In the Brooder
- May 22, 2017
My husband came home the other day with a new rooster and of course got no info about this handsome guy. I don't know how old he is or what breed. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
My nephew picked him out so my husband just brought him home. I'm new to having chickens and don't know much about the specifics. The guy told that he'd be good to protect the flock but that's all I got. He's just coming around and still a little scary. I'll try to get a better picture tomorrow.Welcome to BYC!
What's with the men not asking the right questions...geez...
Do I see lacing on his chest area....kinda hard to see in this picture.
He doesn't seem like he was handled too much. But after feeding him for a few days he will come pretty close to me know but won't let me touch him. He's by himself right now as all me chickens are still too small to put in the coop. I'm working with him but any suggestions would be helpful.Looks like some game bird cross. You mentioned he is scary, do you mean to humans, or the bird is scared? I agree what IS IT with men, even young'uns gravitate toward roosters.
Please do not subject yourself, nephew & hens to an aggressive roo.
He has so much going on with his coloring and features I would say he is a mix of a mix but, definite game bird influence.
Here is what Beekissed said--I think this is the post bobbi-j is referring to.
"I'm going to give you a clue on "rooster speak"....holding him down doesn't mean anything to him. If you'll watch how roosters interact between dominant ones and subordinate ones, there is rarely any, if ever, holding a bird down for a long time when there is an altercation. There is very quick flogging, gripping by the back of the head and flinging him away or getting him down and giving some savage pecking to the back of the head or neck. No holding him down and nothing else. That's a rooster on a hen maneuver, not rooster on rooster.
Because your rooster is attacking you, you are the subordinate in this picture. You are getting dominated by your bird simply because you are walking where a subordinate isn't supposed to be walking when a dominant is in the area. What you never see is a dominant rooster getting attacked by a subordinate rooster unless there is going to be a definite shift in power, at which time the sub will challenge the dom and win...or lose. So far you are losing and not even challenging.
If you want to win this battle, you must go on the offensive, not the defensive. He who attacks first, and is still claiming the area when the other guy leaves it, is the winner. Some people never have to go on the offensive because their movements in the coop are so decisive that they move and act like a dominant and a 2 ft. rooster is smart enough to recognize a dominant attitude and behavior...which is likely why he's never attacked your husband. Most men move more decisively than do women and children and they rarely step around a bird, but walk through them.
Carrying him around also doesn't mean anything to him...it just doesn't translate at all. His environment is that coop and run floor and that's where you need to speak to him, in a language he understands. Because they are quick on their feet and can evade you, you need a training tool like a long, limber, supple rod of some kind...cutting a nice switch from a shrub or tree that will lengthen your reach by 5 ft. really helps in this. Don't use a rake or broom because they are too clumsy and stiff and can put the hurts on the guy when you don't really mean to.
When you enter your coop, walk with decisive movements and walk directly towards your rooster. Move him away from the feeder and the rest of the flock and keep a slow, determined pressure on him until he leaves the coop. The stick will help you guide him. Then...wait patiently while he gets his bird mind around what just happened. He will try to come back in the coop...let him. When he gets a good bit into that coop, take your switch and give him a good smack on the fluffy feathers under his tail if you can aim it well. If you cannot, just smack the floor near him very hard and fast until he hops and runs and keep at it until he leaves the coop once again. Repeat this process until he is too wary to come back in the coop.
Feed your hens. When he tries to come to the feeder, you "attack" him with the switch...smack the wall by the pop door just as he tries to enter. If he makes it inside, pursue him with the stick either smacking the floor or tapping him on the back or the head until he leaves in a hurry. Make him stay outside while you sit there and enjoy watching your hens eat. Use the stick to keep him from the flock..just him. Don't worry about the hens running and getting excited when this is happening...they will get over it. This is for the future of your flock and your management of it.
