Tuesday evening I had clients to do and left home at 4.30pm. The chooks put themselves to bed at 5.30 and then we lock them in for the night. OH came home at 7, about 15 mins before me and neither of us mentioned the chooks, both thinking that the other had seen to them. We got on with our evening, cooking, lighting fires etc.
Wednesday morning big black chicken was by the kitchen door, and I thought that they couldn't have been shut away. I went down to the coup only to find that my beautiful Skippy was dead, pretty big grey chicken was dead and all the little chickens had vanished. Sage and Onion the 2 oldest bantams were alive and on the top of the highest nesting boxes, but reluctant to fly down. The only other one we found alive was the little black cockerel who had managed to get through the hedge and was pacing up and down outside the front gate.
We were so devasted. All our chooks have very distinct personalities, and it has been wonderful to see them grow and look after the new little ones when they were introduced. My new little chick Amber had really mingled well, but still often sat in my hand to eat grain from the other hand.
Amazingly black chicken has still produced a couple of eggs since then. The market in St Junien is on next Saturday, so we will go and look for more.
I can't believe this has happened. Last January we lost some chooks to 2 dogs who got in the garden, January before Tabitha my cat went missing and has never returned. When I think of all the times when we never used to shut the coup door, then just one night and this happens. At least they had really happy lives, they were totally free to wander the garden during the day and had a good variety of food.