Thievery most fowl suspected in chicken coop capers

The black Java rooster was found missing Monday and is presumed stolen from the home of Pete Malmberg of rural Perry.

Pete Malmberg has been raising poultry for 20 years on his acreage northwest of Perry, so there is not much he has not seen when it comes to predators animal, such as foxes, coyotes and hawks.

That is why the recent disappearance of some of his ducks and chickens make his suspicious.

“About two weeks ago,” Malmberg said Thursday,” I discovered my black Java hen and her three half-grown pullets were missing. Then on Monday night our Java rooster was missing.”

Thinking it might be a predator, he set a live trap in the pop door, completely blocking that entrance. At first he suspected an owl. He had trouble about 10 years ago with hawks taking his smallest birds, he said, “but the hawk population was very diminished after last year.”

In spite of the precautions, “today I discovered my black duck was missing,” Malmberg said, “and the others were acting traumatized.”

The coop was still securely closed, and again there were none of the telltale signs of animal predators.

“I’m pretty sure it’s the petty-theft drug crowd,” he said.

Now Malmberg is “hoping to get some pictures of human and non-human activities on my property,” and he plans to set up a surveillance camera and put “trackers” on the remaining ducks.

“Hopefully, cameras will solve it,” he said. Human predators have been warned.


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