Just lost our first chicken tonight....

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by chicken_chicken, Oct 22, 2017.

  1. chicken_chicken

    chicken_chicken Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 1, 2017
    I went outside to lock the chickens in the coop and we are missing one. I counted them over and over. It is my daughter's favorite chicken, her first lost pet, she's so sad. The others were all in the coop like they usually are waiting to be locked in for the night. It was getting dark but there does not look like there was a struggle. We have a 6 foot fence surrounding the yard and the chickens have never even attempted to get over it and not sure how they would. They are barred rock chickens, so they are not small. Could it have been a hawk or an owl? Wouldn't there have been a trace?
    penny1960 likes this.
  2. WildCHILD400

    WildCHILD400 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 21, 2017
    So sorry to hear that. I recently lost a chick and thought a hawk got her while I wasn't looking but found her under the deck! If something got her I'm sure you would have heard something or seen feathers or blood. At night chickens will stop right where they are when it gets dark out. It's possible he could've flown out to explore that's what happened with mine. Go out at night with a flash light and her eyes should shine back or listen for chirping or leaves getting kicked around. Check every nook and crany under decks cars bushes and trees or any tall brush especially pine trees. Hope you find her!
    Trish1974, Janpots and Butcher 4108 like this.
  3. Sunshine Flock

    Sunshine Flock Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 27, 2017
    I'm so sorry to hear this.

    We had a rather alarming discovery the other day: Chickens can indeed fly to the top of a six foot post, and even higher. One of the hens decided the top of the big door to the coop would be a fun place to inspect, and up she went, just like that.

    The next day she flew to the top of the coop itself and perched on the edge of the roof.

    We're working on figuring out how to cover the run so no one gets out and especially so no one gets in.

    Do check around with a flashlight. Chickens don't do well in the dark, so as Wild said, they kind of shut down at night. She may be perched somewhere or under a shrub or deck.

    Please let us know if you find her.
    Janpots likes this.
  4. Zoomie

    Zoomie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 6, 2015
    Mora, NM USA
    A hawk or owl would not be able to fly off with a full grown barred rock. A full grown barred rock would weigh much more than the hawk. They would also tend to pluck a kill so you would find feathers.

    A fox would grab and run, so with them there is often no sign.

    It is possible that she's out there somewhere, that she figured out how to fly out, and could not figure out how to get back in, or ran into trouble and is hiding. Keep looking for her... they do sometimes show up! Here is hoping!
    deepbluesea, Janpots and Butcher 4108 like this.
  5. Sunshine Flock

    Sunshine Flock Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 27, 2017
    I'm sure you've already done this, but just in case be sure to thoroughly inspect the bottom of the fencing, looking for even the smallest of openings or tunnels in the ground.

    But to not see any feathers or hear her seems odd.

    Hopefully you have an escapee and will find her soon.
    Janpots likes this.
  6. chicken_chicken

    chicken_chicken Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 1, 2017
    We found Floppy Joe! (Her comb is flopped over and my daughter calls her Floppy Joe)! She has always been a jumper (I believe she is actually the one on my daughters head in my picture. She doesn't usually go that high and we're still not sure how she did get out.

    Thank you for all the feedback. It was reassuring to be told a hawk or owl would not have been able to carry her off. We couldn't find her last night. I barely slept and first thing this morning I was up and ready searching. I figured once the other chickens started to make some noise she would show herself and she did! Thanks again, I will be inspecting the fence and keeping an eye on her for sure!
    Li'lFlock, Lil_Boots, kross78 and 7 others like this.
  7. Janpots

    Janpots New Egg

    Oct 23, 2017
  8. N F C

    N F C phooey! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013
    So glad you found her! :clap Covering the run might be a good idea, just as a precaution.
    Trish1974 likes this.
  9. Sunshine Flock

    Sunshine Flock Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 27, 2017
    I'm so glad for a happy outcome!!

    Definitely cover the run. I need to do the same. Ugh!

    But the effort is worth it. My hen surprised the heck out of me when she sprang up to the top of the chicken coop door and just sat there looking down at me.
  10. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    While a hawk or owl may not be able to carry a full sized bird off, they will definitely kill them in your yard, and return to them to snack on them. I lost 3 full sized birds to a Northern Goshawk in a short length of time. This forced me to change up my management style. They now have a large run that is covered with poultry netting during the non snow months, and a much smaller covered winter run. They get to free range when I am able to allow them to do so, but are otherwise protected from hawks.

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