My roosters have disappeared

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by snewman, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. snewman

    snewman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 22, 2007
    Belleville, WI
    I had two handsome, 2 1/2 year old roosters (one red and white polish, one blue standard cochin). I was away for the weekend and now they are just gone. I had a neighbor taking care of all the critters, and I don't think it has anything to do with him, but I'm very sad. They were the last of my original batch of chickens, and had the most personality. It had to have been something that took them during the day, as my neighbor is very diligent about closing up the coop and the coop itself is predator-proof. I don't think the neighbor probably counted heads when he closed and opened the coop each day, so I don't know when they went missing. What would take two large roosters in the middle of the day? If it's an animal predator I can live with that, as it's the risk I take by letting my chickens free-range, but I kind of wonder if some human might have killed them. I don't have close neighbors, and no one has ever complained about hearing the roosters, but we also have fishermen that use the creek edging our property, and we live on a busy road. The chicken yard is easily visible from both the creek and the road. I really hope some human isn't to blame for this. My poor boys.
     
  2. jjthinkagain

    jjthinkagain Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2010
    That's very sad. I'm really sorry. It's interesting that it happened when you were away in the sense that I wonder what might have been done differently.... How many birds do you have that 2 roos would not be noticed as missing at close up time?
    JJ
     
  3. Oven Ready

    Oven Ready Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 9, 2010
    Thailand
    A dog is probably the most likely daytime predator to take a full grown chicken. We lost 20 birds in one morning to a dog that (post shotgun) had obviously been feeding puppies. Barely a feather in sight but we saw it come back to take more and chased it off - it came back for the last time the same night.

    Wild animals I agree with, it's the price you pay for free ranging; feral animals - well they are just fish food walking.
     
  4. snewman

    snewman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 22, 2007
    Belleville, WI
    Thank you. I only have five year-round laying hens and the two roosters, but right now I also have almost 40 meat birds (plus a few ducks). My neighbor helps me out to be nice, but he's not really into identifying individuals, or going out of his way to look for anyone who might be missing. He doesn't really know the birds, and other than the polish rooster, who was very distinctive, I'm sure he didn't know one from another. I'm really not blaming him, and I'm grateful that he's willing to come help. I'm sure he just came near dark and closed up the little coop door, which means the roos were gone before dark anyway. I don't know. It just sucks.
     
  5. zazouse

    zazouse Overrun With Chickens

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    Sep 7, 2009
    Southeast texas
    So sorry you are going threw this, it's the not knowing that tears at our hearts most, but you will figure it out,it may take some time but you will.

    Did you find any feathers at all, how much land do you have and do you know if there are any other roos in the area, like can you hear them?

    Around here if i grab a roo and he starts squawking the other roos come-a-running ,so it seems like if a critter got them then there would be an awful lot of feathers.
     
  6. MysticScorpio82

    MysticScorpio82 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2009
    Maine, USA
    I am so sorry for your losses. [​IMG]
     
  7. snewman

    snewman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 22, 2007
    Belleville, WI
    I talked to my neighbor a couple of nights ago, and he told me about one of the roos, my polish guy, Cody. He said he found him dead of a broken neck right near the coop on Saturday afternoon. He was fine in the morning when he let them all out, and then not fine when he came to feed in the PM. Still no sign of the blue cochin. The polish had no blood, no wounds to speak of. He said there were some feathers, but not a lot, and that the ducks were standing around plucking feathers off of him. I can't imagine what would have killed him that close to the coop, not killing any other birds (except perhaps the cochin roo), leaving no blood or external wounds. It's possible the loss of the cochin roo is a totally unrelated incident, I just don't know. I really hope there aren't some nasty kids around that think it's fun to mess with the animals. I hate to even think that of people, but I just have no explanation for this. These roos have been around for 2 1/2 years, and Cody always stuck pretty close to the coop and barn area, while Marcel, the cochin, wandered more. As far as I know I'm the only person anywhere around with chickens/roosters. I worry about people, because we are on a small river and fishermen cut through the corner of the pasture near the road to get to the water. They certainly can see the chickens, and the ducks I'm sure swim right past them. I have had a couple of ducks go missing over the past couple of years too. I assumed it was a raccoon or fox over near the river. I just don't know.
     
  8. tinychicky

    tinychicky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 24, 2010
    Hollis, New Hampshire
    i'm really sorry [​IMG] in my opinion, no chicken (except big breeds like jersey giants) should be allowed to free-range. it's just too much of a risk. polish in particualar are highly susceptible to aerial predetors as their crests prevent them from seeing the sky. its odd that both roosters and no hens would go missing though, so you may be right about the human predetor [​IMG]
     
  9. Indiana hens

    Indiana hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2008
    Pendleton, Indiana
    My roosters have only disappeared by people carrying them.
     
  10. lurky

    lurky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2007
    Western MA
    Is it possible that the roosters tried to spur the caretaker because he was a stranger to them?
    My roosters would even go after my husband in their coop space. So my first thought was
    How well do you know him? I wonder if he is afraid to tell you what happened? Just sounds
    A little odd to have a snapped neck and while your away.
     

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