Hey Pete: I'm NOT a chicken!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by karinaspiraling, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. karinaspiraling

    karinaspiraling Out Of The Brooder

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    So, Penelope was hand-raised (by me) and although part of the flock, never quite accepted by the flock. She always looked to me to protect her from bullying, for special treatment, etc. Well, one day, Penelope made it clear that she is actually Pete. Yes. This is unfortunate. She (He) made this known by essentially attacking me, biting my ankle and jumping on my foot. After a couple of times at this, I realized she's a rooster. Pete is a young rooster, so perhaps exhibiting the disposition of a teenager, but now when I go in the yard, I have to keep a wary eye out for him and can't let him near me or he will attack/try to mate with my foot. It's a little bit scary.

    I think not only is it tricky because I raised him, but also because we currently have an imbalance of roosters to hens {Clementine ended up being Clem, then there's Buck the champion of all roosters, and only two hens}, so Pete doesn't have a snowball's chance of getting on his mom or auntie.

    Do you have any ideas on how to curb this behavior?
     
  2. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    As difficult as it would be, I would suggest that you rehome this rooster to a farm that has a lot of chickens and may need an extra rooster.
     
  3. karinaspiraling

    karinaspiraling Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi Chickat,
    Thanks for your reply. I was thinking that may have to happen, and anyway, unless I start stockpiling hens, at least one of these boys has gotta go. I have friends down the road with no lover for their ladies, so...

    Can you elaborate a little for me as to why you think this is only response, though? Just from the perspective of my learning and curiosity, I'd like to know more about this little barnyard drama...

    Thanks!
     
  4. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:I think it's because you babied him that he's treating you this way. He thinks your a chicken. Roosters need to be put in line when they do this. My roosters respect my presence. If they eye me too much, I will stomp my feet and they will run away. Running away from you is good, running at you is bad.

    You may be able to nip the behaviour in the butt if you are willing to put some time and effort into training your rooster to behave. My roosters aren't easy to catch, but they are easy to handle once you get them. Never been bit/flogged. One is over a year, and one is around 5 months.
     
  5. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Hi karina,

    I don't have rooster expertise, but I have spent time reading here on the forum about rooster attacks. That being said...I do know that there are really interesting flock dynamics, and one bird can make a big difference in an entire flock.

    Since you enjoyed your little guys childhood, it may be time for him to move on. That is the basis of my suggestion. In your case, you spend some time enjoying your chickens, and some of that is split keeping an eye out for Pete. So really inspite of the happy babyhood memories of this chicken, he is diminishing your enjoyment of your flock. ;o( You always do have to keep an eye out for the agressive animal.


    We have a cattle ranch, and deal with animals that outweigh us by a lot. If we have any that show agression we cull them as soon as practical, which in our case means hauling them to the auction ring. So any 'high-headedness', agression, excessive fear, fence jumping (alas, we got rid of a really good bull because he wouldn't stay where he was meant to be) and that animal, and those genetics leave the premises. Our result of that approach is that we have herds of fabulously reliable animals that don't freak out. It makes our life easier and safer. Of course an agressive 2,000+ pound bull could cause injury or death, and a lot of stress just being around it.

    Now of course, I realize how differnt your situation is. Perhaps you will get some 'rooster rehabilitation' advice -- but it sounds to me like he could have a happy home down the road and solve your problem, and help your friends, and you could even check up on him from time to time.

    I have a pretty much zero tolerance policy for animal misbehavior. And what an uphill battle for animal rehab when the animal is just exercising its normal tendencies -- albiet mistaking your shoe for a hen. My two cents. ;0)
     
  6. karinaspiraling

    karinaspiraling Out Of The Brooder

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    Well, his babying days are over. When he does this to me, I do chase him; if he is actually on my foot, I fling him back. And I yell. The first time I flung him, and he would just charge right back at me. That first day, it happened probably four or five times before I ran in the house. One time I flung my slipper off and he pounced on that, until the other roosters pounced on him. I tried carrying a stick, but he charged me yesterday anyway {I swung at him and my little stick broke}. I was wondering if my 'charging' was a good approach, or if I was instigating his behavior further and if there was another technique that works better. The hens don't seem to have any good ideas.

    Yes, he for sure thinks I'm a chicken, and I wonder too if his behavior is worse because he isn't really accepted by the gang, so has that victim-of-bullying mentality. I also don't want to give him to my friends and have him get aggressive with them.

    Any other 'training' ideas besides stomping and charging him?
     
  7. chickchicks

    chickchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    too many roosters is not good for your girls - they will ware them out quickly !
    also too many roosters could also lead to fighting with there raging hormons flying left right and center to be on top .

    there are lots of talk on here about how to stop a rooster from having that attitude towards you, id take a look around and try to find some as they sugest many ways .

    hope you can sort your rooster problem out
     
  8. karinaspiraling

    karinaspiraling Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 10, 2011
    Yes, I'm keeping an eye on the girls for signs that enough is enough. So far, no missing feathers...that's the best indication, right? Buck, the king rooster, seems tolerant of his offspring Clem when he jumps on the ladies, and I wonder if he is reaching an age where he's happy enough to pass the torch? He and the ladies came with the land when we bought it last year, so I'm not sure how old he is.

    Thank you also for the encouragement to look around more on the forum for ideas. I did look before I posted, but maybe not long enough. And maybe just changing my search criteria will help.

    Thanks again to both of you!
     
  9. trooper

    trooper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]I had 2 roosters and 6 hens.The roosters would tear my hens up bad.Then they got to fighting and it wasn't a pretty picture.1 was white and 1 was red.One day the white was red and I deided to get rid of one.The one I kept I had to get him with a broom a few times and put him in his place.I've had no more problems.There are a certain amount of hens to a rooster.I'm not sure but I think 8or9.This gives a good balance.Maybe someone else knows the ratio.
     
  10. karinaspiraling

    karinaspiraling Out Of The Brooder

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    Ah! A broom! Will probably work better than my little sticks. I've heard the ratio is like 4-5 hens per rooster...it's certainly not two hens to three roosters, that's for sure. The other thing I'm wondering is if things will mellow out with the onset of winter, because I will increase my flock in early spring, and could populate with enough hens for everyone to be satisfied.
     

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