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#68353 - 08/26/08 09:49 AM Rooster crossed the line
Art Ana Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 07/14/08
Posts: 160
Loc: Montana
It has been approximately 8-9 weeks since I was first given chickens. There have been a lot of changes, one of which happened this morning. My rooster who has been within 6 inches of my geriatric cat, of his own accord, seemingly tried his luck with one of my dogs and lost. That or just bad luck foraging. I let my chickens forage when I am working in and around the barn. They normally stay within the old horse corral. Lots of tall grass coming in since the horses were dispersed a year ago. The rooster has always been the most adventuresome, while the girls generally stay together and close to the pen. My dogs have a healthy space between them and the chickens, courtesy of invisible fencing and the extra large size invisible fence shocker on their collars.They can't get to the chickens without risking a large and unpleasant zap. In all these weeks they have "admired" them from afar. Sometime while I was in the barn the rooster moved into the dog space, this takes going through a particular livestock gate, kept closed but there is room for a chicken to slip through. This setup has not seemed to interest him before. Lots of worms out this morning from last night's rainstorm. Long story short (too late for that, right?)- the dog and rooster met. Being a malamute cross, the dog is an excellent and efficient hunter. He has bested a pretty large raccoon in the past so a 5 pound rooster wasn't a problem. Neck snapped, nothing else obvious.

My question: What do I say to the person who gave me this rooster?

I am in a bit of shock and feel guilty over the rooster demise. He wasn't for any particular purpose, he just happened to turn out to be a rooster- it was only in July he started crowing-like a badly tuned New Year's party horn. He was more friendly then not and ran up to everything to check it out. The former owner had too many chickens, too many roosters and rehomed them with me. I have since rehomed and reflocked to get the right combination of things and diminish conflicts. This is really a therapy session for me, I guess.

Any ideas? I do not look forward to sharing this news.

My first casualty and I am at a loss, more guilt because the rooster came from a friend.

The dog stayed in his territory. Probably was laying in the tall grass outside the barn, a habit. He was more interested in burying it then eating it and he isn't a mean dog or a dog with issues. I have kept the chickens away from him successfully until now. The pullets are all fine and seemingly oblivious. They never get near that area but I will add some chicken wire down near the bottom of the gate as a precaution.

#68354 - 08/26/08 11:31 AM Re: Rooster crossed the line
Martin Gutzmer Offline

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 31
Loc: Illinois
Dear Friend, Just a short note to tell you how much our dog enjoyed your rooster - yours sincerely, ...
Just a thought - sorry for your loss!Martin

#68355 - 08/26/08 11:49 AM Re: Rooster crossed the line
Eric19 Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 07/25/07
Posts: 197
Loc: Michigan
Sorry to hear of your loss. A note would be better than calling. Just an opinion.


#68356 - 08/26/08 12:08 PM Re: Rooster crossed the line
Rhea Dean Carter Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/24/03
Posts: 1379
Loc: Tennessee
Unless your friend asked, I wouldn't bother telling him or her.
Rhea Dean

#68357 - 08/26/08 07:01 PM Re: Rooster crossed the line
Wyattdogster Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 09/22/05
Posts: 493
Loc: Virginia
Sorry about your rooster Artana. 'Tis the 'Circle of Life' as my young daughter has told me in the past, when I was tearful over the first loss of one of our flock, to a hawk.

I would just tell your friend the have nothing to be ashamed of. We all do the best we can for our birds. I am willing to bet that your friend has lost a bird or two to a predator and understands that these things happen.

Unless you are involved in a breeding project or raising poultry for show, I see no reason in keeping them locked up day and night for protection. That is the ONLY way to keep them 100% safe but I would never do that to chickens that are for pleasure, and eggs.

I would keep an eye on your dog, he probably will spend a great deal of time trying to lure another chicken into his lair! eek

#68358 - 08/26/08 10:53 PM Re: Rooster crossed the line
Uno Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 1283
Loc: Canada
If your friend 'loaned' you the rooster for safe keeping, then you have some explaining to do. But, if your friend gave you the rooster to ease his own flock problems, technically, you do not need to explain anything.

Morally and ethically you may feel you need to. But most poultry keepers accept losses as inevitable despite our best efforts. If your friend is phoning for daily updates, then yes, you have to bring it up. If your friend has shown no further interest in the goings on of said rooster, then I'd just not mention it. If he asks, just say you lost him to a predator. No need to explain further.

#68359 - 08/27/08 10:04 AM Re: Rooster crossed the line
Art Ana Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 07/14/08
Posts: 160
Loc: Montana
Thank you all. I went with makinag a phone call. The rooster was a permanent gift with a giver interested in how the bird was doing. He was very understanding. Thanks all.


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