15 Week Old Cockerel Cutting a Wing

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Chwicks, Aug 17, 2019.

  1. Chwicks

    Chwicks Chirping

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    Hi everyone. I have a 15 week old cockerel (Australorp), Enrique Egg-lay-sious, and he has been my most approachable cockerel in our flock. Over the last week he has started running into the coop when he sees me coming in to clean and he runs up to me, cuts a wing, dances a little, and is really vocal with low gruntty chatter/clucks.

    I researched that he could just be showing off, but he could be working up nerve to challenge me. I’ve starting picking him up and carrying him around to show him I’m boss. Yesterday, I walked his direction, because he just lingers pecking at the ground sizing me up (but trying to make me think he’s all innocent :rolleyes:) and he bit onto my shoe. I gave him a gentle shove with my foot and he walked a few steps away. Then he came back and I walked back towards him. He pecked my foot again, and held onto it... much like he would to another chicken. I grabbed him by his neck feathers/skin and really freaked him out. I wasn’t hurting him, but it scared the dickens out of him. He ran out of the coop with all the others and stayed out.

    He was a little better today, but still running in and cutting a wing with some stomping. The wired thing is that after he does that he goes to a corner and puts his chest on the ground and leaves his rear end up in the air.

    In your opinion, what is going on with him?

    He is my favorite cockerel, and he takes such great care of the ladies, etc., but I won’t suffer a mean/aggressive cockerel or rooster. Any thoughts and ideas are appreciated.

    Thank you!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    He is challenging you. Depending on how you react he will continue, escalate, or stop. Most will direct you to behave so he escalates or direct you cull him (kill or get rid of).
     
    Alexandra33 and aart like this.
  3. DanEP

    DanEP Songster

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    If He's challenging you at 15 weeks he will probably get even worse in 2 or 3 months. I have developed a one strike policy over the years , one strike your soup. I have a bad back and can't fight with little jerk roosters not to mention you don't want him breeding more sons just like him. Good boys have a good life here as long as they do their thing and ignore us. I don't interact with my roosters our job is to take care of the girls you in your way and me in mine. Some roosters are just really dominate and I don't trust them and won't keep them. How you choose to deal with this is up to you but if you ever get a good one you won't want to deal with the jerks anymore.
     
    Chwicks likes this.
  4. BigBlueHen53

    BigBlueHen53 Crowing

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    @centrarchid , This dancing and stomping is not mating behavior? The rooster I had trouble with never did anything like this to me or my boy, he just attacked, straight up with no warning. What this roo is doing sounds like flirting and tidbitting. What am I missing?
     
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  5. DanEP

    DanEP Songster

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    Aggression can be dancing too. If he's trying to mate you that's a sign he thinks he can dominate you. Rooster only mate with hens they can dominate, if you get an older hen that won't put up with him mating is out of the question.
     
    Chwicks likes this.
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    The bird in the foreground was photographed during part of a cutting wing sequence directed at bird in background. It was not a prelude to mating, rather a demonstration of aggression only. Bird in background is a 16-week old cockerel and the foreground bird doing the wing cutting is his mother. She was defending interest of his younger brothers and siblings that were at my feet.
    20190814_193627.jpg

    Edit after dealing unsuccessfully with a raccoon issue.

    The wing cutting is an early challenge stage that also has a role in courtship sequence where male is demonstrating his social confidence. A hen interested in breeding wants a male that is confident enough to display.

    When you have the male that is attacking you without giving some of the earlier signs, he is past trying to impress you. When approaching with both wings dragging his is saying I am going to attack if you do not move away,...........far enough. Then display is an effort to get a response to avoid engaging in a full on attack. Attacking is more energetically demanding and potentially dangerous than doing a display. Your rooster has decided the display part does not work and may have figured out that the full on attack does.

    I like so the rooster thinks that neither the attack nor display works, so he does not do them. Getting a rooster to back out from the sequence is tough which is why so many people give up. Some roosters also have thicker heads than others.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2019
  7. Chwicks

    Chwicks Chirping

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    Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. Based on your experiences, what would you recommend? Should I try to work with him or introduce him to freezer camp? I'm a homesteader, and while I want our chickens to have a lovely life and do our best to give them a great quality of life, they serve a purpose for us. Should I wait until he actually attacks before writing him off completely?

    I know experience is the best influencer for decision making, but at this juncture, I just don't have enough accumulated to make an informed decision. Perhaps that answers my own question... :confused:
     
  8. Chwicks

    Chwicks Chirping

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    I've got 7 other cockerels in my flock right now. We are working to thin them out, so decision time is upon us and Enrique (Kiki) is opting for the absolute worst time to exhibit these behaviors, at least where his interests are concerned. I've read lots of other posts on cockerels/roos that were doted on in the brooder, thus creating overfamiliarity, which I think is what has occurred in my situation. Kiki has no issue with my husband and doesn't approach him at all, which is why I think Kiki believes I am one of his flock. He was always one of the first ones to rush to sit on my leg in the brooder when I spent time in there, which is why I'm likely even entertaining the idea of trying to work through this with him... but, in my mind, he'll be serving his purpose no matter the ultimate outcome in our situation. I guess I'd just prefer him to stay around because the ladies seem to love him. :hmm
     
  9. Chwicks

    Chwicks Chirping

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    That's along the lines of what I was thinking too, which I kinda' thought was endearing. Even when he bit my shoe I thought, "well, that's what he'd do to one of his hens that were out of line". Then my logical self showed up and was like, "you're not one of his hens! Set him straight!" If he is indeed flirting, he's definitely getting more aggressive about it... and quickly.

    Strangely, as I type these responses trying to figure out what to do, the answer is starting to become clearer to me. :(
     
    BigBlueHen53 likes this.
  10. roosterhavoc

    roosterhavoc Crossing the Road

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    I would definitely not cull him. He’s just a baby. Just dancing around like that doesn’t mean he’s going to end up mean and aggressively coming after you.
    Don’t entertain him just move away when he starts. Don’t push him with your foot anymore either.
     
    BigBlueHen53 and Trish1974 like this.

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