It is with great sorrow that I must report the disappearance (and suspected demise) of one of the girls. Last night at 6pm, while it was still light, there were only 11 girls to be found. Weatherdude and I combed the entire property and along our neighbors' properties, but she was nowhere to be found. At 7:30pm we called off the search as the light faded. She would have roosted by then. We left lights on in the barn, just in case, all night. Alas. Morning light did not bring a chicken home to roost. No matter how many times I count, there are only 11 girls now. This is our first loss in just over a year and I'm a bit crushed by it.
It is not Walkabout. (Collective sigh of relief heard.) Empirical test was to shut them in the run this morning and shortly after, a dark brown hen with a white spot behind her comb was happily wandering outside the fence. Phew. It is also not Anya and not the one attempting to morph into a featherless biped.
What is poignant for me is that after a week or two of lowered production, they laid 12 eggs yesterday morning. For the last time. And I don't even know which egg was hers.