Yes, A Rooster — Bereft of Tail, In A Coyote’s Habitat

A couple of people were observing something in the distance — I was sure it was a wild animal of some sort. Imagine my surprise when I discovered it was a live rooster. How did this rooster end up in a wilderness area? Our Animal Care Department didn’t seem too concerned when I called them: it probably had escaped from one of the numerous neighborhood chicken coops.

We tried to catch it but failed — it was able to wedge itself deep into some briars. It will not live long in the wild: some animal already had deprived it of its tail. Life in the wild is harsh and hard. It has its own set of rules: survival depends on being fit for the wild. Chickens are not fit for the wild, and neither are any other domestic animals which need humans for protection. Wildlife can only survive by being smarter than the next critter; by taking advantage of the other critter’s weakness; by being alert to danger — these things are learned by growing up in the wild. A domestic chicken does not have a chance in the wild.

We have hawks, owls, raccoons, possums, skunks and coyotes who will be eager to dine off of a helpless, injured rooster. Even rats have been known to kill chickens. We also have dogs, cats and cars with which a chicken on the loose is not prepared to cope. Please keep your chickens secure and safe. Please keep your pets secure and safe. Wildlife cannot be blamed for following its own survival instincts. Animal Care Department will not blame wildlife for a mishap involving a pet owner’s negligence. It is up to us humans to protect our domestic animals by not letting them run free. It is also irresponsible for dog owners to allow their dogs to injure another animal. The damage already inflicted on this chicken was probably caused by a dog — an experienced hunter such as a coyote, raccoon, or even an owl would have finished the job.

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