Oh dear, I am so sorry that happened.
This stirs up old and bad memories.
I imagine that the rooster freaked out do to the carnage in the yard and
flew up or into something and broke his neck.  I have seen this happen.
I hope that you are able to fix up a preditor proof enclosure for the
poultry while you are away.  You may have to now, and I know it will change
your MOA because I think you have written about your free range birds.
At this point, knowing that there is a houseing developement going in, it
might be time to start budgeting for a fairly tight perimeter fence.  It may
not keep all of the coyotes out but it will give the dogs some clear
boundries that you can feel relaxed about.  I have 5 foot fence along the
road and 4 foot horse fencing around about 2 acres which includes house and
barn area.  The rest of the acrge has hap hazard fenceing.  But atleast I
know that the dogs are safe, with their charges with in the fortress when we
are gone. They all can easily jump four feet but they have learned to
respect the fence.
You will have a time with battle of the coyotes for a term but after a
while, this will fade.  However, all those new houses will bring in a worse
and more lasting problem.  People will bring in more traffic to worry about
and more uneducated dogs.  Many of the new people will be clueless as to why
Feefe and Yoyo should be kept at home in the country.  They will be in shock
and disbeliefe that their gentle oaf could possibly harm a feather of your
chickens.  So if you have a pretty good perimeter fence you can more likely
deter the neighborhood dogs as well as keep yours safe.  If you can't fence
the whole thing, try for a partial area fence.
That's progress.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Serena Lanza" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, July 22, 2005 6:05 AM
Subject: [FARMCOLLIE] Slaughter

> Hi All,
> We came home last night to find most of our poultry slaughtered. Those
> that were not dead when we found them were so chewed up, we had to
> dispatch them as well. This morning, I found our 35lb Tom turkey who also
> needed to be dispatched. This turkey would talk to you and follow you
> around like a puppy, he will be sorely missed as he had such a wonderful
> personality. Putting him out of his misery was one of the hardest things
> we've had to do. They have been building a bunch of new houses near us and
> the coyotes have come out in droves. My Lassie Boy was on patrol all day
> yesterday chasing them off. We had to put him up though when we went out
> last night (family thing, no way to get out of it). We did leave the dog
> out overnight once we arrived home. I'm just heartbroken about this. Most
> of these birds were raised from either day olds or hatched on our
> property. All I've got left now is a handful of ducks, a couple of guinea
> hens, three geese and some chickens. I used to have a barnyard of at least
> 75 birds.
> A strange thing we found though was a young rooster, in the barn, without
> a mark on him but a broken neck. I have no idea how the coyote could have
> gotten to him, he'd have had to jump through the top of a double Dutch
> door, through an occupied horse stall and then over the stall door into
> the barn. I'm thinking it wasn't a coyote that killed this young roo, but
> I have no idea what could have. Any thoughts?
> The dogs will be out of patrol now 24/7 while someone is home. I'm not
> comfortable leaving them loose unattended. While I know they'd stick
> around for the most part (they've never run off) I'm afraid of the cars if
> one takes to chasing off a coyote. I think I'd rather loose a 5 dollar hen
> than one of my beloved farmcollies. What do you guys think? I'm keeping
> the remaining birds penned in their nighttime enclosures for the day until
> I can get a grip on the situation.
> M. Serena Lanza
> Sr. Payroll Specialist
> New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc.
> Lawrence, MA
> 978-738-4812