I am down to one chicken. My adventurous brown Aricauna was gone when I went to the barn yesterday evening. When she wants back in after one of her escapes, she usually hangs around the stalls, or roosts on top of the chicken yard, waiting for me.
I looked; no chicken.
I called; no response to my inviting clucking.
With growing trepidation I walked around the barn, and searched inside, looking for a mass of brown feathers that would confirm my fears. No feathers.
I searched farther afield, looking through the pasture and in the trees behind it, far out of her usual range. No feathers. Baffled, I walked the entire hay field next to us, where I have seen a fox take a stolen chicken to eat it, then play with the remains. But still no feathers.
This is puzzling, but I've figured it out. My chicken has gone on a grand chicken-adventure, perhaps getting lost for a time. One day I will walk out to the coop, and there she'll be, waiting to be let inside.
This is what happens when you watch too many Disney movies.
Meanwhile, the last chicken and Zoe, the chicken coop cat, don't miss their aggressive roommate a bit. They were sunning themselves in the dirt today.