My 3 year old DEAF Buff Orpington disappeared about three days ago. She is not a very bright chicken. She is very slow to move too as she is very heavy bodied. She is also missing a great number of feathers and can't fly very well at all and lately I've been concerned as she looked like she was starting to get ill. Since she is disabled (deaf) I've always been worried about her, thinking that if any of my chickens would 'get it', it would be her as she would be very easy to get to first. I figured this is what happened a few days ago when she did not show up to roost that evening. We searched for her but found no evidence of any fowl play- no feathers, blood, guts... nothing. I searched as much as I could that evening as the sunlight faded and then again in the morning- that time, searching even the edges of the fields (we have 55 acres) and also in the woods surrounding the fields. There are some fox dens up there- figured that maybe some evidence would be there but there was not. I should note that I have not ever had a problem with predators yet since I got my first flock in 2010. I do know we have all the predators around as I've seen them or their scat or footprints in mud. The only other notable thing that was odd was at 3pm earlier that day I did hear my rooster growl very deep and loud at something, deeper and louder than I ever heard him growl before, but its not so unusual to hear my rooster growl many times a day. Also, none of my flock seemed nervous, neither that day or night or the next morning and usually if something is around they are nervous and won't come out of the coop so exuberantly, but rather with caution. Anyway, so ...tonight, while putting the chickens away for the night, I heard what sounded like a chicken far off in our corn field towards my neighbors (they do not have chickens). The corn plants are extremely tall and would be hard to navigate through as a person- I myself could easily get lost! I'm wondering if I am just hearing things (maybe grief and wishful thinking?) but even my rooster reacted to it like crazy when I heard it and I heard it twice- it was faint and far in the distance and kind of sounded like her too. (Since she is deaf, she has a funny sounding voice.) I went to go look and stopped and listened near to the spot I thought I heard it but heard nothing at that time. I decided that maybe it was just the echo of my other chickens bouncing off the plants and hillside as they 'got ready for bed', but I really hope that it was her. It really did sound like a chicken far off in the corn field. My question is.... Can chickens find their way back home just like how homing pigeons can or is it more orientation by sound or light or sight with chickens? I know that some birds have the ability to come home when even miles away- are chickens like that too? Since she is deaf, I don't think she would be able to orient herself if she was in the field. I know that sometimes if something spooks them enough they will run into the field. I'm wondering if this happened to her as once a few years ago my pullets ran into the soy to hide when something swooped down at them. I'm trying not to get my hopes up high- the sun already went down here tonight so there is nothing more I could do this evening. I'd be so overjoyed to find her again. I've been bawling my eyes out since she disappeared. I don't even know how I could help her navigate her way back home if she was lost. Does anyone have any comments or suggestions? Could she starve out there? What could I possibly do?