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Missing Chickens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Lucky Eggs, Jan 29, 2017.

  1. Lucky Eggs

    Lucky Eggs New Egg

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    Jan 29, 2017
    I need some advise please. We have 4 chickens that we let free range in the day. They have been fine for almost 2 years until yesterday. Only one of our chickens came home :(
    We have a huge field out the back so I went to investigate and found loads of white feathers leading to a fox/ badger hole, unfortunately that explains what happened to the white one. The other 2 were brown and there is not brown feather in sight. Do you think they were scared by the attack and ran away? I am worried that they can't find their way home, is that something that could happen? Any advise would be most welcome.
     
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    On the MN prairie.
    [​IMG]

    They may have gotten away. Sometimes it will take a day or two for them to come back, sometimes they'll be back in the morning, and unfortunately, sometimes they don't come back. There's no way to predict what will happen. Do you have a run attached to your coop? If you do, you might want to keep them locked up for a few weeks to discourage whatever got your bird. Once they find a free chicken dinner, they tend to come back looking for more. If you don't have an attached run, you may want to consider building one.
     
    Lillian Lucas likes this.
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    I have had birds snatched with barely a sign. Hopefully they return, but if you don't see them in a day or two you might have to assume they are gone. Fox will often take multiple birds, stashing them and returning for more.
     
  4. Lucky Eggs

    Lucky Eggs New Egg

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    Thanks for the replys. I do have a run, the size is good but they love being out. I was going to get my lone survivor some friends today after having one more look. I will have to keep them in for a while then anyway. Another reason I let them out is I struggle to keep mud under control in their run. I have covered it but it still gets wet. If I put straw in it just gets bogged down in the mud. I dug it out and added sand and now it's just sandy mud! I think I'll have to look at some kind of floor.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Sorry for your loss...and Welcome to BYC!

    You don't need a floor in your run, you just need the right mix of materials to put down, after you correct any drainage issues.

    What is your climate/location?
    Putting your location in your profile can help folks give better answers/suggestions.

    Here's a great description of contents and how to manage organic 'bedding' in a run or coop...and there's a great video of what it looks like.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1037998/muddy-run-help-please#post_16017992
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017
  6. Zoomie

    Zoomie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome to BYC, @Lucky Eggs ! So happy to have you here! [​IMG]

    I just wanted to add, you had said,
    Quote: and I wanted to point out, lots and lots of creatures - humans included - love things that are not in their best interest. Just because your chickens love being out, that does not mean "they know what's best" or that it is good for them to be out. I mean, apparently, heroin feels really good. But I doubt anyone thinks you should just give people heroin. Being out like that can kill chickens. And little children love eating candy and cookies, but no one would think it's a good idea to allow a child to eat nothing but candy and cookies. So yes, deal with your drainage issues, but please, do not feel bad or guilty about keeping your chickens in the run. As long as there is enough room for the amount of chickens, and you manage them properly they will be just fine in there.

    I do hope the missing chickens return. It can happen, but... there are SO many things out there that appreciate a chicken dinner... [​IMG]
     
    Lillian Lucas likes this.
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    Free ranging can be good for a chickens mental well being. It does come will risks. I personally prefer to deal with the risks as opposed to dealing with the behavioral problems that can come with confinement. So there's no one way to keep them, but there can be ways to minimize the risks, as well as accepting some loses due to predators. Many people have had their chickens coops and runs broken into by predators as well, so it isn't just from free ranging.
     
    Lillian Lucas likes this.

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