Josh and I are house sitting this week for a couple of his senior residents. Our responsibilities include caring for the gardens, the dog, the cat, and the chickens. They said we could bring Ada, and we thought she would make a great addition to the household, but I didn't anticipate one thing - she turned out to be a professional chicken hunter.
Yes, within five minutes of taking over guardianship of our friends' home, Adelaide found the backdoor open and discovered her feathered friends. She chased them until one flew over the front gate, one completely vanished, and one was in her clutches. After I got her to release the chicken and tugged her back to the truck, I tried to figure out what to do. I went back to the chicken she caught, expecting to find it mortally wounded, but it was only scared out of its mind and had gotten up to hide behind the compost bin. Where it stayed for hours.
Then, after setting up Ada's crate and relocating her (I'm not cruelly leaving her in the car on the hottest day of the year even if she did try to do in the chickens), I began my search of the neighborhood. I went around and asked the neighbor over the back fence if our chicken ended up in his yard - no. I asked several passers-by if they'd "seen a chicken clucking around" - no. I searched the yards surrounding the house, but only found a glass chicken yard ornament - not good enough.
In complete shame and despair, I gave up and went back to the house to eat. I texted Josh, who was on call at the hospital. I did some Red Cross work. I called my friend to commiserate. Several hours passed. Then, I decided to water the plants so nothing else met its demise on our watch. Lo and behold! Chicken #2 emerged from under the house. I quickly made sure that it was not Chicken #1 simply in a new place. No! Chicken #1 is still terrified behind the compost bin! Having two chickens is way better than having one chicken!
Revitalized by this discovery, I thought, "Surely the other chicken is still hiding nearby!" I began my search again and quickly found Chicken #3 in the neighbors tree. I told it to stay where it was and went to get gloves. I could only find snow gloves. I chased the chicken around the front yards of several houses in snow gloves. I caught the chicken and put her back where she belongs. Days later, we still have all three chickens!
We did relocate Ada back to my parents the next morning, though.