BREEDING FOR PRODUCTION...EGGS AND OR MEAT.

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by hellbender, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

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    I can't say that I have.

    Be cautious about making these judgments. For example, someone flock mating may have a subordinate male that sneaks it in every now and then. He is not going to take the time to go through the motions, etc. The hens are going to be less likely to submit to. This is not a behavior problem, this is normal behavior. The hen might cry fowl, but for him it is surviving. It would be easy to assume that there is something wrong with him.

    For all of the complaints that I have heard about "proper roo behavior", I have rarely heard mention any consideration for the way that they are managed.

    Even a bird that does "do his dance" does not necessarily do it all of the time.

    There is the danger of crossing the line, and crossing into picking gentle birds that is more about our world view and perception. It is an unnecessary burden on us as the selector, and them as the birds that will never conform, or behave the way we think that they should. Calm and gentle, just as often means lethargic.

    I have had a couple birds along the way that were absolute nut cases. A terror to their flock mates, and to the keeper. There is no good reason to keep a bird like this, unless you want more of them. There is no good reason to keep man fighters, unless you want more of them. I would say to select against extremes, and otherwise worry about health and vigor.

    These extreme behaviors seam to be more common among hatchery birds. This is not to pick on these, because it is as often not the case. It is just that when flocks start numbering in the hundreds, the birds are under a lot of stress, they are crowded and over stimulated, and it is survival of the "fittest". Over many generations this could have an effect on who is represented in the offspring. There is nothing "normal" or "natural" about these settings. Then after countless generations, should we expect them to behave "normally" or "naturally"?

    The good news is that most chickens act like chickens.
     
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  2. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

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    There comes a time, every year, that the sound level needs to be brought down around here. For a time, it can get pretty loud. Sometimes the birds move me along, as much as I move them along.
     
  3. Tammylr

    Tammylr Chillin' With My Peeps

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  4. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

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    It is unfortunate the extremes that we are willing to take things to. Especially unfortunate for the animals.
     
  5. ocap

    ocap Overrun With Chickens

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    What would be an early sign of a man fighter? Something that might give a hint to "Keep a closer eye on him".
     
  6. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

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    Do not get too worked up if a cockerel bows up a couple times. Every now and then, you will get one to test the waters. Just put them in their place. If it is truly a "manfighter", you will know soon enough. They are no pleasure to work with.
     
  7. southernmomma

    southernmomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    'proper roo behavior' made me laugh, lol....

    I agree it seems likely linked to management. I can also imagine how a subordinate male would rush in, down and dirty, without any fanfare. Aside from these considerations I find the behavior charming to see~ I guess it appeals to my own female sensibilities [​IMG]

    As an aside, I've found it pretty fascinating to see 2 week old cockerels strutting, mock fighting and trying to thump each other. I had no idea such behavior would start so early! It is so rough and tumble compared to the pullets.

    M
     
  8. DesertChic

    DesertChic Overrun With Chickens

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    I have one right now that's beginning to charge me as I move through the run and especially when I turn my back. My husband and I agreed to try working with him for a while, but I refuse to have a cockerel that sees me as the enemy and attacks for no apparent reason. I suspect he'll be the honored guest at our dinner table in the near future. [​IMG]
     
  9. hellbender

    hellbender Overrun With Chickens

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    An easy way to get one started is to worry about it. If you have a cheeky or cocky young cockerel that just might be struttin' his stuff, he can be easily pushed into being a terror if one begins to treat him too harshly or with too much deference. They are just young male chickens....ignore them and let them enjoy life and YOU enjoy his antics. Some things are perfectly natural that many will decry as violence. For example, I have a couple young Buckeye cockerels that would appear to gang-rape a NN hen now and again but what was actually going on is, one would try to breed the hen and another would run in to block the action. To the uninitiated, it looked like 2 on 1 but ion fact, one cockerel was spoiling for the other one.

    After a time, they worked out was running the show and there was no interference, the hen got covered and everyone was happy except the 'voyeur'.

    ****** NEWS OF THE DAY.

    Jason and Ariel have decided to build an incubator with material we have hanging/laying around here. They plan to use it more as a brooder and put the eggs in it after day 18 but it is capable of performing the complete process.
     
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  10. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

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    Man fighters are not worth keeping around. I could not stress enough that the trait is highly heritable. They are not normal. There is something wrong with them. Goodness, even the "good" gamecock breeders will not keep them. That should tell us something. I view it as I would a structural fault. A disqualification of sorts.

    You will have what you tolerate, and if we tolerate getting attacked by our own birds, then . . .well . . . they . . . never mind.

    I hatch a lot of birds every year for my own good pleasure. Let me stress the last part, for my own good pleasure.

    I have had a couple in the last five years. Now let me stress the word, had. Why would I want to raise up a bunch more like that? Why would I want that in several pens? Or all of the pens? What sense would that make?

    I cannot count the times through these threads where I read about someone having some emotional dilemma about what to do about their roo. He will not play nice, but he is a good "flock protector". Then I read of all of the supposed "behavior modifications". From water guns, to cuddling, to everything short of beating the bird. Some will claim that they have rehabilitated their bird. I would say 95% of the time that these were never man fighters at all.
    I always see two problems. One is that they are even talking about it, and the other is that someone produced that bird to begin with.


    Now I could not care less what others do with their birds, or what they will tolerate. That does not matter to me, but anyone new should know that by breeding them, they will produce more like him.

     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2015
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