3 days have gone by, 3 cockerels found dead. What's happening!?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Hencraze24, Jun 18, 2019.

  1. Hencraze24

    Hencraze24 Songster

    May 9, 2019
    Sussex, WI
    So, my current flock consisted of 5 pullets, 7 hens, and 3 cockerels (trying to rehome 2 of them. ). In the past 3 days, all 3 of my 2 1/2 month old roos have been found dead. It started with my Cochin, who was found missing a leg, wing, and his head. then my Polish, ripped in half, and my Japanese bantam has gone missing. What's happening?

    Theory number 1: My cockerels have been killing each other. (but that doesn't explain starflight, our Japanese bantam) In my thread can't get cockerels to stop fighting, I talked about how my 3 roos are beating each other bloody. I guess maybe the fighting got carried away? I doubt it.

    Theory number 2: my hens are killing them. My hens are treating the pullets very well right now, and are about 1 year and a quarter old. There have been no issues, outside of a pullet found with an eye injury. (she's fine now) However, our RIRs have been quite aggressive with our smaller pullets. I doubt this theory too, but it is a possibility.

    theory number 3: A hawk did this. We are not at all new to hawk attacks. Over the winter, we lost 5 (nearly 6) of our original flock of 12. A massive cooper's hawk was responsible for this. He avoided our decoy owl and fishing line, as well and shiny objects. Nothing worked. What do we do?

    What do you guys think happened? I think the hawk did this, but I could be wrong. How do I stop this from happening again? Any advice is appreciated.
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    It sounds like the work of a predator and very likely a raptor. The only guarantee against hawk attacks is a covered pen.
  3. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    This is a predator for sure. I keep rooster and this is not the result of ANY chicken on chicken confrontation.

    Decoy owls are a joke unless you mover them around regularly... then MAYBE.

    It might be a hawk... or even a cat... any other number of predators even. Someone is feeding their young. Sorry for your loss. :(

    When I am trying to get something like this under control... we usually go on lock down. But that's why my coop is large.. your flock dynamics may not allow for this. But once they know the buffet is closed they move on and my flock is free to roam semi safely again. :fl
  4. FishMtFarm

    FishMtFarm Emu whisperer

    Jan 2, 2017
    Lake Pleasant, NY
    Agreed, it’s a predator.
    microchick, NewBoots and Hencraze24 like this.
  5. Hencraze24

    Hencraze24 Songster

    May 9, 2019
    Sussex, WI
    Our coop is barley big enough for 8, and we have 12, so lock down is miserable for them.
    It could be our neighbor's dog. Can a golden retriever jump a 4 foot fence? I have seen the hawk once on the ground, claiming a silkie kill. that's why I think it was a raptor of some sort. Our decoy is moved around every 3-4 days, but the hawk was not fooled. Also, it is completely ironic that the three deaths were our only roosters? Our first death in the winter was our silkie roo as well. Do hawks prefer roosters over hens?
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
    microchick likes this.
  6. Hencraze24

    Hencraze24 Songster

    May 9, 2019
    Sussex, WI
    Any ideas or pictures on how to build one?
    microchick likes this.
  7. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    They can... but this doesn't sound like the handy work of a dog. Hawks are very patient and good ambush predators. I think they those that straggle behind or apart and their are safety in numbers.. but that's just a theory. Could be they were the ones who didn't run. Agreed a raptor is a very likely suspect.

    I figured moving the owl was probably in vain.. thanks for confirming. :hmm

    It is weird... almost like they're doing you a favor. :p :oops: Sorry, that's inappropriate! :smack

    I set out tipped over chairs and other crud like wheelbarrow and so on that is low cover easy to hide under as part of my deterrent techniques.

    The good news is... as you suspected.. it is NOT your flock doing this. Post a pic of your coop and we can help you come up with some run ideas... I used pvc pipes in the shape of a triangle cave covered by wire (even chicken wire for DAY time raptors) that is held on by zip ties... there are better ways, this is just a quick example of how to keep it easy.
    microchick and Hencraze24 like this.
  8. 123RedBeard

    123RedBeard Crowing

    Oct 20, 2014
    The ripping apart bit ... sounds like a raccoon came visiting ...
    microchick, Hencraze24 and Chickassan like this.
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I also smell raccoon on this one. Opossum also possible. Use one of dead birds as bait, otherwise another bird will be targeted.
  10. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Crowing

    Jul 26, 2016
    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    I covered my dog kennel/chicken pen with deer netting held on with zip ties. 20190529_092900.jpg
    It won't keep out mammals, but raptors should be detoured. It's been up since April 24.
    My coops are predator proof (excluding bears) when I close the pop door after sunset. GC
    microchick and Hencraze24 like this.

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