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It's happened ! Grrrrrrrrrr !!

Tina and I think that it's finally happened !

One of our Suffolk speckles has gone.

We think it was a fox, but after exploring around the places that we know our girls go, we cannot find any feathers or signs of a struggle.

My question is would there be signs such as feathers being in the spot where she may have been snatched ?

Can Chooks/do Chooks roost up on their own, wild ? i.e. if they get broody will they hide up somewhere, on their own ?

I know that they are Chooks and theses sort of things can and do happen, meaning a visit by a fox, but would foxy just pinch one and Bugger off, and leave no signs ?

It hurts don't it ?

In anticipation of answers, thank you.

Yours worriedly



  • solarbatssolarbats Senior Member
    edited June 2016
    It's awful when you just can't find any sign of them isn't it?

    I reckon a fox would have killed more of your hens and left a few feathers.

    There is a good chance that she has gone broody somewhere.  Has she been laying eggs in the hut lately?  If not - maybe she's been laying elsewhere and is now sitting on them.  When a hen don't wanna be found, she means business, and it can be almost impossible to find her.  

    I guess your best hope is to keep an eye on the water bowl/drinker to see if she goes to it.

    Maybe the others will have some ideas too.

    I was convinced I'd lost a newly fledged baby budgie last week, but couldn't work out how he'd escaped.  In the end, just as it was getting dusk, I noticed a tiny mousehole at the bottom of the bird shed.  The baby had squeezed through it and snuggled up under the shed between the supports.  We had to cut a hole in the shed floor to get to him!
  • LittlechickLittlechick Senior Member
    edited June 2016
    Fingers crossed she will reappear so don't give up  hope yet. One of our bantams disappeared a couple of years ago - she had been hiding in the hedge and sitting on a very large clutch of eggs. How the fox didn't find her we will never know! Someone told me that part of the fright/flight experience for birds is that the adrenaline facilitates the feathers to fall out (not sure if this is true, but it does make sense, like a lizard dropping it's tail to get away) so if a fox causes a commotion, feathers should fly. But of course, the fox is clever and you may never know. Do you have any other type of poultry predator around?

    Helen that is amazing if you hadn't seen the little hole the baby would have died surely?
  • sandiesbrahmassandiesbrahmas Super Moderator

    Sorry you've lost a hen....she may yet resurface as Helen says. A broody hen will often re-appear first thing in the morning to feed with the others, and, you turn around and she's gone.

    Some hens will roost high. My La Flèche would happily roost in trees and can fly to the top of buildings. A Suffolk is probably a bit heavy for trees, though.

    Whatever....here's hoping she re-emerges.


  • solarbatssolarbats Senior Member
    Yes Jules -  it certainly would have perished.  I was very lucky to look there.  I think that one will be called something like 'Mole'.   ;)
  • LittlechickLittlechick Senior Member
    Great name. Or Digger..
  • Al JonesAl Jones Junior Member
    A patch of feathers have been found ! :-(
    So I'm out there this evening with the Westly Richards, and a few Hull fast Game 29g no 5's !
    Gotta protect the family !
  • solarbatssolarbats Senior Member
    Lucky only one hen was taken Al.  That shotgun should scare them off though.
  • LittlechickLittlechick Senior Member
    Hey Al, will you pop over here for me, I have one that needs dealing with.... shame you are so far away!
  • Al JonesAl Jones Junior Member
    edited June 2016
    Nowt seen this evening, but the hounds are out now ! They'll be brave to come near the coup now !
    They, as a pack are so good with the Chooks, they don't chase them or bother them.
  • Al JonesAl Jones Junior Member
    edited June 2016
    Solar bats

    We reckon it was a snatch and grab !

    Reckon it was a vixen with young, the circle of life.
  • LittlechickLittlechick Senior Member
    edited June 2016
    Circle of life is all well and good except when it involves your own flock..... Watch out now because the fox will be back and it could be during the day....
  • Al JonesAl Jones Junior Member
    It'll have to get past our pack now, they're on guard !

  • doormousedoormouse Senior Member
    I have no advice Al but I wish you luck and you sound like you're doing more than everything you should!   ~:>M
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