4:30 am. Chickens screaming in the backyard of our suburban neighborhood. Fumbling in the morning darkness to find bathrobes and jogging shoes. Turned on porchlight and found hens scattered around backyard, screaming and walking stiffly, looking in all directions.
Since I didn't have time to put in the contact lenses, I walked blindly into the backyard and listened as Jer told me where the chickens were located. I shrieked repeatedly, "Are they OK because I can't SEE any of them?! Where are they?! WHERE ARE THE FREAKING CHICKENS??" Jer calmly reported the location of each (3 at my feet, 3 in the tree and 2 on the coop) and marveled yet again at my incredible lack of vision.
Our best guess is a hungry raccoon made a misguided attempt to snag one of the hens last night. Chances are it will return, therefore, chances are we'll spend many more frantic early mornings running through our backyard shushing hens, half clothed, in 30 degree weather for the next few months. If you ever wondered how I look in a robe and jogging shoes, I can assure you it's pretty awesome.