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Aggressive rooster... now he's afraid of me.. help?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by reckless, Sep 21, 2013.

  1. reckless

    reckless Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 4, 2013
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    My Coop
    I have a silkie rooster that has gotten aggressive with me multiple times. He used to be my baby and be super sweet and so after the aggression I looked into ways to curb the behavior. Multiple people said to pin them down, show you're the dominant chicken. So I mimicked what my hens do when they try to be dominant with each other...

    Instead of becoming submissive, he's become incredibly fearful and FREAKS out when I approach him and he has nowhere to go (in a pen for example). It's just how my submissive hens act around the dominant ones and I feel AWFUL and really sad. What do I do? Seriously, he won't even come near me and panics when I come near him.. when I just want to pet him like I used to be able to.

    When I catch him and pick him up, he behaves, I can pet him and he doesn't struggle or anything. He practically snuggles. He's submissive in that way but I wanted him to stay his friendly self. Not run from me in a frenzy.

    I thought about giving him away because of the aggression (before the fear began) but I don't want to take him back to the farm, I would never know what happened to him. I'd rather eat him quite frankly because at least I would know it was humane and what happened. I don't know anyone who would want him except for someone in CT... but now I feel like he's so fearful it's crappy to keep him here :/

    Someone help? I feel so awful. [​IMG]
     
  2. DStewart PDX

    DStewart PDX Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 25, 2013
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    How long has it been since you did the dominance thing? I had to do that with one of my hens (she was in a murderous rage and I had to check it fast), and she steered well clear of me for at least three weeks after that. She and I are more normal again now. If it hasn't been very long, give it more time.
     
  3. reckless

    reckless Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 4, 2013
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    It hasn't been very long. I realized the fear this morning after I did it last night. I sure hope he gets out of it. I've been just sticking my hand in with him and sitting there, treats in my hand, and slowly dropping them so he sees I am the one giving them to him. Thank you! That makes me feel a lot better to hear.
     
  4. DStewart PDX

    DStewart PDX Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 25, 2013
    Portland, Oregon
    Goodness, yes, be patient! What you did worked, and you got the desired result. He now views you as superior and has stopped his aggression. He will need some time to work out this abrupt change in the order! Be patient, and be satisfied that you are top rooster! By the way, giving him excessive special treatment will reinforce to him that he is number one. As much as you want to, I would not coddle him too much. Be fair and friendly and firm.
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Don't be so fast to coddle or cuddle him. He's responding to you exactly as a submissive bird should! Roosters often just don't make good pets, even docile birds like silkies. In the animal world you're either dominant or submissive, you're not equals. Let him be submissive to you for a while, what he is doing is exactly what my beta roosters to with my alpha rooster. But they all live together just fine, it's just part of their lives, they don't consider it at all unusual.
     
  6. reckless

    reckless Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 4, 2013
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    My Coop
    Thank you the both of you! I was just worried because... well, these are my first roosters! Albedo is separate, but Willow is very friendly and easy to handle. But he respects me too Albedo has been a whole 'nother game and I'm not... used to having to assert dominance over my pets! I stopped coddling him, but it's alright to carry him right? I heard that shows dominance too. He's easy to handle, as soon as I pick him up he hardly struggles and just sits there.

    When I approach his cage, he crouches down at the sight of me and stamps his feet- kind of like the girls when they squat, but without the spread wings and outstretched neck. What does that even mean?

    The thing is, I really don't know what I would do with Albedo. He was supposed to be a pet because he was really friendly at first. But obviously now his behavior has changed and with him being separate, he's a liability and.. an inconvenience really. I honestly don't want to eat him, but I want to know where he goes if he got a new home, etc. :(
     
  7. DStewart PDX

    DStewart PDX Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 25, 2013
    Portland, Oregon
    I can't really recommend anything because I am not so sensitive about my birds. My birds are enjoyable yard animals, but not pets. I have a tender spot for them, but am ultimately practical, and will eat a bird that is messing up the works. And any bird you give away, you no longer have control over what happens to that bird, and you have to accept that.

    But you don't have to do anything right now. This just happened. Your rooster is behaving *normally*. Understand there is nothing wrong here. Yes, you can pick him up. But if you want him to be a pet, he probably can't be a pet with any other roosters around. As long as there are other roosters, he will feel a need to maintain his dominance, and you will get dominance behaviors from him. If you have plenty of hens for the number of roosters you have, it will be less of an issue. But if you have just a few hens, your rooster will want to be the only one. If you love this guy, you can try getting rid of the other roosters you are less fond of.

    And give yourself a break. Making mistakes is part of it.
     
  8. reckless

    reckless Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, it seems a lot of people are like that. But I get supppperrr attached to all of my babies.

    The thing is, I was going to take Albedo back to the farm we got him from, but I became so attached because he was so friendly. But he's changed since then, and that's the ONLY reason we were keeping him. I had already picked Willow to be our roo. He'd probably be better off somewhere else.. or something because he is by himself and I can't interact with him much when he is like this. I was ... ignorant and thought he'd stay friendly like he used to be. New-chicken-owner-ignorance I suppose. Or just plain hopefulness. A little bit of both.

    He's not with the other rooster, but he's near him so I suppose that still affects the behavior. They both crow since I separated them (Albedo was the dominant one so Willow didn't crow until Albedo was separated) and they grew up together but I can tell they do not like each other anymore (when too close, they sidle up to each other all suspiciously, heads low, gazes locked).

    I only have two silkie pullets with my other roo, who is a great guy. He does try real hard to mount the girls but hasn't been successful yet (they're about 18 weeks, except for the youngest who is probably... 15 weeks? Maybe? Can't remember the exact age to be honest. Anyway, he's pecked at me once but I was able to assert my dominance and he does not bother me anymore. He does approach and I can touch him and pick him up without any issues. My plan was to incorporate Willow and the silkie girls into my flock that has 4 RSLs, 1 BR, 1 EE, and 1 Australorp, but they might stay separate (They aren't free-ranging, but in a run. I really want to get some more silkies from the breeder I got my partridge pullet from- have a silkie flock!) and will have to for a while at least, and keep Albedo as a pet. But as you can see... it's not working out super great. Which is why I said he is probably better off.

    The more I think about it, the more it feels like having him is an inconvenience. Which I feel awful thinking, but it's just hard dealing with an entirely separate chicken.. but I really do like him. But Willow, despite me LOVING Albedo, is a much better rooster.

    Here's Albedo by the way:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    See how friendly he used to be?
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And here's Willow:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     

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