Hen Missing. Broody?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Jimmy_WI, Jun 22, 2017.

  1. Jimmy_WI

    Jimmy_WI In the Brooder

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    Ok, starting out with a couple notes on our small flock. First time chicken owners. We purchased 4 Red Star pullets back in April. We have a fairly large run and a enclosed secure run but let them free range all day. We're on about 5 acres but they typically stay around the yard and edges of the woods. One started laying within 3 weeks but the others never laid. The last week or a little more it really seemed like one had all the signs. She was squatting when you approached her and she was making some solo trips into our thick woods but always popped out a few minutes later or you could find her pretty quick.

    Last night, 4-21 she was nowhere to be found when I got home from work. Never came to the coop for the evening. Did not see her this morning. This evening I went on a mission to find evidence of a predator attack but nothing. I have many trail cameras up around the property and a nest cam on the coop. No evidence of anything other than a pair of baby fawns and mama that have been hanging around.

    Problem right now is that it is so thick I would have to step on her to find something. What are the odds she is sitting on a hidden nest? Better odds a predator got her? Our one hen that lays uses the coop for what it's worth.
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Got my Puppy

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    Welcome, it's not impossible but unlikely a sex link hen would go broody in my experiences. I would suspect a predator, coyote and Fox can snatch hens without many signs and take them elsewhere to eat. Most chickens will nest in a building, and not in the open, so check all buildings for nests.
     
  3. Jimmy_WI

    Jimmy_WI In the Brooder

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    Checked all enclosed buildings and spots that are obvious/enclosed. No sign. Odd thing is that yesterday it was a sunny gorgeous day all day, so if it was a predator it happened in the middle of the day on a bluebird sky day. Not impossible is highly unusual for a predator to be out in those conditions, unless a hawk got her, but she is pretty big at this point and no feathers or anything around. My wife shooed her off our deck mid morning and I was home around 6:00. So sometime between those hours is when the disappearance occurred.
     
  4. jolly wattles

    jolly wattles Songster

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    Don't be naive that a predator won't strike middle of a gorgeous day. Especially this time of year when they have young to support. I'm a hunter and trust me I have seen predators at noon in 90 degree weather taking wild turkeys. With a simple decoy call I can call in every predator in our area in the middle of a field. And if they were pullets in April they are too young to go broody.
     
  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Got my Puppy

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    Coyotes don't care what time of day it is. It will return to snatch more chickens if it was one.
     
  6. Peeps61

    Peeps61 Songster

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    I am with "Old Hen". It's unlikely that a sex linked chicken has gone broody. I'd say that a predator probably got her. It will happen again, too, so please watch your remaining chickens so that the predator doesn't return for another meal. I've lost some to predators, but I also accept that will happen if I free range.
    Good luck!
     
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  7. jolly wattles

    jolly wattles Songster

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    Yep. We have 4 acres surrounded by woods then farm land. I've set outside middle of the day and seen coyote, fox, and raccoons come out into the yard. Not to mention deer, rabbits. All this while my 90 pound pit is barking at em.
     
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  8. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

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    go into lock down, and keep the rest in the run for several days, if a predator, they will be back! EVERYTHING likes to eat chicken.

    mrs K
     
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  9. Jimmy_WI

    Jimmy_WI In the Brooder

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    You guys are probably right, that's why I posted. @jolly wattles I'm a bowhunter as well and have definitely seen midday predators on bluebird days but not as much the norm. Also our Nest cam and trail cams have a really good net on the place and I haven't captured a predator on them for months. Also we have a doe raising 2 fawns that has stayed pretty tight on our place. Would think she would have gotten a little skittish if we had a coyote fixing for a meal nearby, but those things sure are sneaky. Was just hoping to find some sort of clue to go on.
     
  10. jolly wattles

    jolly wattles Songster

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    Nice edit.
     

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