Handling a young cockerel tips?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MageofMist, Aug 5, 2017.

  1. MageofMist

    MageofMist Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a young silkie who has come of age, he has started crowing... If you can call yelling "WOOOO!" crowing, and this morning he tried to mate with my foot... :lau

    It was 8 am when he started "woo"ing and I was concerned about the neighbors even though it wasn't very loud, so I went out to get him and he did another "WOOO" and ran at me, I didn't move and just watched as he grabbed my trouser leg, and, well, tried to mate with my foot. I picked him up after he tried to mount my foot and he just did confused whines at me and wriggled his legs like he was trying to swim in the air, silly thing. :p

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    He is a total snuggle-bug and softie still and so far him and his dad have been getting along fine without any fighting, but I am wondering about any tips and tricks on raising these rowdy teens.
     
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  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    He's not being a good boy if he runs at you or makes contact IN ANY WAY. It may look cute now, but it won't be cute later. He should move away from you and respect your space at all times. 'Friendly' cockerels are often the bold ones who turn into human aggressive jerks! I'd recommend that you stop handling him and retrain him to keep a respectful distance at all times. Beekissed has a good article about raising cockerels that's here in several places; it may help. Mary
     
  3. MageofMist

    MageofMist Chillin' With My Peeps

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    He only ran at me once today, and usually he likes to rest on my lap or follow me around whining for treats. I did give him a poke (he learned as a chick that means he did wrong, as I'd give them a light tap on the head or neck if they misbehaved) after he mounted my foot and he hasn't done it again today.

    His father follows me around and begs for treats also, but isn't human-aggressive and is very friendly and enjoys being petted, he and Peep-Peep do move out of my way when I walk their way, and if they feel stubborn and refuse to budge, I poke them lightly and nudge them so they'll move, though I also have to do that with the hens as they are also stubborn buggers, more-so than the Peep-Peep and Roo-Roo are.
     
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    It sounds like you're on the right track; maybe carry a stick or something to extend your reach, and move him off before he gets that close. Mary
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Not ever having any Silkies, I can't really give advice specifically about them, but I can tell you what Mary has said - you'd best discipline the young man now or risk consequences.

    Continuing to handle and cuddle a cockerel after he has had his hormones activated and especially after he shows aggressive tendencies, sends confusing messages to him.

    Understand that an aggressive cockerel is behaving that way because he no longer has complete trust in you and may view you as a possible threat. Defining your role and his role as two separate things is what is needed.

    My advice in these cases is to ignore your cockerel, allowing him to find his role and grow into it with as little interference as possible. Intervene only when he needs discipline when he shows aggression, and "mating" with your shoe is aggression, make no mistake about it.

    Immobilizing a cockerel as soon as he displays aggression, only allowing him his freedom after he calms down and submits, is the easiest method. Walk toward him but never detour if he doesn't move. Keep walking until he gets out of your way. These are the rules a cockerel will understand, and as training a dog makes a dog more secure, this will also help to inspire trust between you and your cockerel.
     
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  6. MageofMist

    MageofMist Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't think I need a stick, but I will carry one around to poke him if he gets too, well, cocky. :p

    Silkies are not as prone to aggression as other breeds, being very docile, but he is still a cockerel who's hormones have just awoken which is why I asked for advice. I understand that running up and mounting my foot is dominative behaviour (the savage didn't even do a wing dance :p ) which is why I picked him up and poked him, I would have pinned him and poked him on the head if it wasn't 8 am and thus I was too sleepy to think of it at the time quickly and by time I thought of it, it'd not make sense to do it. He still calmed down right after I picked him up, only slowly wriggling his feet and making confused whines before I took him inside and put him in his sleep pen for a little before letting him back out again, in which he was on perfect behaviour afterwards.
     
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  7. MageofMist

    MageofMist Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Peep-Peep and his mother Henhen got into a fight as she started antagonizing him and his siblings by chasing them when they were just foraging about, no-where near her chicks. I tried to break it up but Rooroo did it for me before I even got there. He actually put Peep Peep over Henhen, his beloved mate, as he kicked her to make her stop and did concerned clucks to Peep-Peep and looked him over after she ran off in shock.

    Peep-Peep has an injury on his earlobe thing and is bleeding, but it looked a lot worse than it was and isn't bleeding heavily, thankfully. ._.; My poor baby standing up against the hen and getting beaten up, at least his dad was there to back him up. I swear, Henhen was a rooster in her past life, she is vicious in combat.
     
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  8. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Drama happens! Glad they are all okay, and I'll bet your little guy will dodge her faster next time! Mary
     
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  9. MageofMist

    MageofMist Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have noticed he has started doing something rather unusual yet also kinda cute. When I lightly tap him on the back to him to get him to move during his more stubborn moments, he crouches down and shuffles away making little whines.

    I BELIEVE this is a submissive gesture, and he hasn't tried mounting my feet since I posted or shown any signs of aggression barring the occasional peck when my hands get too close to his food for his liking (such as when stopping the silly bird from choking himself,) in which he gets a light 'peck' on the back of his head in response and he shuffles away like I mentioned earlier whining. I still cave-in when he hops onto my lap for pettings and give him a good snuggle and fuss, where he even stretches his neck over my shoulder or arm and snuggles into my hair, but it appears it has no effect on the pecking order I set myself in thankfully.
     
  10. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    If you need to have him in your lap, it should only be 'by invitation only'; your invitation, not his demand. He is being pushy here! And no bird gets close to my eyeballs, ever. Mary
     

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