I think my little 8 week old cockeral is testing me

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Happy Chooks, Dec 20, 2009.

  1. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    I had some family over yesterday, and I was showing them my chicks. I pointed to my cockeral, Moose, and he promptly bit my finger. (my 6 year old said he bit his finger too) So I tried to grab him (to show him whose boss), which he ran, so I crawled in the little run and got a hold of him. I pulled him out and held him for a while, he didn't fight me once I had him, but he certainly doesn't like it. When I put him down he was very calm, didn't struggle.

    So, am I doing this right? Anything else I can do? I really want to keep him and I don't want him turning nasty.
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Have you read my BYC page?
     
  3. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Thanks Gritsar - interesting read and it sounds as though you are very tuned into watching subtle animal behaviours. I only have one roo right now and he has not tried to dominate me but is young - around 20 weeks - so the day may yet come. I'll certainly keep this in mind if that day comes....
     
  4. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Quote:Yes, I have and it's great info. But he's not mating (obviously), I don't hold him (except for yesterday or to check him over) and I don't feed him treats directly. (obviously fill the food dish)

    I do plan to chase him occasionally when he's in with the girls. Right now he's in a little coop where the older ones can see him and the others I hatched. It requires me to squat on my heels to get in the little run, so running in there is not an option.

    ETA: If there's anything else you can suggest, I'd appreciate it. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2009
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    The Delaware cockerels are famous for doing that. I broke Isaac of it when he was 12 weeks old by grabbing him up and holding his beak (not over the nostrils, though). He really didnt like that! So, now, he is fabulous and non-human aggressive. When it's that young, it's testing boundaries, IMO, not actual aggression that will continue as long as it's nipped in the bud. My BR, Dutch, did the same thing at 8 weeks old, got the same treatment. He stopped that immediately.
     
  6. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks, Cynthia. I figured it wasn't aggression per se, just testing the waters.

    So how do you hold their beaks? Just gently hold them closed with your fingers?
     
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Yep, just one fingertip on each side of the beak or on top and bottom. Some struggle when you do that, but some like Isaac, would immediately freeze and hold perfectly still till I let him go. It's hard to do when the beak is very small, though!
     
  8. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Alright I got it. I will do that, thanks!
     

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