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One chicken left out of 4..what to do??

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Peeps59, Oct 16, 2009.

  1. Peeps59

    Peeps59 New Egg

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    Apr 21, 2009
    I too am a newbie chicken freak. Got my first 4 buffs this spring. Two weeks ago I lost 2 chickens, mid morning after I let them out. Darla was sitting on her nest being a good chicken laying an egg while the other 2 went out galavanting. When I came home @ lunch they were gone. Their sibling left the same way several weeks ago. We think a hawk did it as we've seen one/two in the trees. AARGH!! I was sooo upset. We've been trying to ask people in the area who have chickens if they'd sell one but no one is selling right now. To our beloved chicken masters, here's my question: How bad would it be to just keep her, spend a lot of time w/her then get baby chicks in the spring? I love this site & visit it often. She is very friendly - we hold her, she sits on our laps & she follows us all over the yard. They were pretty much all like that. Should we get a couple of chicks so she can mother them or try to find some her size?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    You can check Craigslist or put up a sign at the feed store for chickens her size.

    It could be hawks or owls, but with two disappering at one time without a trace, it could easily be a human. If it is hawks, they obviously can't free range like they have been doing. If it is humans, lockand key work.

    Good luck! Neither one is pleasant to deal with.
     
  3. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Olympia, WA
    Quote:A couple of things come to mind. No matter how sweet she is with you she probably won't mother new chickd unless she goes broody first. Since she's a buff she may do that for you. If she does you can give her some plastic eggs and then try sneaking day old chicks under her at night. It doesn't always work so have a brooder ready just in case.

    If you bring an adult hen(s) in you'll need to quarintine and if you get several adult hens your current one will probably end up low hen on the totem pole for awhile.

    I'd probably wait until spring, unless she goes broody before then and just get chicks. Spend lots of time with her and make sure he coop is warm enough. She won't have any other hens to snuggle with so may need some supplemental heating.
     
  4. Peeps59

    Peeps59 New Egg

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    Apr 21, 2009
    Thanks! Should I maybe bring her into the basement for the winter? My hubby is prepared to make her a pen down there. So far she seems fine in her coop but I'm thinking it'd be best to bring her in for the winter????
     
  5. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    Quote:She'll like the natural light and being outside better, but it really depends on where you're located. If you get cold winters she won't be able to keep warm by herself and will do better in the basement. Also if having her in the basement means that you'll be able to spend more time with her it's probably worth the tradeoff. If you bring her in for the winter try to give her field trips outsidw and I'm sure she'll do fine.
     
  6. Marlinchaser

    Marlinchaser Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 18, 2007
    MERRY LAND
    Chickens are a flock animal, and should have other chickens with it. I would continue looking on craigslists and newspaper adds, not sure where you are, but you could post on here, in the Buy Sell Auction section, or scan the for sell section, and see if anyone is close, with birds for sale.
     
  7. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    ...lots of good advice, and this is the time to reassess your security situation so when you get new birds you'll be ready for a safe adventure...I'd be tempted to see if she broods and move forward at that time with fertilized eggs or chicks...lovely birds those Buff Orps.
     
  8. Peeps59

    Peeps59 New Egg

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    Apr 21, 2009
    ...lots of good advice, and this is the time to reassess your security situation so when you get new birds you'll be ready for a safe adventure...I'd be tempted to see if she broods and move forward at that time with fertilized eggs or chicks...lovely birds those Buff Orps.

    Ok. Thanks. We live in Northern Illinois so we get a pretty cold, snowy winter. Have reassessed our security: We only let her out when we're outside w/her. She has a run about 8' x 5' but we feel bad leaving her in there. So next question is: when will she brood? She's been laying eggs for a couple of months now.
     
  9. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hard to say, she sounds like a lovely bird. When the days get longer in spring, you might want to get some tips from breeders here at BYC.
     
  10. Marlinchaser

    Marlinchaser Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 18, 2007
    MERRY LAND
    Quote:She may never go broody, its a matter of her hormones telling her to sit. I would definately plan to get another for company, plus with it being winter unless she is getting artificial light, you will onlly be getting 2 eggs a week.
     

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