I work at a care and protection facility for children, and run a gardening and healthy cooking program for children in care. As a part of the program we have been recently raising 3 baby chickens, with the children having turns indoors o raise them. The chicks are now 6 weeks and much loved pets.
A few days ago we introduced them to the big outdoor girl coop (which has two full grown hens living in it) which was to be their first night outdoors. We sectioned off a transnational area within the run for just the babies which we felt was safe enough for them but still allowed the big and little birds to interact.
Yesterday morning when I arrived at work, I went to check on them first thing and then main run door was open. The big girls had left the run and were in the garden safe, however the 3 babies were no where to seen. The babies fence that divided them from the big girls had also been shifted slightly and they must have wondered out. I searched for hours and hours EVERYWHERE, did a flier drop around the neighborhood, but they were no where to be found. I haven't found any feathers or blood, but we do have an old dog and a few cats roaming onsite.
It is safe to assume a kid/caregiver may have not shut the run door properly at night during a visit, and the babies wondered out in the evening into the big girl coop and then to the outdoors. Could you imagine what might have happened to them to disappear with no trace? They have been living together the three of them so I imagine they would have been sticking together. Just such a shame and there is no sign of them whatsoever –it just totally breaks my heart! Also that it was their first night, and they would have entered into the big girl coop, and were probably very scared and spooked.
If any one has any ideas/experience as to what their behavior might be like in a situation like this, where they may have gone, what they might have done, please let me know. It is a very big blow to have lost them all at once and I would just like some perspective as to what could of happened. I have left food out scattered around the place.The grounds are open but private.