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Broody Hen Gone Missing

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
A few hours ago, all my chickens were out in the yard. I go just before dark to put them in, sometimes a few chickens are left out, so I gather them inside. Sometimes my barred rock Tabby is on top of the coop, so I have to always grab her and put her inside. I noticed one of my speckled sussexes are missing, and she's never done so. She's been very broody beforehand, puffing out her feathers and constantly clucking. I live in a wooded area, so she can be anywhere. We do have foxes, raccoons, hawks, owls, and a mountain lion in the area. Do you think she's safe in the woods, gone off to lay eggs? I'm really worried, she's one of my favorite chickens. Another speckled sussex I have has done this, but we've found her in the woods on eggs. These chickens are just over a year old.
post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 
I forgot to add, but it's dark now, and the best I can do right now is wait for her to show up in the morning. Is it normal for hens to do this?
post #3 of 7
Yes. I wouldn't really worry, the first time a hen stayed the night out I looked and looked couldn't find her. I looked for a whole week finally I gave up. 14 days after the first week I heard chicks peeping under a wheelbarrow and there she was with 9 chicks.

I wouldn't worry to much about predators, usually chickens are pretty good at not attracting attention, and I'm assuming you don't clip the wings so if something does go after her she could fly in a tree. Even if its only 8 feet off the ground.
Edited by I Love Layers - 5/20/16 at 9:28pm
post #4 of 7

I would not imagine that she is safe out in the woods. Maybe the best thing you can do is search for her in the morning, or hope that you see her coming to eat and drink (and then catch her). From what i have read its not necessarily uncommon for hens to do this, but its not something that i have experienced. 

 

If you do find her, i would suggest that you either give some more fertile eggs to sit on, but in an enclosed area within the coop, or you break her broodiness (type "broody buster" in the search box). 

 

Good luck

 

CT

Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by I Love Layers View Post

Yes. I wouldn't really worry, the first time a hen stayed the night out I looked and looked couldn't find her. I looked for a whole week finally I gave up. 14 days after the first week I heard chicks peeping under a wheelbarrow and there she was with 9 chicks.

I wouldn't worry to much about predators, usually chickens are pretty good at not attracting attention

My barred rock stayed out one night when I didn't know she likes to hide on top of the chicken coop, I woke up one morning to find her on the front porch as the other chickens were still in the coop. Hopefully it's the same this time!
post #6 of 7
My ducks stay outside all the time and I live right on the creek bottoms so there's lots of coons, foxes, and skunks. And I have never had a bird be killed cause it stayed the night out
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by I Love Layers View Post

My ducks stay outside all the time and I live right on the creek bottoms so there's lots of coons, foxes, and skunks. And I have never had a bird be killed cause it stayed the night out

A few years ago one of my bantams got attacked by a fox in broad daylight, but none of my chickens have been attacked, they've only died of diseases over the years
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