Lost a hen

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LadyA
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Lost a hen

Post by LadyA »

For the first time in all my years keeping chickens, I've lost one. No, I don't mean it's the first time a chicken had died! I mean I have, actually, lost one!
Yesterday, I was working in the veg garden, which is toward the front of the property. I looked up, and there was a chicken on the front lawn, under the apple trees! I thought at first "Wow! Someone has lost a hen!" then realised she was one of mine! I couldn't catch her, she was nervous out in a strange environment, and the tree branches were too low for me to get under safely. So, I turned to the shed to get the net, turned back, and she had vanished!! Totally, gone. Not a squeak, not a feather left. I checked the run and their large outdoor pen, to see how she had got out, and I'm no wiser. All the fencing is intact, and the gates were all fastened. So, it's a total mystery. She may have been snatched by a fox so quickly that she hadn't time to react, or may (I suppose) have been taken by a hawk. Assumed rip little hen! :(
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bigyetiman
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Re: Lost a hen

Post by bigyetiman »

That's awful Lady A. Just shows how quick it can happen.
We have had the frantic hunt for a hen in the garden scenario, luckily for us they have just been well hidden under something having a dust bath, or on one occasion gone in to lay a late egg. came strolling out with a "what is your problem" look.
RIP little hen :(
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Tweetypie
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Re: Lost a hen

Post by Tweetypie »

Omg that is just so awful. I'm so sorry LadyA. 😥
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LadyA
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Re: Lost a hen

Post by LadyA »

Tweetypie wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 8:16 pm
Omg that is just so awful. I'm so sorry LadyA. 😥
It's awful to think of her fear when she was taken. But, tbh, my hens aren't pets, so although I do chat to them as I feed/water and check them every day, I'm not attached to them. It's never nice to lose one to illness or anything, and it's horrible when I have to cull one, but they are definitely "livestock" rather than pets. Years ago, all my hens were pets, and I would get very attached to them. But they have such relatively short lives, it was too hard to be so gutted after each one died/was culled. In those days, they all had names and I could instantly tell, even at a distance, who was who, although they were all little brown hybrids. The last couple of batches haven't been given names, and I would really have to sit there and study them to see which was which.
Lead me not into temptation. I can find the way myself!
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Tweetypie
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Re: Lost a hen

Post by Tweetypie »

I was surprised to learn that a hawk could take a hen! Now a couple of months ago, a hawk was sat on the fence where my hens live, so it could have easily taken one, I wonder why it didn't?
Margaid
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Re: Lost a hen

Post by Margaid »

Probably not hungry ...

May have just been doing a recce for future visits :o :o
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Tweetypie
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Re: Lost a hen

Post by Tweetypie »

He's had ample chances, so hopefully he prefer the vermin pigeons :-)
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LadyA
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Re: Lost a hen

Post by LadyA »

I don't actually know for certain that hawks would take a hen. But, I know there are some fairly large birds of prey around here, although I don't know what kind they are. Coming home one day from a walk, there was a hawk of some kind sitting on the gatepost as I was coming in. Just sitting there, watching me! And continued to just sit there, and stare me down, as I walked in past it! Was I'd say between 18inches and 2 feet tall. Gave me the shivers, I can tell you!
Lead me not into temptation. I can find the way myself!
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Marigold
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Re: Lost a hen

Post by Marigold »

Probably a buzzard. If so, it would have been a scavenger, living on dead animals, and not interested in taking your live hen. I think the bird of prey theory is unlikely, unless you have peregrines locally and your hen was very small. Or golden eagles, which is even more unlikely. What's the fox situation where you live?
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LadyA
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Re: Lost a hen

Post by LadyA »

Marigold wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:37 pm
Probably a buzzard. If so, it would have been a scavenger, living on dead animals, and not interested in taking your live hen. I think the bird of prey theory is unlikely, unless you have peregrines locally and your hen was very small. Or golden eagles, which is even more unlikely. What's the fox situation where you live?
Yeah, tbh, I couldn't see a bird of prey doing it. I don't know one from another, but if they were going to take the hens (they're commercial type hybrids, so not large, but not bantam either), they would have gone for them when they are in the fenced pen.

What's my fox situation like?? :lol: :lol:

There's a vixen raises a family down at the back of my place every year! Lives somewhere in the hedgerow between my place and the farm to the back. I frequently see foxes on the back lawn, or out the front. And the local hunt does laps in the fields around my place, because the fox obviously knows that they can't get him/her in she stays on my side of the hedgerow! The hounds did crash through the fence in the front one Sunday morning a couple of years ago, demolishing the fence, chasing a fox. But I rang them and they came the next day and repaired the fence. The foxes have never gone over the fence to get the hens, but I'd say this lone ranger, wandering around where she shouldn't be, was too much to resist! I know foxes are curious creatures, so it may be that the fox was watching what I was doing and couldn't believe his/her luck when the hen wandered along!
Lead me not into temptation. I can find the way myself!
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