Here's something weird.
I make a habit of counting the chickens. It helps me to know if they are all in for the night so I can close the gate or if I should leave it open for stragglers. For a while, I had lost count because Tom was closing them up in the evenings and egg gathering duty has been delegated. (There is something to be said for having your hand in all areas when it comes to caring for the livestock and the only way that I know to do that is to do something with the animals on a daily basis.) In addition to that, Ginger had a spate of attacking chickens. On three separate occasions, she was caught with a chicken in her mouth, gnawing away, with the chicken apparently playing dead or having accepted its fate in anticipation of the giving up of the ghost. Oddly enough, when we caught Ginger red-handed and made her drop the chickens, they did recover...a bit shell shocked at first, but after about ten dazed minutes, they got up and went on their way.
So, Ginger wears the collar of shame every day for that reason, as well as the "no-attacking-guinea" training.
Back to the weird thing. I started counting the chickens again about three weeks ago just to make sure we weren't losing any, and there were twelve Rhode Island Reds, the one Copper Maran hen, and the one Black Astralorp rooster. Since the two black ones stand out, I only have to count the RRRs. Twelve. Every day, twelve.
But...yesterday, there were thirteen! What? One had gone rogue - recovering from a mauling? sitting on a nest of eggs? going for a walkabout? Whatever it was, it is back. It reminds me of the crazy goldfish episode .
It makes me sad to think she might have been sitting on eggs and that they are either half developed, or she sat on eggs that were not viable, or worse, that she hatched them, then deserted them to come back to the coop on her own.
I guess I'll never know.