Rooster defended flock, now what?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by cheirogloss, Oct 16, 2009.

  1. cheirogloss

    cheirogloss In the Brooder

    Aug 23, 2009
    Lenoir, NC
    Last night around 4 am my DH heard what he described as something fighting for its life. I went and checked on the chicks and the only thing amiss was that the roo and 1 hen were off the roost and on the floor of the coop walking around. They were both fine, no blood, no missing feathers. No preds in or around the coop. We heard the noise again around 45 mins later and thought early morning chicken sex?

    This morning when I went to release the chicks, I found a bunch of feathers outside the coop and my poor roo with a bloody patch of missing feathers all the way around his neck, mostly at the front right over his crop. My best guess is that something was threatening the flock, the roo came to the defense of the flock, and (while successful) was injured in the process. The only injury I see is around his neck. He is walking, talking and following directions. Following treatment for his superficial wounds, he is back with the flock and free ranging.

    My questions is this: the roo successfully defended the flock once and is now injured and can't do it again tonight. When they go into roost, I am going to bring the roo into solitary for the night.

    What can I do to protect the rest of the hens in the absence of the roo?

    The pred didn't make it into the coop and I think that if the roo had stayed on the roost instead of becoming defensive he wouldn't have been injured. Whatever got the roo reached in and pulled feathers through the wire covering the ventilation grate on the bottom of the coop.

    Any thoughts?

  2. Chickenfortress

    Chickenfortress Songster

    May 8, 2008
    Trap. It may work its way in with time.
  3. brownies

    brownies In the Brooder

    Sep 1, 2009
    Conway Ar
    Snake? Not sure how big the holes where in fence
  4. wombat

    wombat Songster

    Jun 23, 2009
    Close up all the holes in the fence, drop some old scrap lumber, cinder blocks, whatever you have where they might be digging as a short-term fix.

    Put some flour down around the coop and check for tracks the next morning so you can find out what you're dealing with. It's easier to trap when you know what you're after, although cat food or tuna is a great generic bait if you've got a live trap you can use tonight.
  5. nnbreeder

    nnbreeder Songster

    Jun 22, 2008
    Sounds like a 'Coon was reaching through and trying to get them. Make sure the roost is well away from any sides or openings.
  6. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Quote:That hole, and any others need to be covered with 1/2" hardware cloth - so that nothing can reach through it.

    Even if the pred isn't getting IN, you still have to prevent it from reaching in and coaxing stupid birds over where they can be hurt.
  7. detali

    detali Songster

    May 9, 2009
    It sure does sound like a raccoon.

    This spring I had 6 week old pullets in a special cage outside in the hen yard. I had fastened chick fencing on top of the welded wire fence that the cage was made of. There was no way a chick could have gotten out. There was a tarp covering three sides and the top. When I closed the door it looked secure to me. But the morning after I got my pullets I noticed one missing. Then I found the clues. The chick fencing that was on top of the welded wire fencing was pried up at one point. I saw feathers on the ground and digging marks. He must have reached in and pulled that little hen out piece by piece.

    Eventually we trapped that raccoon.

    So from what I experienced with raccoons here. You've got a raccoon problem.

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