We have a situation I haven't seen on here before, although I've been searching. I have 6 13-week olds (2 cockerels and 4 pullets from a straight run) that I raised from chicks with our family dogs. We've had chickens for quite awhile, so the dogs aren't phased by the chickens and roam the yard freely with them. While my husband and I were out with them the other night, one of the cockerels - the alpha of the two - attacked the smaller dog (about 20 pound mutt). The dog defended himself and quickly put the cockerel on his back. We called him off with no problem and the cockerel doesn't seem to be hurt (except his pride). We don't need to keep a cockerel, but would like to this time around, to help protect the hens.
Here is my question: Was the cockerel simply defending the flock against a perceived threat, or should he have known that the dog was no threat since he had been there literally his whole life and posed no threat? Also, now that this situation has happened, what are the odds that everything will go back to normal between the dog and that cockerel?
The reason we have dogs in the yard is because we back up to a greenbelt and have a problem with predators - coyotes, hawks, possum, raccoons, owls...
The pictures show the two cockerels. The pretty one with the tail (what's left of it) is the alpha. The lighter one that hasn't grown a tail yet is the 2nd in command. He is quite easy going and the only one who crows.