Big mistake... missing chicks

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ggarratt, May 28, 2010.

  1. ggarratt

    ggarratt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yesterday we starting working on a run for our chicks who have been living in their run-less coop for the past few weeks. We cut out a pop door and covered it with a board from the inside since we're doing construction with the chicks living in the building and didn't want them to get out. We didn't quite finish the run and had to go meet some friends for dinner. It crossed my mind that we really should secure the board before dark so that predators couldn't get in, but I figured we could do it when we got home. We were out later than we thought and ended up coming home after dark. When my DH went out to secure the board, he discovered it knocked down and the coop open to the outside.

    After a quick headcount I'm down two chicks. One is about 6 weeks old and the other is closer to 11 weeks. There's no sign of a scuffle at all in the coop, no feathers, no blood. None of the 24 chicks left in the coop have any harm at all. The pop door is abut 4.5 feet off the ground on the outside of the barn (I haven't built a ramp yet). So I'm thinking that two of the gutsier ones flew out of the coop and then couldn't get back in?

    I looked for them last night after dark and their was no sign of them. I looked again today and still no sign. How far will little chicks like that wander away from the coop door? My cats were also outside last night but if they had caught a chick they would have brought it back to the house to show me. But they could have given the chicks a fright.

    I have really long grass around my house and a thicket of small brush and trees in the back. I'm feeling like it's hopeless for me to be able to find them if they're hunkered down in the grass or trees somewhere.

    I guess my question is, if the chicks are ok, will they come out of hiding and start foraging in the shorter grass where I can see them? I don't want to put out food to attract them because I'm worried about the other animals food will attract. The chicks won't respond to my voice (it's more likely that they'll run away from me).

    Is there any hope for these two? Any advice on how to find them? I feel awful about the whole thing. I'm new to chickens and was so proud of myself for no losses so far. And it almost makes me feel worse that they might be out there alive and scared.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. vatterpa

    vatterpa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If they are still wandering outside, they should start foraging or come back to the coop for their buddies. But if they are not......... [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2010
  3. MareeZoCool

    MareeZoCool Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG] Escapees! Keep your remaining chicks on the daily routines, out in the run. You might see those two MIA's trying to get into your run.Hope you can catch those little rascals, and put them back with your flock.
     
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

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    They will be extremely lucky if they made it through the night without a predator getting them. I wish you and the chicks the best.
     
  5. ggarratt

    ggarratt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:That's what I was worried about. Poor little girls. I guess I'll just keep an eye out for them and keep my fingers crossed.
     
  6. geebs

    geebs Lovin' the Lowriders!

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    I have some chickens that are running around...3 months old and they were abandoned by mom at two weeks... they get around fine... (there used to be five)....one died of natural causes and one dissappeared entirely but the remaining three are raising themselves just fine...They will disappear and reappear periodically...don't give up hope...They are worried and hiding...Once they settle down in a day or so...you will see em.
     
  7. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

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    It doesn't sound like an animal broke into your coop, or you would have seen blood and more losses. It's possible they are alive out there and don't know how to get back. Is there a way to pen your other chicks outside in a safe cage where they will make noise and hopefully attract the missing chicks?

    Sorry you're going through this. We all try so hard to keep our kids safe, but stuff happen. Don't beat yourself up. Trust me, i've made my share of mistakes.
     
  8. ggarratt

    ggarratt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just got a call from the DH. He got home from work and took another look for the chicks and found the older one in a rose bush. [​IMG]
    One found... only one more to go! Finding the one gives me hope that the other one is out there hiding somewhere too. [​IMG]
    I'm so relieved that at least one of them is ok. If we find the other one I'll be so thrilled.
    Thanks for all the moral support!
     
  9. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

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    Yah! So glad you found the one. Fingers crossed that the other one will show up, too!
     
  10. ggarratt

    ggarratt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chick #2 is found! They both made it through the night in a super dense bush that no predator could have made it into. The second one finally came out when we put some of her friends in a dog crate and brought it outside. They were both pretty happy to be back in with their friends. What a scare! Chicken ownership is super stressful!
     

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