Happy Homemaker, Ph.D.

A novice homemaker's attempts to use her engineering Ph.D. to serve her family

The Chicken Chronicles – Kidnapped!

on March 7, 2012

Other posts in this series:

After Ethyl’s raccoon encounter, we were even more conscientious about closing the door to their coop at night.  But a few days later, we were surprised to find that Ethyl had disappeared during the day.  There seemed to be no signs of a struggle.

She was just gone.

Perhaps she didn’t trust us anymore and went out on her own, going on a last adventure like Bilbo Baggins taking off after his “eleventy first” (111th) birthday party.  Perhaps one of our now-country roosters came back to make her his princess.  Or, perhaps the raccoon — no, I don’t think too long about that possibility.  I like happy endings better.

I liked Ethyl, and I miss her still.  She seemed humble or at least resigned to her place.  She was a good and consistent layer.  She seemed somewhat alienated from the other hens, but she didn’t seem to hold a grudge.

Later on in the summer, we lost another chicken as well.  Stacy, one of the Leghorns, became ill and died.  Stacy had walked with a limp since her encounter over the fence, but you should have seen how fast she could run, even with that handicap!  She was always more of a follower (with Wilhelmina being a leader and more independent), but her loyalty to her white companion was admirable, and they were often together.

So, now our brood is down to five.

Wilhelmina hasn’t been the same since Stacy’s death.  She is no longer assertive.  The leader role of the brood has been taken over by Ginger, it seems.  She has stopped laying for the last few months.  (She is the only hen that lays white eggs now, so it’s easy to tell.)  She just doesn’t seem her old self since Stacy is no longer around.

Wilhelmina

Her brown “sisters” seemed unaffected by Ethyl’s disappearance.  Ginger and Big Red Mama have somewhat switched roles since they arrived, though.  That began during the summer when Ginger decided that she was going to be the first hen to any food.  That included helping herself to ears of corn off our garden stalks.  We were amazed at how she jumped to husk and eat the corn on the cob!  When the girls come running, she’s usually at the front of the pack.

The ladies came running toward me as soon as I came outside. Too bad I had the camera instead of some leftovers this time.

Ginger

Big Red Mama

Big Red Mama was so named because of her coloring and her attitude when she came to stay with us.  Her name is not any reflection of any Husker loyalties my Nebraska friends may imagine.  🙂

Pepper (a.k.a Kevin) has grown into more of an adult, taking her place among the others.  She used to stay close to Salt (a.k.a Barok), but now she feels free to be more independent.

Pepper

Salt, however, is going through some sort of phase where she is not leaving the coop when the others run out to roam the yard.  I thought she had perhaps become more maternal, feeling obligated to sit on the eggs while the other hens went off to have fun.  Yesterday, though, she was sitting in the cubby beside the eggs, so I still wonder.  We hope she’s not ill.  She really is a pretty hen.

Salt

These are our chickens.  Stay tuned for the next (and final – at least for a while) post that will show you the new house Chad built for the girls over the summer and a surprise!

~Dana

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10 responses to “The Chicken Chronicles – Kidnapped!

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  7. […] and Louis’ Last Adventure Making New Friends The Pretty Birds Join the Brood The Attack Kidnapped! A New Home and a New Beginning An […]

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