We lost 12 Chickens!😩

Y’all, I have some sad news to share. This past weekend, we lost 12 of our 14 chickens in two days. 😢

Over the past year, we have let our chickens free range every day, and they love it! They are fed organic feed, but they mostly find their own food when they free range, and we get the BEST EGGS from them!

They have a wide open field to free range in and a wooded area behind the coop that they like to wander forage in as well. It’s been a perfect situation. We’ve only lost 2 of our chickens over the past year at different times, and we have no idea why? Did they get lost? Did they get eaten?

We didn’t know, but all the other chickens remained fine, so we just chalked it up to being part of homesteading and a chicken owner. I felt pretty lucky for only loosing two because other chicken owners I follow online have lost their entire flock before.

Until this past weekend…

Sania and I went to put the girls up on Friday night, and four were missing. That is VERY unusual. We’ve had a chicken missing before, but it always shows up the next day by the coop front door. (She must of just been out partying all night!😂)

But we’ve never had FOUR!

We closed up the coop and hoped they may show up the next day.

They didn’t. So we went from 14 to 10 chickens, and the next day, Saturday, we let them out to free range. (In hind sight, we wish we hadn’t done that.😢)

We were running errands all day Saturday, so Sania wasn’t checking on the chickens as often that day, and when we went to put the girls up that night, our jaws dropped when we only saw TWO chickens in the coop!😳. TWO!

We were shocked! Sania got the container of treats and started shaking it, which usually always gets the girls running out of the woods and to the coop, but nothing. Not a single chicken showed up.

And the weird thing was, there wasn’t a trace of a chicken anywhere. No carnage, feathers, remains…nothing.

So we locked up our remaining two chickens and went back to the house, baffled and confused.

The next day, I did venture out into the woods and found feather remains of only two chickens. I also found a fox hole which you will see in the video below of my instagram stories that day.

After a lot of research, advice, and investigating, I think it was a fox that got our girls. And maybe a hawk? Not sure, really. We were hoping maybe they were scared from the attack and hiding in the woods, which chickens sometimes do. And we were hoping that at least a few would show up back at the coop, but as of today, that hasn’t happened. 😢

Poor Sania misses her girls so much! She took such good care of them and loved checking on them everyday.

So now we only have one Cinnamon Queen left that we got last year, and only one Brahma that we bought this year. The Cinnamon Queen is the only one laying eggs right now. So instead of getting almost a dozen eggs a day, we are barely getting one. I had to buy eggs at the grocery store this week!!😩 {cue dramatic, sad music}

Anyway, we have purchased six more live chicks online that should be here in a couple weeks, and we ordered a dozen hatching eggs that we will hatch ourselves. Sania is VERY excited about that!

We are going to try and catch the fox, and also look into some electric fencing because I do want our chickens to still be able to free range. We are going to have a few roosters this time to help protect the hens, and a guard dog isn’t out of the question for next year. Right now, we will be keeping our new chickens in the coop.

I’ll keep you posted when we get our new chicks. I’m super excited about the variety! Check out the video below to see what I shared when our chickens went missing last weekend….

If you have any advice on what you think happened to our chickens or what we should do to protect them in the future, I would love to hear it in the comments!❤️

Have a blessed day, friends!




  1. Sorry to hear about the chickens but it was sure to happen. I would guess you also have raccoons in the area and potential other predators. The larger cats (bobcat and cougar/mountain lion) roam their large territories so maybe in the past the chickens weren’t noticed. But they will be. All predators have to eat and feed their young so livestock and pets are on the menu. Have you seen the large enclosures that are on movable (wheels maybe?) that can be pulled to a different area every couple of days so the chickens have access to the foliage and whatever is on the ground but they are still basically contained and safe? Have you had snakes get in the coop yet?Good Luck with the new chickens and the eggs to hatch….what fun!

  2. So sorry about the girls. My sister has lost several that way and it turned out to be a hawk. They just carry them away. She now has to have a chicken run that is like a framed wire tunnel that can be moved around to new spots every day. It’s a shame, but a natural progression of the food chain. She hasn’t lost any since she got the “chicken run”!

  3. I’m sooo sorry. So hard for you all. The best advice I can give is to get a dog. Just too many things out in the woods to get them. My brother has a certain breed of dog that keeps watch all night roaming perimeter of the property for anything and they rest during the day but also hears anything then too. If you want to have the breed name I can get it for you. I forget it. He is big and sweet, so good family dog too. My friend always lost chicken when she free ranged without a dog. Now never does. Hawks will swoop down and get babies and adults so watch for that.
    So exciting about your trip to watch Jonathan. He’s so good and I love Dan and Shay. How fun. You are blessed and so is he. Enjoy your trip.

  4. Traci, I am so sorry about the loss of your chickens. Along with fox and hawks, coyotes are another predator that likes chickens. If y’all continue to let them be free range, you probably need someone out with them. Our neighbors that have chickens have enlarged their secure pin and coupe, and only let them out when they are around to guard them. Good luck with the new chickens!

  5. Agree with all of the above, though I think coyotes may be the reason you lost so many at one time. They come out during the day more so than a fox will. Coyotes are fearless. Once a hawk knows where the chickens are, they will come back regularly and feed over and over. I had a hawk fly into the coop after a chicken, then couldn’t figure out how to get back out LOL. It was a beautiful bird! I ended up cutting the coop wire large enough to show it that was the way to fly out. And roosters aren’t a deterrent. I had 4-5 roosters and they disappeared one at a time. It happens. Especially with free-range. Extend your chicken wire on the ground past the edge of the coop to prevent animals from digging under and going in that way. You just keep getting more chickens and do the best you can! Preventative measures work most of the time :-) A working dog is a good idea.

  6. Hi, Traci. I know nothing about “how to protect chickens from predators” but I googled that topic just now and found some really good advice online. Apparently this is a pretty common concern when you have tasty chickens and hungry wildlife living near them.

  7. They can’t free range if it’s not a safe place. There are all sorts of predators that get chickens even opossums. It will happen every time. They are vulnerable whether there is a rooster or not. The predators love roosters too. Dogs help some but the sneaky predators can get around a dog. Sorry for your loss. It s best to keep them contained if at all possible.

  8. Traci, your sad story reminded me of the time in my childhood when we had chickens. It was my brother’s and my job to gather the eggs, feed the chickens, clean out the coop. My daddy decided we needed rooster too just in case the hens needed protection. Well that dang rooster got possessive and wouldn’t let us get near his hens. On more than one occasion we went running from the coop so we wouldn’t get spurred by him. I’d hate for Sania to to go through that trauma. Then, we had a dog that decided that chasing chickens would be fun..until he finally caught one and killed it. We had to get rid of the dog because the thrill of the kill was too much for him to overcome. Such is life on a farm!

    1. Oh gosh! Those are quite the adventure stories! Yes, we would love to have a rooster, but worry about it being aggressive. We definitely don’t want that!

  9. So sorry about losing the girls. Raising animals is fun & rewarding as well as a learning experience. Sorta funny story…My in-laws lived on a TX farm, raised chickens for years without many predator issues (did have a dog). One day she went to let them out & found carnage! Holes torn in fencing, in the ground & even holes broken in windows of the coop! She was so upset. I asked days later if they knew what got them & she calmly said, “Aliens, it must have been aliens.” !!!! I’ll admit it was kinda spooky.

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