Gone Missing Without a Trace

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Warband, Sep 23, 2016.

  1. Warband

    Warband New Egg

    Apr 7, 2016
    Hello everyone,

    So yesterday morning I had three, Last night I had two. My babies are about 6 months old. Hefty little IBC Browns. We looked everywhere, and its now morning and she is still gone. There is no blood, no feathers, no chicken.

    The dinamic of the flock was Hen #1 and Hen #2 never left each others side, while hen #3 ran around and did bird stuff. Now Hen #1 and Hen #3 are acting like 1-2. Is this a behavior of we already know your dead?

    If she is killed, then she was taken by a hawk or a wild dog, if not do you think she would have ventured half a mile to go meet up with a rooster? I've seen them head that way before but never actually go farther then the shed.

    The girls free ranged on our 10 acre property from morning to night. However, they always kept to the trees and or the front yard near the house. Its hard for me to believe a hawk would have enough speed or abilities to take down something that fast without hitting something.

    What do you suggest me to do for letting them run around? They are used to 10 acres to run around all day, not a tiny chicken coop with a tiny run.

  2. CluckerCottage

    CluckerCottage Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am sorry that you are missing one of your birds but sadly, it is highly likely that she won't return.
    Never underestimate predators. If they know of a potential food source, they will keep coming back.
    I would strongly recommend building a large 5 sided secure run for your remaining two birds.
    Good luck.
  3. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Really sorry for your loss. There is always a risk/reward scenario with free ranging vs coop and run confinement. I try to strike a compromise and free range them so they can get exercise, entertainment, greenery and seeds, and bugs...but only do so when I can supervise to a reasonable degree. That doesn't mean standing guard with a shotgun, but it means when I'm home I check on them frequently and make my presence known to whatever chicken loving predator might be lurking. I know there is some risk even in that but as I said, risk/reward.
    From your description I don't think it was hawk or dog if there were no feathers as I think there'd be plenty of trace evidence in the form of feathers from either of those two predators. Also a dog likely would not have not stopped with just one. I think you have a coyote. They snatch and run. Or a fox but you said you looked high and low and no trace....fox don't tend to carry chickens off as far as coyotes. You might set up a trail camera to see what is out there looking to swipe your birds. Then you will have a better idea on how to deal with it. Good luck to you!

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