Last night as it was just getting dark I heard that sickening sound again. The sound of a chicken being pursued by our self-elected chicken herding dog: Oscar! When I yelled his name, he petulantly came up the steps with a chicken feather in his mouth. Obviously, I assumed that in his excitement he had once again tried to stop the chicken from running by putting his paw on the chickens neck and……..well, you get the picture.
I put Oscar up in the mudroom and proceeded to tour the outside thinking I would find a chicken carcass somewhere. However, after looking high and low I couldn’t find any sign of a chicken or of a struggle. So I went back inside. This morning, as I was sitting in my chair drinking coffee…I heard that sound again. Looking out the sunroom window I saw Oscar once again, trying to herd the chicken…..but it was ALIVE. Once again, I called his name, he came to me with guilt on his face…we shut him in the barn and came back to find the chicken and put it back in the coop and chicken yard. How it got out in the first place I’ll never know!
BUT, when I came back, once again, I couldn’t find the chicken. John came to help and we found it underneath a dead portion of the tree….a portion that exactly matched the feather color on this particular chicken. I guess chickens are not as dumb as I thought they were. Either that, or their instinct to protect themselves is so strong they just KNOW to hide in a color that helps them “disappear” to predators. SO, upon finding this poor, terrorized chicken, John promptly took her back to the chicken yard and things are once more peaceful on the ranch!