My fortress seems to be heading for a tantrum spiral, and I'm not sure there's anything I can do to stop it. I have six Faedogs in my fortress, as well as a golden goose, and I would rather not lose them if the fortress falls. The wiki states that upon reclaiming a fortress, all livestock will be dead. Does this also apply to caged animals?
To investigate this question, I sent out a team of seven dwarven scientists just beyond the boundaries of their home halls, with a set of cages and a great variety of beasts in breeding pairs. They caged a selection of the animals, asked the rest to politely remain in their designated pastures, and then returned home. They had no interaction with the livestock for a period lasting one half of a year.
Upon their return, they found, as expected, the fresh corpses of the pastured animals all around the site. Evidently these uncultured beasts had chosen not to obey their Dwarven masters, as their corpses were not confined only to their specified domains.
The caged beasts had somehow escaped their imprisonment, and were honourably satisfied by this, waiting in place until death.
It should be noted that the corpses had not yet started rotting during this time, and were quite delicious.
The caged animals still died. Their corpses remained on the same tile as their cage, but directly on the tile, and not actually inside the cage.