The saga of missing chickens has continued and we were down to four. They were consistently producing 3-4 eggs per day, but we were growing more concerned with each passing day that one would be missing (I hope that's correct K) when we went to lock up the coop for the night.
So what's more natural? Increase the odds someone will be taken by adding more chickens. So that's exactly what we did.
First, we have one broody hen. She fluffs herself up like a turkey when we go in for the eggs.
Thankfully she hasn't realized she could peck at us, and after seeing what our fowl do to other birds, mice and anything that lays still enough; it's foul (pun intended). It makes me want to wear safety glasses so they don't get at my eyes because that is the first thing they go for.
J and I stopped in at the feed store on the way home one evening. There were a lot of new birds to choose from, but none of these plain-jane birds would be going home with us.
Once the professional showed him how to use the little stick with the hook on the end that captures their little legs he was a lot more effective and 1, 2, 3 and 4 trips to the box to load them in and we had our next set of hens.
When they got home, they were not exactly welcomed by Mabel, Hazel, Lou and Gilda. However, they are slowly making friends, there's been no eye pecking and the four new girls are VERY easy to pick out because they are so much smaller and thinner than the original four. We're encouraging them to get out and find bugs.