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SHE CAME HOME!!! One of my chickens are missing. :(

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by MyFrancesca, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. MyFrancesca

    MyFrancesca Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 11, 2012
    Akron, Ohio
    We dove into chicken raising in March of this year full speed ahead. Although we planned to incubate and hatch our own eggs for my son's kindergarten class, I couldn't help but scoop up 6 beautiful chicks from TSC. In the end (after one loss and one replacement and one rooster give-away) we ended up with 1 ameracauna, 1 australorp and 3 red sex links. They are my babies...my ladies. I came home on lunch today and couldn't find Mable. It's common for them to wander a bit in the backyard on their own so I didn't think much about it. Too many times I've set hubby and son off into a panic searching the neighborhood for a chicken to find they were only in the bushes. We are city chicken farmers, the chickens have a fenced in backyard about 1/4 of an acre. We've had to super protect the backyard over the last month to protect the chickens from the public. We've come home to people chasing them through our front yard numerous times...just to tell us they were trying to "save" them. Well, it's now 7 and Miss Mable hasn't shown up. I'm pretty disappointed. They JUST started laying last week so it's also disheartening to know we put our hard work and effort (letting them live in the house during the cold months) to have one come up missing. We don't see any signs of forced entry into the yard but the chickens could hop the fence if they wanted to...however, there is a family of hawks that live next door. I was fearful they would snatch one up but they had been living peacefully for quite some time. Now I'm fearful of letting them out if some animal has found that lunch is locked up in our backyard.


    sigh....

    *UPDATE*
    This morning I went out to open the coop and the chickens were all a-stir. I could hear them from the house. As I approached the backyard I heard the most beautiful sound, Mable chirping at me from across the yard. She stood on one foot so I was fearful she was injured but then she came running to me and my son. The moment quickly passed as she ran past us and to the coop for food. Poor lady was starving! I let the ladies out and they reunited. I couldn't have been more excited and happy to see my beautiful chicken's beak! :) I do not know how she managed to survive 2 nights alone in the city with the ridiculous numbers of raccoons around here, the skunks and the opossoms. I'm not sure how she was taken so far to not find her way home for 2 days or how she was taken away...but we are super happy to have her back!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2013
  2. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 28, 2013
    Northwest Hills of CT
    Did you find the missing chicken? I have a trail cam set up overlooking my chicken yard, and it takes pictures every 10 seconds all day long. If something ever happens during the day, I can review that day's pics to see what it was. If you have hawks nearby, they could easily take a hen, but usually they dine on the chicken on the ground, so there is evidence, but I suppose it is possible for them to fly off with the meal. You will definately want to provide protection from the hawks.
     
  3. MyFrancesca

    MyFrancesca Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 11, 2012
    Akron, Ohio
    Miss Mable never returned. :( It was very heartbreaking to close the coop one chicken down last night. I couldn't imagine going through losing my entire flock as I have heard stories similar. We're positive it was a hawk. I hung DVD's around the yard last night and plan to put up a scare crow. They free range so my choices are to fence them in or continue to free range. I would really like to keep them free ranging if possible. We have 3 pairs of Red tailed hawks living next door to us. We have seen them around numerous times but they have never attempted to come close to the chickens. With the increase in hawks we've seen a decrease in squirrels and we believe our chickens came next on the list. It just surprises me because they're big chickens.
    I looked around for feathers but there was no evidence anywhere. I'd be heatbroken if I found her. They get out of the fence all the time so it would be normal if she had gotten out but they NEVER run off very far...I called for her all night and searched the surrounding yard but nothing.
     
  4. MyFrancesca

    MyFrancesca Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 11, 2012
    Akron, Ohio
    Forgot to add...our entire fenced in area where they are is about 1/4 an acre and it is surrounded by folliage. Tons of hiding places for the ladies...
     
  5. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 28, 2013
    Northwest Hills of CT
    Very glad she returned - too many unhappy endings with chickens and predators - nice to hear you had a happy one!

    You will definitely need to be vigilant around the hawks - they may not be able to carry off a large chicken, but they can certainly attack and eat them where they find them. I added 2 roosters to my flock for protection, and unfortunately I lost one two Sunday's ago. As far as I can tell, he went over the electric fence to challenge a predator, and paid for it with his life. And he was very big - 50% larger than any of my hens. So his brother is doing protection duty all alone now. Eventually I want to get a couple of LGD's, Anatolian Shepherds or Great Pyrenees, as it is not fair to expect a rooster to take on they coyotes, bobcat, raccoons, hawks and eagles we have around here.
     
  6. MyFrancesca

    MyFrancesca Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 11, 2012
    Akron, Ohio
    This morning I was in the house and heard the hawks out back. I ran out there and heard it in the tree and none of my chickens were even flinching. They were wandering the yard like nothing was wrong. The hawk got silent when I went out back but the blue jays were stirring up a storm of anger. I went back in and awhile later heard the hawk again. I RAN back out (mind you, I'm 8 months pregnant so this is quite a sight to see)...and no hawk. He's playing with me! But my husband and I have decided to string fishing line above the yard, above our heads in hopes the line with deter them from coming in our yard. I read on here someone with free ranging chickens has done so in the past and it keeps the hawks away. I have CD's hanging now and plan to put up a scarecrow. Weh ave 2 roosters but they are being rehome tonight, as we can't have them in city limits. My australorp is good at calling out for the flock.
     
  7. JanetS

    JanetS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Glad to hear your chicken came back home [​IMG]
     

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