I am heartbroken.
Just a couple of days ago I started to let my chickens out of their large 4 x 10 foot covered home so they could roam and peck in my big backyard. That was a bad decision.
Today, around noon, in full sun, one of my chickens disappeared. I was in earshot the whole time, working on the computer. I didn’t hear anything out of the ordinary.
I suspect that a hawk soared in and grabbed my smallest chicken. I think this chicken was a rooster, so he would have had to leave soon anyway. This is not the way I wanted him to leave!
The remaining hens were subdued and all of them even let me pet them. Normally only my Hudan hen allows me to pet her or hold her with just one hand. The other ones scurry away when you try to pet them. I can still catch them. But today, after this sad event, all three let me hold and pet them without objection. They really seemed shaken.
These chickens spent every second together since birth, so this must be so traumatic for them. I don’t see how they didn’t witness their friend being carried away.
I feel so foolish because I saw a hawk just a few days ago flying toward the coop. I didn’t know what a hawk looked like. I thought what I saw was an owl, and that it would not bother my chickens. I described what I saw to my father, and he said I had seen a red tailed hawk. He said he has them by his house, which is just minutes by car from my house. My father grew up on a farm, so he knows a lot more about this kind of thing than I do.
I don’t even have a recent picture of the lost chicken, and I’m a photographer!