Are my chickens wandering away or being eaten?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by wildhuntersbaby, Oct 14, 2011.

  1. wildhuntersbaby

    wildhuntersbaby New Egg

    Oct 14, 2011
    We let our chickens out in the morning and lock them up at night. We started with 11 hens aand are down to 3. We cant figure out what the heck is happening to them. We first thought that it was hawks, we would lose one every couple weeks. Just last night we were missing 3. They have never disappeaared in such large numbers, making us believe that they are wandering away and not being eaten. We have never found any feathers where something may have gotten ahold of one and carried it off or flown away with them. They just dont show up to roost at night and are gone. Wondering if anyone else has had this happen?? Oh. one more important clue, we do have a corn field about 105 yards from our house. Thinking they are wandering into there and getting lost?? stay out too late, bed down, coyote gets them?? Please help!
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Unfortunately, your birds are likely getting eaten. If you didn't take any precautions after the first one or two disappeared then word got around to the predators in your area that there was an all-you-can-eat buffet at your house. Lock up the few birds you have left or you won't have any at all.

    I had a similar situation this past spring where I started losing birds. They just vanished into thin air without a trace. A game camera, a massive search, a major property clean up of both mine and my neighbor's properties, and I still have no idea what happened to those birds. My birds had to be locked up for the majority of the summer, but I haven't had a loss in months. I am pretty sure I may have been dealing with a coyote in my case.

    Sorry for your losses. Good luck.
  3. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    Chickens usually come back to roost pretty dependably. It is possible that a predator chases them out of their normal ranging area and that is why you haven't found feathers. Even if they are chased and find another place to roost for the night, if they don't come back and join the rest of the flock in the morning it is not a good sign. Sorry.
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Something is eating your chickens.
  5. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

    Mar 22, 2010
    Saratoga County, NY
    Quote:One or two, I could see being broody somewhere, but that many? they are being eaten. [​IMG] Chickens are experts at finding their way home when it starts getting dark.
  6. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    Quote:One or two, I could see being broody somewhere, but that many? they are being eaten. [​IMG] Chickens are experts at finding their way home when it starts getting dark.

    I agree. Something is eating your chickens.
  7. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    You leave them loose, then the chickens are taking their chances. Everything likes to eat chicken.

    If you leave them loose after something starts eating them then you are going to lose all your chickens. The free buffet sign is out.

    Individual chickens do not "wander away". They stay with their flock.

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