This morning, before letting out the hens I headed over to the the moveable rabbit pens and noticed a few black and white checked feathers strewn about. Enough to make us pause and follow a few more scattered in the road.
We opened up the hen house and two plump little bard rock hens, with checked feathers came marching out among the rest. I was filling up the watering jugs while Kim set down their feed. After a quick glance around- she paused and said with wide eyes "Where's Todd?!" And the rooster was nowhere to be found.
Todd has been a farm staple since our first little batch of hens that we kept over at Kim's parents house, before we even moved into the farm or started the CSA. We acquired him from a friend whose children raised him as a 4-H project. Calm, handsome, and good natured- he was always a star among the visitors.
Despite a search, we've been unable to find the fellow, and think he may have been taken by a fox sometime between when we came in for dinner, and when we headed up to lock up the hens a little after dusk. Perhaps he was protecting the brood- it's very mysterious. We're hopeful that our young rooster, Legs will step up to the task of monitoring the girls- but it's sure we'll miss Todd. Thanks for a good several years, our big iconic buddy.