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Giving thanks.... For a missing chicken?

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by shortgrass, Nov 13, 2015.

  1. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    I see so many posts about losing our chickens, and I feel every bit as mad, hurt, and irresponsible as the next person when i lose one.

    But I wanted to share this one, as a reminder to never count your chickens before they're hatched, and don't give up hope that someone may in fact be missing, but not gone.


    I have 40+ chickens. I lost count somewhere along the line, but thats not the point ;)


    They are all special, they all get their little heads counted every night, and even though I can't tell all of them apart, I can tell when one is missing.

    I left for the day yesterday. Being on a farm, it's rare. Gone 6 hours, VERY rare ;) The first thing i did when I got home was, of course, check the animals. I told DH, "I'm missing a BR." He reminded me that it comes with the territory of free ranging, we've lost them before, etc. That doesnt help. :p I was out way past dark, looking for a sign of struggle, feathers, a chicken theif.... Anything to at least tell me if she was alive or not. Finally gave up and went to bed at 2 am, hearbroken.


    Got up this morning as usual, minus one chicken. I had hoped she was just going broody and would show up for breakfast. Nope. :( So I decided to get bundled up and start walking the property and look for feathers, I guess.

    Then something caught my eye. A padlock missing on a new coop we havent set up yet, and it WAS padlocked the day before....hmmmmm?


    Expecting to find my beloved chicken, I flung the door open, and.....

    Nothing.

    Except a weird feeling that I was onto something. We had just moved this little coop in for the silkies, and we had butted it up against the back side of the layer coop... And when we set it up, I remember making DH get as close as possible so I wouldn't have silkies laying eggs in there. We left about 3"..

    Evidently, a Barred Rock hen will fit sideways in between two coops, in the space of 3 inches. She even laid me an egg :p


    Mad, cold, and in a hurry for me to get a crowbar and help pushing the coop over, but oh boy is she extra loved today. :) Happy ending for one lucky hen and ine blessed mama chook haha ;)



    Happy thanksgiving to the great peeps at BYC; I thank you for "birds of a feather flocking together" lol ;)
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Thanks for sharing that story. I love happy endings. :eek:)
     
  3. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Hey shortgrass

    I also like a happy ending and I am so pleased that your story had one .. thank you for sharing.

    I guess she was thinking, “Well, I am stuck, might as well do something useful and lay an egg” OR “If I get this egg out, I might be skinny enough to squeeze back” [​IMG]
     
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  4. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    Thank you both :) yes, very happy to find her alive and well!

    It was a conflicting feeling, the same as when the children get lost at the department store, hiding in racks the whole time. You find them and can't stop hugging and being mad at how bad they scared you all at the same time ;)


    I think she realized she made a terrible mistake, but I feel really stupid for not looking there. I even recall hearing an odd scraping noise that I couldn't locate last night. It was HER, scratching to get out. Never would have thought a chicken could even fit there, but that's the story of my life :p

    Stinker! :D
     
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  5. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    You're welcome. :eek:)
     
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  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Out to pasture
    So very glad it had a happy ending[​IMG]
     
  7. Ballerina Bird

    Ballerina Bird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So glad you found her; thanks for sharing the story. Very happy for you and your beloved bird.
     
  8. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    We can all use a happy ending sometimes ;)

    She's happy, that's for sure lol; that had to be really miserable stuck there all night. But I did notice that yesterday nobody was curious about the gap between the coops anymore ha-ha :D
     
  9. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Loved the story! I'm so glad she turned up safe and sound, and only a little worse for the wear! That's a sick feeling, isn't it, when you can't find one?

    I'm probably one who WOULD have looked in that gap, but only because of Dumb Daphne. Dumb Daphne, or "The Flock Complainer" as she is more commonly known, is an Easter Egger who has decided her role in life is as the flock rooster. She's relatively young (year and half+) and hasn't laid an egg in almost a year. Yep, do the math. Hatched in February, started laying in late August, and was reliable as the sunrise until she went into a light molt. That was in November. In December she laid her last egg and we haven't seen one since.

    In her self-assigned role as flock protector, she has to check out everything, and I do mean everything! If there's a dead leaf scudding across the yard that's a different shape than the others in the same yard, she has to go investigate, screaming "Danger! Danger Will Robinson!". When Ida (red sex link) was giving us our first egg and Daphne hadn't even thought of laying yet, she'd harass poor Ida mercilessly. Ida would be in the upper nest box and Dumb Daphne would pace the helper bar into the nest boxes, squawking, "What are you DOING in there? Get out of there - it's dark and scary in there." Ida would poke her head out when she was done, Daphne would peck her on top of the head, Ida would say, "Thank you, ma'am" and get out. Dumb Daphne. Even dumber Ida.

    So one day I let them all out as usual, and Dumb Daphne was first out, as usual. She scoped out the yard, the sky and the trees and when she was satisfied that there were no boogymen anywhere she went about her business. I monkeyed around in the garden, deadheading flowers and such, while keeping an eye on them. Ken brought us out a couple of ice teas and we sat on the deck, just chatting and enjoying the evening. Came time to put the girls away and there was no Daphne. I counted again - nope, Daphne was MIA. So we started looking. We hunted everywhere for her....under the camper, under my sewing trailer, behind the garage, in in the lilacs...we just couldn't find her. We locked up the others and Ken kept assuring me that she had to be around close by and would be back in the morning. The coop isn't that far from our bedroom window (but that's a complaint for another time) and by the sounds of things out there the other girls were having a hard time settling down too. By dawn the next morning I was up, dressed and already looking for her again. I didn't see any sign of her, no feathers, no blood - it was like the earth had just opened up and swallowed her.

    I opened up the coop while the girls were all having their morning stretch/wake up, and I thought I saw movement between the far right nest box and the coop wall. That particular row of nests are the ones just above the floor. Mouse? Oh, please, not mice! I leaned down and looked closer. That wasn't a mouse, it was a tail - a tail belonging to a very jammed in and very angry Dumb Daphne! She was stuck in there tight. There couldn't be more than 3 or 4 inches of space and her big body was really crammed in there, so tightly that when I reached in to grab her I scraped the back of my hand on the wall. Man, was she MAD! I was trying to get her out, she was trying to get further in to get away from me. She'd been trying to get out and in the process had worked all the litter away from under her feet so they were kinda dangling just above the ground. When I finally pulled her out and checked her over, she was fine - mad as a March hare but fine. She'd lost a lot of feathers but other than that there was no damage, except to my nerves and her ego.

    After the fuss had settled down and Daphne was gulping water down like crazy, I started moving the litter back where she had frantically pushed it away. In the litter was a mason jar ring - those little brass colored rings. I distinctly remembered bringing a jar of BOSS out there, taking the lid off and scattering the seeds, but when I went to put the lid back on all I could find was the flat part. I remember half-heartedly looking for it but, having other things to do, thought I'd get back out there later and find it. It must have been driving her nuts to have that 'foreign object" in her domain and she went after it. Dumb Daphne.
     
  10. Ballerina Bird

    Ballerina Bird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Blooie, that is such a great story! And this is all very helpful because I didn't know that chickens like to squeeze into tight spaces, so now I'm aware and will be able to search more effectively if I ever can't find one of mine.
     

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