Alpha Beta cockerel trouble. Aggressive Beta cockerel

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Daisy118213, Sep 7, 2014.

  1. Daisy118213

    Daisy118213 New Egg

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    Sep 7, 2014
    Last Xmas I hatched out three polish silkies. Unfortunately two ended up being cocks, however they seem to get along okay and only have the occasional scuffle. One does seem to be Alpha cock as he is the only one who really mates with the hen, although he is rarely aggressive towards the other cock, Beta knows his place.

    Recently we got three more hens to even things out a bit, the hens have just reached point of lay and alpha cock has started mating with them. Beta often tries but gets shrugged off by the hens. I have noticed that when Alpha is mating with the hens that Beta will run over and start pecking at the hens head and eyes!! This is horrible so I chase him away. Why does he do this?!

    Also when I go in the garden sometimes Beta is fine but other times he will chase me and jump at my legs trying to scratch me. I don't understand why he does this because I hatched them from an incubator and handled them everyday until the point where the cocks testosterone meant they didn't want to be picked up anymore.
    I don't understand why Beta is like this when Alpha is so friendly, although he doesn't like being picked up anymore he never attacks me and often runs up to me in the garden and brings me a piece of food or a little twig or leaf and does a little dance as though I am a hen.

    Can someone tell me why Beta has become so evil? Is there anything I can so to make him more docile?

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  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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  3. Daisy118213

    Daisy118213 New Egg

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    Sep 7, 2014
    Thanks for your response. I did wonder if the hens knew something about Beta that I didn't e.g his mental state in the chicken world.
    I don't plan to breed from either cockerels, they are purely pets and wouldn't of had any cocks out of choice, it was only because I hatched them and that's what I ended up with, I did hope three hens would hatch but unfortunately that wasn't the case.
    I have discussed getting rid of beta, however like you said I don't really want to make him someone else's problem where he may harm humans or hens! But I don't think I have the heart to give him the chop! Ahhh! :( dilemma!
     
  4. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Well, it's easy to not breed them, just don't allow incubation of the eggs... But, it is one of the joys of keeping poultry, to breed them. ;)

    Plenty of people will take him off your hands to make him into soup or whatever --- he's the sort I deliberately bred into my flocks, by the look of him, for meat qualities. Someone might breed him but there's a limit to what you can do to prevent that, if you're not ready to do a cull then don't give yourself any unnecessary trauma.

    However, it's always worth looking into how to do culls before you have to, because, well, even though I knew that premise, my first cull was still unplanned, a hen I liked who'd been run over by a vehicle but not killed. Just disemboweled. I tried to break her neck the wrong way the first time, but got it right the second time. Only took a few seconds but I wish I'd been better 'set' on how I would do that if/when the need arose. (When, not if, generally).

    One guy I know had to cull a deformed newborn lamb, unable to walk but otherwise alert and conscious... I will spare you the details but it was a horrific, prolonged, and grotesque failure, traumatic for all involved, he eventually had to call a distant neighbor to help him put the lamb out of its misery. Always best to practice first on an animal that you're not attached to before it comes to having to do a rapid mercy cull on one you are attached to, under an emergency situation. I never wanted to cull my own pets but after so many years of having pets, if you're like me, you reach a point where you can't sit by and wait for a professional to ease their suffering when it's obvious it's terminal and the professional could take hours to help. I like to rehabilitate injured or ill animals of all species so as you can imagine I've heaped plenty of unnecessary, sad, difficult situations onto my plate! But when the majority can be saved with some TLC, it compels me to keep at it, as bad as some cases are.

    It makes it a heck of a lot easier to cull chooks like him when you push your luck a little too far, keeping one like him until he does something like pecks out an eye, and you have to deal with an innocent animal in a lot of pain, with gory and permanent injuries, because you kept an animal showing warning signs; guilt can be pretty motivational, lol. But it's not easy to go ahead and do it when you haven't had that sort of incident, for most people.

    Whatever your choices I hope it works out for you and your chooks.

    Best wishes.
     

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