Alligator roo

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by rizq, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. rizq

    rizq Songster

    Oct 9, 2008
    I have a problem and need to implore the great chicken gurus for help [​IMG]

    About a week ago I got three pairs of Serama and am having some trouble with one of the roosters. He is a stunning little fella weighing in at all of 10.5 ounces. Problem is, the little turd bites.

    The first thing he did when I reached in his shipping box was to bite me. I figured he was just unsettled and chalked it up to him being scared. I myself can't imagine being stuffed in a dark box and sent USPS ... I've seen some of the boxes they deliver, what a ride that must be! I would probably bite upon arrival too! He pretty much bit me any time I handled him that day. I tried to mostly leave them alone to settle in. Over the next couple of days he was a lot better and I thought he had stopped biting. Now today, he bit me several times when I went to pick him up.

    It is a bite, and not a peck. He doesn't bite hard (only because he is so small, he is trying to bite hard and twisting). He does leave a small mark, but it doesn't really hurt. I am not sure if he can bite harder or not, but don't really want to find out.

    What is the best way to deal with this roo? I want to stop this behavior. I want him to be docile. I don't guess he has to like being handled, but he needs to tolerate it. I would love it if he would learn to like me and be a sweet cuddly little fella (don't ask for much, do I? [​IMG]).

    Thanks great chicken gurus [​IMG]

    edit: for spelling
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2008
  2. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊

    Aug 19, 2008
    Reading your post, it seemed like I had written it a little! LOL we have a young splash cochin rooster who is new and nice, but he bites when we pick him up! :eek: He is gentle, yet shy. He doesn't bite hard, since he is quite small still. Thought he was just afraid and unsettled at first, but he is till doing it. Hopefully he comes out of it. [​IMG] Sorry I can't help, but i have the same problem. [​IMG]
  3. wren

    wren Songster

    May 27, 2007
    St Augustine, FL
    Here's how I handle pecking or biting and twisting. First decide for yourself if you want to pick him up when you correct him. Then either cover his head with your hand and push down so he has to lower his head and hold it for twenty seconds or so. Or cover his head and give him a pinch on his comb.

    Other meaner things just escalate the behavior IMO.

    Many show bird owners feel that a mean rooster makes the best breeders. Your Roo may never get over this unfortunately.

  4. rizq

    rizq Songster

    Oct 9, 2008
    I tried pinching his comb lightly, he came back and bit me again, but I wasn't holding him or covering his eyes when I did it.

    I also tried holding him until he was calming and not letting him down until he stood calmly when I set him down. That worked until I let him go and reached for him again [​IMG]. Also tried holding him upside down for about a minute with the same results.

    I don't have a problem picking him up, I'm not scared of him, he's too little, lol ... he just thinks he is tough [​IMG]. I will try picking him up and covering his head like you described the next time he bites and see if that helps.

    I hope he gets over it. If he doesn't, I'll just get bit I guess. Is he likely to pass it on to his offspring or could it be because he wasn't handled enough when he was younger? He is small enough that it doesn't matter as much, but I would really like for him to be sweet [​IMG]. He really doesn't even have much for spurs (he is still young though, but spurs can be removed if he decides he wants to use them).
  5. wren

    wren Songster

    May 27, 2007
    St Augustine, FL
    I have been raising chickens for decades and a small percentage are just born mean. Personally I don't put up with it. If he is a good example of the breed, I sell the offender with a warning to the new owner that they will be attacked.

    If it is just a bird I sell him as food.

    In this case your baby is rare. And pretty tiny even for a snack. [​IMG] I would keep him. Just make him submit to you. Cover his head immediately and pinch his comb hard for one second and keep his head covered until he submits by holding still. You don't have to wait till he pecks...I'm sure you can tell when he is thinking about it! He squares off, raises his head, aims...then you get him first!

    He might be getting away with doing other things while you are nearby that indicates to him that he can dominate you by pecking. Like doing the Rooster Romance Dance of Love when you are around. Or calling to you as if you are a hen and offering you a treat, or mating hens in your presence. All of those things are a challenge to your role as head roo. All of these things warrant a head covering till he submits IMO if you want to keep him. Most roos will respond to this in about a month but you will need to remind him from time to time that yes you are still the boss.

    Be patient with him. It could be way worse. I had a rabbit that would bite then hang on. Tell me how it goes.
  6. rizq

    rizq Songster

    Oct 9, 2008
    I'll work with him and let you know how it goes. I'll keep him regardless, he is a beautiful bird and I really like him in spite of him being too big for his britches [​IMG] I was just a little disappointed because the Serama are supposed to have such gentle temperaments. I guess he is being gentle though, lol. He hasn't broken skin or attempted to use his lack of spurs. And I realize that each individual is different.

    I still wonder if he is mostly just scared. I've never seen him mate his hen when I am close. He does square off to me before he bites, but only after I've cornered him. But then again, scared or not, if I don't nip it in the bud now, it will probably get worse as he gets more used to me.

    If I didn't hate the Simpsons so bad I would name the little fart Bart since he is so small but has so much attitude [​IMG]

    I have had rabbits like that. We eat them too. My current breed is very docile though, haven't been bitten by any of them yet. Hopefully luck holds out [​IMG]

    Thank you for the replies and I will let you know how things go [​IMG]
  7. cyanne

    cyanne Songster

    May 19, 2008
    Cedar Creek, TX
    I have my own little roo that is too big for his britches! His name is Tyson, and he is my OEGB roo.


    Sometimes when you reach for him, especially if you bring your hand in low towards his chest like you are gonna pic him up or scratch his tummy, he will bite and twist. He hasn't broken skin yet, but it sometimes does leave a mark.

    Whenever he does this I either scoop him up and tote him around, babying him in front of the hens (boy does he hate looking silly in front of them!) or I grab him by the back of his neck and pin him down like a rooster does with a hen or to show dominance over another roo. I'm always careful not to hurt him, but I don't let go until he relaxes and stops fighting. When I let him got I reach out to see if he will try to bite again and if he does I repeat the procedure until he stops.

    This seems to work really well, actually, as I can usually do this and he won't bite for a while until he 'forgets' his lesson and I have to remind him who is bigger and stronger. [​IMG]
  8. TheNewMrsEvans

    TheNewMrsEvans Songster

    Sep 15, 2008
    Big Sur, CA
    i used to have a tough guy rosecomb bantam...i would just scoop him up and flip him on his back and hold his chest until he layed there quietly, then flip him back right side...if he does it again while you are holding him, flip him...i figure you can't be tough with your belly showing...i also used to grab his waddles if started to go for me...just gently, like a big red handle [​IMG] Oh Leonardo DeCaprio, why did you have to get old and go to chicken heaven?!?[​IMG]
  9. JayBird+16

    JayBird+16 Songster

    Jun 27, 2008
    Fitzwilliam, NH
    I have a roo that likes to chase me and peck at my feet. I find that if I scoop him up, flip him on his back and carry him around like a baby it always calms him down. I'm starting to think he might be chasing me so he will get picked up and carried like a baby. Is that possible?
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2008
  10. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap

    I have an undetermined sex chick that is almost 8 weeks old named Hannibal. For a reason. The little turd pecks at me every chance it gets.

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