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why is my rooster so mean HELP! - Page 4

post #31 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWaddler View Post


I think the other way of thinking is the worldwide way of dealing with it.  Zookeepers and large livestock handlers all have sticks or cattleprods to help control the animals they work with.  I doubt many go at it with a soft heart and just hope things work out.  Small farms around the world usually have children who help with the farm work and often drive teams of animals to work fields.  How do you think they deal with them, prolly like every one else and won't risk a dangerous animal around their children/friends/family/or other livestock.  Dangerous animals around the world are killed, people are trying to meek out an existence....trying to rehabilitate dangerous animals is not the norm, eating them is.  The reason there are not far, far more injured farmers is prolly because they kill and eat the dangerous ones (and the truth be told there are still probably just as many injured farmers still out there).

 

Domination is something pack/flocking animals understand.  Someone is always in charge and they maintain that leadership through pure brute force 99% of the time.  My lead hen is in charge because she dishes out more than she takes, she will lose that top spot when someone tougher comes along, not someone with better management skills.....big_smile.png

 

 

I think perhaps you misunderstand my point. I am not talking about rehabilitating dangerous animals. I would agree with you that some animals are too aggressive and do better as "dinner". My point is that I believe there are some roosters that BECOME aggressive specifically because their owner decided to use aggression to control them. 

 

You mention small children on farms. Yes, I was one of those. My father and grandfather specifically did NOT use aggression as a means of controlling animals because then those animals become even more dangerous to everyone, especially children. 

 

This is not a soft-hearted approach where I pet and coddle my animals into liking me. Conversely, it is a very hands-off, give distance and respect, understand the animal, kind of approach. 

 

 

Backyard farming with my flock of super talented manure composters and bug hunters.

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post #32 of 69

Interesting, Daisy B.

 

I think my roo realizes his situation is a bit unique, since he was raised in the solarium.  If he wants to go out and play with the girls he has to allow me to let him out.  In the beginning he'd peck at my hands as I tried to pick him up, but he soon learned it was most effective not to resist being picked up, to go with the flow, and he'd achieve his goal much sooner.  He's very bright.  Many people have said chickens are stupid, but I sure haven't found this to be the case.  Of course, my boy ate all my plants growing in the solarium, and I think it really nourished his brain, all that nutrient-rich vegetation he ingested.  He first crowed at a precocious age, and I think it was due to his excellent diet.

 

I am not a very dominant personality. I've taken dominance/submission tests, and I score high on submission and very low on dominance, and I think he senses this and doesn't view me as a threat, but he's also smart enough to understand I'm not a hen, but rather, a source of TLC and food and water.  His name is "Baby," and I call him in a very high, humorous fashion, and he always comes.  I think he loves his unusual name, and in some ways, he does see me as his Mama.  I have read that if I were to stop touching him, he would forget, and I would become a threat to him, unfamiliar, and that is why I continue to touch  him, to keep him tame and gentle.

 

I am learning as I go, but so far, things are working well.  I do worry about going away on vacation, though.  If he'll forget who I am while I'm gone.  What do you think?

post #33 of 69

Quote:

 Many people have said chickens are stupid, but I sure haven't found this to be the case.  

 

I agree that many times chickens, or any animals, get called "stupid" because the do not behave as humans would. We don't understand why a chicken does something so their behavior is labeled as nonsensical, or worse, aggressive. There is a reason why that rooster begins pecking or seeking to dominate. It's in his genes and fueled by his hormones. Instead of personalizing it and saying, "that rooster is being mean to me" it'd be better if people could understand what is driving the animal and adjust accordingly. 

 

Simply observing animal behavior can go a long way toward peaceful management of animals. Using the things that motivate the animal  (e.g. food, need for space, etc.) to control them is much more peaceful approach than using pain/fear.


Edited by Daisy8s - 2/27/12 at 7:59am

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post #34 of 69

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWaddler View Post

Domination is something pack/flocking animals understand.  Someone is always in charge and they maintain that leadership through pure brute force 99% of the time.  

I think it is important to make a distinction between how we treat our family dogs (pack animals) and our chickens (flock animals). First, I agree that dogs understand a pack mentality and because of this I do use physical means to correct them, when necessary. But, my dogs live in my house and have a far more sophisticated relationship with me than my chickens do. I'm also asking them to perform a completely different role, namely, I want them to alert me when someone comes to the house but I never, ever want them to go into aggressive/defense role. 

