What are the chances of my chicken returning?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Woobsie, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. Woobsie

    Woobsie Chillin' With My Peeps

    I free range 19 chickens and recently the roosters (I have 3) have been mating with the older hens who are around 6-7months old. One of the barred rocks didn't come back into the coop last night for the first time. There were no signs of feathers anywhere, and none of the birds seemed distraught at all, especially her one sister who she was always with. One day last week one of the 2 of them took 15 min or more to come into the coop at feeding time, possibly the missing one. She came out of the corn field somewhere. I do notice they seem to go off a little bit at times, but generally they all stay together. Anyway, those two were the only ones who really wanted to get the roosters to mate with them, which has only been going on for a couple weeks, although the hens were several weeks older than the roosters. I had also been wondering if possibly someone was hiding some eggs outside of the coop because I had around 7 or 8 eggs a day with 13 hens. Do you think that she may be hiding out on a clutch of eggs somewhere and I might see her in say, 3 weeks? Or do you think she was eaten or got lost in the cornfield? I looked around for her plenty but there are so many hiding spots in the 3 old barns, you cant really check everywhere. I am worried sick and want a little bit of hope. I lost a cat once and never knew what happened to him and it still kills me. It would be nice to think that maybe she is sitting on some eggs. How does she drink at all if she is in the barn and doesnt come back to the coop at all?

    Signed,
    Sad Chicken Lover
     
  2. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It seems young for her to go broody, but it is entirely likely. The corn needs water and if she came from there she could have found the same water source. Broody girls will rarely come off the nest and when they do it is a short time for a quick bite and drink. You would be surprised what their bodies can endure.

    You do need to prepare yourself for the worst just in case. There are predators like hawks that leave little to no sign they were there in a small birds case. Next time the sister goes into the corn field follow her and see if she leads you to her. I hope the best for you.
     
  3. Woobsie

    Woobsie Chillin' With My Peeps

    I just counted and they are around 26 to 27 weeks old, the hens.

    It was strange that she would lay down infront of a rooster asking for it, and happily mate, when most of the other hens (minus her sister which is the only other BR) would always fight him off and act the dominant role. I had seen her or her sister sitting in the nesting box before, but only once or twice.

    Thanks for your kindness. I hope also!
     
  4. write2caroline

    write2caroline Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jacksonville
    I hope your hen returns, I had a broody hanging out at a 45 degree angle in a tree she made into a nest.

    Hens or Pullets will sit for a roo. I read that when they shake after they are accepting the breeding and if they immediately poop they are rejecting it.

    Some will sit to be compliant so that the roo will not chase them and pull feathers.

    Caroline
     

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