You have no idea how fast my heart was beating as I rushed through the dew in sandals and a gown, not another stitch on, no protection for me at all. I approached warily, not wanting a
Thelma was walking around, gently talking, but in a strident voice. Louise was standing in the top box where she and Thelma sleep. Pepper was flopping on the ground, off to one side. She did not look like she had much "flop" left in her. I warily made my way around the pen and could find no place a predator could have entered, no place where anything is ripped. Pepper moved even less.
Anxious to get out of mosquitoes that attacked my bare arms and legs, I made my way back to the house. My heart is pounding so, even now, that my head hurts on top.
I am going to scramble my eggs, eat, get dressed, put on my headlamp, and go out for another look. There is no hope for Pepper. I want to get her body out before flies cover it and make me retch with the smell.
I don't know a single soul who would come here at midnight to get her out, except for exbf and he is an hour and a half away, and has to be at work at 6 am. So, that's out. Tony is probably asleep. I cannot see lights on in the back of his house, and I don't want to drive around the block to see if anything else is alight.
Maybe I will bring Thelma and Louise into the house. If there is evidence on Pepper's body of an attack, I will! The trap will be set for tomorrow night, at any rate.
Just before dusk, when the other two came to the back door, Pepper was not with them. Usually, she is somewhere around. No, she was in the bottom box, the egg-laying box, just standing. Since Thelma laid an egg, I reached in to get it. Usually, Pepper runs wildly, squawking to avoid me, and flies out, whacking me in the face with her wildly flatting wings, the air blowing my hair back. But, she just stood there this evening/night. I petted her and she just made little sounds and did not try to avoid me. I wonder if she is ill and died.
This morning, she did not come near the food, but she does that sometimes, fearing--I supposed--that Louise would peck her. However, she had gotten over that. Lately, I have noticed a reluctance on her part to come to food right away. I chalked it up to the heat, renewed aggressiveness on the part of Louise, not illness. We will see.
No edits once again.
Monday, 6:30 am
I wentt out with clothing, boots, nitrile gloves, plastic bag, and trash can. Pepper was stiff and cold with no blood or marks on her. I am still shaking. That trash can goes to the road today, Monday, even though it will not be collected until Thursday morning. Yes, it looks pretty trashy to put cans out half a week. I don't care.
Black hens were outside the pen. They flew back home when I came out.
Anyone willing and close enough to do dead hen removal tonight?