 

However, I do want my rooster to defend his flock from predators, as best he is able. The rooster, who is breeding and defending his flock, must consider whether everything that moves is a predator or not. If I behave as a predator (by attacking him) then I can expect him to defend himself by reciprocating with aggression. 

 

My dogs are more sophisticated and can understand nuanced roles...I am allowed to physically correct them but they are not ever allowed to physically reciprocate (e.g. bite me if I spank them for peeing in the house). I don't expect this level of understanding from my rooster.

 

I am also reminded of the only two times that my dogs have shown aggression towards me. Once when a male dog was mating with a female and growled to tell me to move back; another time when a female dog had just had puppies and growled to tell us too many people were too close to her new pups. Both scenarios (mating and defending) are what my rooster is doing on a daily basis. I accept that these roles involve more hormones and a different view of anyone approaching his flock.  

Backyard farming with my flock of super talented manure composters and bug hunters.

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post #35 of 69

I had one mean Roo that nothing worked with -- and he attacked me from behind.  And he attacked only me, who feeds and waters!  Never my husband or either teenage boys! He was my first chicken to be slaughtered.  I did not raise him -- he was hand raised and then allowed to free-range at will.   All the chickens this lady gave me were fairly unmanageable and I attribute it to free-ranging with no real coop to come home to.  There was shelter, but no roost, etc. 

 

I have two Roos now - a BO and an Australorp.  I hatched both.  The Aussie is elegant and aloof-- he never comes near me. The Buff is friendly (that's Ichabod aka Icky in my avatar with my husband), and I despaired when he attacked my feet a couple of times.  Then I realized that it was only when I was wearing my LL Bean gumshoes -- he thought my laces were worms, I think!  Anyway, he got booted a couple of times, and that was that. 

 

I also picked him up and carried him around quite a lot.  Someone else on this forum used this method successfully, and I have to say for me it worked.  He is older now and not as friendly, but he no longer attacks my feet -- or anyone else.  I don't care for the way they have sex with the hens, but I figure that is nature's way.  If it were up to me I would probably not have roosters (unless I were breeding), but my hubby loves Icky and the Aussie (Cyrano) is so beautiful I haven't the heart to get rid of them.  There are so may people looking for homes for Roos that I imagine most end up in the pot or fighting if you give them away.  But I think the hens are, by and large, happier without them.   

Jeanniejayne

 

Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack, a crack in everything.  That's how the light gets in!   Leonard Cohen, Anthem 

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Jeanniejayne

 

Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack, a crack in everything.  That's how the light gets in!   Leonard Cohen, Anthem 

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post #36 of 69

So interesting, New Eggs, about the LL Bean gumshoes!  I love these footwear stories!  Roosters have such great imaginations!  Part of the predator instinct in them coming out, I'm sure!

 

I'm with you.  I would never have gotten a rooster, but when I was away on vacation last summer one of my two hens died.  The survivor was heartbroken, missing her sister, and having never been broody before, started brooding her sister's death and became broody.  Rather than buy an adult chicken mate for her for the long winter ahead, a friend brought eggs from his farm, and she took to them and hatched 3 girls and 3 roos.

 

I raised them all, the 5 outdoors, and the badly pecked little roo indoors.  I finally found a good home on a farm for the two boys, where they were able to go together, which was a blessing.  16 hens for them to mate with.  It was so hard to give them up.  One of them was nearly as tame as the indoor roo.

 

But, I didn't like the way they treated their StepMama and the pullets, when they came into their hormones.  They were overmating them and one was way too rough with the hens.  So I tried putting them in a bachelor pen by themselves, but this was so depressing to them, and the tamer one became much less tame, by so doing.  He had such a strong sex drive.

 

The StepMama didn't like my indoor boy for the longest time.  When I tried to integrate him into the flock, she would charge him and try to peck him.  Once she pulled out his tail feather, and when he was mating with a pullet, she jumped on them both and pushed him off the pullet.

 

But, after having had enough of the other two more aggressive roosters, the StepMama suddenly seemed to come to see the indoor boy in a new light.  He was so much gentler with the mating process, and I think he seemed the lesser of 3 evils to her, and she finally accepted him and now even mates with him.  He lets her be the #1 chicken in the pecking order, and that makes her happy, I think.  He was #3 in the rooster pecking order until my other boys went to their new home together, and he suddenly became #1 roo, so I think that made him happy, too-- a win/win situation for all.

