Cast and Crew

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Where Did Ingrid Go? Part 1

The other night I went out to put the chickens away. We let them wander in the yard in the afternoons, and they find their way back into the coop when it gets dark. There's some trust involved in this relationship; trust and bricks jammed in under the gaps in the fence. Since clipping Ellen and Portia's wings, things have been calm when we let the girls out to roam. They peck and scratch, they take dust baths in the dirt, they hide under the huge weeping maple (the clubhouse), they dig in the compost. Life is good. On the particular night in question, I poked my head into the coop and counted. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven. It was getting dark. I counted again. Seven. Damn. Where was Ingrid? Her favorite snack is cracked corn (scratch). I shook the plastic tub of scratch and called out to her. She usually comes running. Still no Ingrid.

Was she under the maple tree? I grabbed a flashlight and started hunting for the missing bird.
Maybe she was in the compost. She loves compost. Nope. No sign of her.
Could she have flown up into the lilac tree? Ingrid's wings aren't clipped, but she rarely tries to take flight. A sick feeling settled in the pit of my stomach. Where had she gone? This wasn't normal. Maybe a hawk had gotten her. We began looking for signs of a struggle. Nothing.
I wandered around the sides and front of the house, which are fenced separately. The girls aren't allowed up there. Nope. Not behind the perennials.
Or the weed-infested crocosmias.
Not even behind these things, whatever they are...
I even poked my head into the strawberries. No Ingrid. She was nowhere to be found. I walked clear around the block in rubber wellies with flashlight in hand. Neighbors stared suspiciously. I asked if they'd seen a runaway chicken. "Oh," they said. "Nope. No chicken." We gave up the search and called it a night, going into the house to mourn the loss of one of our favorite girls.

I never thought this would happen in the city. Okay, that's inexperience talking, and I feel ridiculous now that I've said it, but it's true. When you live in the city, you forget that there are other animals around, not just the ones you raise in a wire-mesh-enclosed coop. We've had cougars and coyotes spotted in our neighborhood. Cats go missing sometimes. Even the alley cats are a little feral. Coutryside and mountain foothills are really only spitting distance over the highway 2 tressle, so it shouldn't be a shock to think that a hawk, eagle, or owl could snatch one of our beloved hens right out of the yard.

Do you miss Ingrid, too? Rest assured, faithful blog readers, she's not actualy gone. But I'll give you ten guesses as to where she scampered off to.


  1. Oh Man...........the pressure. um.....did she somehow get in the house?

  2. I'm holding my breath....where is she??
    Since I don't have chickens I follow the day in a life of your "girls". Do hope the little rascal is safe and sound...

  3. Sometimes I find a lady under the chicken coop or on the roof. Can't wait to hear where you found her. Snuggled up with a cat?

  4. I bet she was at the neighbor's house who has the other chicks from the batch you raised this spring.....?

    I like the new page. Looks good!!!

  5. Ok, i've been wondering about Ingrid all day....i hope she snuck in the house!

  6. Hmmmm, is she sitting on a nest somewhere????

  7. Look in under the house! I bet she is under the house... maybe she is hiding in the house!? I dont know but you have a beautiful back yard! I am really liking your compost bins... I have a heep but thats it! So I am really lovin' the bins!!! :) Cant wait to hear wear your ole girl went!


Shout out to the peeps.


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