We have lost a couple of our favorite roosters in the last few days.
On Thursday our old red rooster was found dead. He was a Speckled Sussex rooster that we got in 2010. He became our head rooster with nice harem of hens, but then was usurped by our younger Welsummer rooster, now our head rooster. In his decline I fed him bread from my hand. I did not think he would make it through last winter, but he certainly did not make it through this one.
Today we found our white and black rooster dead. We got him as a “rare exotic chick” with our mail order in Spring, 2014. He grew up to be what I think was a Lakenvelder rooster. He had a small harem of mostly white hens, which I thought was interesting. A few days ago I noticed that he was not looking well, keeping his head down and struggling with eating and drinking. I checked him over and could not find anything obvious. I do not know if he got in a fight with something, got an impacted crop (but it did not feel like that), or just became ill.
So a couple of our favorite roosters have died. Now I wish I kept the pretty Araucana-mix rooster we just butchered.
Roosters are very helpful at guarding their harems, plus they are pretty to look at. But only well behaved roosters are allowed to stay here, and Araucanas tend not to be. But now we are in eagle season without enough roosters.