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Whodunit?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by JerseyHen, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. JerseyHen

    JerseyHen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 10, 2011
    Sussex County, NJ
    I was one rooster short tonight at tuck in. I looked everywhere on the 2 acres for him, but no sign of him. No feathers, no carnage, no rooster. No sign of him high or low. They were there an hour before because I had just brought water out and all 3 roos were present. None of the rest of the flock of 25 were missing or injured. One was wandering about outside of the coop despite an open pop door (as if she was unsure if she should go in), the rest were already on the roosts when I got out there.

    Does this sound like an aerial attack? We have numerous hawks and owls around here (in addition to the four legged pests: fox, fisher, mink, possum, raccoon, coyote, bear, etc). I would have thought that a mammal would have taken more than 1 bird and would leave a trace, I would also have expected my dog to go crazy if there was something on the property for any period of time (he is pretty alert about that sort of thing). Could he have wandered off and not gotten back to the coop in time and is roosting somewhere? I know they get a little odd after dark.

    I will look again in the morning, but there won't be any tracks available because the ground is frozen and without snow. I did find some unusual scat in the side yard (I am pretty sure it is fox). I have seen several fox over the past few months. Would it take just the one bird?
     
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    Most predators of the animal variety leave some trace. If he is truly gone and there is no trace at all, a human predator is a possibility. However there is still a chance he will show up. A couple of weeks ago one of mine disappeared. I scoured the place for two days but there was no trace and I became convinced someone had stolen him to make a meal. That made me mad. After he had been MIA for 48 hours, I went to refill the feeder - and there he was - IN the feed container. I use a Rubbermaid style plastic tub and after refilling the time prior to that I must not have latched the lid down properly. He stuck his head in to see what was in, saw food, crawled the rest of the way in, and then was stuck until I had to refill again. He was none the worse for the experience, other than being VERY dehydrated.

    Hope your situation turns out well too.
     
  3. JerseyHen

    JerseyHen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sussex County, NJ
    You have a very silly and lucky rooster (good thing you fill on a somewhat regular basis). I hope he turns up. We lost a hen to illness last week and my DD (she is the chicken mommy) is still upset about that one. I looked as best I could in the near darkness for any signs of him. If he is alive somewhere I hope he survives the freeze we are going to get tonight. I suppose I will know more in the am when I go out looking. I live on a deadend that is adjacent to game lands. I didn't see anyone around the property, but then again, it only takes a minute to wrangle a chicken (the roosters are much harder to catch though).
     
  4. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    Any news today? Did your missing roo show up?
     
  5. JerseyHen

    JerseyHen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 10, 2011
    Sussex County, NJ

    He did! I think he got scared by something and hid and didn't come out until this morning. Not only did he survive whatever frightened him off, but he survived an ice storm and freezing temps. He was crowing like mad this morning to be let into the coop. I still think a fox (definately fox scat in the side yard by the brush) or owl and I think I probably scared it off as I came out of the house. Thanks for your support while I tried to figure that one out.
     
  6. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    7,544
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    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    Glad all is well - I hate that sinking feeling when I think something has happened to one of them.
     

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