Rooster now afraid to range.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Tenneesse, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. Tenneesse

    Tenneesse Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 24, 2010
    Woodbury, Middle Tn
    4 weeks ago I had 2 hens killed by an unknown predator. My 5 birds had been ranging uneventfully for months when they were attacked by an unknown predator about 15 minutes before they were to go in the coop for the night. My coop is inside the run and the run is enclosed. When inside they are safe. They will not leave the coop except to feed and only when I stay in the run with them. So for 3 hours a day morning noon and late afternoon I sit them. I guess from what Im seeing the Rooster with hens in tow head for the coop at even the sound of a crow or some other bird, barking dog and sometimes at the sound of nothing.
    I had one day where they came out to range 2 weeks ago and spent the day hiding. It was such a pleasure to watch them head out everyday in search of goodies and had a routine that you could set your watch by. Im thinking I need to add another Rooster and a couple of new hens to break the patten that has developed. Seeing them stay in the coop roosting all day safe and sound isnt like the fearless flock they once were. Its sad. They seem physically healthy but need a good therapist. I talk to them when I go in with them but Im not getting the message across I wont leave them alone again outside. What should I do/ I cant move into the coop.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011
  2. magicpigeon

    magicpigeon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2010
    Let time heal the wounds. Or eradicate the problem. Maybe they can still sense the predator, or it still "visits" them when you are not around. You never know.....
     
  3. terrilhb

    terrilhb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 11, 2010
    Georgia
    I am so sorry for your loss. In Oct a dog broke into our coop(it is now really safe). My hens and roosters would not come out for 2 weeks. Everyone I talked to said they were traumitized and in shock. Just give them lot's of extra love and time. They will come around. Good luck:fl
     
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    It is very possible that the predator does periodic fly bys or appearances when you are not present. The chickens know that it is still in the area and are in survival mode. Remove the problem and they may become bolder.
     
  5. chkn

    chkn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know my chickens were spooky when we had a couple foxes stalking them. I secured the back fence and some other things and I haven't seen the foxes return. My feeling with your rooster is that he perceives that the threat is still there. I wouldn't discount that at all. In retrospect, I recall some unusual behavior with the chickens in the days before we discovered the fox activity. To this day, my rooster doesn't keep the herd in one place for too long. I would keep them in a covered run for awhile, it wouldn't hurt. I think it's possible you may have a fox. Has anyone else lost chickens? Is your fencing secure?
     
  6. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    He's keeping your hens from getting killed and doing a successful job of it. If you have predators in your area attacking them, they should be afraid. It's just a fact of life. Whatever attacked them at dusk is probably also stalking around the coop at night, trying to find a way to get in. That's probably not making them feel any safer, either.
     
  7. Tenneesse

    Tenneesse Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 24, 2010
    Woodbury, Middle Tn
    I have taken all this into account. They did come out today with some coaking and had a little better day. Still very cautious and we stay with them until they return to the coop and we tuck them in. I do think that time will be the answer to it. I am going to get a game camera and see if I can get a better idea of whats happening after dark. No signs of anything trying to get in but its still like something may be stalking the coop. I've never seen a fox or signs of one, do hear coyote occasionally. Stray dogs? Haven't seen one. I think I'll set up a out door light near the coop. Something bright on a motion sensor.
    They did act a little less tense today for most of the time, even the caw of a crow will get them nervous and they do stay in cover but made their old daily routine in about 2 hours and were ready to head for the coop. It was good to see them acting a little less fearful. Its been 4 weeks now and they are doing better.Thanks for the feedback I appreciate it all.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2011
  8. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm glad they're doing better.
     

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