I had two Golden Duckwing pullets, one with blue legs (ideal) and one with white legs. Two nights ago, the blue-legged one vanished from inside the coop. I can only surmise it was a rat, the endless horrible rat problem. Last night Jessie (dog) and I went rat hunting and she killed a large female that was in a burrow inside the coop. I imagine that's where my poor little bird ended up.
I used to think anyone who had a rat problem must be really awful but oh my gosh it's just been endless here, and it's not a skanky awful setup. I try to keep the coops reasonably clean. I think it's just an explosion in the rat population, for every one that gets killed another comes up from the creek.
This will be a setback to the Golden Duckwing program. The two best cockerels are also white-legged. The now-ONLY pullet is white legged. There is a dark-legged Birchen cockerel, I guess that's an option. I am just so sad and mad about losing that bird, and others earlier this season, and so many last season, it sickens me, I'm doing all I can but I can't keep them out of the coop, they fit through anything.
It gets really frustrating sometimes. *sigh*
I'll bet in the last 12 months we have killed 40-50 rats.