HELP! MIA Bantam hen!!!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kkenney, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. kkenney

    kkenney Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 12, 2013
    Roscommon, MI
    This is my first year keeping chickens. We have very large fenced in area for our standard 10 chickens and three bantams that free range it during the day. (two hens and a rooster that have never gone more than four feet from the coop or pen) My silver phoenix bantam hen has always been a shadow to me. She sits on the deck looking in through the slider doors and comes running full force and chirping when she sees me come outside. Two months ago I noticed she was sitting on a nest of seven eggs at the base of a tree next to the coop. I picked up the eggs after she wandered off, but the next day she was running around distraught and screaming. I placed one egg back under the tree and she instantly sat on it and layed another. Afterwards she got up and went about her daily business. She's has doing this for two months now. Then yesterday I got home and she was nowhere to be found! I searched all around and about 120ft into the woods with no Penelope in sight. This morning however around 9:30 here she comes up out of nowhere looking tired and disheveled! I went in and got her some snacks and scooped her up for some cuddle time. I placed her in the coop for some water and food and I assumed she'd nap a bit. Roughly 30 minutes later however she is GONE again! I looked for her at the base of every tree within about 120ft of the coop in the woods, all around the property with no luck! I'm wondering it if is safe to assume that she has made herself a little nest and is brooding?! Does that sound like a strong possibility? If so I do not want her out in the woods with all of the predators we have here in Northern Michigan so if she pops back up and I am able to find her nest would it be safe for me to make a temporary nest in a cage with her eggs to keep her under lockdown until she hatches them? I was also wondering if anyone had any tips on finding a TINY chicken who's feathers are perfectly camouflaged for her surroundings! Any input is appreciated! Thanks![​IMG][​IMG]
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Did you ever find your bantam? Hope she was just sitting on a secret nest.
     
  3. kkenney

    kkenney Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 12, 2013
    Roscommon, MI
    Oh my goodness, yes I did! I have NO idea how I missed her but I found her under a tarp, in a pile of leaves by a woodpile. PHEW! Had me worried.
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  4. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Ohhh, sneaky little thing isn't she. She does blend in surprisingly well with those leaves despite the evil glare. So looks like you are going to have about eight baby bantams running around in about three weeks.
     
  5. kkenney

    kkenney Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 12, 2013
    Roscommon, MI
    I was hoping for some little bantams but maybe I did something wrong there. I found her then I grabbed a cat carrier, filled it with bedding and laid leaves on top of that then I placed her eggs in there in a little pile like she had and put her in the carrier and placed it in the coop. She FLIPPED out! She screamed for an hour and when I returned she had the eggs thrown all over the place and poop everywhere. I cant leave her nests outside, we live in the woods and something would certainly eat her! hmmm...lol I'll have to wait until the next broody period I suppose! [​IMG]
     
  6. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Sorry about the nest, but I am sure she will try again, bantams are good at that. If you want to move a nest with an iffy broody it is best to do it in stages and at night. If you can, put half a dog crate or something over the outside nest for a day or two, then move the nest in the crate a day or two, then move the whole thing at night and keep them in a small enclosed area like a big dog crate until you are sure they are OK moving.
     
  7. ChowderChick

    ChowderChick New Egg

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    Sep 8, 2013
    I have two bantams who have been happily free ranging together for the last few months. However, two nights ago one of them disappeared without a trace! I looked everywhere for her but no sign. The following morning she re-appeared about 8. I was over the moon to see her and very relieved that she was back safe and sound! But that wasn't to last as she has gone again, which I have to say is generally out of character for her. I would say he has been laying eggs in various places under bushes etc which has been challenging to find them. Is it common for bantams to hide their eggs and broad over them? Is it a possibility that she is actually just hiding her nest somewhere or do you think that after two nights its highly unlikely that we will see her again ? But I now also feel really sorry for my remaining bantam who is now looking very lonely. Is it fair that my remaining bantam remains solitary or should I get another friend for her ASAP ? Any advice would be very welcome.
     
  8. rachmickmurphy

    rachmickmurphy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hope you find her. Keeping looking 2 days isn't long. I stopped free ranging when one of my hens went missing for 7 days. I found her trapped under a drawer in a rubbish pile we were going to burn they're prettykfully she was alive and has recovered.
     
  9. ChowderChick

    ChowderChick New Egg

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    Sep 8, 2013
    Thanks for your advice. I'm over the moon that she has now just appeared again and she is clearly very hungry. She has had lots to eat and is now pacing up and down wanting to get out. What do you think is best course of action? Would it be wise to let her out and see where she is going and where she is laying the eggs so I can remove them? Or would it be best to keep her in the run ?
     
  10. rachmickmurphy

    rachmickmurphy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 3, 2013
    Lock her up but make sure she don't get picked on being new to the pen again. They are silly and need protection from themselves sometimes. It so good you found her safe. If she is intent on sitting she will lay a new clutch of eggs. If its only been a couple days the eggs are embronic stage only you are not leaving chicks to die. others may recommend different but i think the safety of the hen is more important
     

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