I have a sinking feeling that Henny Penny met with an unfortunate even a few nights ago. She had still, all this time later, been sitting on a group of eggs in the back of one of the greenhouses. She has steadfastly refused to leave her little corner, even though those eggs must be pretty nasty by this time.
We have been noticing that all (well, it seems like all) the painted turtle nests in the yard around the house have been uprooted and the eggs broken open and scattered. Every morning for the last few weeks we have found more dug up like that. We know that frequently that can be the work of a skunk, but we haven't sniffed any evidence. Early this week John went out to check on Henny Penny and she was mad as a little hornet… all her eggs were gone, and there was a piece broken out of the cardboard area in which she is nesting, right behind her. John figured it was most likely a skunk as we think a raccoon would just go right over an 18″ high cardboard wall. I was relieved that she was ok, but I believe that she was going in there at night even though her eggs were gone. I don't know, maybe she had creeping chicken dementia, she is a really old girl, about 5!
We have not heard or seen her in the past two or three days now. Usually if she is hiding in the tall grass, we can hear her gentle chicken clucks. Wherever we go in the farmyard it is always there in the background. Try as we might, we are not hearing her anymore. It had to happen, she was an amazing old girl. And I hope that whoever got her killed her quickly. :*(