how do I find a chicken's hiding spot? semi-emergency

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by bkvail, Sep 4, 2009.

  1. bkvail

    bkvail Chillin' With My Peeps

    any ideas greatly appreciated. My welsummer hen is hiding a nest somewhere. I had not seen her for 2 weeks or so, and then today I saw her for a short time, then she went back into hiding. I know she's got a nest in the blackberries somewhere, but how to find it?! We have 1 1/2 acres, half of which is field, some with a wooded area with blackberries. There is a lot of brush for her to hide in. I tried taking a can of feed and shaking it hoping to hear her cluck or something, but nothing. I want to find her eggs to put them in the incubator because last time I let her hatch eggs a couple months ago, she killed the chicks as they hatched!
  2. newchik715

    newchik715 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 31, 2009
    Borrow someone's goats and they will clear the brush for you.....does she have a favorite, can-not-resist treat? Lay out a trail of grapes leading away from the bushes and then hide and watch her til she goes back to her spot.

    Sorry if these are silly ideas....I am so new!
  3. Chic-n-farmer

    Chic-n-farmer Showers of Blessings

    You have to follow her the next time she comes out to eat. That's what we had to do with our old broody. [​IMG]
  4. newchik715

    newchik715 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 31, 2009
    oh! Would another chicken find her for you?
  5. bkvail

    bkvail Chillin' With My Peeps

    I actually really like the brush - because it's a privacy screen and sound deadener! We live in a not-so-great area and I'd really prefer not to have to see my neighbor's who live in camp trailers [​IMG] I want more brush to go clear around the property actually, LOL. I suppose bushes would be prettier, but they aren't free like blackberries, hehe.

    I might have to pay my son to go beat brush with me to find her - wonder if he'll go for it? LOL. I don't really have time to sit around and wait for her to come out in her sweet time.......
  6. Uppity Peon

    Uppity Peon Chillin' With My Peeps

    I guess you have about a week before they hatch. You need to stay out and watch for her and follow her wherever she goes. Of cours you can proactively search for her while you're outside.
  7. eastbaychicks

    eastbaychicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2009
    Ok so here are 2 ideas. Pay your son to watch all day...scale it to reward him if he finds her.

    This one may do more harm than good, depending, but what about using a dog??? They'll fetch a ball from anywhere. That just might get her out. At least if the dog finds the eggs you'll know and can get it out in time to save a few from certain death by dog or a naughty mother.

    Ohh let us know what happens.
  8. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    We tried using our dogs to find chickens that had gone to ground in some brush and tall grass after a predator attacked during the day. It didn't work so well. The chickens will just flatten down and remain silent. Unless you've got a good tracking dog that will follow it's nose to a chicken the dogs have to literally run over the chickens before they come out. Which was the only way we found out any were alive. The dog pretty much stepped on one after we'd already beat around that area several times so we decided the rest were probably hiding really well too. They eventually came out on their own before dark. When chickens go into hiding they won't be found until they want to be found so unless she's friendly waiting for her to come out and following her back is probably your best solution.
  9. bkvail

    bkvail Chillin' With My Peeps

    I knew she was hiding a nest somewhere! I beat the brush trying to find it, to no avail. Well, yesterday I saw her out again and I waited and waited to follow her to her nest when she went back. Then it started to rain - so I ran inside to get a coat and when I came back she was gone! Well, last night I had a dream that she was in the rafters of the rabbit barn in one of the rabbit nesting boxes that I put up there. So, this morning I went out there and looked. She wasn't there. But, I remember seeing her come FROM the fenced area that the rabbit barn is surrounded by the other day when she came out. So, I looked in the tall grass, in nooks and crannys - and finally I looked in the COMPOST bin. She was in there! Soaking wet and sitting on 13 eggs!!! So, I took her out and put the eggs in the incubator to hatch. Last time I let her try to raise babies she killed them as they hatched, so I wasn't going to let that happen again. So, now I have actually 17 Welsummer eggs in the incubator! I had 4 others already in there that were the last eggs I collected from her (when I thought she was gone, I decided to hatch them instead of eating them). And, now I understand why the roo hasn't left the yard as much as usual!!! But, now I gotta break her broodiness so I get eggs to EAT again. Guess I 'll have to put some wire over the top of the compost bin!!
  10. fldiver97

    fldiver97 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 5, 2009
    Middleton, WI
    glad you found her and retrieved the eggs. Hope they all hatch for you.....[​IMG]

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