Cockeral Behavior...Normal?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by RedTailRanch, Apr 22, 2008.

  1. RedTailRanch

    RedTailRanch Songster

    Mar 19, 2008
    Portland, OR
    My Coop
    I have a 7 week old Ancona Roo who has started to get very aggressive towards all the other chicks. He pecks at them and chases them around constantly. He especially picks on the ones that have had AE problems and splayed leg (as a side effect of the AE).

    I separated him from the flock (there are still two other Ancona Roos in there). Here's the odd thing, since separating him I have decided to let him hand out with me when I am working in my home office or at night when I am watching TV. He is totally fine with me, and loves to sit in my lap and sleep. He seems to nice with me, but not so nice to the girls in the brooder pen.

    Is this odd for him to be mean to other chickens but nice to me? I was thinking I would have to get rid of him (especially since I have no shortage of roos) but now I am kind of attached to him. He is pretty cool.
  2. RedTailRanch

    RedTailRanch Songster

    Mar 19, 2008
    Portland, OR
    My Coop
    Well...either my posts are not very interesting or I'm hugely unpopular! No one seems to have any opinions on this, but you can find 5 pages of comments about a hen sitting on peacock eggs (no offense Ruth, you are always very nice).

    Anyway, Stripe is still separated. Every time I put him back with the girls he starts chasing and pecking at them immediately. When he is not in there, everyone seems much calmer and happier. I had put him in a dog kennel, but ended up taking him out of there and putting my last two AE chicks in there (since everyone else is recovering and the last two were still getting trampled and picked on).

    I keep spending time with him, but it's not helping. In fact, after spending the first night in a separate cage (inside the brooding room) he seemed ticked off at me. When I opened up the door he started attacking my hand. That was the first time he has done that.

    I don't believe in killing anything, so culling is not really an option for me. Especially a roo who is so beautiful as well! I am hoping that when they are out in the coop and have the days to free range that he will get better.
  3. zatsdeb

    zatsdeb Songster

    Oct 2, 2007
    Lincoln, Illinois
    I know what you mean about noone answering posts, I usually click on most recent posts... sometimes the posts just come rolling in and a new one just dissapears!!!
    I had a light brahma rooster, he was my first, I ordered all male chicks, heavy breeds, and ended up with him, and 2 hens, buff orfington, and black austrolorph, and he started getting goofy, and I had to pen him up by himself, maybe he didn't have enough hens, and then he started trying to flog us every time we went in his pen. I had my hens sit on eggs and hatch them, and a few chicks slipped into his pen and he killed them, plus he killed some other little birds that flew in to eat his feed. He was beautiful, but we ended up getting rid of him. I have his son, elvis, and he is the sweetest rooster ever! so I think you just get good ones and not so good ones, you never know. we treated him as a pet too, I could pick him up and pet him, but he started trying to attack me when I would put him down.
    this is Elvis.....the king!
  4. farm_mom

    farm_mom Songster

    Mar 11, 2008
    I had a rooster like too, a dark cornish. He never bothered us, but was way too tough on his brood mates. We separated him for a couple of weeks, hoping the pecking order would re-establish w/o him and he'd be the less dominant roo. But, once he was back in with the gang he was a bully once more. We had to get rid of him. Sorry not to be more helpful! Good Luck!
  5. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

    Sep 20, 2007
    Northeast Texas
    The Ancona cockerels that I had were always more aggressive. They picked fights with everyone, from pullets to established flock roosters. Sometimes they just have more aggression than "normal". You'll have to keep working with him and hopefully for you after he matures more, his hormones will settle down and he'll become calmer.
  6. RedTailRanch

    RedTailRanch Songster

    Mar 19, 2008
    Portland, OR
    My Coop
    Thanks! It's at least nice to know that I'm not alone. I will keep working with him and see his behavior improves once they are out free ranging. I got the Ancona Roo on purpose (although I ended up with three instead of one!) because of their ability to protect a free ranging flock from predators.

    I'll give him a few more weeks, but after that I will either pen him separately, or re-home him if he doesn't shape up!

    Oh, and Elvis is beaujtiful zatsdeb!!! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2008
  7. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    You're going to have to decide for yourself how much aggression you're willing to tolerate from this roo. I've encountered enough mannerly ones that I simply will not tolerate any misbehavior from any others, no matter how handsome they are.

    And when it comes to culling roos, you can think "what a shame to eat something so handsome" or you can think "look what an attractive package our meat comes in!"

    Personally, I don't think you can do a whole lot to improve the nature of an individual chicken. A lot is determined by the tendencies of the breed and the particular disposition of the individual. Of course, rough, harsh, unkind handling will make any chicken more wary, fearful, and defensive. And certainly there are *occasional* instances where chickens can be nutured back to gentleness.

    But I think most of a chicken's temperment comes out of the egg with it. We tend to and handle all our chicks the same way and some just don't want to be held, ever, not even from the start. One of our most fiesty roos, a little Sebright, was the children's favorite as a chick, so he got lots of affection & attention. Until he matured into a sneaky ankle-stabber.

    We can condition our chickens to trust us, to expect kind treatment and tasty treats, but I don't think we can do very much to change their core nature. If they're aggresive towards humans or other chickens then their best contribution to the world is their tasty meat. There's no need for them to pass their aggressive genes to future generations of chicks, and inconsiderate to re-home them & their problems at another location. And the best time to cull them is BEFORE they cause a serious injury to some one or animal.

    I wish you the best with your birds & all your decisions concerning them, especially the most difficult ones...

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