Weatherdude left me a message while I was out delivering 5 returns yesterday...another girl gone missing. He had found feathers by the woodpile. I got home just at dusk and checked the feathers for myself. This is too much. Two girls so close together is unacceptable. Call in the FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit, there's a serial chicken-killer in the neighborhood.
But, Weatherdude spoke too soon. He had 10 chickens, he said. He went everywhere (he said) and could not locate number 11. At around 6pm, the same time the other chicken had been noticed as missing (maybe it's the FBI's Missing Chickens Bureau we really need). So he put the 10 girls he had located into the coop (some vociferously complaining that it was still light out) and shut them in to keep any more from falling victim in the soft light of evening.
Back up at the house, he looked down at the barn and saw one, count her, one chicken wandering around confused as to why she was locked out of her coop. Chicken #11 (or is it #12 from Monday?). Personally, I think a chicken bought the farm by the woodpile Monday evening. In spite of my flippant tone, I'm still pretty upset about it.
As for the siege feeling, last night the Dude says he was awake at 2AM and heard strange sounds outside on the garage side (a fox) and that PD came immediately back inside. Later, he heard barking and the occasional 'scream' sound outside our bedroom window. All quite close to the house. I haven't heard the fox that close in years. He/She must be checking out all the delightful chicken-y smells. Nyah. The girls are elsewhere, snug on their roost.
And today, when I could only find 8 of the creatures, I discovered a super-secret hiding place in the laurels directly under my office window. Just a soft cooing from under a bush. Great place, very safe. Probably where one was yesterday when Weatherdude couldn't find her.