We've had the chickens ever since we moved here and have never had a problem until last week, when we found a pile of white feathers out by the fence and came up short one bird. I figured the odds had finally caught up with us and a hawk had gotten it. Two days later around 11 am, Kid 2 yells from upstairs, "Mom, get outside!" She had spied a fox running off with another one of our hens.
Since then we've been confining the chickens. Our chickens have a large indoor coop with an attached fenced outdoor run, so they are actually pretty comfortable.
Most of our chickens should be in the stew pot, cuz they are too old to be laying regularly, but Kid 3 had turned all 9 of them into her pets. I'm a sap and don't want to destroy my daughter's chickie-babies, so I'm stuck with a bunch of nearly useless hens. I'm only willing to spend so much money on chicken feed and I've told her in the past that we weren't getting more birds until we thinned down the numbers, so now the numbers were thinned and I really was stuck. Darned fox anyway!
Conveniently, there is a woman in Ucon selling off a large flock due to an upcoming move. Kids 3 & 4 and I trekked down to pick out a couple of replacement hens. Notice I said a couple? Now ask me how many were in our truck when we left the place.
That would be six. Yes, six, including a rooster. We haven't had a rooster in several years. Our last couple roosters met an untimely end right about the time they started attacking my youngest children. Back then, the kids were short enough that when the rooster flew up, he was right at eye level. I had visions of them getting their eyes scratched out and it was "Bye-bye rooster time".
So now we have a Blue Wheaten Ameraucana Rooster, who will be gorgeous once his feathers grow back in. His owner had been feeding the birds her excess goat milk and the hens ended up pulling out his beard trying to get the slobbered milk off his feathers.
We also have two 6 month old Golden-sex link hens that just recently started laying (yea! fresh eggs! finally!) and three 1 month old Ameraucana pullets. Those will be fun when they grow up. They lay blue eggs.
This is in addition to the seven surviving old biddies already in the coop. What can I say--I really am a sap!