I walked the yard today searching for a missing chicken. Her feathers were found in the lower pasture, but there was nothing left of the rest of her. I assume it was the fox, but I may never know for sure. She was apparently grabbed as she stepped out of the coop this morning, and I am completely heart broken over the whole thing. She was one of our first chickens, and one of the only ones to roost in the actual coop. By all rights, she should have been the safest of all the chickens. So what happened? Why her? It took me til this evening to realize why.
The pigs are gone.
For the past six months, the pigs have roamed the rear part of the yard at the opening of the pasture, and right beside the chicken coop. They were contained by an electric force field, but their presence was, nonetheless, a deterrent. The coop was within the protected zone, and the fox knew that. But as of Monday morning, there were no pigs to guard the castle, and the queen was taken right from her roost this morning.
Poor, poor, Harriet.
The other chickens are still perching on the front porch--far from the pasture, and clearly the safest place to be that isn't inside. As for the pigs, well, they'll come home tomorrow. Wrapped in small packages, ready for the freezer. Despite my initial arguments to the contrary, I sort of miss them. As I walked around the yard tonight, I kept waiting for their little grunts and barks to greet me, but there was nothing but the sounds of crickets in the distance to take their places.
I know I said I was looking forward to the quiet, but I guess the chaos had grown on me. It's obviously time to get more ducks. There's nothing like a flock of ducks to add a little intrigue to the farm yard.
Until the next time...I'll be shopping for ducks.