missing chicken

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by brookwoodpat, Apr 12, 2009.

  1. brookwoodpat

    brookwoodpat Songster

    May 11, 2008
    I'ave had my chickens for a year, 11 chickens that free range in my acre yard (with plenty of cover) and I have never lost one yet, but late yesterday one went missing. I wasn't too worried as I have a couple of problem chickens that sometimes will work on finding a way over or under the fence, but they never go far. They walk outside the fence until I see them and bring them in. I had been at a dressage clinic all day, and it was pouring rain, and when I got back they were all here, and when I went to lock them in their coop at night and did a head count, one of these two "problem chooks" was missing. I called and looked, and couldn't find it, but was still hopeful. But I haven't seen it all morning. That doesn't mean it hasn't gone walkabout, because it tends to be a loner chicken, but I am heartbroken if it is really gone. I know of course that it is dangerous to let them free range, but I've had them all a year without a single loss, and I know even people who have their chickens in runs can lose them to a determined predator. I have a six foot fence and a German Shepherd watchdog and good natural overhead cover from hawks and I lock them all up at night and so far it has worked. I have always felt that it was worth it for them to have a free range life, if I could give them a relatively safe one, but it will be really hard to lose a hen that I have been fond of for a year. I'm still hopeful that she will come back. I haven't seen so much as a feather, yet, so at least I haven't found a body or a spill of feathers. We have foxes here and raccoons and hawks of course, but I would think at least with the latter two , there would be some sign.

  2. Chuntgray

    Chuntgray In the Brooder

    Jun 17, 2008
    It sounds like you have the same set up as I do. I agree they love to free range I am willing to take the chance. I lost one last year. I found her in tall grass going the wrong way ( It was almost dark) She was just lost, I picked her up and had not had a problem since. I hope you find her.
  3. Mesa

    Mesa Songster

    Nov 21, 2008
    New Mexico
    I lost a 12 week old roo baby I hatched. He was free ranging with all my other chickens and now he is nowhere to be seen. I found 7 feathers in my front yard but thats it???? He's been gone for 4 days now. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2009
  4. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Perhaps she is sitting on a hidden nest. There are lots of posts about chickens returning after being missing for a few days. Hope she returns.


  5. brookwoodpat

    brookwoodpat Songster

    May 11, 2008
    I agree that I am suspicious that she might be doing that. I really just had one escape artist chook, and she suddenly began leaving also every morning for a few days and I wonder if she was laying eggs in a special far away nest and now is sitting on them. I hope so anyway. Thanks for giving me that hope [​IMG]
  6. simplyscrambled

    simplyscrambled Songster

    Mar 29, 2009
    I searched for a 'missing chicken' thread, because I just lost one of mine! I only have 3, and I let them out in the late afternoon to scratch, eat bugs, and follow me around if I'm out too. I went to close the coop, and only 2 were in there. [​IMG] My daughter and I looked all around, peeked over fences of our neighbors yards, and no sign. My daughter climbed the roof and scanned. Nothing.

    At least reading this, I can hold out a little hope that she'll come back. This is the first time one seemed to just disappear into thin air! We have hawks, prowling cats, and racoons. Lots of cover, though. Lots of places to hide, but she's always been in the coop when I close it up!


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