The curious case of the missing hen

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by Nifty-Chicken, Apr 20, 2011.

  1. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator Staff Member

    UPDATE: Happened again!


    We have an auto door closer and so we don't go out every night to check on the girls, but do from time to time in the evening to make sure everything is working right and everyone got in safe.

    Well, last night my wife went out to make sure everyone was doing okay in the coop and she discovered one of our twin black chickens was missing. It wasn't a complete surprise since one of these two hens will on rare occasion find a "better" place to roost. We took our flashlights and looked all around for her few favorite places to spend the night and she was nowhere to be found. We eventually gave up and hoped she'd be fine through the night and not have a run-in with any coons.

    This morning I went out to visit the flock and this poor black hen wasn't there. [​IMG]

    After feeding the girls some scratch I was about to head back inside and thought I heard a tiny cluck from behind me. My first reaction was "Oh, just an echo from the other girls that are happily eating their treats." but then I had an impression that I should look around a bit more. What's even more odd is I had the feeling to look under a metal tub that we've had out in the chicken yard for years (we use for random tasks).

    Well, guess what... there she was... UNDER this little metal tub!?!? [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I'm not sure how she got in there, but the shape of the thing suggests that she was probably jumped up on the edge to see what was inside which caused it to tip and roll over on top of her. For a split second we wondered if there was a chance either of our girls (5 and 7) could have put here under there, but there's no way they would and/or not tell us.

    I have no idea how long she'd been in there, but the fact that the soil was damp below her makes me wonder if it was more than a day. When she got out she went straight to one of our duck pools and was drinking like crazy (naturally). I sure hope it wasn't more than just 24 hours... the poor thing.

    We've had weird things happen to our chickens over the years, but this one probably tops them all (even the chicken that got caught in the coon trap)

    Here is the bucket and below that a picture of her drinking like mad:


  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Glad she didn't "kick the bucket"! [​IMG]

    Sorry, I just couldn't resist.....
  3. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    I'm glad she clucked as you were passing by. It's interesting that she didn't make a ruckus when she was trapped under there. I'll keep that in mind if I am looking for a missing chicken in the future.
  4. Pinky

    Pinky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2008
    South GA
    Glad you found her. [​IMG]
  5. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator Staff Member

    Kicked the bucket.... well played!

    Honestly, if she hadn't made a tiny sound I would have never even thought to look under there. I'm guessing she heard her sisters getting excited for food and clucked along with them.

    I was thinking if we had gone long enough and she died we'd find her under there dead and probably would have thought she died and was covered up vs. actually dying while trapped.
  6. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator Staff Member

    OH MY GOSH!!!

    Ever since the first experience we've had the bucket set somewhere else so it wouldn't happen again. Well today I was out feeding the hens today and again one of the black ones (we have two that are identical) was missing.

    I looked around a bid and couldn't find her, but with the recent memory of the last experience I decided to try an idea: There was a small carboard box that had blown into the chicken yard with the high winds we had and it was upside down. I lifted it with my foot, and THERE SHE WAS!!! [​IMG]

    I'm guessing it was the same hen as before, but this was just too weird of a coincidence to happen again. Now I'm starting to wonder if someone is coming into our yard and doing this.
  7. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    Silly girl! She's probably the nosy type, like some of mine. I use plastic dishpans for a lot of nests, waterers and feeders. At any time there may be a few empty one floating around in the runs. Apparently, a favorite game is to stand on the edge and tump it over, ONTO YOURSELF! [​IMG]

    First time it happened, I was worried I had lost a hen, at lockup time there was one missing. I searched far and wide, no hen anywhere. I sadly locked the others in, turned to walk away. Then the upside down dishpan started creeping slowly along. [​IMG]
  8. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Quote:My mom lives in a suburb-type neighborhood with neighbors all around, and she has kids coming into her back FENCED yard all the time. It is quite astonishing, but they do.

    It might be some kids doing it if you have close neighbors, in other words.
  9. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I was okay and not laughing or anything, but then encountered this line:

    Sorry, Nifty, that you have had your heart strings tugged again by the same little scamp. But it IS funny! And so is ranchhand's tale!
  10. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    I've had it happen many times with some of my hens, from dishpans to buckets, boxes ... anything that can tip over. If one goes missing I start turning things over. Had the first one go missing 4 days... poor thing, she was happy to get out.

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