I have discovered my Roo's weakness! Mwahahaha!

PrairieChickens

Songster
7 Years
Jun 29, 2012
1,682
354
221
Kansas
Alright, so here's the story. In our new batch of chickens that we got this year, two of them turned out to be "surprise" roosters. Mars has been no problem and doesn't seem at all interested in challenging people, but Elvis has lately gotten it into his head that he has to fight the big, scary human. I've been very concerned about this, because we already have one rotten roo--Milton--and Elvis is one of my favorite chickens. The idea of him turning rotten just worried me to pieces.

So, as soon as Elvis started acting--forgive me--cocky, I started doing the scoop-up-and-carry-around-the-run routine, but no matter how hard I tried, I just could not get him to take any treats from me. I tried tomatoes and I tried melon and I tried apples and greens and all manner of things, but Elvis just turned his beak up at all of it and left me fretting that I would never be able to tame my favorite little roo...

Well, today, as I waited for the sun to set and the chickens to put themselves to bed, I strolled over to the gas station to get myself a soda and a bag of my favorite snack--Baked Lays potato chips. While I'm sitting on the tailgate of an old pickup bed, watching the chickens forage, Elvis starts to stroll my way.

"Well, hello there, handsome," I say to my roo. "Would you like one?"

I hold out the little piece of baked potato chip, and Elvis eyes it suspiciously, tilting his head to one side to examine it from under his impressive mop of feathers. Finally, he takes one cautious little nip, contemplates it a moment, then swallows. The flavor hits him, and in a split second, he transforms from Elvis: Mighty Defender of the Coop, into Elvis: Lydia's best friend forever and ever.

I let him have a few more small chips, just to make my message clear--after all, I know chickens aren't supposed to have a lot of salt--but even that small treat was enough to convince Elvis--at least for tonight--that I am not a big scary monster.


 

TurtlePowerTrav

T.K.'s Farm
7 Years
Jul 29, 2012
3,382
181
208
Oregon City, OR
My Coop
My Coop
That's how I won my cockerel. Treats. Now he will eat out of my fingers but not an open hand. It took three weeks of persistent treating before he took the first one. I started by sitting down to not make myself so big(6' 215lbs). Tossed treats in his area since he wouldn't come close. Eventually he got closer and closer, then finally took one. I was so happy. Now he is the first to greet me when I go outside and follows me like my dog.
 

RedDrgn

Anachronistic Anomaly
9 Years
May 11, 2011
1,318
86
211
West Virginia
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My Coop
Yep, convincing a fiesty roo that you're a harmless feed machine is an excellent way to curb aggressive tendancies.
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KingBardRock

In the Brooder
7 Years
Mar 21, 2012
27
5
26
I just might have to try that. My roo turned evil a few weeks ago and now my neighbors (who love it when my chickens visit) has asked me to terminate his contract and let him go.... I would much rather find a way to make him more pleasant since last week the entire flock had a run in with the local fox and he termintaed the contract on 7 hens and 2 roosters. :( I will try the chips and see if he likes it.
 

RedDrgn

Anachronistic Anomaly
9 Years
May 11, 2011
1,318
86
211
West Virginia
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My Coop
Consider a "healthier for chickens" treat like mealworms...ours go NUTS for dried mealworms. Of course cheese, millet, lettuce and cabbage are also on their list of crazy-go-nuts favorites. The only time our roo takes a run at my DH and I, it's to stand on his toes and stretch for whatever treat we just stepped out of the door with.
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PrairieChickens

Songster
7 Years
Jun 29, 2012
1,682
354
221
Kansas
Did he just go through chicken-puberty? Young roosters get really aggressive while they deal with the sudden burst of hormones and settle down a bit once they balance out, but giving him treats and handling him now will help improve his attitude a lot, especially once puberty subsides.

I feel for you on the subject of predators. We lost more than half of our original flock to stray dogs and foxes, and we lost two of our new flock to predators... one to a possum and one to my own dog. :(
 

PrairieChickens

Songster
7 Years
Jun 29, 2012
1,682
354
221
Kansas
RedDrgn: I tried bugs and greens, and Elvis wasn't having it. He can get that stuff easily enough on his own, I guess. I know the potato chips aren't very good for him, so I will only give them to him sparingly--it will keep him wanting more, anyway!
 

TurtlePowerTrav

T.K.'s Farm
7 Years
Jul 29, 2012
3,382
181
208
Oregon City, OR
My Coop
My Coop
My chickens go absolutely nuts over raisins. I keep them in a tupperware container, and when they see it or hear me shake it to loosen them up, they come running. This is also when 2 of my girls will jump up and sit on my legs. But only for the raisins. If I have bread, mealworms or any other treat, they come but aren't so excited.
 

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