This morning when I went out to feed the animals, our rooster, Raj wasn’t anywhere to be seen. Usually he comes running with the hens to get his breakfast and to show the hens where the food is. But today … nothing.
We leave the coop open most of the time, only closing it when it is particularly cold, wet and windy. We don’t have any predators near us (apart from the dogs that are owned by our neighbours and kept on their property), so leaving the chickens out to roam when they want to is normally not a problem at all.
I went walking around the boundary of the bottom paddock our property this morning (where the chooks spend a lot of their time) and I couldn’t find him. My lovely wife and daughter also had a look further afield for him, also with no luck. No feathers, nothing … looks like the aliens took him.
The hens have become very spooked by his disappearance, they are running around scattered around where, normally, they hang around together and in a much more relaxed manner.
It is starting to look like I’ll need to get another rooster. When I do, the chickens will need to be cooped up together for a while so that the new rooster has a chance to learn his new environment before free-ranging.
Update on the missing rooster at 5:45pm. Still not found after a day of absence, we think that he has been taken while free-ranging. The hens are very agitated and I think that, without a rooster, the hens will start to argue more … so I’m planning to get some more chickens. Someone on the other side of the river is selling some Isa Brown chicks (about 7 weeks old) for $5 each, so I’m going to take a punt and buy them. I’ll check their ruff feathers to see if any of them are boys. I have a couple of friends that have been asking for chickens for a while, so I’ll sell on the excess chickens to them (at the same price).
The new chickens will go into the old chicken run until they are old enough for the bigger chickens, so they’ll go into the general community in December.