All that about returning hens was for naught as Ninjy, the hen who spent five days out of the coop while we were away, had been fading (literally - her eyes had a dull look and her comb not the bright red that it had been) and lethargic. When I went into the coop yesterday late in the morning, Biddy was happily strutting around the coop and eager to go outside, while Ninjy sat in a nesting box where she'd been the night before and looked at me through sleepy eyes. Hm. I moved her a bit and she opened her eyes, then seemed to drift off to sleep again - very atypical.
I wasn't too surprised when I checked in on our return from errands to find she'd simply died right there. She'd been looking faded since we'd been home and I'm wondering if she ate something nasty while she was out. There were no other symptoms, just - fading. Looks like she just went to sleep.
It's almost two years to the day since we got the hens. Query: do they have an expiration date stamped on them that I didn't find?
Once again Biddy is the confirmed winner for Survivor:Poultry.
Five days until the new recruits arrive, and much coop cleaning to do in the meantime. Meanwhile I think I've figured out some of the coop design issues for the new crew. The rat remains at large (and very large at that), so the chicks will take up residence in the summer kitchen.
Tonight is A's redesigned indoor party. Instead of swimming, roasting hot dogs and marshmallows over the fire, catching fireflies and running around with glow sticks, we'll be in the house, eating fruit dipped in chocolate, decorating cupcakes, and watching Enchanted.
Forecast for tomorrow (Farmer's Market) not looking good, but then again, for last week the forecast was also for thunderstorms, with nary a flash in the sky to show for it. We'll have our tent and jelly ready to go. After that, a nice visit time with Seren and other friends.