dead or broody?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by letitiah81, May 23, 2016.

  1. letitiah81

    letitiah81 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 3, 2015
    I have a one year old buff orphington who had had a hidden nest for a while. For the last three days I have kept her in the coop until she lays and then let her out. Tonight she did not come back to the coop. She has not been seen since about 11 am. I have 6 other grown chickens, 1 rooster and 22 chicks under 15 weeks old. They are all back in the coop after free ranging for the day. My question is should I let my chickens out tomorrow or leave them in the coop? Is it likely she was snatched by a predator in broad daylight who will be back to get some more of my chickens or did I push her into going broody by keeping her from laying in her nest for 3 days?
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs I Wanna Be A Cowboy Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Coyotes and hawks will take birds in daylight. Hopefully she comes back.
  3. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    I would go looking for her. I've had plenty of predator attacks, and my flock is usually so traumatized when a predator snatches one of them that they all come running back to the coop and run and will hide out for the rest of the day.

    When I'm herding the flock back into the run at the end of the day and I come up short, I know from the flock's behavior that no predator has been around so I need to go hunting for a chicken who has strayed from the flock like tonight. Everyone came back when I called them in except for one. I found her happily scratching around in some straw and pine needles at the farthest end of the compound.

    Sometimes a chicken gets preoccupied and doesn't notice the flock as all gone back. If it happens close to dusk, the chicken may decide to roost up in a tree. So, don't just assume that a predator is responsible for your missing hen. And she may well be nesting somewhere if she's broody.

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