wimpy rooster

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by clifton776, Dec 10, 2014.

  1. clifton776

    clifton776 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a coop in my barn with a fenced in area next to it. I have lost 2 chickens the last couple days with heads torn off.

    Isn't my rooster suppose to give his life to protect them? And what predator just tears off the heads and doesn't eat the good parts?

    Should i get another rooster? Is having 2 ok? I have 9 hens now....Thanks

    Ps ..they were killed during the day from 10am-5pm
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2014
  2. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Quite a few predators actually eat the heads, at least as the appetizer course.

    No one said what time of day or night that your chickens were losing their heads.

    In the dark chickens are completely helpless. Even the biggest baddest rooster ever hatched.

    The only time most roosters will willingly give their lives is when they are confronted by rival roosters for flock dominance.

    At any other time most roosters follow the old axiom of, "Discretion is the better part of valor."
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2014
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Night killer doing what you are seeing I bet is an owl. Will follow up on approach.
     
  4. Free Feather

    Free Feather Chillin' With My Peeps

    It is not fair to blame the rooster. Many people believe they will always do that because of what a few people say, and scorn their roosters because they did not. Even if he was the type to do that, he may not have seen the predator, or could not get there fast enough. Nine girls is a little small for two boys sometimes. Get another girl, so you have a 1 to 5 ratio.
     
  5. clifton776

    clifton776 Chillin' With My Peeps

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  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    If owl which I will bet, then it could be targeting smallest birds it can find. I have Great-horned Owls visit regularly, usually for the small rodents. The owls then often perch on pens and catch the rodents on ground very close to pens. I also have hens with chicks that roost on ground no more than 30' from pens in tussocks. Owls seem unable to find hens with those chicks until the latter start roosting up on pens. Ideally, when a hen begins to roost up with chicks I give them their own pen at night, but occasionally I do not get out there there on the first night for a given brood roosting up. That is when Great-horned Owl strikes and almost always goes after the chicks even when they are under hens wings. Dogs normally disrupt owls going after chickens but when owls do they are very size selective.

    When owl makes a kill and eats head (upper part of body), it almost always comes back next night to work on the carcass more. It may take a couple of nights before carcass is lightened up enough for owl to fly off with it. Raccoons sometimes also do the head eating bit but the bird is usually bitten all over the place and looks slobbered on.


    As mentioned above, roosters are almost worthless as night as protectors except from rain.
     
  7. jeffmazz

    jeffmazz Out Of The Brooder

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    The original poster stated that the attacks were between 10:00AM and 5:00PM. My guess would be a hawk. Some roosters will confront predators and some will not. Unfortunately the one's that do often end up being dinner. I have a big hawk problem in my area and have lost several birds in the past. This year I got two roosters to watch over my 28 hens and haven't lost one yet. My wife and I have witnessed the roosters valiantly defending the hens from hawks and they have thus far been successful. Amazingly, they work together and both go after the hawk....quite a sight to see.
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    This time of year, when skies are overcast, owls will hunt during the day. Even so hawk more likely.


    My roosters will take on a hawk but are very consistent about the conditions. Rooster must be fully adult and not in hard molt (replacing tail and body feathers). Also hawk must not be above. My birds will hammer a hawk in the ground and more likely be able to drive hawk off. To satisfy all requirements they must have ample cover that forces hawk on the ground.


    I also run a much higher rooster to hen ratio and do not value protection of rooster for hens. Rather my rooster defend juveniles (immature but weaned) and aid hens of their harems in defending chicks.

    I can also go for years with no losses even without roosters about as losses also a function of are hawks actually hunting you.
     
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  9. youngchooklover

    youngchooklover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not true 3 of my roosters have given there lives for there hens.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2014
  10. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Discretion means that the rooster has the option to either intervene in the fracas or to remain on the sidelines.

    When most roosters are confronted with say a grizzly Bear they will inevitably chose to remain in the pacifist's camp. A house cat sized animal like a hawk or maybe a Gray Fox is much more likely to be attacked by a rooster who has come into his own.
     

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