Lost Chicken(s) >_<

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by lavenderfluff, Jan 1, 2017.

  1. lavenderfluff

    lavenderfluff Just Hatched

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    So our family has a small flock of four chickens, and we were out of town and came back really late last night. Our friend came to our house to let the chickens out/close them into the coop when we were gone, but last night they couldn't find one of our chickens (Olive). What makes it worse is that our hens are really scared of snow, and it was snowing sort of hard and also it stayed until the next day. This morning, Olive didn't turn up, and we left for an event...and when we came back, Olive and another hen were gone, one chicken was stuck over the fence in our neighbor's yard, and the door of the coop was closed and a hen was inside. Does anyone know where the two missing chickens could be, or possibly what happened? There are raccoons and a few birds of prey in our area, but usually the coons come at night and we haven't seen an eagle, falcon, etc. in a while. We've looked everywhere- help!
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2017
  2. QuackSpeak

    QuackSpeak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not entirely sure...Sorry to be of so little help [​IMG] If I understand correctly, two of ur chickens disappeared, one was still in the coop, and one was over the fence in your neighbors yard? I'm rlly sorry, this is something no one should have to go through.. [​IMG]
    Maybe the chicken that was in ur neighbors yard was spooked by whatever came for Olive and the other chicken, but things get much harder to explain bc the coop door was closed...Any blood, feathers, etc? Again, I'm sorry for your loss..
     
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  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Go out with flashlite to check bushes and small trees. Be prepared to look up as high as 20 feet. Also look for animal tracks not your chickens and feathers. Search a 200 foot radius of your coop. Sometimes birds disturbed on snow will fly considerable distances if they can.
     
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  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Pen up birds and do not let them out until you find out what happened to other two. If predator, then releasing could result in loss of another tomorrow.
     
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  5. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    x2. Keep your remaining birds in and search for any signs of the others. They need a predator proof coop and run, and to stay in for at least ten days, to discourage any raptor involved. Only feed in the coop and run, because feed scattered outside also attracts critters. Mary
     
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  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    The part that confuses me the most in this is that the door was closed with a hen locked inside when you came back. How is that door set up? Was it locked open or could the wind have shut it? Could it have been knocked closed if something big were chasing a chicken and hit it?

    It sounds like a predator but I don’t know which one. Looking for tracks is a good idea, if you see strange poop you can compare that to certain animals’ poop online and maybe identify it. After a couple of days snow can get tracked up but maybe you can get lucky and see something.

    Different predators have different tendencies but not all individual predators follow those tendencies. Still, if you can find any evidence you can maybe get some clues as to what you are dealing with. While many predators hunt mostly at night practically any of them can be a risk any time of the day. It sounds like you are in suburbia. You may have a lot more potential predators than you think, especially if you have a wooded creek bed or park with trees anywhere close. Coyotes, foxes, and even bobcat are not totally out of the equation. Dogs are one of the biggest risks in suburbia. It can be surprising how well many of these can climb or jump over a fence. Have you checked to see if something dug under your fence? If you find any clues let us know, maybe we can help you narrow it down.

    Right now you have two chickens left. It’s possible but unlikely a third could have gotten away and will show up. That happens but not often. Whatever is attacking is coming during the daytime. Other than trying to determine what you are dealing with my only real suggestion is to secure your chickens in an area safe from birds of prey and any digging or climbing predator. This sounds kind of creepy but I would not totally discount the possibility it could have been a human.

    You have my sympathy. Many of us have lost chickens to predators, it’s a horrible feeling.
     
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  7. CoopintheWoods

    CoopintheWoods Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with @Ridgerunner that it could have been a human, if the door was closed back up. Especially if you have show-quality or expensive or rare birds. Predators may be smart enough to open a door, but they will not close it behind them.
     
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  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Wind?
     
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  9. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    x2 again. My coop/ run doors will blow shut unless tied open, depending on wind speed and direction. I've come home from work to upset birds roosting on the fence and trees, unable to get into their coop. [​IMG] Followed by tired angry flock owner (me!) Chasing around in the dark with a flashlight and net, trying to get everyone inside before predators find them. It's only funny later, and only if everyone survives. Mary
     
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