, my attention went back to the Guinea Ghetto. A couple times one or two would sleep on the floor of the Ghetto. After opening the door to the Guinea Ghetto, and counting to five again, it was time to look elsewhere.
First up on the deck, where the lone guinea usually hangs out. Not there.
Then under the stairs of the deck where some of the ladies hang out during the day. Not there.
Then a thought came to me. When I picked up Oldest Son at the house after work before heading to the school for the big event, I noticed the dog sniffing around the garden. He seemed very interested in something. Being in a rush before, not much attention was paid to the anomaly.
Upon arriving a the garden, the hen was discovered. It was the Buff Orpington. The head was gone and a bunch of feathers were off and around the body, but that was it. The rest of the hen was still intact. Not sure who the guilty party was, but we are now down to five laying hens.
It's a good thing that spring is in the air and Southern States usually has a deal where you get six chicks if you buy a bag of feed. We are going to need to replenish our flock to keep the eggs coming.
Buffy will be missed. She was one of the friendliest and didn't mind being held, even by guests.