Roosters vs. fox/coyote

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MinnesotaChick, Oct 17, 2010.

  1. MinnesotaChick

    MinnesotaChick New Egg

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    I always am reading about how roosters "protect the flock". I was wondering if that pertains to fox and coyote or what? We have lost multiple hens to fox and coyote and they did not have a rooster with them. I now have three rooster(brothers) that I have let free range for over a month now(just the three) and nothing has happened to them...is this just their luck or do they really keep the fox and coyote away? I let my hens out this summer(no roos then) on a trial basis and lost one within three days to a coyote. My daughter caught them in the act or I may have lost the whole flock! I don't really see how a domestic rooster can do a darn thing, but maybe there is somthing I don't know....Please tell me your experience
     
  2. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    Depends on the roo's personality. A good roo will alert the flock to something. This will cause the flock to hide and the prey will usually leave since A) food is no longer an easy catch and B) the prey has been spotted, so the fun is gone. Additionally, some roos will sacrifice themselves for the hens. On that note...I had 2 roos hide while the hens got attacked. A weak roo may be sweet, but usually doesn't protect the flock well. But, there have been stories on here of really good roos!
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2010
  3. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    I think BarkerChickens summed it up nicely. If you get a good roo he will lay down his life to allow his girls to get away. He will sound an alarm to let the ladies know of any potential dangers and then place himself between the danger and the girls. A great many roos die in their attempts to save their girls. Roos don't stand a chance against a coyote or fox, but that won't stop them from diving right into a fight with an animal twice their size to save the ladies.
     
  4. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:That, aside from breeding, is the single most import reason for having a rooster if you're going to free range. Unless, of course, you live in Mexico [​IMG] [you had to have read that thread].
     
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Roosters may alert to the presence of a fox or coyote, but they are as vulnerable (if not more so because of their behavior) as the hens.
     
  6. wyandotte freak

    wyandotte freak Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:I hear ya, our RIR roo lost his life to a hawk, two weeks ago trying to protect the others. In fact, the other three roos were hiding with the hens in some pines while the RIR was getting killed.
     
  7. Lbrad7

    Lbrad7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2010
    Ringgold, GA
    I have noticed that anytime I have lost a bird while free ranging the flock it has been a roo. I have no doubt that it was because they were fighting off the predators the best they could. When it comes to predators like coyotes, fox or dogs, the best you can hope for is that they can hold their attention until the others hide or reach safety. There is not a roo out there that stands a chance against those type attacks.
     

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