Did I do the right thing?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SandraMort, Oct 16, 2008.

  1. SandraMort

    SandraMort Songster

    Jul 7, 2008
    I'm in sort of a strange situation, but it was unavoidable...

    A friend from BYC (hi, Carress!) was going to bring some freebie craigslist roos over to practice processing with me. Due to circumstances our of everybody's control, she ended up arriving and getting them unpacked shortly before sundown. Normally, we'd just move to the (not ideal) barn and work there, but she had work early the next morning and a long drive home, so she had to leave. Roos are illegal where she lives, so they had to stay with me for a week until we could process the following weekend, but I had no place set up for them. (See how it gets complicated fast?!?)

    We set up a lean to kinda deal in the run where my chickens go, unable to quarantine them, but ideally preventing these big roos from picking on my smaller birds. That worked for about 36 hours until the birds figured out how to knock the thing apart. But everybody seems to be getting along reasonably well. There's one alpha roo who bosses the other three around and they all seem to be ignoring the babies and ducks. Despite having demonstrated an ability to fly up to the top of the fence the first day, they also seem uninterested in leaving. I guess our buffet of chicken food and human snacks is appealing enough to get them to stay.

    Last night, I fell asleep while dealing with the babies before putting the chickens in the barn. Long day, very stressful, etc. My husband also didn't put them away, I forget what the reason was. When he woke up at 2AM for something unrelated, he went out to check on them. The two barred rocks had traipsed into the barn with the little birds and were roosting on the highest place in the barn and the two wyandottes were sleeping solidly on the top of the fence to the run. They were indignant when Gary tossed them into the barn and locked the door.

    This morning, we went out to deal with the birds. While I was out there, holding a baby in arms, the alpha roo decided to body slam me. I was livid. I was just so furious I don't even have WORDS. I couldn't do much with my arms, since I was holding an infant, but I kicked him several feet and yelled at him. He instantly backed down. I yelled a few more times before leaving, hosed him with water once and made sure he knew I was ANGRY.

    Did I overreact? Did I UNDERreact? This is a bird I've only known since Monday, it's not like he's familiar with me or how I act, so it's not like I can count on that.

    As an aside, I find it interesting that he challenged me, not my husband. The birds all seem to look at me as the bringer of food, come running at my voice and not his, and follow me like puppes when they're loose. But how did the NEW bird know that?
  2. chickflick

    chickflick Crowing

    Mar 10, 2007
    A roo does what a roo does. He did what he's bred to do. No surprises here. He does not know you, saw you as a threat and acted like a roo. Overreact/underreact....you just reacted to what he did. He'll soon be in your pot.
  3. SandraMort

    SandraMort Songster

    Jul 7, 2008
    OK, but what is the APPROPRIATE response?
  4. spook

    spook Songster

    Quote:LOL Amen. Sorry for the LOL but roos are hardwired, we have this tought that they understand the laws of man...nope, think of them as being the huge Tranasourus Rex, all they can do is think of food and reproduction (aka alpha male) , well, you was showing kindness or stepping in between and cutting off his girls from him.
    Just ignore what happened, if he was going to be a choice roo for my flock- nope. If he is going to be a wonderful chicken noodle soup- yup.
    Lay low until the ax is sharp and then get revenge.
    [​IMG] Then you can do the happy chicken dance [​IMG]
  5. spook

    spook Songster

    Quote:Well, if it was the roo you would have kept, you would need to keep with him as long as is coming at you. Make sure you win. Hose, nah , you have to turn your back to get the hose, and when you turn, you are submitting to his alpha.
    Stand still, don't rush him, but eventually he will keep at you. Sometimes if you pick him up it will create and flight situation where he has to submit to you.
    Now, I've had both. Never allow a roo to "take care of" YOUR hens. YOU are ALPHA. when you sit and see he is taking care of the girls, then you are the 2nd on the list of big bad roos.
    I hope I helped. Somewhere on BYC there is a page on Roosters, with how to deal with them, expect from them etc. Good luck and until you get the answer you want, keep asking!
  6. SandraMort

    SandraMort Songster

    Jul 7, 2008
    Quote:Neither of those. There are no mature females, just four roos and a few dozen babies. And I was ignoring him, as I always do, when it happened.

    If he is going to be a wonderful chicken noodle soup- yup.
    Lay low until the ax is sharp and then get revenge.

    Yes, all four are being processed, regardless of his behaviour. My question is how to handle him in the meantime.​
  7. SandraMort

    SandraMort Songster

    Jul 7, 2008
    NONE of these roos are being kept. I'm asking how to handle him while I'm "babysitting" him.

  8. spook

    spook Songster

    Put him in a pet carrier or crate. If you have a truck cap, put him under it if its on the ground.
    Some folks- not me, will tie a heavy string to one leg and tie him to a stake with food and water.
    cover the fence and regardless to how old any pullet is, roos are roos. At hatching time some roos will pull out the pullets and work them, so when it comes being a teenager, they know just how to spar and take on the other roos.
    Ignoring is not always the answer and the one answer, if you can't lock him in, then keep inside for the less then a week left.
  9. Quote:Process him FIRST!
  10. SandraMort

    SandraMort Songster

    Jul 7, 2008
    HECK YEAH! My husband is already making jokes about his nicknames for them (he "named" them after two political candidates that he doesn't like, and two Disney channel twin boy tweens that we hate) and wants to know which of them this bird is...

    @migocontodos~ :

    Quote:Process him FIRST!​

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