Missing chicken.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by granitechickenh, Aug 22, 2016.

  1. granitechickenh

    granitechickenh Just Hatched

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    Hello this is our first year raising chickens. We have been free ranging for about 2 months with no issues yet. Today one of the girls is missing, they will be 14 weeks old in 2 days so i am thinking it may be the chicken is laying her first egg somewhere.

    Any experience on how long the first egg will take?

    Any tips on finding a chicken laying its first egg?

    Thanks,
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Likely taken by a predator.
    First eggs aren't usually till about 20 weeks. They can be as early as 15 weeks but that is very unlikely. They can also be as late as 28 weeks.
     
  3. granitechickenh

    granitechickenh Just Hatched

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    Yeah I was thinking about that possibility. I haven't seen any feathers anywhere or any other signs of trouble. The rest of the flock also seems pretty calm? Would they show signs of stress or be more inclined to hang out in the coop if they saw the other flock member taken?
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Depending on your setup, they may not have seen it.
    Depending on the size of the bird and the size of a hawk, it could have been carried away losing few if any feathers.
    Same goes for a dog or fox.

    Hopefully, she just went astray and will return by dusk.
    I would be shocked if she was off laying an egg at that age.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2016
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    [​IMG]

    I"m also thinking predator. Sorry.

    You might want to confine them for a few days and maybe set up a game cam or something at the coop at night. Otherwise you're just offering a chicken dinner buffet.
     
  6. granitechickenh

    granitechickenh Just Hatched

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    We knew this was a possibility when we decided to free range. There are quite a few free range flocks in the area so we were more hopeful.
     
  7. GoldenFlight

    GoldenFlight Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    [​IMG]You could lock up rest of the flock for a day or two and then setup some traps with bate. If she was taken by a predator it will most likely come back for it's next meal so if the chickens are locked up and you have traps with bate then you will have a good chance catching it unless it was a hawk.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2016
  8. granitechickenh

    granitechickenh Just Hatched

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    Yeah I have no idea what it may have been so i'm not sure we can trap. Thanks for the input everyone i'll let you know if she turns up.
     
  9. GoldenFlight

    GoldenFlight Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Okay. You're welcome! I hope she shows up. :fl
     
  10. beccaisfirst

    beccaisfirst Out Of The Brooder

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    we started with 5 hens 1 rooster....just this week one came up missing, no feathers etc....and still no sign of our girl....but we do live in a hawk filled state and are amongst mountain lions bob cats etc....so we said our goodbyes...and everyone went to free ranging....darned if I didn't leave the house but for one hour and came back to 3 hens 1 rooster and a load of feathers....went looking for our girl with hopes of she might still be alive...that was 4 days ago...low and behold this am she's sitting on the deck and looking pretty torn up....she virtually was ripped from the back of her head missing all the fat, muscle etc...just dry and crusty and a pitiful chatter that just had the other girls swarming us...got her into isolation room...and did a quick lookover and found much more damage on her wings and under her wings...down to the core! so grab my hydrogen peroxide did a spritz on what was obvious and lathered with triple antibiotic, powdered antibiotic after...once hubby gets home we are going to have to perform a more thorough search of her body for more damage...she is definitely depressed but has eaten some egg and some oats and feed softened and I hydrated her with my syringe and she did well at finding her tetra dosed water....there isn't enough skin on her neck to pull to close...and lets face it its been 4 days...so she has survived hidden from view until this am....this evening will give her a good once over, debride if necessary and get a better assessment....I do have injectable antibiotics penicillin g procaine...just need. to figure out dosage for her we believe a cat got hold of her...we saw one in the yard way off in the distance and scared it off with pellet gun...my biggest concern would be if its a feral cat....the infection if there is one would kill off her tissue she has left and probably end up having to cull her if she's going downhill .....we shall see what she looks like with two sets of eyes and 4 hands to calm and check her out...
    so now until the pen is sufficiently secured..all are in lockdown in the coop and small run luckily we added on to the coop for reasons just like this....but it is hotter than heck so they have their fan going and my girl is in isolation in our feed room. any feed back would be appreciated in regards to protecting the exposed neck and wings...the bib would only work for her wing area that got chewed on....the neck is the most serious and exposed.
     

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