With no local Ace Ventura to call, the chicken owner turned to social media.
"I am reporting a missing chicken. She lives at the corner of Lee and Van Buren, she is a white Leghorn (comb not yet developed), and is about 7 inches tall. Last seen today at noon, inside our fenced yard near her coop. Please FB me if you see her. I know it's a slim chance, but worth a try. Thanks!," pet owner Lyndsey Lewis posted on Facebook Tuesday night.
Lewis, who lives in the Hillcrest neighborhood and owns two other chickens, fears the worst for her youngest feathered friend. She's getting the word out via Facebook in case the bird has been able to survive outside the backyard.
"My chicken is a three-month old Leghorn (think Foghorn Leghorn from cartoons) and her name is Princess Alisa. I just adopted her on Sunday, from a friend who lives in the Ferndale/Salem area of Central Arkansas. I already own two other Leghorns: Mary Jean and Virginia. The older hens have lived at my house (in the yard) since March and have been laying since August," Lewis explained in an email to KARK.
Lewis' chickens have quite the coop (see photos below) with a bright orange front door adorned with a Christmas wreath. A string of Christmas lights adds to the decor.
There had been problems for the new hen joining the flock, but just hours before she disappeared, things had gotten better.
"I knew that it could be a challenge to introduce a new chick to the other two hens, as animals (including chickens) have a pack/flock mentality and often fear outsiders. At first, Virginia, the more colorful personality of the older hens, began pecking at Princess. To deter this behavior, I would stop Virginia from pecking and "peck" her with a carrot. By yesterday (Tuesday) morning, things had settled down in the coop and Princess was eating, drinking, and exploring her surroundings," Lewis says.
When Lewis got home Tuesday night around six, she went to round-up her flock, but Princess Alisa wasn't there.
"Tom, my partner, helped me search the yard and neighboring yards with flashlights, but we had no luck. We suspect she slipped through a gap in the fence and has been attacked and eaten by a neighborhood dog, cat, etc. In a last ditch effort, I posted on Facebook (my page and Forbidden Hillcrest), just in the case my fellow Hillcrest-ers may have seen Princess and had her for safe keeping. I've had no reported sightings thus far unfortunately," says Lewis. "Mary Jean and Virginia made a few escapes as they got older, once flying upon my neighbor's roof and another time making me chase them down Van Buren Street. But since clipping their wings, a painless procedure for the girls, I've not had a problem with lost hens. When they were as small as Princess, they were never far from the coop, however."
Lewis says she has shed a few tears over the chick that's only been her pet for a few days.
"I felt guilty initially, cried about my lost pet, but then thought of it as a positive learning experience. I grow food and raise laying hens so that I can get to know my food and where it comes from. I know that when I waste meat (of any animal) it's just the same, if not worse, than losing my pet. I'll think long and hard next time I cook an over-abundance of meat that could end up being tossed out. Losing Princess is just part of what it means to have livestock," Lewis says. "I've attached a photo of Virginia and Mary Jean in front of the coop, where Princess was last seen. Princess looks like her 'sisters,' but about 1/3 the size and no red comb (yet)".
If you live in Hillcrest and have seen or know anything about Princess' disappearance, you can let Lewis know via Facebook (link below).
Lyndsey Lewis on Facebook.