Originally Posted by Kev
Originally Posted by Fire Ant Farm
He's chasing them a lot, and they are starting to earnestly try to get away from him a lot at evening time (they don't always remember to go for the chair I gave them to perch on to get away from him). And he occasionally will lose the chase but later sneak up and get them anyway. They're not looking like they enjoy it very much. But they don't mind him the rest of the time, he tidbits for them and watches out for them. They do have worn backs (I have plans to make aprons), and the littlest one, Switch, got some scrapes early on - he's twice her size - and there is the occasional scrape on other hens. This is my first spring with chickens/roosters, so I am wondering if the change in behavior is a spring thing. He's a good boy most of the time, with brief periods of testosterone poisoning.
He's started to watch me more warily when I go into the coop to feed them. I get the sense he's thinking about pecking at me, but it's more in the "warning/territory" sense, similar to Dumbledore. And a big squirt of water in the face from a water bottle works EXTREMELY well to discourage that.
Apoc, on the other hand, was trying to engage/land blows on my boot and didn't stop/back down, which is what worried me. (I do wonder if there's something about my boots...) I feel bad because I wonder how much is my fault for keeping him locked up - but I really haven't had a choice, he escapes all paddocks and fights through the fences. I wish I had some girls old enough that he could get to know to see if that would calm him down...
- Ant Farm
Ahh.. Snape is right in the grey area, he might mellow out on the chasing once he's fully mature (past one year) or maybe not.
If Snape cools down on the chasing, he probably will still breed the hens a lot to the point of ruining their feathers- this is unfortunately a very very common thing, and many don't quite like to talk about it or show pictures of hens showing this kind of damage so don't think it's an unusual situation. The good news- the skins on NN get a lot thicker and tougher once they become hens.. they are so thin and easy to tear/scratch on pullets.
Some chickens do react to certain colors and patterns, so it could be something about the boots if they;'re colorful or richly patterned.
It has *nothing* to do with being alone.. aggression is genetic but there is some environment factored in- mainly whether the cockerel was raised super tame or teased. Loose, caged, combination of keeping doesn't have much to do with it.
Boots are red with chickens on them, and are new. Now that I think about it, Dumbledore was startled when I was wearing them and Snape only did the threatening thing when I was wearing these. I think I need to try different boots. (Too bad - I like them.)
That is helpful about Apoc. He has not been mistreated by me, of course, but he was really harassed and bullied by Tank for a couple weeks before I managed to arrange housing to separate them - and best I can tell, it wasn't so much Tank just being a jerk - Apoc really sort of threw himself into the subordinate role - he was a good bit bigger than Tank but wouldn't fight back. He also later got the unfortunate idea that Dumbledore's girls were maybe destined to be his when Dumbledore was inside healing from the dog attack - he likes to beeline to their paddock and fight with Dumbledore through the fence. I spent an awful lot of time trying to round him up as he escaped a lot as well. Hence being locked up.
I suppose the upside is that he has essentially been inadvertently in a "finishing" regimen, eating lots of feed, not a lot of running around. I will be culling the Cream Legbar boys at some point in early summer, I may cull him at that time if not before. He's big (at least among my birds). The NNs are all just about 7 months old.
- Ant Farm
Edit to add: I was just remembering that Apoc DID go after my leg from behind when I was wearing shorts about a week or so ago - not wearing those boots. Superficial scratch, but it was an attempt at spurring. Not severe, but still healing.
Edited by Fire Ant Farm - 3/29/16 at 9:18pm