Hens ran away, left rooster lonely

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Zarfie, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. Zarfie

    Zarfie New Egg

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    Aug 19, 2013
    We have 3 hens, mixed breeds, and a rooster that we've had since spring. Today we let them out of their pen to free range just like we do most days. And now there is no sign of the hens, the rooster has been crowing for them and looking for them all day. Usually they stay within about 100 feet of the house and spend most of their time in the flower bed right outside our front door. They come running whenever I call and have never gone more than about 100 yards from our house. Even on days where we have left them totally unsupervised they have always come back to the coop at dusk. It's dark now and there is no sign of them.

    Our house sits inside a 585 acre park, with 1000s of acres of forestry land all around.I hiked all around our house and there was no sign of them, no sign of a predator attack either.

    I'm very worried and I've got no idea what to do, any advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. KYTinpusher

    KYTinpusher Master Enabler

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    Sep 3, 2011
    Northern KY
    If they do not come back to the coop at night to roost, then either they were taken by a predator (perhaps a two legged one?) or were scared by a predator and are hiding. I hope it is the latter and they come back in a day or two. [​IMG] Did you look up high in the trees to see if they are roosting there?
     
  3. Zarfie

    Zarfie New Egg

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    Aug 19, 2013
    It seems clear at this point that they were taken by a predator. One of my next closest neighbors (who lives 2 miles away) said he has seen several bobcats lately. We also have big hawks, coyotes, cougars, owls, foxes, and raccoons. I was just in a bit of denial from losing my first batch of backyard chickens that I had raised from chicks only weeks after they started laying. We have several friends who have offered to replace them at no cost. I have come to grips with the loss now.

    But until I get new hens, how do I make sure my rooster is ok. I mean do roosters get lonely, or depressed? Also how should I introduce him to the new hens when they come?

    any help would be appreciated, I may start a new thread to ask these new questions.
     
  4. KYTinpusher

    KYTinpusher Master Enabler

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    Sep 3, 2011
    Northern KY
    I'm sorry your hens did not come back. [​IMG] I think your rooster will be fine until you can get some new hens. We had a roving rooster on our farm for months who did not have any hens of his own. Granted, we did have other chickens, but the roo with our free-rangers wouldn't let him anywhere near them. He liked to hang out outside of one of our other coops and dream about getting in with those girls. But most of the time he just wandered around.

    I don't think you will have too much trouble introducing the new girls as long as they are at least 12 weeks old. I would introduce the pullets/hens at night when it is dark and everyone will sleep right away. When they wake up in the morning, they should just go about their day for the most part, but keep an eye on them to make sure the roo doesn't harass them too much trying to make up for lost time. If the hens are older, you may have to make sure they don't give the rooster too hard a time during the get acquainted phase. [​IMG]

    Good luck and let us know how it goes.

    BTW - Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2013

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