For those who don't know, we have chickens. Thirteen hens live in a very nice coop/garden shed we built, with a big fenced run. We have put up some temporary fencing in part of the yard, so I can let them out to free range. We get really good eggs from the girls.
Lately, the "gate" section of the fence has been frozen to the ground, and the yard was covered in ice/snow. So I haven't let them out into the yard. When we had that nasty snowstorm in October, the "roof" of netting we had over the pen collapsed, and we haven't gotten the chance to fully repair it yet. That's the set up.
I went out this morning to feed them and collect eggs. I looked in the pen, and our Buff Orpington, Dusty, wasn't in there with the rest of the girls. I figured she was on a nest box, and opened the coop to look. Nope, she's not in there, either. Ok, well, they have been finding holes in the collapsed roof now and then, and one or two will get out. Dusty has been one of the most clever at that, so I thought she'd gotten out. I decided to feed the rest and then go looking for her. I got the water and feed holders done, and opened the pen to go in and give the girls their morning treats. We save kitchen scraps for them. I have a big plastic underbed type plastic box in there that I dump the treats into. They tend to knock it around, and push it over as they jump in and out of the box gobbling their morning treats. I reached over and picked up the overturned box and *whoosh*! out scurries Dusty! I think the darn thing was upside down yesterday, so she may have been under there all night. She seemed fine, just fluffed up her feathers and headed for the food.
Now the thing is, she's not a small bird, so she had to be all hunkered down under there. And the box is pretty shallow, so I'm thinking if she tried, she could have gotten out. But then again, chickens don't have the biggest brain in the animal kingdom, either.
Oh, well, chicken found, and I didn't have to spend my time running all over the neighborhood looking for her!