Last seen on Monday

May 13, 2020 | 4 comments

May 9th – Treats for Three

One by one, our chickens are being picked off.  It’s the same old syndrome.  They are backyard chickens but, unfortunately, their English is limited and my Chickenspeak is non-existent.  The fence which surrounds our half-acre (plus or minus) is not chicken proof, although Nyel has our landscape-guy working on that. I don’t know how to tell the girls it isn’t safe to wiggle under or through the pickets.

So, bottom line, the chickens go visiting.  They go to see the neighbors.  They waddle down the lane toward the bay.  They go next door to see how the current construction project is coming along.  Almost always they come home.  But on Monday, Snowhite didn’t.

I was hopeful that she’d show up yesterday.  No such luck.  Slutvana and Little Red Hen were beside themselves.  Every time I went outside, they’d come running.  They murbled and clucked softly, undoubtedly urging me to DO something.  I commiserated and gave them extra treats, but truth to tell, I felt as miserable as they did.  I called and carried on.  So did they.  Unfortunately, in this case, we understood one another perfectly.

Sunbathing Snowhite

I’m pretty sure it’s dogs.  Despite all the sheltering rules,  we’ve had a number of visitors in town lately whose dogs have not been leashed.  Nor, apparently, do their owners care about cleaning up after their pets.  It’s beyond annoying.

Small dogs have even managed to wriggle into the yard and chase our girls.  Years ago we were right here when Polly’s Jack Russell came in, caught a hen bigger than he was, and took off up the street, Farmer Nyel giving chase at full speed.  That time, Farmer and chicken prevailed.  But there have been several incidents that we know of since — plus our three recent mystery disappearances — and “prevail” wasn’t what happened.  Not in English and not in Chickenspeak.

Short of keeping the girls locked in their run (which is muddy and unappealing at this time of year), I’m not sure what to do.  If I were certain about the source of the danger it might help.  I dislike the feeling that a local dog might be the culprit, but if that’s the case, the two remaining chickens had better shelter in place for a time.  Just like the rest of us.



  1. Nancy Holden

    OH NO !! I am sad about this.

  2. Shirley

    Sydney, I so much enjoy the things you write about. It feels as if I’m sitting at the kitchen table listening to you. Your stories are informative and fun to read. Thank you. It’s good to hear that Nyel is doing much better. Hope you find the chicken thief. Have a great day. Shirley

  3. D Joy Howell

    I am so sad for beautiful Snow White.
    Ranch sitting 1976 in Sonoma County for Tommy Smothers while he
    was busy with Play it Again Sam in Seattle – He told me to get some geese.
    The dogs were running in packs and killing his Ducks.
    Raising four greylags was an an adventure. And of course I was
    “mom” .
    Not sure that helped the Ducks, but maybe a guard goose
    might help.
    Are you chicken to confront this dog/owner. That is a hard one.
    xO Joy 1 and blue still in Montauk.

    • sydney

      You have perhaps seen my subsequent blog, “RIP Snowhite,” and know that it wasn’t a dog that killed her.  But, even so… in answer to your question, “Are you chicken to confront this dog/owner?” —  I thought I made clear that I had no idea #1 if it was a dog and #2 whose dog it might be.  If it was a tourist’s dog, “confronting” certainly wasn’t an option.


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