As the the afternoon progressed yesterday, I went outside and could hear something amiss and Owen was missing. I called him and eventually he came to me with his tail between the legs, I couldn’t see the black hen, Babs anywhere. Looking in the grass I found a black feather, I was quite anxious, then I saw a black shape, I went over and picked the hen up; thankfully alive, as I carried her to the hen house, I realised there was no obvious injury, but wet tail feathers.
I placed Babs in the area I had allocated for sleeping for them, as I came into the house Owen looked sorry and repentant, about 10 minutes later I found a very wet tail feather on the floor and Owen was having a very long drink, I showed my disapproval of chicken chewing and hope he has learnt his lesson.
Research on the internet shows that the hen’s greatest risk of death and injury comes from foxes and uncontrolled dogs!
This morning I opened the door to where the hens were sleeping, I haven’t really got that sorted yet, but they were alive and Ginger keen to eat, Babs had a drink of water. Babs has spent time, this morning, tucked behind the aviary which is only a small gap, but I threw some crumbs on the ground and talked softly, she came over for a stroke, Ginger wanted fuss too. I think Babs has lost some confidence, but maybe being cautious is wise.