About 4 days ago, the one hen I call Squirrley, was outside the fence when the rest were inside. She has always been a little odd. If all the hens wanted to go left, she would go right; if all the hens wanted to go inside, she wanted to stay outside; and if I opened the door into the hen house, she would fly out the door before I could catch her. So when I saw her outside, I figured she got past me when I fed them in the early morning. That night, I had to let all of them out before dark, so they ALL, including Squirrley would go back into their safe and protected new house.
About 2 days ago, while I was working in the back field, I saw two hens on the outside of their yard, in the back field without any gates open. One was Squirrley and the other was the Marin hen. Had to do the routine again that night to make sure they all got into their house safe, counted them 1-24, all there.
Yesterday, I again was out in the back field and I see 4 hens scratching in my newly planted vegetable patch outside their pen, in the back field. How the heck are they getting out of our full proof fencing!!! I told Frank there must be a hole in the fence. He said I didn't count right and they had been out all night. I walked around the whole fenced in yard, up high and low to see if there was any way they could slip through the fencing. I looked all around the large gate in the back and the man gate, but the wire was very low and tight. All I could say is that the chickens are Haudini chickens!!!
Today, Frank and I were planted potatoes, in the back again. I heard this loud rattle of the back gate and there was Squirrley, on top of the 6' gate and fence along with her other hen friends, and then they flew off the gate and preceeded to start scratching in my newly planted beds. So that was how they were getting out, I have never had any problem with them ever flying out, but I guess Squirrley showed some of her friends how to do it and since she got to get out, they wanted to go too.
Tonight, I just came from their hen house with my scissors. Squirrley and her 3 other friends all got their wings clipped. Tomorrow should be interesting to see how they attempt to jump the gate. If it happens any more to any of the other ladies, they all are going to get their wings clipped one, by one.