We lost Peggy Sue this afternoon between 1:30 and 3:00.
Rick and I were doing some "vet work" (and I use that term loosely) on Ruby Dee in the donkey yard around 1:00, leaving the area with chickens running loose roughly a half an hour later. I went out at 3:00 to corral everyone and I knew immediately something was wrong. The neighbor's guinea hens were squawking like crazy in a bush next to the donkey pasture.
No, it can't be. Deja vu with the scene from last year and Dottie. Same place.
Her body there with feathers strewn. Had to be a hawk. Damn it!
Lily and Lulu (Peggy Sue's chick mates) were wandering a bit looking dazed. Calling the rest of the girls, I peered into the far pasture, checked the coop, my stomach turning with each minute of no girls. I found them huddled in the donkey shed, Ruby Dee with her head under a hay pallet.
I'm sure I posed the same question last year when we lost Dottie.
Free range (even for a short time) vs safety.
Safest times for free range. I moved their free time up to early afternoon to try and avoid foxes. There just doesn't seem to be any safe zone.
Peggy Sue on top with Lulu.
She could not be kept away from the hay aisle.
Lily on the left
Peggy Sue in the middle
Lulu on the right