injured hen gone missing, help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by 77horses, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊

    Aug 19, 2008
    [CONFIDENTIAL]
    May is a 1 year old (approx.) hen and she went missing today. [​IMG] For the past few months, she's had a limp that hasn't dramatically affected her way of life (eating, drinking, foraging, etc.) besides making her a little slower and putting her in the bottom of the pecking order. She lives with two other hens and my rooster, Ivory. Despite her mysterious limp (the cause of it is unknown, except I noticed that the leg she limps on has like a nub on her 'knee', or the knee/bend in her leg is larger and almost looks swollen compared to the normal one that she doesn't limp on), she isn't really picked on by the others and she has gotten by just fine. Because she's in the bottom of the pecking order and she's slower than the others, she doesn't really follow them around when they forage anymore. She mostly forages by herself, with Ivory the rooster, or stays around the coop for the day. A couple times before she has wandered off on her own and I've had to search for her, and ended up finding her hidden in a bush on the other side of the yard, but every time she did wander off, I always ended up finding her hiding somewhere.
    Now she has gone missing again. However, this time I can't find her. I (along with a few other people) searched the entire yard for her. We looked in every single possible place for her to be. Basically, we completely searched and re-searched the whole perimeter of the house (and a little outside the perimeter) so much that you could say there wasn't a stone left unturned by the time we had eventually given up. I tried calling her with a bowl of feed, which she usually comes running to. The others came running, but no sign of May. [​IMG] The last time she was seen was when all of the chickens were let out of the coop this morning. She was seen foraging a couple times throughout the day, but then she just disappeared. [​IMG] After all the searching and re-searching, I've been just waiting to see if she turns up on her own. After all, she's lived here for a while so if she happened to wander off, for one, she wouldn't wander too far from her flock, would she? And she knows her way around pretty well.
    Now it's starting to get dark and still no sign of her. [​IMG] I'm starting to worry that some predator may have gotten her, due to her disadvantage of being slow because of her injured leg. We don't have any predators around here that I know of, besides a couple neighborhood cats, but they've never been seen nearby and haven't been a problem in the past. Also, I've been home all day and haven't heard anything unusual (such as the rooster's alarm call or any of the hens freaking out about something...it's been completely peaceful all day. She just disappeared. [​IMG]

    What can I do? Keep searching? I'm worried she won't turn up before dark (which is getting closer and closer). And if she doesn't show up by tonight, I don't think she ever will. [​IMG]

    Thanks for any help!
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2011
  2. naakte

    naakte Chillin' With My Peeps

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    poor little girl. just look for her, and prepare yourself in case she does not come home. Thats really all we can do when one goes missing. If she does come home maybe reconsider allowing her to free range because of her injury.
     
  3. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    So sorry May is missing [​IMG]
    I hope fervently that she shows up and is okay.
    Yes, keep searching and calling her name (does she know her name) and listen carefully for any response. Could something have spooked her out of the usual area such that she's out of range, hiding and scared and doesn't know how to get back? Sometimes people find their hens in the most unlikely places (including in other people's outbuildings, where they are inadvertently shut in).
    What does she weigh? I'm hoping you'll say she's not very small (Bantam) because then it's unlikely something could have flown off with her.
    Sending lots of good wishes that she is found unharmed. [​IMG]
    Are there dogs around? [​IMG]
    JJ
     
  4. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊

    Aug 19, 2008
    [CONFIDENTIAL]
    Quote:I just did another whole perimeter search around the house. No sign of her. And now it's really starting to get dark fast and all the others are heading into the coop for the night. It should be dark out within the next 20 minutes. [​IMG]
    She's not a bantam. She's a standard; cochin/ameruacana mix. And even with her limp, she can run pretty fast if she needs to.

    But anyways, still no sign of her and it's getting dark. I'm going to go outside to lock the rest in for the night and do one last search but after that I can't think of anything else I could do. [​IMG]
     
  5. chickenpredatorkiller

    chickenpredatorkiller Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 1, 2011
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    Even though you say that you don't think there are any predators around, that doesn't mean there aren't. I didn't think we had any until we lost our first chicken, followed by 3 other chickens, to a raccoon. I think that a hawk, fox, owl, or raccoon got her. If I were you I would keep looking, and see what you can do as extra precautions for predators. Hope this helps
     
  6. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊

    Aug 19, 2008
    [CONFIDENTIAL]
    Although I've never seen any predators around here, I have had one other occasion when I've lost a chicken here last October. I don't know what predator did it, but I had a bantam hen who disappeared and we found the remains in the woods. [​IMG] But since then nothing has ever happened again...until now, anyways. But this time there's no evidence whatsoever. When I lost the bantam hen, there were the remains and tons of feathers in the woods nearby the coop. But this time there aren't any feathers or anything. [​IMG]

    I just did a final search around the house, and now it's dark out. Still nothing. [​IMG]
     
  7. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    So sorry and so worried, right along with you. [​IMG]
    Sending protective thoughst to surround her in the hopes that it isn't too late.

    My roo BJ was attacked by a fox some years back and a neighbor chased off the fox. They lost track of BJ and presumed him dead. As soon as I found out I combed the area for quite awhile calling him, calling him, heart in my throat and sick about what he had endured. Finally I heard what I thought was a little whimper in response and I traced it to deep within a dense holly tree. I called him and he answered. He was hurt, he was weak...but in time he worked his way out from the protective tree and fell into my arms. I will never forget it. With lots of TLC he healed and is still with me today (not well at the moment, but that's another story). I fervently hope your girl is just hiding somewhere. [​IMG]

    JJ
     
  8. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊

    Aug 19, 2008
    [CONFIDENTIAL]
    Quote:That's amazing that your little roo made it! How long was he missing for? Was it over night or just for the day? Hopefully May's situation has a happy ending like yours, too. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  9. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    I did find him before dark same day, thank goodness.

    I hope for a happy ending for your May [​IMG]

    Will check back as often as I can to keep you company in this.

    JJ
     
  10. ChickenTender63

    ChickenTender63 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So sorry, and will send good thoughts as well. I have had this happen before as well and while its hard to do, don't give up hope yet. Go ahead and try to prepare yourself just in case she doesn't come home, but I have had a couple hens come home the next day and then my best silver pencil plymouth rock hen would stumble home two or three days later so unless you find feathers I never give up hope for awhile.

    Good luck, and I sure hope she makes it back for ya, take care
     

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