Help with hen who keeps disappearing

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Mmitch5263, Dec 7, 2013.

  1. Mmitch5263

    Mmitch5263 New Egg

    3
    1
    9
    Dec 7, 2013
    I'm new to raising chickens and am having a problem with a hen. She is a 7 month old Plymouth barred rock and disappeared around a week ago, no sign of a struggle or anything. We have a total of chickens and allow them to free range. We looked for but didn't find her. So we assumed something happened to her. We'll she showed back up today cold and hungry. I warmed her up, fed her and placed her back in the coop. We'll I let the chickens out and she took off again. All the chickens just come back at night to the coop but she is gone again... Any info is appreciated.
     
  2. LRH97

    LRH97 Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    984
    121
    171
    Jul 29, 2013
    Southern Illinois
    Maybe keep her locked up for a few days?
     
  3. Jipus5

    Jipus5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    473
    109
    148
    Jul 8, 2012
    Minden Louisiana
    I'm telling you, she has eggs somewhere I bet!!! Mine do that. I free range during the day, and when they get broody, they have NEVER stayed in the coop! I found one under the house, with 9 chicks!! They are hungry cause they have been sitting on eggs all day, they get up about for an hour a day to eat, poop, and drink so make sure regular feed and snacks are available when she comes around. I wouldn't force her back in the coop again, give her a couple of weeks and I bet she shows up with some babies! Try to follow her one day, when she comes around, stick outside. May take an hour, but follow her back to where she ha been spending her time. I have a bantam right now that only comes out once a day around 11 am every day.... I followed her and she found a tiny hole under our porch. SHE IS UP IN OUR INSULATION sitting on 8 eggs!!! I'm assuming we will see her little brood soon! But, you made yours go back in the coop again, so you really need to find where her eggs are. They are probably dead not having her there to warm then overnight and need to be disposed of. If they aren't she wont get over her broodiness until she makes herself sick since they wont ever hatch and its not good for them to sit like that for over a month.
    If I AM wrong, there is a reason she stays out. Gotta find out what that is. Another terrorizing her maybe? Denial of the rooster and hens dont like her? Gotta be something, but I bet she is brooding.
    Good luck!
     
    2 people like this.
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,522
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I agree, sounds like she's wanting to brood and has a clutch somewhere. You'll need to keep her cooped up for several days to break her habit. Or, just let her stay gone and see if she brings home chicks in a few weeks.
     
  5. Mmitch5263

    Mmitch5263 New Egg

    3
    1
    9
    Dec 7, 2013
    I followed her and yep she had a clutch of 8 eggs. I put her in a large crate with so bedding and her eggs. How do I know if the eggs are still viable? We have two roosters so chances are good the eggs are fertilized. She smells bad.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Plough

    Plough Out Of The Brooder

    55
    8
    33
    Nov 30, 2013
    San Jose, Ca
    Put the eggs in about 4 inches of water if the eggs float they are bad... stand on end theyre still good but should eat them soon, and if they sink to the bottom they're still good.
     
  7. Plough

    Plough Out Of The Brooder

    55
    8
    33
    Nov 30, 2013
    San Jose, Ca
    [​IMG]
     
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,522
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I don't know if that float test works for incubated eggs. I'd give each one a sniff test, if one smells bad toss it. You can look on the incubating section for instructions on how to candle the eggs to check for development. If she's been gone most of the week, I'd say they should be viable and let her set on them.
     
  9. Jipus5

    Jipus5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    473
    109
    148
    Jul 8, 2012
    Minden Louisiana
    The more the eggs are dead and rotted on the inside the stinkier they will be. Throw them away. The float test works, so far for me and I have incubated over 450 eggs. Candling them is also another great way! Hold and egg in your hand, thumb and forefinger, while standing in a totally dark room or closet. Hold a strong flashlight under the egg and watch...a live baby will move around sometimes, but you CAN see what the picture graph of candling shows that you should see. GO BY THAT PICTURE CHART! I have used it since I started hatching.
    BUT the hen, she will smell bad...been sitting and sweating on those eggs...some underside feathers may also be gone from her belly. All okay. Know how they like dirt or sand baths...well she hasn't had one in a while! Just make sure she has water and food available at all times, and some type of snack...high calorie, like cottage cheese with chopped celery, spinach, tomatoes, oatmeal, something. If they are dead, get rid of the eggs and block her from where you found them. Will tqke her about a week but she will get over it.
     
  10. Mmitch5263

    Mmitch5263 New Egg

    3
    1
    9
    Dec 7, 2013
    I think all of the eggs are bad. I took two eggs away today. She still has two eggs. I feel so bad for her. What should I do? I thought about trying to find a baby chick for her. Would this help or is it best to just take away the eggs and have her get over it?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by