She just disappeared....


11 Years
Apr 18, 2008
Boonsboro, MD
One of my SLW's laid her first egg Friday. It was a rainy day, so the chickens were in their covered pen all day and the egg appeared in front of the nesting box - close enough for a first attempt.

Saturday, we were all working in the backyard all day, so I let the chickens out for a stretch. The kids were running around and playing, dh was hammering and cutting wood with a circular saw, and I was gardening. I noticed her going off by herself -- she found a patch of tall grass behind the garage and settling in to make a nest. I was only a few feet from her most of the day. And then she just disappeared.

There was never a squawk or any noise or commotion. She was just gone. We looked for her. I checked again in the middle of the night. I checked again this morning.

What predator would be so bold and stealthy to get her quietly from right under our noses? Could she be hiding out somewhere? I was sure she would come back to the coop at dusk.

So sorry to hear about her disappearance. Is it possible that she gone broody and has made a nest hidden under something like your deck or shed or any other hard to reach spot? She still might be out there oblivious to your distress. I keep my fingers crossed for you.
There's still hope, of course.

She's probably hiding out and having a grand time, chicken-style.

But if a predator does come like that, it's probably a raccoon, they chomp the head off after grabbing the neck. I hope it isn't or letting the girls roam will be an invitation to the predator.

Maybe she'll return with chicks...
I had the same thing happen early on in my first chicken year and most all country folk have told me out here if it just disappeared there is a good chance a hawk or a fox or a cougar got it. Depends on your area of course. We have quite a large amount of coyotes and although I have never personally seen one here.. something just took her.
I am so very sorry and hope she has gone broody. I would look for her in dog houses, under things, in wierd sheltered areas... anywhere that she could have laid eggs. How long was it before you had checked on her prior to her disappearance? Do you have multiple outbuildings?
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Well, the Prodigal chicken has returned....

After 24 hrs, she started making a bit of a clucking sound. We tracked her down to the lumber pile near where I saw her last. She had managed to wedge herself into the tiniest bit of space between the pile and the garage wall.

So today I learned that chickens can go broody after laying the first egg and chickens can crawl into a space less than half the size of their body.

HOORAY! I am so happy your babe was found. GOod info too on going broody after first egg.
did you check for any eggs in there?

Again, I am so glad you found her. Excellent NEWS 2 B sure
Glad to hear your girl was found. I'm new with chickens, so I'm glad to hear about brooding and that a hen can go off like that, and where places they like to hide.

Continued luck:D
Just an FYI to beware of.... my hen disappeared for 5 days! I was sure a predator had gotten her and was so dismayed all that time, then one day I decided to grain the horses (which I only occasionally do) reached into the metal garbage can for grain and touched something fuzzy. Scared me to death.... looked in the dark bottom and there was that darn Cochin hen who I guess decided to jump in when it was open and sit there, got locked in and not discovered for 5 days!!!I don't know how she lived with water, but she had plenty of grain. She lived... thank goodness... but now I make sure if I have ANYTHING open to check for hidden broody hens bef. closing it!!! Beware their quick!
Yay, so glad you found her!

I had a similar experience a couple of weeks ago, a RIR cockerel just vanished. We looked everywhere with no luck, and assumed a predator had gotten him. A few days later, I found him under the chicken coop - when I coaxed him out I saw that he was limping, and the other roos were attacking him - he was hiding in fear! I put him in the isolation pen for about a week, and now he's fine.

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