Chicken vanished without a trace...

peyton233

In the Brooder
Dec 25, 2020
18
23
31
One of my chickens disappeared earlier today without a trace. I let my four girls out into our yard sometime a little before 12:00 and went back out to check on them right at 1:00 and one of my wyandottes just wasn't there. My whole family searched the yard front and back and the neighbors yard for nearly an hour and we didn't find a single feather, drop of blood, paw print, or any sign of any kind of scuffle.

I live in a suburban neighborhood in northeast florida, so there's not all that much wildlife out here (although sometime last year a coyote was caught on tape in someone's yard a neighborhood over, so it can't be ruled out I guess). We do have hawks sometimes, but none big enough to haul off an 8+ pound chicken without a single feather left behind. I'm just very confused and upset because I don't normally let them out unsupervised for too long, but I wanted to give them a little extra yard time as a holiday treat and then this happened within an hour :(. It's now 9:00pm and still no sign or trace of her.

If anyone has some clue about what may have happened or similar stories please let me know. I'm just worried that instead of getting taken by some sort of predator she's stuck or hurt somewhere, but I checked literallly everywhere I could think of with no luck.
 

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21hens-incharge

Moderator
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
26,745
111,122
1,722
Northern Colorado
OH NO!
Look for anything she could have hopped on and fell behind. I have read of birds ending up in a wall cavity. That means they can fit into 3.5" of space.
Under, behind and inside sheds or garages with an accidental door closing.

One was even found INSIDE a feeder with a flip top lid.

While I am clear across the country from you I am in the middle of a decently big town. We have fox, hawks and raccoons regularly.

I sure hope she turns up.
 

peyton233

In the Brooder
Dec 25, 2020
18
23
31
OH NO!
Look for anything she could have hopped on and fell behind. I have read of birds ending up in a wall cavity. That means they can fit into 3.5" of space.
Under, behind and inside sheds or garages with an accidental door closing.

One was even found INSIDE a feeder with a flip top lid.

While I am clear across the country from you I am in the middle of a decently big town. We have fox, hawks and raccoons regularly.

I sure hope she turns up.

I searched our sheds and under our deck pretty thoroughly, but I'm gonna head back over early in the morning once it's light out again and really give everything as thorough a search as I possibly can just to make sure she's not stuck anywhere. I'm really hoping she'll make an appearance tomorrow or at the very least I'll find some sort of clue as to what happened so I'm not just stuck wondering if she's okay or not.
 

peyton233

In the Brooder
Dec 25, 2020
18
23
31
Do you happen to have window wells? I had a rooster who would call ladies into ours because of all the bugs

I had to google what window wells were, but no we don't have them 😔 houses in florida don't really have basements bc of all the rain. Thank you for the suggestion though.
 
Jan 4, 2020
1,344
5,382
356
Arlington Washington
I lost one a few weeks ago the exact same way :( it’s heartbreaking to wonder where they are and if they’re alive.

The area mine are in is ground predator safe. So it was an eagle. We have bald eagles that fly over about once a week and one must have seen the opportunity. Zero feathers left behind, no trace, just gone. A hawk would have a heck of a time trying to take a full grown hen. They normally just eat them on the ground after they’re killed.
 
Dec 21, 2020
260
363
141
Australia, NSW, Central Coast
I had 3 of my chickens taken last year without a trace and we still haven't come to a conclusion what it was that took them. 2 years ago we had a hen that disappeared but then reappeared a few days later. turns out she was hiding under the house (because my dog scared her under there), so if she doesn't appear in the next couple days i think she may be gone
 

briteday

Crowing
12 Years
Dec 16, 2008
1,223
138
266
Northern Nevada USA
About once/year we have coyotes jump our fence, attracted to the chickens. We have had some years without chickens and never see them if food is not there for them. One came up on our patio right outside the door to snatch a hen who was free ranging on sunny Sunday morning. I happened to see it from the kitchen window and I went to the screen and yelled at the coyote to "DROP MY HEN!" He opened his mouth, the hen dropped (stunned) to the concrete, and the coyote loped off and easily bounded over the 6' fence.
 

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