Chicken disappeared with 6 out of 7 chicks

Zoemay

In the Brooder
Sep 26, 2017
7
7
41
Hey guys,
I'm super upset now. I love this hobby but I'm losing faith.

Recently, one of my bantam appleyards disappeared without a trace leaving her bestfriend depressed and alone. I had to sell her so she wouldn't get too upset. She didn't seem stressed at all, and slept as normal after her friend disappeared. I found not a single feather, nothing. Not a trace.

Today I let out my hen with her 7 chicks at 12:30. I then had to go out and came back around 4 to a singular chick.

At this time, I assumed the mum was just around the paddock with the other 6 and this one had come back for water. The chicks are about 4 weeks.

I then came out at 5 to put them away and usually she's tucked into her brooder at this time by her own will but I found the single chick all alone. I have to stress the fact this chick is not traumatized or stressed at all. It's functioning completely as normal despite being all alone.

What on earth could snatch a hen and 6 chicks?? How could it take off with 6 speedy and hard to catch chicks and one hen? Feeling very down and over it at this point. Think I might sell my flock and give up.
 

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Birdsonghill

Songster
Feb 1, 2021
345
1,727
223
West Tennessee
Free ranging requires a lot of effort to protect the flock and then, is never really safe for your flock. A precarious situation for chickens to live in. Chickens dying from old age is not common with most people's free ranged birds. I did it rather successfully after working at it for twenty years or so. But now I keep my flock safe in covered runs and predator proof/resistant fences and coop. It is less work and expense in the long run and my pet chickens usually die from old age. I eat excess birds and am not opposed to free ranging with lots of precautions, my excess meat birds, knowing full well, from experience, a few may be likely to die from predation. Movable pasture shelters help a great deal, but that is not really free ranging only a grass grazing technique, that requires a lot more effort than an old man wants these days! Trail cameras are a great tool and many ways to reduce risk to your free ranged flock exist. Good luck with your efforts! Don't give up on chickens because you can't free range them safely now! Given enough coop and run space my chickens are happy and healthy and the work is easy to keep things clean if you plan your set up carefully! You can free range successfully as well! But don't expect not to have losses, just keeping it low is good on the long term. Urban environments may be a bit easier for free ranging, but even in the city it requires diligence and constant work/monitoring to have your birds die from old age rather than environmental or predator issues. Even small dogs in the city are sometimes quickly taken by a large Red Tail Hawk with no signs of struggle! I witnessed that once in a clients fenced front yard! Her screaming and me and her neighbor in stunned silence is something I will never forget as the hawk flew away with her long haired chihuahua limp in its claws over and down the middle of the road to a cluster of oak trees! Everything likes to eat poultry! Don't quit chickens, just adjust your methods and/ or expectations.
 
Nov 11, 2020
1,402
2,347
286
West Virginia
Hey guys,
I'm super upset now. I love this hobby but I'm losing faith.

Recently, one of my bantam appleyards disappeared without a trace leaving her bestfriend depressed and alone. I had to sell her so she wouldn't get too upset. She didn't seem stressed at all, and slept as normal after her friend disappeared. I found not a single feather, nothing. Not a trace.

Today I let out my hen with her 7 chicks at 12:30. I then had to go out and came back around 4 to a singular chick.

At this time, I assumed the mum was just around the paddock with the other 6 and this one had come back for water. The chicks are about 4 weeks.

I then came out at 5 to put them away and usually she's tucked into her brooder at this time by her own will but I found the single chick all alone. I have to stress the fact this chick is not traumatized or stressed at all. It's functioning completely as normal despite being all alone.

What on earth could snatch a hen and 6 chicks?? How could it take off with 6 speedy and hard to catch chicks and one hen? Feeling very down and over it at this point. Think I might sell my flock and give up.

Hey guys,
I'm super upset now. I love this hobby but I'm losing faith.

Recently, one of my bantam appleyards disappeared without a trace leaving her bestfriend depressed and alone. I had to sell her so she wouldn't get too upset. She didn't seem stressed at all, and slept as normal after her friend disappeared. I found not a single feather, nothing. Not a trace.

Today I let out my hen with her 7 chicks at 12:30. I then had to go out and came back around 4 to a singular chick.

At this time, I assumed the mum was just around the paddock with the other 6 and this one had come back for water. The chicks are about 4 weeks.

I then came out at 5 to put them away and usually she's tucked into her brooder at this time by her own will but I found the single chick all alone. I have to stress the fact this chick is not traumatized or stressed at all. It's functioning completely as normal despite being all alone.

What on earth could snatch a hen and 6 chicks?? How could it take off with 6 speedy and hard to catch chicks and one hen? Feeling very down and over it at this point. Think I might sell my flock and give up.
:jumpyBaby chick 9 mph vs 🦊 Fox 42 mph
 

K0k0shka

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Jul 24, 2019
3,368
9,014
487
Boston Area, MA
My Coop
My Coop
Don't give up, just protect them better with a predator-proof run. As others have said, free ranging comes with its risks. And it works better for people with larger flocks, where losing a couple here and there is not as big of a deal as having just the hen and chicks, and then boom! you have a single lonely chick. If you have a small number of chickens, don't free range them or you might quickly end up with none.
 

Allsfairinloveandbugs

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Feb 10, 2020
1,020
3,226
481
Far north texas
I have an extreme soft spot for broodys and their chicks, & am very sorry for your loss. I put all my moms and chicks into separate, safe secure pens. Same as the regular pens, the broody pens are made of either chainlink or welded wire, with 1/2" hardware cloth covering the wire, metal roofs, & a hardware cloth apron to deter digging. (Electric fence also works).Its not necessary to separate broodys and chicks if the entire flock is penned. But chicks attract all kinds of predators including those too small to eat an adult.

I do free-range my adult flocks, & lgds help keep them safe. Still ive had losses here and there. Secure pens are the only true way to keep poultry safe. And your local predators Will thoroughly test your defenses. But i fully agree with the others, dont give up. Your losses are heart-wrenching, but it Is possible to keep them safe.
 
Nov 11, 2020
1,402
2,347
286
West Virginia
Don't give up, just protect them better with a predator-proof run. As others have said, free ranging comes with its risks. And it works better for people with larger flocks, where losing a couple here and there is not as big of a deal as having just the hen and chicks, and then boom! you have a single lonely chick. If you have a small number of chickens, don't free range them or you might quickly end up with none.
Good advice! Most people that free range know and accept the risks and think its worth it. However not everyone is willing to lose all or part of their flock. I know I am not!
 

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