It was a tragic day at the Severinsen household today. One of our chickies vanished. Just poof, gone. I put them out in their tractor after church, around 2pm. They've been out in their tractor a lot since it's been so sunny, and haven't had any problems. At about 5pm, we went out to check on them and see if they were ready to go to bed. And realized that one was gone. We found a spot in the tractor where some feathers were. I honestly didn't even realize she could fit out the hole. Likely what happened was she slipped out and then either went off foraging or tried to get back in but couldn't. They tend to want to stay together and don't like being separated, but she may have gone off to find bugs once she figured out she couldn't get back in. After an exhausting search of the nearby woods and front of the house, I have to conclude she is gone. I held a bit of hope that she would show up before bedtime. So far, nothing. Maybe, just maybe, she will hold her own tonight, and show up tomorrow. Or she wandered so far that a neighbor found her and is taking care of her. But I kind of doubt it. Chances are, something got her. Probably a hawk. I went into this knowing we would lose chickens. That's the nature of raising animals. They die. I think what bothers me the most is that there is NO trace of her. Nothing. Beyond the few feathers where she got out of the tractor, there is nothing. No blood. No body. Nothing.
What makes me the most sad is I had just last week figured out that she was a difference breed than the others. I thought I had 4 Buff Orpingtons. But as they grew up, I realized that she had yellow feet, and the others had white feet. So I looked it up, and sure enough, she was a Buff Rock (A cross between a buff orpington and a plymouth rock I believe). I thought she came out of the assortment bin, but actually queenie and security came from the assortment bins. So her egg must have been mixed in with the other buff orpingtons and nobody caught her feet color. I know I didn't for a long time. I was really excited to have a different breed bird, even though she was basically the same as the other buffs. We had named her Rarity, since she was one of a kind.
The kids are handling it pretty well. They keep talking about how we need to find her and she will come back. I am gently reminding them that no, she is probably gone. Alex said "we will have to buy another!" No, sorry dude, we aren't going to buy anymore. Maybe a rooster, if I decide I want one to protect the flock. But that won't be until all the girls grow up and I am sure they are girls. Someone has some doubts about Silver. If she turns out to be a he, that would be okay, as long as she/he is friendly. I wouldn't mind a nice white rooster. Especially if it's a Jersey Giant rooster. Those things are huge! 15 pounds I think. She does seem to be growing faster than the others, so even though some people say she's an easter egger, I still think a giant. (I posted her picture on a chicken forum asking for opinions on what breed she was. That's where someone said she looked like a rooster.)
So goodbye sweet rarity. It was nice knowing you. I hope you enjoyed your time with us.