Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Magoo Chicken

We lock the Adventure Chickens in their coop at night. A few nights ago, my nightly count came up two chickens short. The two missing chickens were found, caught and placed in their rightful spots on the roost. However, in all the confusion, I forgot to close their door.

I found this mistake the next morning, but thought it a bit odd that with the door already open that no chickens were outside yet. However, it was a cold morning (heavy frost) and I chalked it up to "cold feet".

That night I was two chickens short. Again. This time I couldn't find them. I looked in all their normal hideouts. I tried to think like a chicken (shut up!) and look for a new hideout. Nothing. I finally gave up and shut the coop door with the hope that they'd be there in the morning.

The next morning, no chickens. And again the rest of the flock did not want to come out. It was not nearly so cold and I could find no reason for their behavior except for thinking the worst. They had been scared by something that had come in and probably grabbed their two missing buddies. Most likely the fox we occasionally see passing through.

I was crushed. I'd left the door open and now two chickens were dead. One of which was one of my favorites, a white hen who's been here for years and has to be at least seven years old. The other, one of the "red" chickens.

That night though, when I did my count, I again had nine chickens (should be ten). I was pretty confident that I had not been miscounting all along, so felt a glimmer of hope that maybe the white hen - the one still missing - might still come home. The next morning? Nothing. I had to admit she was gone.

As I continued with my morning chores, I headed over to the sheep run-in to see if it was needed cleaning. Look what I found!

"I don't have a clue where I am!"

To get over here she had to go down the hill to the creek, crawl under the fence, come back up the hill, past the end of the barn and into the sheep paddock. There is a reason they are called the Adventure Chickens. She's just a little directionally challenged.

She was so hungry she had resorted to eating bits of hay. Doesn't it look like that piece of hay is twisted into a heart? As always, click to biggify.

Happily back with her girlfriends and a full bowl of food.

And water.

And all the crazy chicken ladies (and gentlemen ;-) can rest easy.

So why am I now calling her the Magoo Chicken? Magoo is the name we gave our GPS unit. Now I'll give Magoo credit for getting me a lot of places (I too am directionally challenged), but for some reason Magoo frequently finds himself on I-275, the bypass around Cincinnati, about an hour or so from our house. It's his favorite place in the whole world.

Magoo can be so convinced he's on (or should be) I-275 that we are frequently asked to make a "legal u-turn" to get him back there. When we are in New York. Or Chicago. Green Bay. Or Lexington. We try not to think too hard about it.

The fortune cookie message taped to the top is Magoo's highest achievement. For some unknown reason he took us on a particularly funny detour around and around a cemetery in a small town in New York. We had to actually resort to the old fashion method of calling (with a cell phone ;-) the farm we were (supposed to be) headed to. That fortune cookie message was from the dinner we had that night.

Only Magoo.

Only the Magoo Chicken.

I'm glad you are home safe.


Unknown said...

glad she is safely home!

DayPhoto said...

I had to laugh and laugh about the fortune cookie!

And to have all the chickens together again is, well, GOOD!


Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

It does sound like something scared them. Do you leave a light on in the coop? We were having some predator problems in the coop and since Mike hung a light in there, no problems since. We also do a head count at night. We have 54 chickens, 4 turkeys, and 26 screaming guinea's.

Tammy said...

Wow...I'm so happy this story had a happy ending! Too funny. :-) I bet she was so relieved to be back 'home'. Hey, I can relate...I've 'thought like a chicken' (fill in sheep, dog, cat) before, and sometimes it works.:-)
All of my hens are 'aged' and once in awhile one of them will be off snoozing somewhere and be late to get in for the night. I always panic...then start thinking like a chicken. The GPS is too funny! I always laugh when people say they are going to use it to get to my house...then give them my cell phone number...;-)

Crazy Lady with purple fingers said...

Thank-goodness they are all safe, when I first started reading about them missing I just felt sick...been there...done was so relieved to find they are all safe.

thecrazysheeplady said...

We have a heat lamp we run in really cold weather. I hadn't thought about the security factor of it though. I'm sure the girls would love to have it on early :-D.

Alice said...

Great suspenseful story! My heart was sinking, too as I read on. I am so glad you have them all back. The photo of the Magoo Chicken with the heart shaped straw would make a great card to add to your collection.
The irony of your fortune and the events leading up to it are like something out of the Twilight Zone.

Christine said...

Oh, thank goodness she's safe!! You had me worried to death there for a minute!

flowerweaver said...

Well, I'm glad to see Magoo Chicken is safely back in the flock. I still have some of her feathers from when Starley tried to catch her. The fortune cookie is way too funny.

cyndy said...

Glad there is a happy ending ;-)

The chickens sure keep ya guessing!
I found one locked in the hay box after I had given her up for gone...don't have a clue how she got in there!

Jessica said...

We have found our hens in Hubby's shop of all places! I do a nightly head count also. Sometimes I keep the chicks shut up in the pen, but they always put on those Puss in Boots eyes and "cry" to be let out. Sigh....

Laney said...

LOL!! Love the GPS story!!

Glad your favorite is back home!


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