I keep looking outside hoping to see Buddy wander back in from where ever he went. Yesterday morning I opened the door to coop, and quickly got back inside where there was heat and coffee. I did some knitting, and got my plan for the day set. Boomer had to work ANOTHER Saturday shift, I had a very chilly farmers market to attend.
When I got back around 10:30 I made the chickens a treat of stale bread, cracked corn, some bacon fat, lettuce that had seen better days and other random fridge stuff that wasn’t fresh enough for us but fine for them. As I was walking out I start counting birds, 1,2,3,4,5…maybe one is in the nest box. I checked, 1,2,3,4,5. Then I try to see who is missing. Floppy comb, dark brown hen, flighty light brown hen, the two barred rocks from Bramble Hollow.
I relized I hadn’t heard the rooster crow. Buddy is very vocal. That bird would cock-a-doodle-doo all day. If I went to the car you would hear him, walk to the garden, go check the mail. But there is nothing. I thought maybe he wandered off, got himself futher from the coop then he is comfortable with. But still he is LOUD. Surely we would hear him. I walked around, I didn’t see any sign of him.
The neighbor had been outside working on his deck and I asked if he remembers hearing him or seeing him. He said he thought her remembers hearing him, but then again, we have been hearing that rooster crow for months, you kind of just get used to it.
So now we are 5 hens and no rooster. And Buddy being gone rates in between the first hen getting killed and us processing Elvis. We took care of Elvis, we know he didn’t suffer, it was quick and the it was over. With the first bird we lost, we know she suffered, along with two birds who got injured. With Buddy, we don’t know. And that is why I keep looking out the window hoping to see him.’
If something did get him we want to make sure it doesn’t happen to any other bird. No one can say for sure if Buddy was in the coop Friday night. He had been getting out of the poultry netting. But he would always hang around just outside the pen. I am of the opinion that Buddy was in the coop, had he gotten out of the pen, when I got home from work around 6:45, I would have seen him running around. If he didn’t get back in the coop that night, it could have been anything from an owl to the abandoned cat across the street.
Let’s say he was in the coop Saturday morning, what happened between 6:30 and 10:45? Did he get out? Did something swoop down and get him? He was a pretty big bird, at least the size of Elvis, maybe even bigger. Can a hawk pick up 6 or 7 pound bird? Then I start thinking very negatively and think maybe someone when out there and killed him because he was so loud. The thing is, we will never know.