Aggression or curiosity? Cockerel going after my fingers.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Easter Chicks, Jun 27, 2016.

  1. Easter Chicks

    Easter Chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So here's the thing. Damien, my twelve week old cockerel, has recently started this habit of going after my fingers and biting them. And I don't mean "oh, what's that? Peck." I mean, he spots me from across the run, walks over to a place where he can reach my fingers and bites them. If I leave them still for him (because I've read that you shouldn't give aggressive chickens a response and they'll leave you alone,) he just pecks increasingly harder. So now I shove him away, "peck" back but he just meets my eyes and keeps coming back. If I pull my hands up, he stands there staring at them, trying to stretch himself so he can reach. It's the weirdest thing. He doesn't peck me anywhere else. Could he just be bored?

    My other chickens peck of course, and it hurts but it's more curiosity than anything. But Damien's starting to annoy me. He's always thought of himself as top-boss to the other chickens and was kind of mean to me, so I've been picking him up all the time. He's very mellow, just lets me hold him and pet him and scratch under his chin. Anyway, if you have any idea on what to do, let me know. I've read that you should ignore him but I've also read to give him a good "peck" or shove to assert dominance. We currently have three other cockerels we need to get rid of, we also need to get rid of him but we don't want to, haha.

    Here is the bird in question. See the massive, evil eyes? That's the look I get every time. He's also starting to know his name because I say it so often!

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  2. Chickensfan

    Chickensfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    try hanging a bunch of lettuce from the top of the coop. they will start to peck at it instead.
    try not running around the chickens, carrying anything large around them, or moving quickly.
    try carrying him around a lot. He may then learn you do not want to hurt him or his hens. if you did want to hurt them, you would have done it sooner.
    try holding a piece of lettuce above his head. instead of jumping at your fingers, he will jump at the lettuce.
    DON'T HAVE YOUR NAILS PAINTED AROUND HIM!!! (if you paint them anyway)

    try all of these methods around the same time
     
  3. Alexandra33

    Alexandra33 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would say this is aggression, sadly. My cockerels, when feeling curious, will approach my hands in a much less menacing fashion - cocking their heads and taking a couple trivial pecks before losing interest and walking away. I personally don't like to make much negative physical contact with my boys unless they try to flog me (which is countered by a kick) because I don't like being viewed as a dominant roo. In that case, they would be more likely to challenge me. A nice way of correction, from what I've heard, is to use a squirt bottle filled with water and a little vinegar right in the face when they're acting wrongly. But you'll see so many different methods of raising roos it's not even funny! [​IMG]

    ~Alex
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2016
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    He needs to be on the 'dinner soon' list because things won't get better! Mary
     
  5. Easter Chicks

    Easter Chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hmm, it could be that I had my nails painted recently. I don't usually paint them, so perhaps this is a factor. And yes, I have been picking him up quite a bit. Thank you!
     
  6. Easter Chicks

    Easter Chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, that's what I've been thinking. My other cockerels don't act like this. They peck me, sure, but so do all chickens. I agree that physical contact probably won't be of much use other than scaring them. He hasn't stopped, so clearly I'll need another method. I'll try the vinegar and then if that doesn't work, I guess he'll be leaving, haha. Thank you!
     
  7. Easter Chicks

    Easter Chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Haha, yeah. I'll probably end up getting rid of him if he doesn't smarten up soon. I'm kind of attached but not if he keeps this up!
     
  8. Chickensfan

    Chickensfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    anytime! hope this helps!
     
  9. Chickensfan

    Chickensfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    and by the way...I know someone who needs help with her pullet. please visit her thread "I Think My Pullet Has Pink Eye!" and see if you can help. if you would like to help more people like this, please visit my thread "Help Others!" and if you can't help, please continue to spread word.
    thanks!
     

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