One Heck of a Bird!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by davemonkey, Sep 25, 2014.

  1. davemonkey

    davemonkey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a flock of 15 hens (and had some cockerels) on a 1/2 acre field. As I culled out the boys, I selected the quiestest one to remain as the Roo because, well, he was quiter than the others. I figured he be good enough as a Roo to warn the girls of predators and such but never expected him to survive anyhting. He's about 20 weeks old, give or take.

    Bit of backstory: Our lives have been a bit of chaos lately...lots going on, stress, fmaily loss, etc... So, we had gotten lazy about cooping the chickens up at night. They coop themselves, but we had not been closing the door. Our dog (in a fenced portion adjacent to the coop/yard) keeps most critters from getting to the chickens because they'd essentially have to go through him first. While this worked fine for us during these hectic times, it made us lazy about checking to make sure everyone was in the coop at night.

    Okay, so one afternoon the Roo managed to get out of the fenced area and spent the evening having fun in new territory. We have a hen that does this regularly, but she knows how to fly, really well, and knows when to come back over for coop-up time. The Roo is still fairly young (20 weeks) and didn't quite get the message. So, he spent the night by our gate, outside the yard...danger zone. We didn't know this because we didn't check to make sure everyone was in the coop.

    Around 8-ish pm my wife heard all sorts of terror coming from the side of the yard, which turned out to be our Roo getting attacked by something. It was already fairly dark outside, so I couldn't see much, and my flashlight battery was low, so the light was dim. Immediately next to our house, I saw a pile of white feathers and I thought we had just lost our best egg layer (who happens to have white feathers).

    I shone the light a bit further from the house, near our garden boxes which sit just outside the chicken yard, and I saw a chicken being carried off by something, but couldn't tell what. So, I ran after it. In that spot was another clump of feathers...and a little further down I saw ANOTHER clump of feathers. I shone what light I had in every direction, but couldn't find the bird or the predator. While there weren't many trees near-by, there were enough that it made an escape. I examined the feathers and saw that they were from the Roo.

    Well, I figured that was the end of it. Lesson learned about being lazy, and now I need a new Roo. Luckily I was meeting my brother the next morning to give him a small batch of wine (my other hobby) and I asked him if he could spare a cockerel since he was about to process most of his. So, he brought me a young EE (very pretty, I might add...and we are going to keep him [​IMG] ).

    But, LO, and BEHOLD! What did I find that morning as I left for work? My Rooster!!! Half-feathered, limping, wing dragging on the ground, and a couple shallow flesh wounds...that dude survived whatever had attacked him and carried him off. I was amazed! This was only a week ago, and he's alreday pepped back up (but still half-feathered).

    He was the quietest and calmest of my cockerels...and he has proved himself to be one heck of a bird!

    I'll see about getting a more recent photo of him. In the meantime, here is one when he was much younger (9 weeks?)...when I was trying to give him away to whoever wanted some free cockerels:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2014
  2. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    So sorry for the attack on your poor roo! But at least he's still alive..how's he doing now? Did you do any investigating...looking for tracks, etc.? Could very well have been a raccoon or coyote.
     
  3. davemonkey

    davemonkey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    He's doing great, all things considered. His wounds are healing nicely and he's not limping around anymore. Our grass is so thick that I wouldn't be able to make out any tracks. For all I know, it could have been a neighboring dog or cat. We have some woods behind us, so racoon or opossum is also likely. I've been spotlighting the past several nights, but have not seen anything in or around the yard. Seems like a racoon would want to come back.
     
  4. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    Any predator, whether raccoon, coyote, dog, etc., will be back now that it has found dinner. So be very watchful...trust me...they'll be back.
     
  5. chickencoop789

    chickencoop789 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Definitely some k-9 - whether it be a fox, coyote, or dog. All will carry off their prey and eat it far away from the attack site. Foxes will come back until the entire flock is gone so be very careful. They will take one, eat part of it, bury the rest for later then go back for another chicken.
     
  6. Howlet

    Howlet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    sswhy are all my comments dissapearring?! im sorry for just joking around and not making it clearer! [​IMG]
     
  7. davemonkey

    davemonkey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm guessing a dog now, given our area. In the years I've lived here, I've never seen a fox (no one here has) and coyotes seem to me a bit more efficient at making off with their kill. Anyway, so far so good. He's healing nicely. Howlet, sometimes my posts don't "post" at various sites...has something to do with satellite internet service in my area. Maybe that's what's 'ghosting' your posts. Joke around all you wish. [​IMG]
     
  8. chickencoop789

    chickencoop789 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Or they are being deleted. I see your posts and next time I check, they are gone.
     

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