Thursday, January 26, 2012

Why you hiding, chicken?

Yesterday morning while checking on the rooster bachelor pen, I noticed that one of them was jammed into a corner.  I figured that the other four were picking on him and he crammed his head into the corner to protect it.  Upon closer inspection I found that he wasn't so much hiding as he had been relieved of his head and neck.

Obviously sometime during the night an opossum decided to have a snack and could only manage to grab the head of the unlucky (or ignorant?) rooster that refused to go into the hut at night like the others.  Either that, or he was lured out into the darkness by a sly-talking marsupial promising birdseed or impersonating a hen looking for love in the middle of the night (Paul's explanation, not mine).

As we'll never really know the exact story behind the beheading, I'm pretty certain that the culprit was in fact an opossum.  I'm assuming this because the next evening I had baited the live trap with the leg of the beheaded and I had a fat and f'n pissed unhappy opossum occupying the live trap the next morning.  

I was wondering when we'd start getting the late-night, chicken-eating predators back in the area.  Harley has been gone three weeks now and I figured the raccoon, opossum and bobcat brigade would eventually come wandering back once they realized there was no longer a threat.  (Oh, I also have a pretty neat Harley story for tomorrow!)

That same morning, the remaining freaked-out roosters were put into a crate and hauled off to their new homes; it was either that or into our freezer.  So now we are down to three juvenile roosters and one older rooster.  We have twenty-four or so hens so I think that there's enough chicken booty to go around that the roosters won't have to fight much.  I'll be keeping an eye out though; there may yet be chicken and dumplings on the menu.


  1. "chicken booty" BWWAHAHAHA. We just recently sent a whole group of roosters up to china town to their restaurants. The chickens are very happy for the booty rest

  2. This should have came with a warning not drink coffee while reading, or at least swallow first! Poor, poor rooster~I hope you had a little fun with that oppossum!

  3. Sorry you lost your rooster. I always feel like it is such a waste when something else gets them, he could have been in your crockpot instead of a treat for a oppossum. We caught an oppossum once, he was a scary bugger, they freak me out now.

  4. LOL!! I like Paul's explanation!!
    Heck of a way to get the rooster population under control! I have heard that skunks will do that too. Blech!

  5. It's pine martens up here that wreak havoc within the poultry yard. I know those other critters are hungry and have to live, too, but it just doesn't seem fair to lose the livestock we've invested time and money in.

    I wonder if your four remaining roosters will be able to coexist with each other and the hens. I think usually one rooster to 12 hens works out pretty good . . . ? 'Course, if you talk to your roosters and explain either they play nice or go in the stew pot, all may be well. Hope so. :o)

  6. Oh goodness, I was not expecting to read that! Hah!

    Sorry to hear about the rooster, but at least the predator didn't get one of your hens!

  7. Wow, sorry to hear you have a predator stalking the chickens, I hope that's the last of him.

  8. Donna, we don't have any restaurants like that around here; besides, most locals eat their own roosters....I just got lazy!

    Kim, the opossum will not be bothering any more chickens, IYKWIM.

    Family, yea, it's a bummer that he didn't fill US up instead of the opossum. And I agree, those buggers are freaky looking.

    Candy, Luckily we haven't had any problems with skunks eating the chickens (just spraying nosey dogs), just opossum and raccoon.

    Mama Pea, I also find it hard to "wack" the other wild critters when they are just looking for something to eat, but darnit, there ARE other things to eat besides MY chickens!

    Prairie Cat, Oh, I get fuming mad when those buggers get a hen!

    Erin, well, technically that's the last of "Him"...hopefully he didn't mention his new-found "restaurant" to his buddies.