As anyone who raises chickens knows, they are not the sharpest tacks in the box. I love my chickens and there is nothing that I love more than walking out my back door and seeing all my hens racing towards me. Food Lady!!! But they can be a real challenge when something goes off-kilter. Such as one of my Barred Rock hens finding herself on the other side of the fence. I am not sure how she managed it, but she did. I have spent three days trying to catch her, herd her, reason with her, and trick her. It hasn't helped that I have been so bone-tired that my limited agility was almost non-existent, and I managed to fluster her more with each attempt to grab her. I couldn't leave the gate open because they would ALL get out and decimate my front yard in it's fragile garden-ness. And every night that she was not in the security of the coop, I heard the coyotes howling. And mysterious, ominous rustlings. ALL night. This is a good example of why I am not a parent. I would be institutionalized by now. This morning, while I made my rounds (I work from left to right), I glimpsed a flash of black and white on the gated side of the fence. Hurrah! I silently went over and opened the gate a crack - then busied myself with my patient, Pearly Mae, and the ducks. Sure enough, the hen came in through the gate. I raced over and slammed the gate shut and locked it. Back, safe and sound.
Unfortunately, while I 'won' that round, I lost Millie, my angora rabbit. There were no signs that I could read that she wasn't well - she was eating, drinking, she had shade and shelter and chicken t.v. When I came home last night and went out to check her food, she was gone. My lovely, soft, white rabbit. It just broke my heart and I keep thinking there should have been something I could have done or noticed. I have gotten better at taking my losses, but some are harder to take than others.