On November 19, about 3 weeks ago, I posted on Facebook that one of my hens did not come home to roost that evening. I do a head count when I lock up the coop at night.
A missing chicken can mean only one thing…the fox is back. A fox is a fairly polite predator; she takes one chicken at a time, usually no fuss, no muss. There is just one less chicken the next day.
But the next night I was quite surprised to have my headcount back to normal– the missing hen had returned! I figured she just got too far away from the coop and didn’t make it back by nightfall so roosted in a tree the previous night.
That was 3 weeks ago and she hasn’t been back since. About every 3 or 4 days I would count enough chickens roaming around together, so I knew she was still with us intermittently. But where was she for the rest of the days and at night?? Highly unusual!
Today the mystery has been solved. Dave found her sitting on a nest alongside our porch, hidden under a lilac bush and yucca plant. Bless her heart she is sitting on 15 frozen and cracked eggs trying to hatch them out. We will remove the eggs today and hopefully she will return to the coop tonight where she will be warmer and much safer.
But come spring, this young broody gal may prove to be a great setter and dedicated mother!