Well, I had a rather terrifying episode last night.

Every time we let the chickens out to free range we leave their door open so they can let themselves back in at dusk, then I close and lock the door when they’re all in and settled. Last night I went out to close the door and started my usual routine of counting chickens, and I got up to 13. Out of 14. I counted again and still one was missing. Who was it? I looked closely at all of their faces, then it hit me.

Mokey

Mokey. Our bantam silkie and mother to our newest batch of babies was missing. She’s so small and sweet and helpless, the thought of her wandering around in the big bad world, or worse, dead, scared the crap out of me. I frantically searched around the yard, calling for her while Nico barked and ran around like a maniac, not helping at all.

It was starting to look like she was gone forever and my heart was breaking thinking about what could have happened to her. I decided to check the coop one last time. Sometimes the chickens like to hide on me.

I searched the high and low, behind farm tools and in buckets. Then I spotted the 12′ x 12′ nesting box. All five of our babies have been sleeping in this nest box together since they hatched. They’re three months old now and so big that they have to wedge themselves in there (why they won’t just sleep on the roost is beyond me) and just their little heads were poking out of the opening.

Baby chicks

Mokey used to sleep in there with them, but she’d been sleeping on the roost with her flockmates for the past several weeks.

Could it be? Could a bantam fit in there with all those babies? I couldn’t see any sign of her, but figured it had to be worth a shot anyway.

One by one I pulled the screeching, kicking drama queens out of the box and at the very back and bottom of the pile I spotted the poofy feathery head of Mokey. She was looking up at me like I’d just saved her from her own smothering children. She looked so relieved to be let out of that mosh pit of babies.

Mokey hopped up onto the roost with her grown up friends and her babies made their way back into the nesting box.

I made my own way back inside and poured myself a glass of wine. That was enough excitement for a day.

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