Missing one of my hens (and I only own two!) D:

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by irishcowgirl, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. irishcowgirl

    irishcowgirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 8, 2010
    I have/had two sweet RIRs that are free-range. We have LOTS of predators around here, but we've NEVER had any problems so far. The only close call we've had was a hawk (that was smaller than both the chickens) sitting on top of their coop one morning when I went to let them out.

    But I always knew this would happen... I've TRIED to not get attached. But they are so cute... and funny... Sigh. [​IMG] At this point I'm just resigned with a heavy heart. I feel bad for Gertie, the one that's left though. She's a sweet heart - the smaller and more affectionate of the two.

    So Winnie went missing a day or two ago... I haven't been keeping very close tabs on them lately. I know that I never saw her yesterday, which I thought was strange, but they HAD been a little distant this week for some reason. Usually they always stay close together, but I had seen them foraging on opposite sides of the house several times recently. So when I saw just Gertie I wasn't too worried. But then I went out looking for her today, and she is absolutely no where to be found. D:

    There aren't any feathers or signs of an attack anywhere... we have a dog (who is super sweet and tolerant of them) and he generally keeps them safe. I assumed that so far the local predators had not come after them just because of his presence in the yard. So... was it a hawk? Would there be some signs left if it was? It's a total mystery to me. And now I have to go find Gertie a companion... she's lonely. [​IMG]
     
  2. feather and mountain man

    feather and mountain man Corn fed Indiana farmgirl

    Jan 17, 2010
    Sorry [​IMG]
     
  3. <3ChickenForever

    <3ChickenForever Fire Is Catching

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    Was there any guts laying around? Or just feathers leading in a trail?
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    I'm sorry. But sometimes a chicken disappears to set on a nest, and returns in a few weeks with chicks. Sounds like you have no roo so there won't be chicks, of course, but if it happens that her broody hormones kicked in, she will try anyway. I've found a couple of nests way outside where the flock usually roams. Any possibility of this?
     
  5. Lunachick

    Lunachick Chicken Slave

    Mar 19, 2007
    Brick, NJ
    I hope you find her. Something could have scared her and she took off. Did you look further than your own backyard? I would'nt give up yet. Also - she could be stuck somewhere, please look carefully under things and such. Good luck [​IMG]
     
  6. carrlr

    carrlr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Not sure of you location...but i was thinking the same thing as ddawn. Perhaps she's just broody on a pile of eggs somewhere.
     
  7. journey11

    journey11 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I hope you find her, or at least get some closure. Usually when something gets a hold of one of my chickens, I find a lot of feathers lying around. I lost my favorite hen to an opossum last week (out of 31 hens, of course it would go for my favorite). I had let my guard down too. Turns out he was taking eggs and breaking some in the nest and I had blamed it on the girls--thought they had picked up egg-eating. Wild predators are sneaky. It probably wasn't your dog, because dogs will leave them lying in the yard. They usually don't eat them, just shake them to death. A wild predator would drag them off.

    I tightened up security and have left my girls in their run (no free-range) the past few days. I am not even losing eggs now--that's how I know it was the opossum! My poor Sunbeam . [​IMG] I wish I'd figured it out sooner.

    You might want to bring Gertie in from free ranging and keep her safe in her coop/run. Whatever it was, it will probably be back.

    ETA: Just saw the broody comments. If you don't find any piles of feathers, that would be something to hope for! But you need to find her, because something will get her if she stays out there. She probably won't go far.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2011
  8. irishcowgirl

    irishcowgirl Out Of The Brooder

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    I hadn't thought of her going broody! Maybe... I never saw ANY feathers or chicken remains. But it has been several days and I haven't seen her anywhere near the coop for food or water... and we have so many predators out here, that if she is anywhere outside the yard it seems highly unlikely that she would survive for long, esp. sitting on a nest. Thanks for giving me some hope guys. Maybe she's still out there!
     

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