Vanishing chicken?


11 Years
Nov 22, 2008
So frustrated! I just got some wheaten ameraucana pullets and this morning after I fed everyone I let the little ones loose into the large chicken pen, while I sat with them in the chicken house. One of the wheaten pullets, about 2 months old, completely feathered, wondered outside with the other chickens. After about 30 minutes I put the little ones back up and started back for the house, but I counted my wheatens and was one short!
I've had them less than 24 hours and one of the pullets just vanished into thin air! I checked everywhere, in the coop, in their run, no sign, not even a single feather!!!
Keep in mind I was sat within hearing distance the whole time she was out, nothing happened, no alarms from the chickens or geese.
Any ideas where she could have gone? The only thing I can think of is a bird grabbed her flew off with her, but you'd think I would of heard something.
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Without seeing your setup it is impossible to really guess as to just what happened - for example, the pen that they were high is the fence, what materiel is it constructed of, does it have an open or covered top, etc. Not having the knowledge of your setup it is impossible to say with certainty whether something took her or if she somehow got away. Perhaps you can take some photos of where this took place?
They have a completely enclosed chicken house that leads into a large outdoor area that is fenced with wire small enough she couldn't of gotten out. The fence is dog proof, I have 6 border collies, several where sitting on the outside of the fence while I was sitting in the coup. Their pen doesn't have a cover over the top, so I guess it's possible she flew over, but she's still pretty small and I looked around the whole place, no sign of her, the dogs are pretty quick to tell me if there is a chicken out, but they won't touch them while I'm around.

The more I think about it, the more I think she should be around somewhere, hiding maybe, but I've looked everywhere!
The youngsters pen inside the chicken house

Exploring the coup after I let them out

Their outdoor run

Hard to see but there is wire around the entire thing. We just recently moved, been here about two months, zero trouble with anything bothering the chickens so far.
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Look who magically appeared back in the run!

And now safely back home

I don't know where she was hiding but so glad she's found! These wheatens are my favorite.
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She may well have gone up and over - they are pretty good at making some height in the "up" department at that age/size and then it's a simple matter of landing on the top and then popping down the other side. Just amazing that she would have figured out how to reverse the process as usually they manage to get out and are completely at a loss to figure out how to get back in. Also, does the wire go down into the ground at all at the bottom and/or is it at all flexible? It is possible she might have gone under it too if she managed to get the slightest separation between bottom of the mesh and the dirt.
Most of them won't even venture outside yet, they stay in a group and close to their own little area, not this girl! She's happily back with the others now, although I think I'll have to keep an eye on this one! Lol
I walked all the way around and through the fields, who knows where she was, but at least she's back!
If anything she went over, we made sure the wire goes all the way down, no gaps, and it's strong enough the chickens can't bend it!

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