The Disappearing Chicken!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by pamir, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. pamir

    pamir Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 1, 2011
    ok I am new to this in a way. I was raised with farm animals including chickens but this is the first time I am totally responsible for them. So first let me tell you about our set up. I am in Spokane Washington. Not allowed to have roosters :-( I have what I call a side yard which is the length of the house and fenced on 3 sides by wood fence the other is chain link I have a big chicken house in there which is insulated. I spread straw in the whole side yard. I would say with out official measuring that it is about 25 ft by 10 feet roughly.

    Yesterday I bought 3 chickens one bantam and two typical run of the mill hens. Went out this morning and all three were there and doing fine. This evening one is missing! even if she could get out of the side yard I can not figure out how she could get out of the big back yard. She is not in the neighbors yard, and none of my neighbors have said "hey there was a chicken running down the street. No feathers left, no blood no nothing just gone! Now I know last night was halloween but she was there this morning! I swear I have checked everywhere I can think of and no signs were found.

    Tonight I put them in an old rabbit hutch I have with a light on them to keep them warm and hay in the bottom. This weekend we will be putting chicken wire over the top so no predators can swoop down on them but it is driving me nuts not knowing where she went!

  2. beach livin'

    beach livin' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 21, 2011
    could she have flown over the fencing? what about an access to getting under the house? hmmmm [​IMG]
  3. kfacres

    kfacres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2011
    she's gone, forget and move on.
  4. flowergirl60

    flowergirl60 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2011
    Austin Tx
    I am sorry you hen is gone. When one of my girls were pullets I went in the house to make sandwich and was gone maybe 5 min. went back outside and one of mine were missing. I thought I had lost her b/c there was a big hawk on my fence. I cried and cried. She was no were to be found. Then I heard a little peep and went out the gate to the back wooded area and there she was huddled scared in the tall grass. I'm thinking the hawk dropped her. Hawks are migrating right now and are everywhere. So sorry.[​IMG]
  5. LiLRedCV

    LiLRedCV Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 25, 2010
    Land of the Rain
    How old are these chickens? Were they feathered in already? Do you have any trees in your backyard with low branches? Chickens can actually "fly" up pretty high... I have a banty (Ms. Fussy Britches) who's quite the athlete! If she can find a low enough branch and work her way up and over, she ends up on our roof. If there's a ladder nearby, she'll go up that. We have a jungle gym in our backyard and she'll work her way up over the top of that (12ft) and then on up into our 80' tall Douglas Pines. It's instinct for them to get up high and away from predators - especially towards early evening when they're trying to get settled for the night. (some start earlier than others)

    This very same banty disappeared for almost 3 weeks once. I thought a predator had gotten her. Well, I let the feeder get a little low (empty) ONCE and when I went out to fill it? She came flying out of nowhere fussing up a storm at me!!!!

    My point is, she may still be around and "right under your nose" - you just don't see her. But for new flocks, it's always best to keep them locked up for a week or two in their coop before letting them out. That way when you do finally let them out, they know exactly where they belong.
  6. pamir

    pamir Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 1, 2011
    Well I have looked everywhere I can think of but did find out a neighbor behind us and down a couple of houses has chickens so I am thinking she may have decided to be part of someone elses flock. They are all locked up tight now. We built a kennel with a roof around their house today. I put a light inside to heat their house and those stinkers let me know they do not like light! The were all sleeping on the roof of the house instead of inside, so Ok I get the point no light. But I have gotten two eggs![​IMG]

  7. sambia62

    sambia62 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 6, 2011
    this has helped me I was told by a very old but yet success chicken farmer to run fishing line back and for in a spiderweb fashion over the top of my run to cover it it keeps the chickens in and keeps the hawks out . I done this and for over a year now (knock on wood) I have yet to loose a chicken . As the line ages and starts to fray and break it will have to be re done its a cheaper way to keep the chickens in just some food for thought
  8. pamir

    pamir Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 1, 2011
    ok I have the run build but the girls do not sleep in their house! they sleep on top of the house. any ideas? also they will not let the little bantam huddle with them to keep warm (it is in the low to mid 30s at night) so I brought her in the house in one of the macaws travel cages. Has anyone kept a chicken inside for any length of time? I do not want her freezing out thers she is too sweet for that. she just snuggles right into me,


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