closure.... for now

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by swift4me, Jun 19, 2010.

  1. swift4me

    swift4me Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 17, 2010
    in the Pyrenees
    I posted a week or more ago having lost 1 rooster and 5 hens in one night to a marten. I had built the run and coop thinking of foxes, and after two months of chicken happiness, a marten found the coop. After repairing holes in the interface between fencing and a 200 year old stone building, the marten continued to find "another hole" and after two more kills, I had one rooster who had survived a few fights with the marten.

    After losing my last hen, I was at the farm and let the rooster out to free roam, figuring he had enough of the "death pen", and he was happy to get out into the manure pile and the grass. When I came back from the neighbors to catch him and move him to my neighbors farm, he was nowhere to be seen. I looked for two hours, having found fox tracks on top of my most recent tire tracks. (It rained alot in the last two weeks in France). Anyway, I had to take off at dark, and I figured he was either fox bait or sitting in a tree somewhere. Before leaving, I set a Conibear 110 in a box set inside the coop with a half chicken for bait, and set a modified snare in the hole the marten had used on her last night.

    The next morning, my neighbor called me after he had gone to my place. He found my rooster walking around, wet, but happy, and a marten in my coop. He killed the marten, and was happy about it, as we all lose chickens around here to foxes, martens, etc. It is not an intensively managed situation here, but they are all Basque farmers who let their birds range every day and they roost in the barn. No coops, or certainly not many.

    Anyway, I was up there the next day and put two and two together. The marten had gone through the same hole, got caught in my snare, and my neighbor hadn't seen the snare in his excitement to take care of things. At dark, I caught him and had him spend a nice night in a dog crate by the wood stove. I think it was his first good night's sleep in a week and a half.

    I spent the next day working around the place, and at dark wanted to take the rooster to my neighbor's place as he was so lonely. He wouldn't go to roost, so I walked into the coop, and stood next to the roost pole. He slowly made his way toward me and flew up and roosted almost touching me. He has not been especially close to me, but having been the sole survivor, I think we made some progress. I boxed him up and took him to Michel's farm. He is in rooster paradise. They have no mature rooster as their beautiful big coq du Gascon died last month of old age I think, and he now has 9 mature hens, 20 two month old meat hens, 5 or 6 young roosters to kick ass on, 20 ducks/ducklings and some outside dogs who keep a good eye on things.

    I'm happy for him. I learned a good lesson, and will not buy more hens until I rebuild the roof on the stone building so I can really protect them. And the marten, (a pregnant female), is in marten heaven.

    All good in the Basque country tonight.

  2. noodleroo

    noodleroo Snuggles with Chickens

    Apr 29, 2010
    Rockport, Tx
    I'm glad your rooster is having a good life. And I'm sorry about your other birds. I remember your other post with the beautiful stone coop. I'm sure you will have safe, happy birds next time. Thanks for the update....
  3. RM44

    RM44 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 15, 2009
    Woodstock, Georgia
    It sounds like you are at peace with your decision, and for that I am glad. You have such a beautiful place. Here in the states we don't have many pretty 200 year old buildings with such rich history, so it's a real treat to see something so old and beautiful as your coop on the hillside.

    I am sorry you don't have your chickens right now but I know you will once again get to enjoy them when you get your chicken housing figured out and fortified.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2010

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