Baby chick with mama hen just vanished..

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by eamoret, Sep 20, 2016.

  1. eamoret

    eamoret Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 10, 2011
    Orange, VA
    I have a glassed in back porch room that I am currently using as a nursery with several chicks of various ages. I did have a mama hen (bantam silver laced cochin) in there with her only chick for awhile, but I had to keep throwing them out during the day to free range because she was aggressive towards the other chicks.

    Anywho, they have been going out for over a week now every day with no issues. They both stick around the yard, with the baby staying very close to the mama hen at all times. At dusk, she brings her chick back to the porch door.. well, next to the porch door is a fenced in spot where trash cans are supposed to go. She huddles down in there with the baby chick and I go out every night between 8-9pm and bring them both in to sleep on the porch.

    Well, last night the only one there was the mama hen. There was no baby under her and no sign of it anywhere. I have looked over as much as I can of my yard and my neighbors yard with no luck. I'm not even hearing a distress call from the baby. The mama hen has given up looking for it and rejoined the rest of the flock free ranging today.

    My question is.. what on earth could've possibly happened to it!? There is no clues. No feathers. Nothing at all.

    The mama and her chick always stay near the house, they are either under my front porch or in the bushes. I was thinking hawk or crow.. but there is always cover because we have a lot of shrubs and trees surrounding the house.

    Then I was thinking snake.. but I just don't know how that could've possibly happened because the mama hen is incredibly protective. She is extremely aggressive if she feels her chick is being threatened.

    I have three outdoor cats but they are used to chickens and this chick has been outside with them for over a week now and they haven't shown any interest whatsoever.

    We have had many predator problems before.. but just not like this and not during the day. I usually have issues with raccoons and foxes at night/early morning and I feel that even if it was a day time attack by a raccoon or a fox, it would've gotten the mama hen first.

    PS: The baby chick was not a bantam. It's father was a bantam and mother was standard size. The chick was standard size too. It was over 2 weeks old, closer to 3 weeks. Fairly decent sized little chick. Fully feathered. Not just a little peeper.
     
  2. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Do you have rats? A cat could of startled the hen off and then grabbed the chick?

    Sorry for the loss of your chick...
     
  3. eamoret

    eamoret Out Of The Brooder

    39
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    Mar 10, 2011
    Orange, VA
    My cats are totally not interested in chicks. Never have been. As for rats, I don't know. I've never seen any. Would they go after a baby chick during the day? It went missing during the day yesterday. It was a rainy, overcast day. Maybe there's something living under the porch that could've grabbed it. I wish I could get under there to see better. There's feathers everywhere anyways because my other hens hang out under there. It's an old wooden porch that's open on both ends with lattice work around the front. It's nice and cool down there and a good breeze blows through. I can see why they like it. It's also a great place to dirt bathe. It's also a good spot to hang out during a rainy day.. gee.. I think I need to get under there and check it out..
     
  4. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    That is too bad...You would think the hen if the chick was stuck some place would be clucking her head off and the Chick would be calling for her??

    I did not imply your cats got the chick...My cat still runs past my Chickens and slaps them...Sits on the Coop and loves to tease them...She is a Manx with a bit of attitude....

    Hope you figure it out so at least you know what happened to the chick....
     
  5. eamoret

    eamoret Out Of The Brooder

    39
    2
    36
    Mar 10, 2011
    Orange, VA
    Yes, more than anything I just want to know what happened. I was wondering if anyone else had experienced this and had the chick shown back up. I'm wondering should I hold out hope that maybe it's just lost. She did look around for it a bit this morning, then stopped and rejoined the flock.. but now she's just sitting under the porch alone. It's a sad sight. This was her first go 'round and she was such a good mama. My heart hurts more for her loss than mine. I'm wondering if she's not making that much of an effort to look for the chick because she knows something. If only they could talk..
     
  6. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    I hate to say it, but being gone this long...I believe it is not coming back...How sad for you...Next time she will be an even better Mother...


    Best of luck...
     

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