Gone . . .without a trace
I have/had six hens that free range, when we are home, but not on days when we are going to be gone for very long. Yesterday, one of my hens just disappeared. I'm baffled by what may have become of her (although I have come to accept that I likely will never see her again.) I have narrowed her disappearance to a two hour window . . 2:50pm-4:50pm (it was an overcast day, and definitely light out). During this time I was home, as was my border collie who was in and out of the house several times during those hours, roaming and guarding the perimeter. My kids were also out in the yard playing most of that time.
We heard no noise, the other hens did not seem to be upset in the least and I cannot find so much as a single feather to indicate a struggle of any kind.
This was a large hen . . . a Buff Orpington, and a large one at that. I cannot imagine a coyote coming that close to my house in broad daylight and not getting the dog all riled up. Nor can I fathom a hawk being able to carry off a chicken of that size (although I suppose it might be possible).
I'm just curious if anyone has any idea of what could have happened to her given the circumstances and absolutely no sign of any kind of struggle. I'm baffled and will keep the rest of the girls penned up until I make sure it is safe. I'm also worried for other pets in the area that were smaller than this hen (our cat, the neighbors' dogs, etc.)