Do they sense our feelings?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Sinful chick, Jul 16, 2018.

  1. Sinful chick

    Sinful chick Chirping

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    My rooster, Bob, loves me and rarely shows any aggression towards me ever!! However, he HATES my 21 yr. old son. My son refuses to go out back, where my 3 chickens free range. He is TERRIFIED of Bob!...and, yes, Bob will attack him! My son has a severe case of “alectrophobia” now. Does my rooster sense fear like a dog, and act on that?
     
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  2. True Patriot

    True Patriot Songster

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    All animals that I've encountered are better at picking up on signals we give. Body language, sweat, odor, facial expressions. All are indications to an animal on behavior. Fear can be read as aggressive to an animal that processes thought in the "fight or flight" mentality. Just like over confidence can be seen as a territorial challenge. If "Bob" acts aggressive, figuring out the cause should be the first step in correcting the behavior. Keep in mind some animals have a " mean streak" and can't or won't change. If that's the case, you're left with the decision to cull or tolerate
     
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  3. Sinful chick

    Sinful chick Chirping

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    Thanks for your input!! My son has tried making peace offerings of food and “talking” to Bob, while kneeling down to get to Bob’s “level”, as to maybe not intimidate him so much. Nope. I offered him suggestions to try, too: Talk to him in a soft, soothing voice; make eye contact; don’t make eye contact; move slowly; run like HELL (which I thought was halarious, watching a grown man being chased by a chicken!! He didn’t share my sense of humor, however!) And many combinations...to no avail. I told him to just walk by and ignore Bob, and that seemed to work best but Bob was “walking REAL fast” behind him and finally broke into a full run! I LOVE my chickens with all my heart!!! SO, I guess the REAL question is : Which one of the two should I cull and which one should I tolerate?
    ...Tough decision...hmmmm..
     
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  4. MSirrell91

    MSirrell91 Chirping

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    Has your son tried to show him who's boss with a hosepipe if he gets too close?
     
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  5. dotporter

    dotporter Songster

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    :lau
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member 5 Years

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    Rarely, but not never?
    How old is this bird?

    Yes, they feel our fear and anxiety and it makes them nervous.
    It can be very difficult to stay calm cool and confident around a nervous flapping bird,
    especially if you've been attacked by a cock/erel,
    but that's what works best....tho it's not any 100% guarantee.

    Any other members or friends of the family having trouble with Bob?

    It will take time and consistency to overcome....but y'all might be happier to have a female only flock. The only reason one really needs a cock/erel is if you plan on hatching eggs, even then you would but fertile eggs. Predator protection? - nah, just a speed bump. Beauty and crowing and flock dynamics?-Yeah, but not worth a humans discomfort and possible injury.
     
  7. True Patriot

    True Patriot Songster

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    I've never had an aggressive chicken, but I have trained several aggressive dogs. What I've found useful is being confident but not forceful. With dogs the "alpha" will not initiate contact. Getting on their"level" is a form of submission making them the dominant one. The best chance is to ignore the presence until and aggressive act, then correct immediately. In order for them to recognize the behavior is bad they have to be in the middle of it. After 5 seconds they no longer associate the act with the punishment. Keeping in mind that this is dog experience, I don't know how successful it will be with a rooster. Best of luck
     
  8. BreanneRN

    BreanneRN Songster

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    Possibly, initially your rooster may have seen your son as a threat that he needed to remove from the coop. Since that has worked for him, even to the point that your son (on your advice) has made submissive gestures, he now sees your son as a possible threat that is easy to remove from the coop since he (the rooster) is completely dominant. At this point, it is unlikely that the rooster and your son will ever be friends, but your son can become dominant to the rooster if he changes his behavior from submission to dominance, which shouldn't be that hard since he has a tremendous size advantage. Never run from a rooster, you are just telling them you are weak and easily dominated. Be strong, confident, non-avoidant, force the animal to back down/get out of the way. If the rooster attacks, meet the attack with equal force, or spray with a water hose. After he loses a few encounters, the rooster may treat your son with more respect. But your son should probably watch his back, as the rooster may always be seeking ways to regain dominance and sneak attacks are common. Offerings of food and "getting down on their level" should be reserved for the timid/flighty members of the flock that you are trying to tame down.
     
  9. Sinful chick

    Sinful chick Chirping

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    Yes, but I was “told” all that would do is make him angrier...so I told him not to hurt Bob AT all!...
     
  10. Sinful chick

    Sinful chick Chirping

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    Bob has only gotten bent out of shape with me once. It was because I had one of his girls in one arm and a fresh water dispenser in the other hand...he didn’t know what that was , so he went “through” me to kill the water thing to protect his woman!
    I understand what you’re saying as far as going “female only”, but I have fallen deeply in love with my babies, and love each one of their distinct personalities!! I was just hoping there was some kind of trick that I didn’t know about...I’ll keep on trying, if I can convince my son to! He’s only with me temporarily until his house is built. He’ll have to deal with it! Thanks for all your help!!!
     
    Better Than Rubies and aart like this.

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