We've had a lot of attrition this year. The chickens are locked in their coop at night - dusk to dawn - but are completely free range during the day. They have 4 acres at their disposal and make good use of all of it. But that also makes them susceptible to predators. Sometimes we find one that has clearly been attacked and other times we catch the perpetrator.
One afternoon, I came home early to pick up Jordan for swim practice. We were very rushed, as usual, and didn't pay any attention to animals. Jeremy got home later and went down to the barn to do afternoon chores. He texted me at practice asking if one of the Buff chickens was dead when I got home. Honestly, I had no idea (great farmer that I am). Then he snapped a picture and sent it to me.
In total we have lost half the flock over the year - from 10 to 5 hens. So this spring I started thinking about getting some chicks. I didn't say anything to Jeremy or Jordan. Just started thinking about it to myself. In truth 5 hens is plenty for our family. But I have friends at work that like my eggs. If I got 5 more then I could keep sharing. As it turns out 5 hens were ready to move to our house.
My daughter has been best friends with a girl down the road for the past three years. The friends is great and they are more like sisters than just friends. Unfortunately, the friend's parents are getting a divorce and have to sell their house and property. The girl, with her mom and three siblings are going to move into town and can't take any of their animals with them. They had to adopt out their dog (that was a sad moment for everyone). And their 20 chickens would have to go. The friend was telling me and Jordan the news. She was so sad about a few of her favorite hens, especially one she called Vivian.
Problem solved! She need to get rid of some chickens and I needed some chickens. That evening, her and her dad brought over 5 hens, including Vivian, to add to my flock. The friend is over frequently and always goes visits her hens. She picks up Vivian and they have a little hug. I'm glad it worked out the way it was supposed to.
Here is the happy flock before bed time.