Will she come back? Update: I found her!!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Cocotte, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. Cocotte

    Cocotte Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think I've lost a chicken [​IMG] This morning I let my 4 chickens out to free range around the yard, then I went in to make my kids breakfast. They didn't eat all their scrambled eggs, so I took them out to the chickens. As usual, as soon as I opened the door all four made a beeline for me and started gobbling up the eggs. I went back inside to get the kids dressed. Then I went back out to get the empty plate, and all four came running up to me again looking for more food. I was back in the house for another half hour, 45 minutes or so and then it was almost time to leave to go to swimming lessons. So I went out for the chickens, and no one came to greet me, no buk-buking or anything. I checked the coop and their favourite spots around the yard, and when I couldn't find them I searched the whole yard and went looking in the neighbour's yards too, but NO chickens! We have a 6 foot fence, and I know that chickens can get over fences, but they've never shown any interest in going out of the yard at all. I looked and looked and there was just no sign at all. So I decided to take my kids to swimming.

    We got home an hour later and I searched the yard again but didn't find any. Then I opened the nextbox and about had a heart attack because three of them were all huddled in there! But one was still missing! My smaller mille fleur cochin Sprinkles hasn't come home [​IMG] I don't know why they were hiding in the next box like that, usually just the two cochins go in the coop during the day to lay eggs and the ameraucanas occasionally follow them (moral support or curiosity or something I guess), but all three were in there and wouldn't come back out of the coop for a couple of hours. That makes me think that something got Sprinkles and the other three ran home scared [​IMG] But yesterday Sprinkles kept on hanging around in the next box and sitting on all the golf balls. I'd take her out of the box, tell her she's silly, and then a little while later she'd be in there again sitting on the golf balls. So I took the golf balls away. Was that mean of me?! Maybe she wants to sit on a nest and ran off and the others followed her! Or maybe something got her. There are hardly ever loose dogs wandering, and I don't know how likely it was that a coyote was wandering through town late in the morning, and I know there are hawks in the area but I've never seen one flying close to our house at all.

    I've left all of the gates open so she can get back in the yard easily if she comes back (the other three are locked in their run and are on house arrest for a while now! And will get their wings clipped!), but where ever she is, if she's still alive, she's got no water. It not quite 80 degrees today at least. If she's still alive, do you think she'll come back at bedtime? I just don't know where she would have gone. We do have big empty fields behind our house, but the other three came back..

    I just feel awful about this!! And Sprinkles is my favourite too, she's very friendly and calm and sweet. And she's such a little chicken [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2010
  2. easton coop

    easton coop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i hope she comes back! they usually do. it sounds like she's gone broody and may have found a hiding place that's secret! I would have a good look around, maybe with some treats to encourage her. I had one hen disappear into the fields opposite out house when she went broody, so maybe the same. If something got her then I would have expected lots of feathers! Keep us updated! and hope all goes well.
     
  3. Cocotte

    Cocotte Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is she old enough to go broody? She was hatched in January.
     
  4. easton coop

    easton coop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Does sound rather young! I'm no expert, but think it depends on breeds! Has she laid her 1st egg? She may be looking for somewhere to lay. One of mine was very confused the 1st time she layed! it took a few days for her to get over it.
     
  5. oesdog

    oesdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am sorry to hear of your lost hen. I am no expert but would also think if she had been got by something there would be evidence.
    Maybe they went on a wonder and the others came back but she found a nice place to lay. - About the temperature and no water.
    Maybe you could leave some water in her favorite places around your yard just in case she is hiding and scared. I hope you find her.

    Oesdog - [​IMG]
     
  6. Cocotte

    Cocotte Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She's been laying for about a month now, 5 or 6 eggs a week. She always goes in the next box to lay, she sits in there for at least a half hour every time she lays an egg. Did your broody that went into the field come back?
     
  7. Cocotte

    Cocotte Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I've got waterers around the yard, so hopefully she'll know enough to come home for a drink. At least it isn't too hot today. I just searched the whole yard again and didn't find her. I'm sure they went over the fence, I couldn't find any gaps for them to go under. I just don't know why three came home and not her unless something in the field got her [​IMG] Hopefully she's just hiding somewhere and comes home soon..
     
  8. easton coop

    easton coop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Yep she came back by the evening. I would keep 1 eye and ear open for her!
     
  9. Cocotte

    Cocotte Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Omg, guess what! I went out to search the yard again, and I decided to yank out all of the pea plants that are finished to make sure that Sprinkles wasn't hiding really really well in the peas and beans, and she wasn't. I decided to go search in the field again, and as I was walking out of the garden I just happened to glance over at a butterfly bush and caught a quick speck of red! I've got a butterfly bush that has a daylily kind of crammed up to it, and there's a little lawn ornament there too, and crammed right up under the bottom branches practically buried in them was Sprinkles!! So I extracted her out of there, then looked around a bit, and there is a little space inbetween the back of the butterfly bush and the fence, and in that space were some feathers. Here's what I think happened:

    Some time this morning after their breakfast of scrambled eggs, Sprinkles decided to go find herself a good hiding place (since I was so horrible and stole all her golf balls yesterday!). So she crammed herself under the butterfly bush. Candy follows her sister around, so she hung out behind the bush, and Ginger and Martha (being young and nosy) followed and hid there too. And here's me wandering around the yard calling to them, and they all just sat there and hid on me!! (and now I'm feeling dumb for not finding them in the first place!) Then when we were gone swimming Candy must have got the urge to go sit in the nest box, so back home she went (followed by Ginger and Martha) and there they all were when we got home from swimming. But not Sprinkles. She just stayed hidden. She never laid an egg there though, but I think its her day off today. She did have a great big poo stuck to her though (probably from just sitting there under the bushes all day). So I cleaned her off and put her back in the run with the others. I think they'll stay under house arrest for a while, just in case. And I gave Sprinkles back her golf balls.
     
  10. tinychicky

    tinychicky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    that sounds like a broody to me [​IMG] i'm so glad you found her!
     

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