Hen missing - maybe broody somewhere?


Jul 2, 2015
Muncy, Pennsylvania
Our chickens free range and go into the coop at night. Tonight, our 23 week old Dominique, who started laying last week did not come back for the night. She sat on her egg for most of the morning (kicked her out to take eggs around 1pm) so is there a chance she went broody somewhere? If so, is there anything I should do to make sure she makes it through the night? The coop is closed now. I am thinking that leaving food out is a bad idea, correct? It will drop to about the 20s tonight so I will leave the garage door open. Should I leave the light on so she is attracted to it in case she needs somewhere to go? I realize a hawk might have had her but it would be odd that they would go for one of the biggest chickens we have so I am hoping she is around. Any thoughts would be appreciated!

Pork Pie

Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Jan 30, 2015

If she has only been laying for a week, I don't think that she has become broody already. I'd go and look for her first thing. I've had hawks attack my adult chickens, even when there have been juveniles in the flock. I guess they are opportunists.



12 Years
Dec 11, 2009
Colorado Rockies
I understand and sympathize with your anxiety over your missing hen. I know just how you feel. I do a head count on a regular basis and when I come up short, I can get pretty frantic, visualizing a pile of feathers somewhere.

A few weeks back my five-year old Speckled Sussex Judy went missing for hours. I searched and searched, rested up, and searched some more, expanding my search. Just as I was giving up, I saw Judy poking around up the slope far from where the chickens usually range. Earlier, I had noticed a flock of wild turkeys in the exact spot, so Judy may have decided to join them, but when they moved on, she thankfully remained behind.

I'm hoping you'll see your hen return come morning. Don't give up yet.

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