Cochin rooster

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by apprentice, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. apprentice

    apprentice In the Brooder

    Jul 8, 2013
    I put a few pictures of a mystery bird I got with the rest of the girls in another thread. It seems it is a cochin cockrel (so far) and I wasn't planning on having a rooster. What can I expect and is there anything I should do different with him? Sweetheart has a 6 year old very curious son and if a roo got him the roo would be no more. Is this a bird that will cause problems later in your opinions and I should get rid of now or do you think it won't be a problem? Btw there is a batch of guineas in the barn now and they will be sharing the coop. Will the boy be safe with them if he stays?

    Edit... If this the wrong spot please move it or tell me so I can re post it
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2013
  2. Kinda wrong spot but all well :)
    Cochins, in a whole, are very mellow birds. But of course, Roos tend to make exceptions. Is he being raised with older hens then he's gonna be a great roo. If he's being raised with chicks the same way, it's a toss up. Sometimes they turn out to be gentle Roos, sometimes horrible.
    Just make sure that he had a healthy respect (don't be afraid to randomly spook him or a give a soft kick) of humans, he needs to know your the head roo and not even try to challenge you or your son. :D best of luck
  3. NanaKat

    NanaKat Free Ranging

    I have four grown Cochin roosters and all are docile, gentle birds around children and people. They were not handled frequently as chicks or juveniles. As adults they move out of your way and other Cochin roosters but will sand their ground with another breed. They also don't crow much. It's more of ooo, ooo.
  4. SonRise Silkies

    SonRise Silkies Songster

    Mar 4, 2010
    Nanakat, you have entirely too many roos, Better send one to me...[the big Black one preferred!]
  5. NanaKat

    NanaKat Free Ranging

    Maybe one of his sons! He has gotten much heavier since you last saw him. And he has finally started acting like a rooster calling girls and fronting the other males instead of running from them. Should produce some nice chicks this spring
  6. chooks4life

    chooks4life Crowing

    Apr 8, 2013
    Quote: As you're pretty new to this by the sounds of it, if I were you I would spend a good amount of time out in the yard watching, observing. Some warning signs are obvious in retrospect but not at the time. Experience helps a lot.

    Any animal can be dangerous in some way or another, no matter the size or age or gender or breed or whatever. No chicken, dog, cat, horse, cow or whatever is automatically dangerous to us (or other animals) simply by virtue of being male and undesexed. His personality and ancestry counts for a lot more than his gender, as a rule.

    There's a great myth of the inherently violent male that's perpetuated by those who keep and breed violent specimens. It's like those folks who gasp about stallions being used as normal horses, ridden and worked, etc --- while some other folks just get about the job of training it like any other animal of its type. It's OUR mentality that counts far more than the gender, breed, reproductive history, or any other trait of an animal.

    The most recent breeder of the ancestors of your males is the biggest determinant of whether or not you have female-abusing, human-attacking or baby-killing males. If they thought it was all 'just the way it is in nature' and 'normal for a male' --- then they bred it on. If you cull for bad traits you get great males who will never harm females, babies, or humans. Or even each other. It's all strongly heritable.

    If he ever shows signs he thinks you are also chooks or he is also human --- cull. It's totally normal for a chook to try to mate with or attack a human if it does not understand the difference between you and itself. In my opinion artificial insemination and gender separation practiced in hatchery bred birds for many generations is responsible for much of the dangerous and defective attitudes and instincts these birds have. I think for human safety as well as general flock health it is best that hens raise the young, not separate from roosters, so the animal's ancestral memories and instinct of its family unit are triggered and reinforced.

