Pumpkin is MISSING! :(

77horses

◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊
12 Years
Aug 19, 2008
7,590
613
476
Maine
HELP! My Bantam Cochin hen, Pumpkin, is missing!
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When I let them all out (a rooster, three pullets, and Pumpkin), they were all fine. Then I came back later today, and she's gone!!!
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I searched everywhere around the house; under the coop, under ANYTHINg that she may be hiding under. It's raining and storming here right now, so I thought she'd be hiding until it stopped. The rest of her flock was already going to bed, but she wasn't with them.
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She usually always follows them everywhere, unless she can't for some reason.
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She can easily get back to her coop. Whenever she can't get back into her coop, for some reason, such as when I forgot to open the cage to the chicken run once and she couldn't go back in, she ALWAYS goes to the nearby shed to roost. That's where I always have found her, and it's always open. She always went there whenever she couldn't get to the coop by dark.
But today, she's not there. She's not anywhere. She never roams too far from her home, either. I checked the whole entire surrounding woods area, calling her. I checked under all the sheds we have, under all the bushes and trees, in the trees, under all the porches, under the coop, around the coop, in the coop, etc etc etc. BUT SHE'S NO WHERE TO BE FOUND! Her three chicks, who are young pullets (about 3-4 months now), whom she is a foster mother to, seem confused because they follow her everywhere. Now she's gone and they can't find her, either.


Help! It's getting darker out by the minute and I spend about a half hour or more looking, and she's no where to be found!
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77horses

◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊
12 Years
Aug 19, 2008
7,590
613
476
Maine
Update: she's dead!
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I just went out looking one last time, and Nadia, our cat, found her leg.
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Something ate her and I don't know what. For all I know, it could have been Nadia who did it.
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At least the others are safe.
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R.I.P. Pumpkin. August 2008-October 2010
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77horses

◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊
12 Years
Aug 19, 2008
7,590
613
476
Maine
Thanks everyone.
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Now...whatever got her might come back. I don't know what it was. It could have been my cat, even. She's the one who was found eating some of her leg.
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She has attempted to stalk the chickens before, but has never really attacked them. Just watching them curiously and whenever she charged at them, I would scare her away. She got used to them and rarely ever jumped at them in any way. And it was raining, and she doesn't go outside very often in the rain. It was the work of something that seemed more intent on killing her rather than eating her. There were quite a few...remains...left.
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It looks like it very well could have been Nadia. She's a young kitten and has killed squirrels before, and what I found was mostly feathers, a chewed leg, intestines, etc...It pains me to have to explain it all, but whatever helps figure out what got her. So from my description, could you guys help me figure out what might have gotten her?
Not a fox...they usually carry them away completely, especially for Pumpkin's small size. Not a weasel I don't think; I've seen the damage from those before and they don't normally attack during the day. Maybe a raccoon? I've never seen them around here.
Or maybe it could have even been one of our two labs?

I just don't know...and I'm too saddened by it to figure out what it could have been, and what I can do to prevent it from happening again. Having Pumpkin dead is bad enough, but for those of you who know how much I care about my rooster, Ivory, would know that if it happened to him I wouldn't be able to get over it.
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jaimslee4u

Songster
10 Years
Aug 11, 2009
450
1
119
Maine
I know from experience my dog got one of my girls it was a complete play thing. Of course there can be more vicous dogs ( i do have greyhounds so just about any other dog is more vicous, LOL) - but they thought it was a toy. I know raccons will tear apart easily, coyotes will probably drag it off, hawks will take it. Was it dark yet?
 

77horses

◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊
12 Years
Aug 19, 2008
7,590
613
476
Maine
Quote:
No, it was between 2:30pm-5:00pm. My sister got home around 2-2:30 and she saw Pumpkin and the flock foraging in the woods as usual. Then she didn't check up on them again until I got home around 5:00pm, when I went out to put them in for the night the flock was hiding under the coop from the rain. They were all there except Pumpkin. During that time from 2:30-5:00pm, no one heard anything or saw anything, which is strange, because usually the chickens would make that alarm sound and anyone could have heard it. Maybe my sister just didn't hear it because it was downpouring rain outside all day so she was inside the whole time?

So it was pretty much light out when it happened.
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Chicken_Lover4567

Songster
11 Years
Jun 22, 2008
651
13
141
Central Texas
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I'm so sorry for your loss 77.
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Hopefully you can find out exactly what got her....maybe your cat just stumbled upon Pumpkin...and something else actually killed her. I'm afraid fo what I would do in this situation, knowing my temper I would have probably immediately blamed my cat.
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77horses

◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊
12 Years
Aug 19, 2008
7,590
613
476
Maine
Quote:
I'm almost positive it wasn't my cat now. The way she stumbled upon it was odd; she was crouching, like she was stalking something. The way she was so cautious when she approached it is what caught my eye in the first place. So based on her behavior, it seemed as though she could smell the scent of what had been there earlier, or the predator that had done it, and so obviously the predator had been something that made her so cautious about approaching it.

Oh and I made a separate thread about trying to figure out what the predator was, if you want to check it out...
https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=407228
 

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