Can adult roos be trained not to attack other birds?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Bard Shamrock, Sep 30, 2009.

  1. Bard Shamrock

    Bard Shamrock Out Of The Brooder

    18
    0
    22
    Sep 26, 2009
    East Virginia
    Hello, all,

    I'm a rank newbie to chickens, and I suspect this has been covered before, but I'm not finding a lot on it.

    This past weekend, I bought a beautiful 3-year-old BPR roo and two BPR hens, and added them to my 8' x 10' coop which contained 6 adolescent Guinea fowl that have lived there maybe 6 weeks.

    I was initially amazed at how well they all got along, and how docile the Barred Rock roo was toward all the others (the hens were new to him, as well as the Guineas), but today when I fed the bunch, I noted some aggressiveness from the cock.

    The roo and 2 chicken hens immediately went to the feed trough and started eating the crumble. Then the Guineas slowly worked their way forward, and they started to feed as well.

    But then the roo started pecking one Guinea on the head, and "biting" it on the back of the neck. I was standing over the flock when this happened and about the 3rd or 4th time it happened, I shouted "NO!" and swatted the roo in the neck/breast.

    He acted really surprised and bewildered, but within a minute or so, the flock resumed eating. Then the roo did it again, except this time he grabbed the Guinea by the back of the neck and kind of lifted it. At that point I yelled "NO!" and really CLOBBERED the roo in the neck/breast, hard enough that he flew backward across the coop.

    Then he started clucking and strutting and putting on the "tough guy" act, so I challenged him and drove him back and made him retreat into a corner of the coop where there's a bunch of junk (this is where the Guineas often "hide" and it's a mighty cramped place for a 9-lb roo to fit) and then left it at that.

    Basically I was trying to a) correct the roo's misbehavior with immediate negative reinforcement ("Gee, pecking the Guinea birds HURTS!") and b) establish my dominance over him.

    Then it occurred to me that I'm not dealing with an English pointer but rather what amounts to a feathered reptile ... and maybe the cognitive hardware and software to understand such things just ain't there...

    Anyway, as I said, I'm completely new to keeping fowl, and I would be interested to hear the thoughts of you more experienced folks on the problem and any suggested solutions (if there are any).

    Sorry for the long post, and thanks for any insights.

    Jeff
     
  2. Clay In Iowa

    Clay In Iowa Chillin' With My Peeps

    663
    6
    141
    Oct 9, 2008
    Near Wilton Iowa
    Yep.. right after you train them to not be a chicken. [​IMG]

    A roo is a roo, His behavior is hard wired.
     
  3. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

    12,147
    73
    311
    Jun 11, 2007
    Quote:Yes, I have to agree with Clay.
     
  4. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    10,684
    95
    321
    May 13, 2008
    Won't happen they are not people, they have there own social behavior, don't sweat it they will work it out, if not then the only thing to do is seperate them.

    AL
     
  5. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Chickens have personality, and can be mostly pets to us, but even though they are 'domestic fowl' they are not domesticated in the way our housepets are. Maybe if you only had one bird, it could become so dependent that it bahaved in a 'petlike' way, but birds are flock animals, and if you put them in a flock situation, they will behave as nature has demanded they do.

    Your birds will work it out, the guineas will figure out that they need to stay off his radar, or he'll decide to ignore them more... he's trying to keep them away from HIS hen's food source. Chickens don't have table manners, or, they only have their own version of table manners which say, "Roo will make sure his hens eat FIRST"

    You can either put the guineas in a seperate section to feed in, or try giving them a second feed dish, or build a second pen, or... get rid of the roo.

    They really will figure it out though. It's called Pecking Order... and the roo will make sure his girls are on top.
     
  6. Aj1911

    Aj1911 Chillin' With My Peeps

    318
    1
    121
    Jun 4, 2009
    come laying season for the guineas the Roo will learn real fast who is boss

    my guineas are boss even over me and a 150lb wolf-hybrid.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by