I go out to pick blackberries at about 8pm. Four of the flock of five chickens come running for discards.
Now, Gertrude is my first chicken. I guess at this point she’s about 3 1/2, which is at the end of her laying life, for the most part. She’ll lay an egg about three times a month at this point, and the shells are tissue paper, despite regularly getting oyster shell. If this were a working farm, she’d be eaten.
But this is not a working farm, and she’s my first pet chicken, and by dog, I will keep that chicken if she lives forever.
But she didn’t come out for blackberries.
I went out front (since the blackberries are split by a fence, and half hang over to where I must go out on a step stool to pick them), and still Gertrude was nowhere to be seen.
I went out to the yard again to look for her, fearing finding a pile of feathers where a hawk might have gotten her (one nearly got ‘Stache once, and I’ve been outside several times where that hawk flew over, rattled off a curse at me for protecting my chickens, and flew off angry and without a meal).
I checked under the deck and in the forsythia bush where the chickens like to hide, and in the brush, and nothing.
As a last resort, I opened the coop, where she was sitting asleep. Even though there was still light out.
I guess she needs the extra sleep these days.