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The waiting is killing me- a missing chicken.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by augustwest, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. augustwest

    augustwest Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 24, 2010
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    We have a small flock of 6 hens. 4 standard and 2 bantams. I got home at 5pm last night and it was already dark. All but one of the ladies were already in the coop. Frizz, our frizzle bantam (a total implulse buy) was missing. I looked with a brand new $40 flashlight for over an hour- she was no where to be found. She's escaped the pen once before. I suppose she could be out there in the woods and just hunkered down for the night. It was 29degrees last night- and windy. I had to leave at 5am this am and it wasn't light yet. I'm waiting for my husband to call this am- telling me that Friz did or dod not show up.

    It's killing me!!!!

    Please keep your fingers crossed for her. Her buddy, Silvia (an absurd silkie bantam chicken) will be lost without her. The 2 sleep cuddled in a nest box together.

    If we lost Friz, I have a 50/50 success rate. I knew this going in to partial free range chickens, but it's not easy.
     
  2. augustwest

    augustwest Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 24, 2010
    North central mass
    Update. No Friz. And, it's really cold this am and the chickens wouldn't come out of the coop. My husband was out looking and saw a small hawk hanging out in the woods about 50 feet from the coop. Poor Friz. Poor Silvia. What the heck will I do with a single bantam silkie all winter????? That is if she makes it through today. We have a small run (10 X6 feet) and a large fenced in back yard (100 X40 feet).... I guess the chickens are in lock down today in the run. They will not be happy.

    I'm really bummed about this. I have to admit that I am kind of burned out over the losses. FIVE losses. 2 dissappeared, 1 cull (unknown sickness), 1 put to sleep at the vet (toxic poisoning of some sort), and one cross beak bantam chick killed by a foster cat- totally our fault.

    I'm trying to talk myself out of feeling bad about this. I want chickens. I want them to free range. Ugh. [​IMG] Am I doing the right thing?
     
  3. goldeneggtees

    goldeneggtees Fluffy Butt Nut

    Mar 11, 2009
    Long Island, NY
    So sorry for your losses. I let mine "free range" on .25 acre. Lately when I go out I've seen various hawks on the ground and in the air. The ladies are fairly savvy but I'm always afraid to go out for fear of one of them being injured or dead. If I were to lock them up though, they'd be so miserable. This is the life I have chosen to give them and I think it's a good one.

    Maybe you'll find friz. Did your husband look for any signs she may have been attacked? Feathers anywhere?
     
  4. augustwest

    augustwest Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 24, 2010
    North central mass
    Thank you. I'm kind of a mess over this. Not really over losing Friz, although I'm trying to convince myself she didn't suffer, but what the heck to do with this silly silkie. That's the hard part... the flock dynamics have been challenging for me.

    No feathers, no signs of her at all. We lost another one about 6 weeks ago- she simply disappeared as well. Our neighbors lost both their outdoor cats the same week (by the way, they adopted my foster cat that ate the bantam chick- what a cycle!) and we all assumed coyote. We saw him around in the last week, too.

    You're right. This is the life that I chose for them and I KNOW that they LOVE pecking around the yard and being free chicks. I think that I need to stop thinking of them as individuals and start thinking of them as A Flock. In the spring, we will get 4 more chicks- all the same kind and all standard sized hens. I just hope that Silvia finds a comfortable place in the flock. [​IMG]
     
  5. goldeneggtees

    goldeneggtees Fluffy Butt Nut

    Mar 11, 2009
    Long Island, NY
    aww, poor Sylvia and Friz. Could you post around on Craigslist or anywhere and try and find her a buddy? but with that comes risk too, of illnesses and such. I have all large hens. I think it makes chicken keeping a little easier. The newcomers still get picked on but they are all almost the same size. It helps. Maybe you could also look into rehoming Sylvia?
     
  6. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    May 11, 2010
    I feel for you. Sometimes raising chickens is just not easy.
     
  7. goldeneggtees

    goldeneggtees Fluffy Butt Nut

    Mar 11, 2009
    Long Island, NY
    BTW, I still have major issues come roost time, they all fight and peck one another for prime spots. But my roost is a little too small. They all fit nicely but it needs to be bigger so they have a little more space.

    The only predators we have here are hawks, raccoons, possums and dogs. If I had coyotes, I'm not sure I'd be free ranging them during the day and I'd have to rethink my coop and run for sure.

    Maybe you can keep them in for awhile?
     
  8. augustwest

    augustwest Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 24, 2010
    North central mass
    I've thought about getting her a buddy. I bet I could get even another silkie from the woman that I got Silvia from. She may even have one of her "siblings" as she had a ton of chickens and lives 5 minutes away. But, then I have the quarantine issue, etc...... I'd DIE if I brought a chicken home and killed my whole flock!!!! I could remove Siliva and stick her with a buddy for 30 days and then introduce both back. But, where would I keep them? I can't keep them inside and put them out in January. Then, what if the flock rejects both? UGH!!!!!!!!!! It gets so stinking complicated!!

    It's a sad day. I'm regretting chickens on the one hand (and my impulse buy mistakes- I should have left well enough alone with my 6 standards!) and thinking that I need to get over myself on the other hand. Silvia is a chicken. She's living with my other chickens. She is not a pet. My husband (who is a rock) says to settle down and wait and see. Meanwhile, I'm sitting here in my office in Boston after a sleepless night- wearing a suit and preparing to go to a Big Meeting (so you have a visual)- alsmost in tears over my chickens. Good grief.
     
  9. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

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    Brooksville
    They do have a way of sneaking themselves into your heart.
     
  10. sharol

    sharol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 13, 2010
    Admire, KS
    I know what you mean about worrying about them. I have 7 standards, and there have been so many hawks around (very close around, as my DH says, "checking out the buffet,") that I'm in a panic when they are out in the yard. They have a nice large run with netting over it (sturdy, should deter hawks), but they love being up around the house. I have to decide whether it is worth the risk. I have 5 chickens squatting now (no eggs yet), so I'm getting close. I just don't want anything bad to happen to the girls. I've come to really love them. Didn't think that would happen.
     

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