Disappearing Hen?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by nznelson, Dec 5, 2010.

  1. nznelson

    nznelson Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 3, 2010
    My husband and I are new to this turkey business. We've only got 2 hens and a tom, all free ranged. Nearly 8 weeks ago the sisters had a communal nest and we now have 8 cute hatchlings [​IMG] They are sitting again. Well we know one is. But the other one has disappeared. She vanished 8 days ago. I figured they had different nests this time around and I know the one is the only one on her nest. Is it normal for a hen to disappear when they start to set? The other hen still comes off her nest to feed and she is done laying. So I'm really concerned but not sure if I need to be. There isn't any other turkeys around here nor is there turkey hunting. And she was a perfect bill of health when I saw her 8 days ago. Has this happened to anyone else? I just hope she shows up in a months time with little ones and I'll feel better but I am very concerned.
     
  2. terri9630

    terri9630 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What is the local predator population? I can't let any of my birds out or someone else will enjoy a turkey/chicken dinner at my expense.
     
  3. nznelson

    nznelson Out Of The Brooder

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    None, we are predator free, just have the highway nearby. But as soon as I asked this question she came out to eat tonight lol. I've followed her so know where her nest is now [​IMG] Is this common though for them to disappear for so long?
     
  4. terri9630

    terri9630 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't know. I can't let mine out. We have to many stray dogs, coyotes, cats, hawks and 2 legged "rescuers" around here.
     
  5. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    nznelson wrote: I've followed her so know where her nest is now Is this common though for them to disappear for so long?

    Sometimes, if they aren't eaten by preds, they'll only show up when they've poults trailing behind them.​
     
  6. txcarl1258

    txcarl1258 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have never had turkeys, but I have had some hens who were so sneaky I never saw them until they emerged with the chicks. Maybe she just comes to eat when you aren't looking. Congrats on the babies and more on the way. [​IMG]
     
  7. RAREROO

    RAREROO Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes that is pretty normal, last year I believe I had 3 or 4 hens and they were all pretty good about staying around the house and laying in their box or in there certain little places in bushes or by the wood pile. But last year I had one dissappear and I couldnt find her in anyone of their usual places and I was so mad thinking something got her and she was the most tamed turkey hen I had. But after I had figured something got here, about a week or so later I saw her back up in the yard drinking and dusting so I sat and watched her for a while to see where she went and she went to a place WAY back in the woods were none of them have ever gone before to nest, and she did not want me to find that nest, she would take me on wile " turkey" chases when she saw me following her, she would let me get to a certain point then run back to the yard, then once I was back in the yard she would go back and we done this at least three times before I finally got smarter than her and I went all the way around the woods and came in through the back of where she was heading each time and found a spot and hid and waited for her to come back and then she finally did and didnt see me watching her and I saw her sit down in a patch of bushes. Unfortunately something ended up getting her eggs and she was just sitting on an empty nest with her eggs scattered out everywhere through the woods. So I got her up and shut her back up at the house til her broodiness was broken. But shes probably setting somewhere so just watch for her to come back and then follow her to the nest.
     
  8. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    RAREROO wrote: ... But after I had figured something got here, about a week or so later I saw her back up in the yard drinking and dusting so I sat and watched her for a while to see where she went and she went to a place WAY back in the woods were none of them have ever gone before to nest, and she did not want me to find that nest, she would take me on wile " turkey" chases when she saw me following her, she would let me get to a certain point then run back to the yard, then once I was back in the yard she would go back and we done this at least three times before I finally got smarter than her and I went all the way around the woods and came in through the back of where she was heading each time and found a spot and hid and waited for her to come back and then she finally did and didnt see me watching her and I saw her sit down in a patch of bushes...

    Mark Twain wrote:
    ...In the first faint gray of the dawn the stately wild turkeys would be stalking around in great flocks, and ready to be sociable and answer invitations to come and converse with other excursionists of their kind. The hunter concealed himself and imitated the turkey-call by sucking the air through the leg-bone of a turkey which had previously answered a call like that and lived only just long enough to regret it. There is nothing that furnishes a perfect turkey-call except that bone. Another of Nature's treacheries, you see. She is full of them; half the time she doesn't know which she likes best—to betray her child or protect it. In the case of the turkey she is badly mixed: she gives it a bone to be used in getting it into trouble, and she also furnishes it with a trick for getting itself out of the trouble again. When a mamma-turkey answers an invitation and finds she has made a mistake in accepting it, she does as the mamma-partridge does—remembers a previous engagement—and goes limping and scrambling away, pretending to be very lame; and at the same time she is saying to her not-visible children, "Lie low, keep still, don't expose yourselves; I shall be back as soon as I have beguiled this shabby swindler out of the country."

    When a person is ignorant and confiding, this immoral device can have tiresome results. I followed an ostensibly lame turkey over a considerable part of the United States one morning, because I believed in her and could not think she would deceive a mere boy, and one who was trusting her and considering her honest. I had the single-barrelled shotgun, but my idea was to catch her alive. I often got within rushing distance of her, and then made my rush; but always, just as I made my final plunge and put my hand down where her back had been, it wasn't there; it was only two or three inches from there and I brushed the tail-feathers as I landed on my stomach—a very close call, but still not quite close enough; that is, not close enough for success, but just close enough to convince me that I could do it next time. She always waited for me, a little piece away, and let on to be resting and greatly fatigued; which was a lie, but I believed it, for I still thought her honest long after I ought to have begun to doubt her, suspecting that this was no way for a high-minded bird to be acting. I followed, and followed, and followed, making my periodical rushes, and getting up and brushing the dust off, and resuming the voyage with patient confidence; indeed, with a confidence which grew, for I could see by the change of climate and vegetation that we were getting up into the high latitudes, and as she always looked a little tireder and a little more discouraged after each rush, I judged that I was safe to win, in the end, the competition being purely a matter of staying power and the advantage lying with me from the start because she was lame...

    From: The Mysterious Stranger and Other Stories (Hunting The Deceitful Turkey): http://www.gutenberg.org/files/3186/3186-h/3186-h.htm#2H_4_0014

    Hens
    will also carry `bad eggs' from their nests to a considerable distance so as not to have any `appetizing' odors emanating from the (hopefully) concealed location:
    [​IMG]
     
  9. ColbyNTX

    ColbyNTX Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2009
    Woods, TX
    I have had birds vanish for a month and I have wrote them off as dead and then she shows up with a clutch of babies!!!
     
  10. nznelson

    nznelson Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 3, 2010
    Thanks everyone [​IMG] I've not been getting updates in my inbox so didn't realize there were more responses. I feel much better by all your responses. She looked pretty frail when she came out but nice to know she will come out once the poults are ready. She's the timid one of the 2. the other comes off her nest pretty regularly and will eat from the feed bucket but not this one. We are going to be overrun with poults before long and there is one more laying season! Not sure if we want them to lay next round.
     

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