Yesterday afternoon, we lost Miss Lucy to a predator. It happens here, there are predators galore and no matter how many preventative measures you install, one of the Wiley beasts or birds of prey slip through eventually. So even though it broke my heart, I was prepared because I knew it would happen sooner or later.
We believe it was a bird of prey that took her, because first; as Alpha, she was the smartest and fastest of our little flock, so a ground attack would have claimed one of the slower girls. Second, she was the blond - highly visible from the air. Besides, there was no blood, just scattered white feathers.
Then this morning, Sulei found the biggest owl pellet I've ever seen. As it turns out, it came from a great horned owl. They hunt skunks, so a chicken would be right in their game category.
Poor Miss Lucy - I hope she didn't suffer. She was a very cool chicken, and always seemed to have one leg up on the other girls. She laid the largest egg, ranged the farthest, found the food first, and bravely chased the wild birds from the chicken feeder. But I suppose, as in the rest of the animal kingdom, daring and bravado only get you killed; it's the animals that maintain the best flock and herd behavior that survive.
We'll all miss you Miss Lucy - perhaps you'll come back as a human.