Chickens never came home

Shelbye720

In the Brooder
Sep 29, 2020
9
21
15
Hi! First post here! This year we decided to get into the chicken hobby and it’s been quite a fun (and sad) adventure. My pullets have (or are close) to reaching egg laying maturity. They had been spending all their time in their coop and attached run. We live in the country on 5 acres, and last week decided to let them out during the day to roam. At first they did great, staying near their coop or at least within eyesight. After about a week of this, last Sunday they suddenly just vanished. We couldn’t find them anywhere! A few hours later they reappeared. 4 of the 6 appeared near the coop and I returned them to the coop. The other 2 I could see off in the distance, but we’re far enough away that I decided to just wait for them to come closer/return in the evening to roost. Well, they roamed off and never returned home! I’ve looked everywhere, and the neighbor checked her place. It’s been 2 nights now with no sightings. Should I just assume they’re gone to be coyote food? If I lost 2 within a week of free ranging should I even bother letting them out??? I love having them out and know it’s a natural risk but didn’t think it would happen this quickly.
 

Ginmary

Songster
Apr 17, 2018
697
1,823
207
Jackson, NJ
Read through the postings in the predator category. I think you were fortunate to get 4 back unharmed. People have lost birds to hawks when they were standing very close to them. And there are a ton of other chicken eaters out there. Can you walk the property near where you saw them last to see if there is any evidence of something bad happening?

There is still a slight hope that they may return. If something scared them they may have scattered far from there. Their also very young and inexperienced with real world dangers.
 

Shelbye720

In the Brooder
Sep 29, 2020
9
21
15
Thank you! I do feel fortunate to get some of them back. I’ve been walking the woods and fields and have yet to find anything. Our other neighbors also have a coop off in the distance and checked to see if they decided to take refuge there instead, but they were not around. We had waited until they were laying and reached maturity to let them out, but perhaps they still have some growing up to do. For now, they have remained locked up.
 

Vickischics

BYC Songster & Master Egg Collector!
Premium Feather Member
May 6, 2020
1,452
3,472
326
Space Coast of Florida
I'm sorry to read about your missing girls. I too free range. Tonight, when I counted them I was missing one also. 5:6.
My King Shepard and I walked my 3 acres and not a trace. Boom vanished. No feathers anything. My neighbors do have chickens too but, they never have mixed.
But, it's nighttime so, I have hopes shes hunkered down out of the rain somewhere.
I'll go out in the morning to release the others and shake the food scoop while calling "Come on chic chic" as I do every morning.
I wish you luck that your girls are together and find their way home. Please keep us posted.
Keep trying to call them and shake that food can throughout the day.
Positive Vibes are being sent your way.
 

RubelliteRose

Songster
Apr 15, 2020
77
134
101
SE Virginia
So sorry to hear about your girls and hoping they return home! I would suggest training the rest of your chickens to return to the coop when they hear a certain sound - ring a bell, blow a whistle, play a song, calling out a phrase... We started playing the Chicken Dance song every time we feed ours mealworms. We now play it whenever we want them back in the coop and they come running.
 

Shelbye720

In the Brooder
Sep 29, 2020
9
21
15
I'm sorry to read about your missing girls. I too free range. Tonight, when I counted them I was missing one also. 5:6.
My King Shepard and I walked my 3 acres and not a trace. Boom vanished. No feathers anything. My neighbors do have chickens too but, they never have mixed.
But, it's nighttime so, I have hopes shes hunkered down out of the rain somewhere.
I'll go out in the morning to release the others and shake the food scoop while calling "Come on chic chic" as I do every morning.
I wish you luck that your girls are together and find their way home. Please keep us posted.
Keep trying to call them and shake that food can throughout the day.
Positive Vibes are being sent your way.
I am so sorry to hear about your missing girl as well. It’s amazing how they just vanish without a sound or commotion. I hope she comes home! I have pretty much accepted that my girls are gone. I saw them wandering off way too far and I should of intervened. A lesson learned the hard way.
 

Vickischics

BYC Songster & Master Egg Collector!
Premium Feather Member
May 6, 2020
1,452
3,472
326
Space Coast of Florida
I am so sorry to hear about your missing girl as well. It’s amazing how they just vanish without a sound or commotion. I hope she comes home! I have pretty much accepted that my girls are gone. I saw them wandering off way too far and I should of intervened. A lesson learned the hard way.
Don't beat yourself up for not intervening. You had no idea they wouldn't make their way home.
Me, I'm hoping they will be back for you. Don't give up hope. Keep looking and calling them.
Its the reality & hazards of "Free Ranging". Sad but true.
I'll keep you posted if mine does or doesnt make it back home.
My dog & I went searching and she didn't alert on her scent which is weird but with all the rain, I'm not surprised.
It's been raining all day and all night for days with little breaks. Hopefully shes hunkered down somewhere safe. Her name is Sunshine aka: Sunny and she's a very skiddish Easter Egger.
She laid my green egg today too.
Ugh!
 

Attachments

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom