It was pretty gruesome to come home and find bodies and feathers as well as the remains of some bodies around the yard spread over a couple of acres. The Princess noticed the feathers and one of the bodies first, so both she and Little Man were extremely upset at the find.
It's unlikely to be the dogs as there was no sign of digging or damage to the fences surround the 11x15m chicken yard and the gate to the yard was still locked.
All Ladies bar one have been accounted for; one was found near a termite mound already covered in meat ants. There is no way The Groom or I can retrieve her, so it's back to the earth for her. The rest were burnt, but we have not found a trace of Pamela except for her feathers. Sadly, it could be possible the dogs ate her. I'm hoping whatever bird of prey got them has taken her back to it's nest. One of the Australorps was found out the front with her belly cut open.
The Groom is pretty sure it would have been an eagle or hawk since they were scattered everywhere and there is no sign of the dogs having gotten into the yard. And even if they did, they would have killed and eaten them in the yard. Unless, a bird carried them out of the yard, dropped them and then the dogs finished them off? That is a possibility but there was no real evidence on the dogs showing this. One would expect them to be covered in a fair amount of blood and feathers, wouldn't they?
One thing puzzles us, though. We found what appeared to be four Australorp bodies, yet we only had three. I didn't look too closely at the bodies to see if one was torn in two, but The Groom was the one who had the job of collecting them and he didn't notice anything amiss. I wonder if any of the people across the road with chickens are missing any black ones? Then, it seems odd if they were why it would be carried over to our front paddock.
So, farewell to Coco, Pamela, Schnitzel, Parmy and Nugget. We shall miss you. And thank you to Coco (or was it Pamela?) for giving us your first egg on Sunday and your last egg yesterday.