she's gone!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by omelette'smom, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. omelette'smom

    omelette'smom Chillin' With My Peeps

    452
    0
    129
    Sep 9, 2008
    New Hampshire
    [​IMG] brownie-a red sexlink and friendly as all get out is gone. my husband closes up the coop at night on my worknights and doesn't do a headcount. (don't fault or blame him-he's a good man) I myself did a head count when locking up last on sunday. I can't tell you when she disappeared because every day i go out and talk to the chickens and give treats and do maintenance and check for eggs at least 5 times. with snow on the ground they go from coop/run to under and on my deck and that's it. they don't like to walk on it. it's aweful that i don't remember specifically what day i last saw her. there are no chicken tracks in the snow and i have a cat so i chalk up the tracks that i see to belonging to my cat. they don't look any different in size and they aren't near the coop. there is no blood. i feel like a bad chicken mommy. we've been lucky free ranging and i know they love being out and about but they really aren't going anywhere out of earshot or eyesight because of the snow. point is........i wasn't faithful doing a headcount everyday. she was one of my favorites and how could i have not noticed? so my question would be---------how do people keep track of their chickens that free range? it's too cold right now for raccoons to be out(-2degrees at night) and skunks are only night time. what else would have cat sized tracks? Thank you!
     
  2. WriterofWords

    WriterofWords Has Fainting Chickens

    13,212
    26
    313
    Dec 25, 2007
    Chaparral, New Mexico
    It's hard to keep track don't feel bad. I've gotten in the habit of naming everyone and I go out talking to them calling them by name and I don't hear a name I know someone is missing. But it's a lot easier with only 25 names running around.
     
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    116
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I'm sorry for your loss. [​IMG]
    You don't mention how many chickens you have total; I have 18. I do a head count every night when I go out to lock them up. I also do a periodic head count whenever I happen to be out around them during the day. I used to go crazy trying to count to 18 with them moving around so much, but then I realized DUH! I have six of each color, so that's how I count them. I always immediately notice if certain ones are missing because they stand out from the others; either because of their markings or like Jezebel who runs her mouth all day long. If I don't hear her, I go looking for her.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2009
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I count by breeds every night and I have about 40 something in the laying flock that freeranges daily. We have forgotten once or twice. Once my RIR, Reba, apparently spent the night under the coop. She ran out to greet me in the a.m. Then once it was raining hard and we didn't count. Apparently, my SLW, Lacy, had died the night before, but we found her the next day in the dust hole.
     
  5. omelette'smom

    omelette'smom Chillin' With My Peeps

    452
    0
    129
    Sep 9, 2008
    New Hampshire
    i rehomed 4 boys so i was only down to 16 and seems to be an easy number to keep track. i'm home 3 nights in a row and faithful to doing it. i never got in the habit in the day though. it was easy to do
    3 bantums,
    cheesecake +chubs
    nanny and grammy
    gertie and vulcan
    cheep cheep and omelette
    brownie and smores
    hot lips and hawkeye
    frita.
    i count in the run and go to the coop and the ones in the coop are now in the run or the ones in the run are now in the coop! but i would eventually find them. Just not tonight! could it be possible she went broody and is hiding some eggs in the freezing cold somewhere? should i not bother holding on to that hope? probably not. I just don't know how i've suddenly not been concerned about not seeing her. brownie and smores love treats more than any other chickens and follow you. so sad.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by