Bear was walking us around the yard yesterday, just before sundown, when I noticed that Laya (best chicken ever) was not up in the live oak branches.
The live oak between the house and the garden was festooned with cackling chickens, beginning from just out of Bear's leap zone to thirty feet up. I peered up through the branches looking for Laya, but she was nowhere to be seen. Everybody was bedding down for the night ... so where was she?
Foxes, oppossums, raccoons, coyotes, and the neighbor's cat Nemesis, are all threats to my free rangers and so I was a little concerned over the missing Laya. The Havahart trap had caught a fat oppossum the day before and I had some fun with it as I released it and chased it into the woods. The trap wasn't even baited, but it was an oppossum after all. (Sorry, no video, for once I didn't have my camera with me).
Hopefully no oppossum had munched on Laya.
She has vanished before and I have worried before, but she always turned up later, hidden somewhere atop a clutch of eggs.
Some of these nests were successful ... most of the other chickens here at PFHQ owe their existence to her actually.
Longtime readers know about the living room chicks (aka the LOTR chicks) which Laya produced for us. She's also produced the most recent crop of three chicks that I have not bothered to name as they've "gone native".
Laya is special.
I looked in all the usual places, but no Laya.
Then, I thought about the boat. A while back, I had noticed a chicken or two hanging out in the boat. At the time, I thought it was just a refuge from Bear.
Sure enough, there she was. Nestled in under the bow. This is a pretty good spot actually. The boat sits up high and is above most ground predators. The fiberglass boat hull is slick enough to keep most ratsnakes befuddled too.
Good choice, Laya.
She had that "all fluffed up over eggs, don't mess with me" look, ... so I didn't.
I was just glad to see her.
I'll keep you posted on the progress of her voyage.