Thanksgiving 2009, we went to a family member's home for dinner. It turned freezing just after dark and hit into the 20s before I got home, but I didn't worry too much because my chooks were used to going in by themselves and I figured I'd just close up their home when I got home.
Edited by Barry Natchitoches - 4/29/11 at 8:50pm
When I got home, my only Rhode Island Red, Einstein, was on the roost in the henhouse, crying her heart out. It was NOT a "I'm cold" type of cry. It was a heartbreak type of cry.
So I looked more carefully in the darkness before closing the henhouse, and when I did a headcount, I came up one head short.
Turns out, the missing hen was Buffy, Einstein's best friend and partner in "crime" from the time they arrived at my home when they were two days old. Buffy always slept on the roost, right along side Einstein. They slept close enough that their feathers would touch at night. But this night, Buffy was not along side her friend Einstein.
So my wife and I went searching for Buffy, and found her in a little crawl space behind the garden shed. This little area did not receive any street light, and apparantly Buffy was behind the garden shed when the sun went down. Because there was no street light to help her find her way back to the henhouse, she just shut down right there and went to sleep.
She was extremely cold when we found her, with ice having formed on top of her little feathered body. But my wife tucked her into her jacket, between her bosom, and Buffy warmed up. We brought Buffy inside the house, and gave her some warm milk before we returned her to the henhouse and her best friend, Einstein.
Einstein's crying saved Buffy's life.