When the hens have had a good tucker....leave the coop and let him come back in. Go out later and walk through that flock and use your legs to scatter birds if they get in your way...top roosters do not step to one side for any other bird in the flock. You shouldn't either. Take your stick and startle him with a smack on the floor next to him when he is least expecting it...make that bird jump and RUN. Make him so nervous around you that he is always looking over his shoulder and trying to get out of your way. THAT'S how he needs to be from now on in your lives together. Forget about pets or cuddles...this is a language and behavior he understands. You can hand feed him and such later...right now you need to establish that when you move, he moves...away. When you turn your back, he doesn't move towards you...ever.
Then test him...take your stick along, move around in the coop, bend over with your back turned to him, feed, water, etc....but keep one eye on that rooster. If he even makes one tiny step in your direction or in your "zone", go on the attack and run him clear on out of the coop. Then keep him out while everyone else is eating.
THAT'S how a dominant rooster treats a subordinate. They don't let them crow, mate or even eat in their space. If the subordinate knows his place and watches over his shoulder a lot, he may get to come and eat while the other rooster is at the feeder...but he doesn't ever relax if he knows what is good for him. At any given time the dominant will run him off of that feed and he knows it, so he eats with one eye toward the door. If he feels the need to crow, it's not usually where the dom can reach him...maybe across the yard.
If your rooster crows while you are there, move towards him and keep on the pressure until he stops. He doesn't get to crow while you are there. He can crow later...not while you are there.
It all sounds time consuming but it really isn't...shouldn't take more than minutes for each lesson and you can learn a lot as you go along. And it can be fun if you venture into it with the right attitude....this is rooster training that really works if you do it correctly. This can work on strange roosters, multiple roosters and even old roosters...they can all learn. You rule the coop...now act like it. Carrying is for babies...you have a full grown rooster on your hands, not a baby."
Think about the difference between the guys and you. They likely walk around that rooster like he doesn't matter, walk right through him probably and don't give him a second's thought. The rooster knows the difference between calm assertive nature and someone who is more timid, more submissive. Standing up to him as he attacks is not going to work, because you've let him take the initiative in the whole scenario...that leaves you on the defensive and makes you a lesser creature in his eyes. He knows you are no threat to him and he is going to press his advantage.
Stop and think a moment. Why are you scared of him? Afraid he will hurt you with his talons, obviously. Mostly they don't even do much with those when they attack a human, mostly it's a lot of wing flapping and movement, but if you are wearing pants, he can't do much damage at all. He's a 2 ft. tall animal, if he's lucky, and big. Can't really do much in the way of hurt right now as he hasn't even gotten his spurs.
Now that we've established he is small, you are large, he only has toenails and a beak, you have the advantage of height, the ability to use tools and you have higher thought processes...meaning you have all the advantages on your side, you just don't stop to think about them when you are being attacked. Why not think about them BEFORE you are attacked? This works...it really works if you work it.
Go on the offensive instead of defensive...use his own tactics against him. Get yourself a long and limber cane/switch and prepare where you will teach him his first lesson in what it means to be a woman on this Earth. We don't get back, we get even.
Take away the feed and feed by meals for a few days so that all chickens have to come to the feeding area at feeding time. Then take your cane and not let him in to the feed by tapping his head, his back, his tail....get him on the run away from you...in fact, use your body and the cane to get him running and keep him running. Don't worry about the hens...at first they'll freak out but soon they realize they are not the target and will go back to eating.
Then...let him to the feeder, let him relax for a few seconds. Then take your cane and give him a swift smack to the fluffy butt, hard enough to startle him and make him jump, then keep tapping him on the back and head as he runs away.
Take your time, enjoy the process. Trust me...this will be fun! This won't take much of your time, but it will be time well spent. Drive him completely out of the coop or away from the flock and don't let him back in.....face him at all times and advance, never back up. If he advances towards you, give him a thwack with your cane and keep walking towards him, make him RUN.
The object of the lesson is to teach him you are the predator in this situation, you have the power to control his movements because he is most obviously the prey and smaller..and weaker. The final goal is to have him looking over his shoulder at all times to see where you are and him moving away from you as you get near.
