Roosters are cowards

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by dc73nova, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. dc73nova

    dc73nova Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 9 roosters and 8 hens in one of my coupes that are 21 weeks old and just started laying Saturday (got first four eggs). Today I come home from work and go to the coupe to see how many eggs are in there and there is a dead hen with her head removed and half eaten from her hind parts. It looks like an oppossum. They were in the yard. The thing that gets me is with all those roosters you'd think one would have stuck up for the hens. Of course it would have to have been one of my Blr wyandotte hens. I have the premier electric netting around the yard which has worked great, but when I checked it out it was on but not working. I think it must be grounded out due to all the leaves and debris against it. So what do you guys think oppossum or racoon or even wild cat? We do have quite a few feral cats around. The chicken was found in the chicken yard dead although I guess something could have gone into the coupe after them. I don't know if an oppossum is quick enough to catch a chicken outside the coupe. I set a live trap outside the yard with the rest of the carcass inside as bait. I guess I'll find out what it was.

    Darryl
     
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    I don't know but sorry for your loss. Maybe the roos are just too young:confused:
     
  3. WillieBoy

    WillieBoy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My last roo was a big wus, a squirrel was harassing the hens and trying to steal food.The roo ran away from the squirrel when the rodent charged toward him.Finally a skinny white leghorn hen ran the squirrel off.The whole thing was pretty funny to watch, but the roo was useless, he was a big N.H. Red...Sorry for your lost hen...
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    My roosters that do engage predators do not do so under all conditions. First, they will not give life to save hen, rather they will put themselves at greater risk to increase odds of hen escaping. Secondly, they are more likely to put themselves at risk for a hen with offspring likely sired by that rooster (did he cover her). Larger numbers of roosters does not increase the likelihood a predator will be engaged. Probability (low) of who is the daddy makes risk taking unwise. What gets my roosters riled up are calls of distress by flock mates. Once this stops, likelihood of rooster engaging predator greatly reduced.

    My roosters will not take on a fox, coyote or predators coming through at night. They will engage a hawk on ground and from behind, especially if rooster can attack from cover. In most instances, roosters (even my games) are substaintially larger in terms of weight than hawks they might attack. Hawks are surprisingly delicate when dealing with adversaries not restrained by talons.

    The anti-predator activities of rooster most evident when flocks are in breeding mode with near natural social groups, not in large artificial groups.
     
  5. dc73nova

    dc73nova Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 29, 2010
    I did notice that one of the roosters had a few ruffled and broken feathers. I don't know if it was from the attack or from fighting though. I need to get some roosters out of the coupe. They are right at the age where they are really starting to fight. I have an ad under classifieds for blr wyandottes for sale if anyone is interested. Thanks for the responses. I didn't really expect a rooster to lay down his life for a hen, but figured the odds were in my favor for a rooster to be killed due to the ratio of roos to hens. The one that was killed was even one of the ones that started to lay (I noticed yellow yolk on the back of the dead bird). Hope I catch the culprit tonight.
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    My local oppossums and great horned owls (GHO) have a strong tendency to target smallest birds first. GHO seem to take some time looking over birds on roost before choosing victom. Hens tend to be smaller so they are targeted first.
     
  7. D'Angelo N Va.

    D'Angelo N Va. Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2009
    Darryl,
    Chances of an oppossum catching your chicken in broad day light is slim to none I think..the Raccoon would be much quicker and could have done it,,,chances are it was neither one though. I would set the traps and be on the lookout. Good Luck and I am sorry for your loss. Keep us posted, I am very curious.
     
  8. Chicken.Lytle

    Chicken.Lytle Chillin' With My Peeps

  9. cat1994

    cat1994 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2010
    Southeast MO
    My roos never save my hens [​IMG]
     
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Quote:Not all breeds represented by roosters that take action against predators. Also context important.
     

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