 

But I still don't like to watch the mating process.  It makes me nervous, even though he's gentler.  However, one of the hens adores him and will actually squat in invitation to him.  It's cute to watch.  She's the smallest of the half white leghorns.  The roo doesn't bother the little Bantie, who is too tiny for him to mate with, although he will flatter her with a mating dance at her side, to show her he is attracted to her, but he doesn't act on it.  Such a gentleman.

 

However, in some ways I think the hens are happier with the roo.  Also, they started laying eggs a month earlier this winter than last, when there was no roo. Not sure if that is just a coincidence, or whether they lay better with a roo in the area.

 

 

 

 

post #37 of 69

I work with horses including stallions on a daily basis - you need to be dominant or they will take on the dominant role, which they are always subtly trying to do. I tried touchy feely with my rooster, didn't work - got me well bruised though. Dominance DID work, but only while I was right ont he ball - and who wants to be like that with their PET? He was not suitable for a pet. He did not want to be my pet. I had to wear welding gloves to feed him!! 

 

I persevered for two years with him - I think I tried hard enough hit.gifIt wasn't just me he attacked either, it was everyone! If anything he got worse with time. But I did not raise him from a chick, he was given to me as a final option before the pot as he was mean. Perhaps if he had been hand raised right it would have been different, I don't really know. 

 

But some roosters are just MEAN, like some people are just mean. I won't have another rooster I am afraid. I will stick to hens - my girls are sweet angels! 


Edited by Hyline - 2/27/12 at 10:00pm
post #38 of 69

Oh, and to clarify, I understand that animal behaviour is not to be anthropomorphosised (sp)! but really whether it is hormone driven or instinct driven or whatever, doesn't really matter if the animal is injuring or frightening its handler .. the result is still the same. 

post #39 of 69

I'd be darned if I'm going to choose my dress to please a stupid rooster! ROFLMBO!
 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ClareScifi View Post

Before you assume your rooster is just mean, check out his imagination.  He may just be very creative and imaginative.

 

I have found that when I wear certain colors and styles of clothing, my rooster goes berserk.

 

He's totally gentle and tame when I wear loose, khaki and green pants, but when I wear forest brown or anything red, it drives him mad and he turns into a hen protector.  I truly believes he imagines me to be a dog, fox, or wolverine in my red and dark brown clothing.

 

But if I wear baggy khaki or raggedy denim, he is calm and not a bit interested in attacking me.

 

Also, I think your shoes matter a lot.  My roo does not like my faux crocodile/snakeskin boots.  If I wear my beat-up black loafers, he is just fine with those.

 

It may be that I give off a more relaxed air in my comfy clothes.  They are much easier to walk in, and I don't worry about snagging them, etc., unlike in my dressier clothes.  It is only when I am in my dressy clothes that he has pecked.

 

Also, my dress pants are straight-legged, not baggy.  I think my roo doesn't like seeing my skinny legs.  They look more predator-like than my legs do hidden in baggy pants.

 

I know this sounds wild, but I have documented this behavior for some time now, and I think I am right.  

 

Worth a try, anyway.



 

post #40 of 69


Wait until you've owned a few more roosters. Then get back with us on that. cool.png
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daisy8s View Post


Quote:

 

I have also found that if a wear my suede flesh-colored shoes my rooster will peck at that whereas he ignores my regular barn boots. Conversely, he acts more submissive and almost cuddly when I wear a certain red coat that I wore a lot after he'd been severely injured as a cockerel and needed one-on-one medical care.

 

It makes me sad when I read these discussion threads about roosters. Only two options are ever presented: dominate your rooster or kill him. There is a third option and that is to be neutral. Farmers have handled aggressive male animals successfully on their farms for years and it wasn't by dominating them. You give a male respect and distance and do not ever engage directly with him.

 

I have never heard anyone in the "dominate" camp say that their method works long-term. They have to be constantly on guard and prepared to repeat their own aggressive act every few weeks. 

 

I have chosen to not enter into the pecking order of my flock. I'm not a chicken and they're not humans so neither of us needs to control the other. When my rooster was an adolescent I let him conduct his exploratory pecks (luckily it was winter and I was well-covered) without any reaction. He learned to see me as uninteresting as the walls of the coop. Absolutely no reaction when he pecked. Now we've passed that phase and he sees me as the source for food and water but NOT as a part of the flock so that he must establish where I am in the pecking order.

 

Think of how adult male large animals are handled in zoos and on farms. No human is ever trying to intimidate the males in order to make them submissive.



 

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