First challenge by alpha rooster.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BBStacker, Aug 27, 2015.

  1. BBStacker

    BBStacker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 3 (2 roos) RIR and 2 (hen) production Reds, free range in day.

    One of my hens has recently started to lay eggs. I was retrieving an egg from the nest and exiting the empty coop when my alpha approached the door. When I exited, he charged me with his right wing (furthest from me) down and took a few steps toward me (walking sideways) with his left wing still in place. From what I've read, this is definitely an official challenge (his first).

    Other behaviors I interpreted as challenging my authority could be brushed off as a possible misunderstanding or minor occurrence (each one met with a walk in my arms and a seat on the ground until he was still long enough for me to walk away).

    Is my picking him up and looking him in the eye and putting him in the submissive position enough or do I need to up my game on the next challenge (or even before that)?
     
  2. Mutt Farm

    Mutt Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Do I understand that you have a total of 4 chickens, 2 roosters and 2 hens?
     
  3. BBStacker

    BBStacker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    5 chickens....2 roos 3 hens (deciding on which too and when to give him away is best...no problems yet).
     
  4. Mutt Farm

    Mutt Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Your ratio creates it's own set of problems. And the breed. I'm gonna bump.
     
  5. BBStacker

    BBStacker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No problems have occurred yet. They're 6 mos old. Have seen the signs and hubby says no more chickens. I'll get more sometime when he's away for an extended period of time so he doesn't have to deal with them right away.

    Another question. Do I get rid of the alpha or the beta. The beta is definitely a shadow who doesn't show many signs of aggression or even breeding (only alpha is breeding). He's usually the last one to show up and the first to back away from alpha's and my challenges. I want the one who will protect the flock. I believe the alpha will but he may turn against me. The beta hasn't shown defensiveness yet.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2015
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I'd just ignore and walk right thru him with no aggression on your part, just calm movement and talking.

    It's going to be hard to choose because their behaviors effect each other when both there.
    They could act totally different if the other is absent.

    Maybe house one out of sight and sound and see how the remaining bird behaves fora few weeks, then switch them out.
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Animals don't have misunderstanding regarding their behavior. They're either dominant or submissive, challenging or yielding. They can sure "test" you, but it's deliberate behavior. Your beta male will never "mistakenly" drop a wing at your alpha rooster, for example. That would be a blatant challenge, as was your alpha dropping a wing at you.

    What I would have done when he did that was move toward him quickly, stomping at him and probably yelling and making a shooing motion with my arms. A quick, noisy, dramatic action. And keep moving at him until he's run off a good 10 feet or so, then gone about my business. If he immediately turned back toward me and moved in my direction at all, I'd do the same, only run his butt around a little. Let him know that challenges will not be tolerated.

    Were I to get rid of one of the birds, I'd get rid of the alpha. He's only 6 months old and has apparently challenged you more than once, and you've not completely convinced him you're boss. Once the alpha is gone, the beta will likely step up and be a good flock leader. He's also only 6 months old, even though they're breeding I still consider them teenagers at this age and don't expect them to do a grown man's work.
     
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  8. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    x2 everything that donrae said. And just plan on the alpha boy in the crockpot; he's very unlikely to behave better, and will be dangerous if small children are around. Beta boy may turn out fine, or turn into another chicken dinner, depending on his behavior over the next few months as the solitary cockrel. RIRs and production reds in general, can be pretty tough birds, and the cocks are often difficult. mary
     
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Forgot to say.....if you cull alpha, and beta just doesn't step up for some reason, or he also becomes a jerk.....roosters are a dime a dozen. You can try a different breed for a free range leader if neither of your current birds work out.

    I'm pretty sure beta will step up, though. It's very rare to hear of say an 8 month old rooster that doesn't care for and watch over his hens, no matter how wimpy he was as a young un.
     
  10. John Roth

    John Roth Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just because the rooster is aggressive. Doesn't mean it's a bad rooster. It's only doing its job. Protecting his position and his ladies. I once watched a falcon come flying by over my rooster and pounce on one of the hens. My "aggressive rooster" didn't flea and head for the hills. He ran towards the falcon rammed it! The falcon went flying off dazed what just happened. You guys need to stop fearing aggressive roosters like they are a threat to society. They are only doing their job. We need to remember chickens aren't just senseless animals, they are just like any other pet. It's like putting a guard dog down for biting a robber. Yeah they can scratch you. That's why you routinely clip their claws. If you have kids. Keep the rooster in an enclosure or keep an I on the child.
     

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