Difference Between Protection and Aggression in Young Roos

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BigBlueHen53, Jun 21, 2019.

  1. No worries, he's perfectly normal!

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  2. Yes, Cull this lunatic immediately!

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  3. Neither. Chill out, wait and see.

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  4. Other

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  1. BigBlueHen53

    BigBlueHen53 Songster

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    Okay, fellow keepers, lovers, and observers of jungle fowl, aka chickens, please try to help me out. I seek your guidance, wisdom and experience in this matter. Of the 18 pullets we got back in early March, at least 3 have proven to be cockerels, or incipient cockadoodlers. One roostered up quite early, with the flowing tail feathers, colorful saddle, prominent comb and significant gold hackles and dark belly. Truly, except for the distinctive EE muff, he looks like a textbook example of a Brown Leghorn roo!

    My question is this. He is, at 13 weeks, already showing considerable protection of the girls. Is there a fine line between said protection and actual aggression toward his human handlers? So far he is only standing between his girls and the human. If the hen is in distress, he is not flying at us. But he is calling to her and definitely alerts her to us and puffs up warningly if we get too close. Does this sound okay or like anything we need to worry about? Thanks!
     
    chrissynemetz likes this.
  2. BlueBaby

    BlueBaby Enabler

    I'd watch him for sure.
     
  3. BigBlueHen53

    BigBlueHen53 Songster

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    @BlueBaby thanks, will keep an eye on him.
     
    BlueBaby likes this.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Watch him and your own behaviors(which is key IMO).
    Be calm, confident, and in control.
    Showing/feeling fear can set them off,
    if you're nervous - he will be nervous.
    Walk 'thru' him, not around him.
    He needs to know you are not a threat and aren't going anywhere.

    I'd get rid of the other males asap.
    Multiple males can have them all acting at their worst due to competition.
    If you are new chicken keepers, and especially if you have small children,
    an all female flock might be best.
     
  5. I am not reading any aggresion to humans in your post.
    Have you removed the other two roosters? Three are way to many for 15 hens and fighting or overbreeding problems will soon start.
    Also, if you are pussy footing around this rooster, giving way and looking over your shoulder at him, he will eventually pick up on those clues and know he is the boss of you.
    Do the opposite, stride around your chicken yard with confidence , walk right at him and make him give way to you.
    He may be just fine, im not there to read his body language and behaviour.
    if you have small children, deffinately watch him around them.
    My husband one year for mothers day bought me a pair of beautiful Sumatras. The rooster was beutiful jet black with a 2 foot tail that gracefully arched and shimmerd blue and green in the sun.
    I named him Sinbad. He adjusted in with my free range flock in no time. I had absouletly no problems with him. My husband however who is 6 foot and runs around 200 lbs. For some reason Sinbad decided to fly at and spur one day. It spured him in the back of the legs twice at whick my husband kicked him hard enough to put him though the goal posts and was walking back to the house and suddenly got spured in the back of the head. The problem was ended about 1 minute after that, when DH retrieved his pistol from the house.
    I was at work and our young daughter was at school that day. I think about how that day could have gone if it was my 6 year in the yard instead.
    I hope your rooster will be a good one.
     
    chrissynemetz likes this.
  6. BigBlueHen53

    BigBlueHen53 Songster

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    Thanks for your response, @50-45-1 . There are actually a total of 28 birds now, but the chicklets (19 of them) are a couple of weeks shy of breeding age yet. And there are a total of 5 roos counting the 3 cockerels, I just haven't decided which ones to cull, but I intend to keep only two. According to @Shadrach's incredible article on Understanding Your Rooster, they should establish tribes and get along okay.

    After today, it's fairly certain that Mike is headed for the stock pot, with his son Silverwings moving to the top position. He came at me again in a sneak attack from behind. And, no, there is no "pussy-footing" on my part. I'm an old bird myself and pretty fearless. I grabbed a 4-foot rat snake by the tail the other day and hacked its head off because it had been stealing my eggs, no little ol' rooster is going to intimidate me in my own farm yard.

    My youngest, a grandson I'm raising, is 12, so I don't have "small" children, but I'm also not going to tolerate this rooster bullying him either. Yeah, I have liked this rooster for the last 4 or 5 years, but ... say good night, Mike.
     
    Beccazon, 50-45-1 and chrissynemetz like this.
  7. BigBlueHen53

    BigBlueHen53 Songster

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    Thanks to you, too, @aart. We are not new to chickens and don't have small children. But he has crossed the line in my mind from protecting the hens to becoming untrustworthy. I think it's time to give Silverwings his chance.
     
    starri33 and aart like this.
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Do you have enough space for this to happen?
    Shad has lots of way open space and multiple coops.
    Tho I suppose tribes could be formed in one coop, I would guess it's less likely?
     
    BigBlueHen53 likes this.
  9. ocap

    ocap Crowing

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    A great question on behavior !!
    I am reminded of my favorite rooster and his protective actions on the days that I dusted his hens. I was nearing the point where he wanted to take action but never did. A delicate balance of fertility, correct behavior and action on the part of the farmer that will flip his switch.
     
    BigBlueHen53 likes this.
  10. BigBlueHen53

    BigBlueHen53 Songster

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    We have ten acres and are surrounded by pasture which is surrounded in turn by forest. Neighbors are scarce as hens'teeth. Humm. No, just the one coop at the moment and the smaller shed as pictured below. The old bird in this pic is myself. The little shed I am leaning on is about 5x8 by maybe 4' tall; the Mennonite-built hen house in the back is 8x10. I don't call the hen house a coop because I got schooled by the locals early on. A "cuup" is small enough to fit in the back of your pick-up and is an old, banged-up wire arrangement used for transporting chickens that have been recently bought or sold, lol.
    20190622_190703.jpg
     
    Chickassan likes this.

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