    Some warning signs to watch out for:
    1. He gets overexcited when you pick up another chicken, maybe attacking it or you in the process
    2. He pecks your hands/arms/feet/legs, especially on the back of the hand or the top of the foot, and maybe tries to climb on. He may not do more than peck at you, but it's a vague idea to mate with you causing it
    3. He does the 'happy feet/scary feet' dance towards you; the one with one wing dropped, sideways approach
    4. He ducks his head into his shoulders or lowers it, facing you, 'squaring off' or 'sizing up' --- fighting stance
    5. He tries to get the other chickens to view you as a predator, always giving the panic/alarm call when you approach, or the 'alert' noise when he sees you. It only takes one chicken to teach a whole flock to freak out
    6. He never ever accepts handling, and maybe perceives you as another rooster when you do handle him
    7. He puts up hackles at you or pecks at things he's not eating while facing you and watching you

    A calm and trusting rooster (the safest sort) should be relaxed in your presence at all times. It's a surprise for many, but you can genuinely see intent to harm, a 'nasty eye', in a nasty rooster. Some of the signs I mentioned are not serious attack warnings and may never lead to an attack but are all defective mentality symptoms and I cull for them since I've watched what they lead to. (Nothing good).

    If careful handling and a calm, unthreatening social presence are maintained by you, they should view you as the provider of all good things, and be quite attracted to your presence in a peaceful and nonviolent manner. It only takes one or two slip ups to convince a spacky young chook that you're hunting it, so it helps to be mindful of their body language when you're out and about --- they may think you're chasing them when you're not, for example. I don't use an automatic feeder so they are taught to come to my call and view me as provider.

    I don't treat my roosters any different to my hens. I don't personally believe you need to. No violence is required. Fear is not something I want my chickens to feel when they view humans, I want them tame, friendly and calm, because I have various small children from my family and other's that roam the yard with many roosters and cockerels unsupervised at any given time, so I need the chooks to be as trustworthy as possible. Friendliness is more trustworthy than fear in my experience. Chickens often get game enough to front up to a bully, but rarely decide to have a go at another creature they view with positive memories.

    Their prevailing attitude towards humans tends to breed true in most cases, too. I run a ratio of males to females that reaches 50:50 and up to over a hundred birds quite often, so for all reasons the temperament of my birds is paramount --- for flock and human safety. Never breed a male who attacks humans.

    I handle them all at hatching, usually, and a few times each while growing up, and my rule is that they do not escape my grasp by struggling. They will be gently and calmly released when I say so, not when they decide. I sit with them on my lap and if they freak out when my hand is not restraining them, jump up and run away, we will repeat the exercise. Only calm retreats allowed. ;) Any bird that refuses to be calm as an adult, after I've put in the time, is incorrigible and will be culled or rehomed. I can't have feral-minded birds.

    Anyway, it really is each to their own, others have their own standards and methods and beliefs. But I hope you find what works for you. Best wishes.
    1 person likes this.
  7. Chooks4life -
    VERY good points.
    Personally, all our Roos are sweet hearts :lol: I was spoiled, my first roo ever, a little Cochin, was absolutely babied and sweetest thing ever, and the I got an OEGB that had a healthy respect for humans, and then our other babied roo learned from him and everyone has done the same since :lol:
    Preferably, when dealing with bad genetics from the male line, I prefer to suggest people to go the fear way - they NEED to know your the top male, and not to challenge you. Step out of your way, not attacking, etc. good manners that does take 'violence' (hardly call it that though since they're not being Hurt, simply shoved around like a dominant roo would) to achieve. However, when you can get a good line going of Roos who are calm, and can babied without them being rude to you later on, then treating them like part of the flock is best ;)
    That said, him showing some aggressive behaviors isn't all that bad. He'd would be challenging you, so you have to teach him no, BUT, he is a bantam Cochin. He can't do much damage, really. I have a Serema who, when I grab 'his' hen, will peck me. Granite, he weighs half a pound and I can deal with it, but if he was a jersey giant then yup, he'd be outta here. So I wouldn't cull because he pecked you, or did the boogy danced, he is a teen who needs learning ;) once he's a year + then his personallity will have set in, so if he's still being aggressive and hasn't calmed down, or teaching others your fear worthy, then yes, cull. However I've had my share of luck with Cochins, which while being a rooster is a whole 'nother breed, I always recommend them for first time roo owners. Yet to meet a mean one, have see flighty ones but no mean.
  8. chooks4life

    chooks4life Crowing

    Apr 8, 2013
    Yeah, it's very personal how everyone handles misbehaving pets or livestock. Each to their own and what they find works for them is what's best for them. I'm not trying to state my way is the only right way, though sometimes I do forget to add the disclaimer that this is only my experience and opinion --- which should be obvious, but is always worth saying. ;)

