Pet hen disappeared with no trace?

chicker441

In the Brooder
Oct 15, 2018
13
23
23
Hi all,
This evening, just after dusk, I went to lock up my two pet hens (standard, cross bred 2 year old laying hens that are inseparable since they have been together since they hatched). I noticed that the door was open for some strange reason and freaked out when I thought they were both gone but then I took a closer look and realised that only one of them was in there. I quickly looked around with my torch for any signs of struggle, such as feathers, etc. but found absolutely nothing. Their pen is surrounded mainly by pasture and a few fences and trees here and there as we are renting on a cattle farm. Using a headlight, I looked all around the area, up trees, in sheds, everywhere, including the pasture - and found absolutely no sign of anything. Not a single feather anywhere. The grass isn’t very long at the moment. By the way, I’m from Australia. We do have foxes but in my experience they usually leave some feathers behind. My other hen didn’t even seem too phased which is odd because they have both been nearly killed by a dog before (luckily they only lost a few feathers) but were traumatised for a day or so afterwards - and she didn’t seem too worried (but then again wasn’t making any noise like she usually does). I’m worried because normally if they get out they go places together. My hen is going to be absolutely heartbroken if the other one has been killed, as will I as she is the only other chicken she has ever known. Do you think maybe she has wandered off and hid for tonight? Why would she do that though instead of sleeping with her sister :(
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Moderator
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jul 16, 2015
48,700
91,127
1,572
Wisconsin
Is it possible she has a hidden nest somewhere? Has she ever gone broody? Generally when one gets snatched by a predator the remaining birds are hysterical. Otherwise Fox can snatch without any sign. It all depends on the initial hold and whether they need to adjust it or not before carrying off the bird.
 

Shadrach

Roosterist
Jul 31, 2018
21,015
181,936
1,612
Catalonia, Spain & UK
My Coop
My Coop
Hi all,
This evening, just after dusk, I went to lock up my two pet hens (standard, cross bred 2 year old laying hens that are inseparable since they have been together since they hatched). I noticed that the door was open for some strange reason and freaked out when I thought they were both gone but then I took a closer look and realised that only one of them was in there. I quickly looked around with my torch for any signs of struggle, such as feathers, etc. but found absolutely nothing. Their pen is surrounded mainly by pasture and a few fences and trees here and there as we are renting on a cattle farm. Using a headlight, I looked all around the area, up trees, in sheds, everywhere, including the pasture - and found absolutely no sign of anything. Not a single feather anywhere. The grass isn’t very long at the moment. By the way, I’m from Australia. We do have foxes but in my experience they usually leave some feathers behind. My other hen didn’t even seem too phased which is odd because they have both been nearly killed by a dog before (luckily they only lost a few feathers) but were traumatised for a day or so afterwards - and she didn’t seem too worried (but then again wasn’t making any noise like she usually does). I’m worried because normally if they get out they go places together. My hen is going to be absolutely heartbroken if the other one has been killed, as will I as she is the only other chicken she has ever known. Do you think maybe she has wandered off and hid for tonight? Why would she do that though instead of sleeping with her sister :(
It's possible she's got a pile of eggs somewhere and has gone to sit on them.
If so, she will reappear each day to eat, drink and bath. I hope this is the case and she hasn't been got by a predator.
 

chicker441

In the Brooder
Oct 15, 2018
13
23
23
Is it possible she has a hidden nest somewhere? Has she ever gone broody? Generally when one gets snatched by a predator the remaining birds are hysterical. Otherwise Fox can snatch without any sign. It all depends on the initial hold and whether they need to adjust it or not before carrying off the bird.
Nope she hasn’t been laying anywhere else as she’s only let out while she’s supervised as the family who owns the property has a Kelpie dog who has a history of killing chickens. He is old now and was sleeping all afternoon plus if he did somehow get her, I’m sure there would be feathers everywhere. Also I’ve been collecting their eggs daily :(
 

chicker441

In the Brooder
Oct 15, 2018
13
23
23
She has been broody before but I did check her literally 3.5 hours before I discovered her gone and she wasn’t broody, in fact she laid an egg today. :(
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Moderator
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jul 16, 2015
48,700
91,127
1,572
Wisconsin
Nope she hasn’t been laying anywhere else as she’s only let out while she’s supervised as the family who owns the property has a Kelpie dog who has a history of killing chickens. He is old now and was sleeping all afternoon plus if he did somehow get her, I’m sure there would be feathers everywhere. Also I’ve been collecting their eggs daily :(
Well give her 24 hours to show back up. Sometimes when frightened they will hunker down and stay hidden. If she doesn't return I would assume she won't unfortunately. :( Dogs will always leave lots of feathers because they are playing with the chicken. Foxes are snatching and running quickly away with the bird who may not even know what's going on.
 

Shadrach

Roosterist
Jul 31, 2018
21,015
181,936
1,612
Catalonia, Spain & UK
My Coop
My Coop
Nope she hasn’t been laying anywhere else as she’s only let out while she’s supervised as the family who owns the property has a Kelpie dog who has a history of killing chickens. He is old now and was sleeping all afternoon plus if he did somehow get her, I’m sure there would be feathers everywhere. Also I’ve been collecting their eggs daily :(
If she's only let out when shes supervised then what went wrong this time?
 

chicker441

In the Brooder
Oct 15, 2018
13
23
23
Well give her 24 hours to show back up. Sometimes when frightened they will hunker down and stay hidden. If she doesn't return I would assume she won't unfortunately. :( Dogs will always leave lots of feathers because they are playing with the chicken. Foxes are snatching and running quickly away with the bird who may not even know what's going on.
I’m hoping and praying that’s the case... but it doesn’t look good :( I’m just really confused as to why there are absolutely no feathers... not a single one... anywhere. I thought that a fox grabbing them would at least loosen a couple of feathers due to the hen’s struggling. I’ve always been able to find scattered feathers or a patches of feathers down the paddock when a fox has attacked, and a few feathers in the chicken yard at least. I’ve heard stories of them breaking in and killing most, if not all of the chickens by ripping their heads off and coming back later to take them. I guess only time will tell :’(
 

chicker441

In the Brooder
Oct 15, 2018
13
23
23
If she's only let out when shes supervised then what went wrong this time?
The door was opened somehow, it was closed when I checked them this afternoon. It is a bit shoddy which is why I lock them up at night. This has happened before though since it has been really windy lately, although not so much today.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom