Missing one hen :(

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Beautiful Hens, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. Beautiful Hens

    Beautiful Hens New Egg

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    Mar 19, 2013
    I have three gorgeous Rhode Island Red hens. Every night at dusk like clock work my three hens return to their coop after a full day of free ranging our property. Tonight one of my girls did not return. One of her sisters seemed quite upset. I carried her around the property calling for her sister. I've been checking the top of the coop for hours. She has not returned. They are ten months old and such sweet birds. I saw all three of them at 5pm and by 7pm one was missing. It was still light out at the time I realized she was missing. Any advice? My little boys are so sad as am I!
     
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Greetings from Kansas and [​IMG]! Happy you joined us but sorry to hear about your hen. [​IMG]That is, sad to say, the biggest downfall of free ranging, the loss of a bird to what is likely some sort of predator. Worse still, now whatever might have taken your hen knows there are more chickens. You may have to limit their free ranging area or time or both. It is very sad as well as infuriating when a bird gets taken, but this is sometimes part of being a poultry raiser. I'd take stock of the predators it might have been. I know coyotes like to work around dusk, foxes in the early a.m., raccoons overnight, hawks anytime in the day. Perhaps you can deal with this particular critter...sadly, there are always more. Again, sorry for your loss.
     
  3. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    [​IMG]If her sister was very upset, she probably witnessed some predator carrying the other away.
     
  4. Beautiful Hens

    Beautiful Hens New Egg

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    Mar 19, 2013
    This is what I'm afraid of :( Right now I'm still holding onto hope that she is just scared and hiding somewhere. I will definitely keep my to remaining hens cooped up! I didn't think there were predators that came out in the light! That dam coyote could have killed one of my sons! Thanks for your replies!
     
  5. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    I lost three birds last summer - two chickens and a duck in two separate attacks - both between noon and 2:00 - hotter than blazes. It was a coyote based on what I found of the carcasses and how they were eaten. My dog (the one in my avatar) is a friendly fellow...except when it comes to things that want his chickens...and he killed the marauder a couple days later at dusk when it came back for more. I still let my birds range - balancing the risks with the rewards. I do more patrols, let my dog do more patrols, and don't range them unless I or someone else is home to keep an eye on them. Good luck to you!
     
  6. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    Hi and welcome to BYC from northern Michigan [​IMG]

    Unfortunately no matter how many predators you kill there is always another one coming along - probably the biggest daytime risks are hawks and stray dogs. If you want to protect your remaining birds a predator-proof run would work, and you could let them out while they are supervised to help decrease the risk.
     
  7. Mr MKK FARMS

    Mr MKK FARMS Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC!! [​IMG] Glad you joined us!! [​IMG]
     
  8. Beautiful Hens

    Beautiful Hens New Egg

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    You all are so nice and supportive! Redsoxs, your dog is so cute! I can't believe he killed a coyote! My Lab would probably run from a coyote. Well my sweet girl has not returned :( we've posted missing chicken flyers, called e neighbors, and filed a report with the Marin Humane Society. Today I only let my two remaining hens out when I was right next to them. About an hour ago I was out with them and noticed a lot of crowing in the sky, looked up and there were SIX hawks circling!! Once they saw me take my hens back to their coop the left. Now I feel 100% certain and hawk took my baby. I know they need to need too but not my girl!! I like how you say risks vs. reward. My hen had 10 months of the best life free ranging and sun bathing but it still hurts that she's gone. Thank you Sue from CA
     

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