    In my case, I can't have the leniency I might otherwise have, due to breeding so many animals per year to keep the family in meat, and having small children about the place. So I have to be stricter than some need to be.

    I had tried to retrain some males in the early days, with some small degree of success, but found it not 'sticking' in their heads, and didn't have the time to spend on 'upkeep/reinforcing' training to maintain the corrections, because I found males I'd deterred from bad behavior were producing offspring with the same bent to them, or often even worse; it didn't seem to get better... Not viable for me. For someone in a different situation, it may be entirely different.

    I don't actually always cull (kill, I mean) for all the warning signs, but mostly I do for those I noted above, since they often lead to dangerous attitudes. Some other traits I merely rehome for, since some are relatively benign and don't lead to attacks, as I mentioned. But they're inconvenient enough to take too much time and effort on my part to correct. They're all aberrations of instinct; they all potentially represent a dangerous or inconvenient end result. Some of traits lead to hen or chick harming, which some people are happy enough to deal with, some lead to feral mentalities and avoidance of humans, which some people are also happy enough with; etc.

    One nice rooster I culled was extremely tame, but only because he thought humans were hens; he couldn't figure out how to mount, and that's the only thing that stopped him trying. It took me a while to understand why he stood motionless on kid's laps staring fixedly at their chests... You could see the 'cogs going in his head' as his mind ran over and over broken instinctual pathways and ended up at the same wrong conclusion every time. Pupils shrinking, expanding, shrinking, expanding, over and over... Glitched brains.

    I culled because he thought we were potential partners. To a chook that thinks we're chooks too, if it's not a hen it's a rooster, which requires sorting out the pecking order, so I couldn't risk him finding the next steps in his currently harmless mental short-circuit, because the next steps happen fast and automatically.

    He would always make a beeline for the little kids when they sat or crouched, and stand there immobile for ages; the first time he decided where to mount, tried to mate, and failed, it could have lead to instant violence as he'd likely think a kid freaking out was rejection from a male, and I wouldn't have been on hand to stop it in all likelihood. I'm sure you've seen a rooster barrel up to and try to mount a new flockmate it hasn't realized is a male --- how instantly they can turn from mating to fighting when they realize a 'hen' they've tried to mount is a male.

    (I'd also see hens with interrupted or thwarted broody instincts standing on the spot staring at chicks in intense but non harmful interest, trying to recall what to do next, confused. Bit of poetic license there, but maybe you know what I mean... At least some of the 'broken record broodies' actually pick up the pieces and reconnect, and figure out how to fulfill the correct instinctive pattern. But in this case it was directed correctly in the first place, whereas sexual or violent intent towards humans can't go right, it only gets worse. In my experience anyway).

    That rooster never outright tried to mate with a human, but all his male offspring did, and some showed aggressive tendencies... They'd bite onto human hands or feet, try to mount, be rejected, and turn to a dominance fight with the human they thought had turned from hen to roo. Every single rooster I've found who is sexually attracted to humans also mates with chickens; this is not the solution for the error unfortunately.

    This is why I am so harsh with my selection of breeders; even the seemingly harmless traits can lead to or breed on more dangerous ones. Instincts don't stay in stasis --- with every animal they accumulate and reinforce or disintegrate or fade, or worse, redirect onto something wrong. If you have success with your chooks the way you've found works for you, best wishes with that.
    1 person likes this.

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