Well, it's been almost a week since Rita the hen disappeared, and I think it's time to admit she's not coming back. It's hard to believe a chicken can just vanish into thin air, but I am pretty sure that's exactly what happened. Hawk attack just seems like the most likely scenario.
It's sad to think of Rita meeting her end in such a sudden and scary way. I just hope the hawk killed her quickly, and that her life in my backyard was a happy one. I think it was.
There is some good chicken news this week, though. Perhaps to cheer me up--or perhaps because they don't want to "disappear" like Rita did--three of my hens have started laying!
Tina was the first to start up again. She's the oldest and has already molted twice, but she's still laying big, nicely-shaped pink eggs. It must be her hearty mutt genetics. If you're looking for a consistent layer, Black Sex-links are the breed to choose. Tina was soon followed by Janice, laying dark brown eggs, and Betty (I think) laying green ones. It's possible the green eggs are from my other Easter Egger, Peggy, but I doubt it. Peggy's also an older girl, and she hasn't laid in ages.
Production has been excellent for the last week. I've even had a few 3-egg mornings. Hopefully the hens will keep up the good work, and I'll be back to gifting eggs to friends and neighbors in no time.
The flowers pictured above were grown in our back yard. It's been a great year for the iris patch. They're blooming like crazy, despite--or maybe because of--this winter's weird weather.