The next day...do it again! I'm betting you'll see quicker response times on his part, more alertness to when you walk into the coop or run...only he won't be moving towards you, but away.
After that, keep your cane leaning near the coop and tune him up a little every now and again, just for funsies. More important....don't be timid when you walk into that flock. You won't make them mad at you or fear you too much if you walk with confident, wide strides, walking through them and not around them. Walk towards him intentionally every day to make sure he retreats when you do so...that's the desired response. He should walk a wide berth around any humans because we rule the roost, not him. He's food.
If you follow this and follow through on your own behavior, I'm betting you'll have yourself a good bird there. He already recognizes authority, which is why he doesn't bother your menfolk...you just need to let him know you have your own authority and it's called woman.
Raw eggs causing cannibalistic chickens is another urban myth that can't seem to be squashed. It's untrue, no matter how many people insist that it causes this, it just doesn't. Eating a broken egg in a nest is a necessary and instinctive reaction for chickens and any other type bird, for that matter. They instinctively clean that nest of the yolk material and often the egg shells too. A broody hen will often eat eggs in her nest that are not developing or have stopped developing....this does not make her a cannibal, she is keeping her nest clean and removing these eggs from the clutch so they will not grow rotten and risk spoiling the rest of the eggs with bacteria.
They don't "get a taste for it"...guess what? They already "have a taste for it" because they are omnivores. Every single chicken in the world is likely to eat a raw egg if the opportunity arises and there are certain times of the year that it does arise...and every year at these times we see the same posts over and over about "how to cure an egg eater". You don't have one egg eater or even two...your whole flock of birds are egg eaters. I've been throwing raw eggs to chickens for 40 yrs, my Mama has for 60 or so and I don't know how many years my Granny did it, but it was a long, long time. Guess what...no cannibalistic chickens in all that time that needed a "cure".
Also, the one about apples? Another myth...the apple seeds that contain high cyanide levels are those in an unripened apple, which chickens will not often eat down to the core or don't get the chance to eat very often. Ripened apples have been consumed by birds since the beginning of time and that goes for chickens too. I used to have a flock free ranging in an orchard of 16 large apple trees and they would engorge themselves on apples every fall. I now go pick apples for them each fall when I get the chance so they can have the same thing here too.
Onions. I've yet to see a chicken eat a raw onion, no matter how many times I throw them out to them. Cooked onions in other foods that are fed to them? Yep, they like them They will gobble them up like all the rest of the food and show no ill effects whatsoever.
If rice swelled significantly in small amounts of water, we wouldn't even need to cook it, would we? What little dabs of water a chicken takes in won't make a whole grain swell before it can get to the gizzard...where it will be ground into tiny pieces before being passed along to the digestive tract where it's further dissolved by digestive enzymes. Many, many species of waterfowl dine on left over rice after the harvest in rice fields all over the world, as well as all the other organisms they find in those rice fields. They also take in WAY more water than a chicken will in the course of their day of feeding, so the whole rice thing just doesn't hold water...pun intended.
Green tomatoes? Another "toxic" food eaten by chickens since the beginning of time that doesn't kill them....doesn't even make them have a tummy ache. Mine eat a full on plenty of them each garden season and are hale and hearty all the time.
Potato peelings....like onions. No matter how many raw potato peelings you throw to a flock of chickens, they won't eat them anyway, so that whole toxic warning is kind of moot.
Five things on the list of ten are bogus or moot, so it's not worth much in the real world of chickens.
My advice would be to treat him as livestock and not try and pet him. I personally ensure that no cock bird comes within a metre or so of me. If he does, I march directly to him and keep walking - he must retreat. I do the walking directly to a cock bird on almost a daily basis, just to reinforce that I am the alpha. If a cock bird starts to believe that he is the alpha, you're in for one heck of a rough ride.He doesn't seem like he was handled too much. But after feeding him for a few days he will come pretty close to me know but won't let me touch him. He's by himself right now as all me chickens are still too small to put in the coop. I'm working with him but any suggestions would be helpful.