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Chickens did not come home to roost

post #1 of 3
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Has anyone ever had chickens not come back to roost? l have 11 Chantecler, one rooster and ten hens, approximately 8 months and 15 Buckeyes about 4 months old. They are completely free range following our cattle and having free range over the rest of the farm. They ALWAYS come back to the barn at dusk and were at the barn 45mins before dark yesterday. When l went to shut the coop door there were only 8 Chantecler hens and 3 of the buckeyes. lt has been super windy starting about 4:30pm  last night, it is dark at 5pm, and 24hrs later it is still gusting to 50mph. l really doubt it was predators as all the fox and racoons stay in the woods and have never been around the barn and there was absolutely no sign of an attack. The chickens are very healthy and act more like wild turkeys than barnyard chicken. Really confused. Thanks for any suggestions

post #2 of 3
Given the season, preditors are going to get more desperate and so braver. They will come deeper into your property, especially for a tasty chicken dinner. It could be the wind confused them or forced them to find other shelter.
I free range too, but it is risky. Hope you find them!
post #3 of 3

I don't let mine out on windy days. Predators just have too much advantage. I think the wind interfere with the chickens ability to hear. Windy days also really let hawks and eagle hover over a spot, they will often get your chickens and you won't even find a feather.

 

Free ranging is fun, till they find you, and then it sucks. Cause they most likely will be back.

 

If you don't build a run, most likely you could loose the works. I love to free range, but I also have it set up so that they can get outside and be safe till the predators move on.

 

You don't say what part of the country that you are in, but in my experience, when chickens don't come home, they have been eaten.

 

Mrs K

Western South Dakota Rancher
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Western South Dakota Rancher
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