Roosters and predators

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by chickenladyk, May 9, 2009.

  1. chickenladyk

    chickenladyk Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 11, 2007
    All of us who keep roosters have seen how watchful the roosters are, how they warn the hens of potential danger, how they stand guard over them as they dust bathe, how they find delectable little worms and grubs and then offer them to their hens, etc.

    Do any of you who keep roosters have experiences with roosters actually protecting your hens from predators by their crowing, or even by attacking? Here's what spawns my question:

    I was up in the middle of the night last night. It was a quiet and dark night, but all of a sudden our roosters began crowing, one after the other, over and over and over again. I began listening more closely and heard an owl--it sounded like a good-sized one--hooting in the pine tree right behind the chicken house. The owl and the roosters went back and forth for some time, almost as if there was a kind of "conversation" going on.

    The episode made me wonder:

    Unless they can take the risk of fleeing, many prey animals "freeze" and become very quiet and still when they sense a predator around, in hopes the predator won't notice them. Why did our roosters so loudly and insistently announce their presence when they sensed the owl nearby? Is it possible they were crowing as a "warning" to the owl? And that they crowed in sequence to give the owl some idea of the number of roosters prepared to defend the flock?

    Based on their other protective behaviors, and the episode last night, I'm wondering whether roosters may serve a more protective role over the flock than I realized and, if so, how they do so.

    Have any of you had personal experience with your roosters actually scaring off, or fighting off, owls or other predators? If so, I'd love to hear your story. This is fascinating stuff!

    Last edited: May 9, 2009
  2. Year of the Rooster

    Year of the Rooster Sebright Savvy

    Jun 27, 2008
    West Central Ohio
    I'm not sure. I am interested in what other people will say too. I had the exact same experience with my roosters one night.
  3. Masonic Chicken

    Masonic Chicken Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 24, 2009
    Vernon/Bonifay, FL
    Thats a great question, can't wait to see the answer. [​IMG]
  4. jenni2142

    jenni2142 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 16, 2008
    South Carolina
    My roo will actually draw the danger to himself to keep it away from the hens. During the time I was working on the run netting he flew over the fence to lead the dogs away from the hens and if I hadn't been there and armed he would have died for them. That is what great roosters do.
  5. pascopol

    pascopol Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 6, 2009
    Tampa Bay
    Quote:I have a roo he is a treasure. He would chase his hens in a few second in a corner when he see a hawk close by.

    He also does it just after breakfast, I guess it is a fire drill. But the girls know it is a drill only and some do not want to cooperate, it is a great entertaintment to watch it.

    He also does not crow during the day, I guess he "knows" not to attract hawks attention.

    However he makes it up crowing nonstop in safety of a cop just before sunrise until I let them out.

    One time he had some feathers missing from his tail, I believe he possibly fought off something.

    Bottom line, there are hawks circling over most of the day, but I did not lose one of my hens so far.

    I love my rooster.
  6. Paganbird

    Paganbird CrescentWood Farm

    Apr 25, 2009
    Western Pa
    I lost my beautiful SLW roo last month. He went after a racoon that had caught one of my hens. My roo put up a pretty good fight, but lost in the end. The racoon had bit his neck & the bleeding didn't stop. He died fighting. Our family was sooooo sad.
    So, yes, our roo died protecting his ladies.
    BTW... The racoon didn't get off so easy... that's all I have to say about that.
  7. ZepChick

    ZepChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2008
    coos bay OR
    Our rooster, Mika, actually somehow got out of his tall dog kennel area to protect his ladies from a jack russell terrier. His feet were bloodied from the fight, and the running on the concrete...he also had a bite under his wing. To this day, we have no idea how he made it out of that 6 foot tall kennel with a clipped wing and a tarp over the top. Sheer determination to save his girls. he was also very young, about 5 months old. Unfortunately we lost 3 hens to that dumb dog, but it would have been more if Mika hadn't of found his way out
  8. ThePolishPrincess

    ThePolishPrincess Chillin' With My Peeps

    We believe our d'Uccle roo, Napoleon, faught off a hawk about a year ago. Our Jap bantam hen made it over the fence and he also managed. I came home from school to find that my flock was cackling and I saw a hawk swooping down in our woods. I dropped everything in my clutch and took the dog with me. When I came out, the hawk flew away, empty handed, and I frantically searched for my chooks.

    I opened the feeding section door and found my small Jap hen huddled beneath my d'Uccle roo. He was shaking with terror. My hen was missing many of her feather near her tail.

    It wasn't until I noticed my roo getting very protective and very human-aggressive just days after that I took into consideration this happening. This is one of the few reasons I keep him around. The little fighter still has a special place in my heart that can't be taken. I'm sure my Jap hen is alive because of him.
  9. la dee da

    la dee da Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 18, 2008
    Such sweet stories, roosters are so cool! [​IMG]

    More stories! [​IMG] [​IMG]

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