New puppy; very mean rooster

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Karen in Colorado, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. Karen in Colorado

    Karen in Colorado Hatching

    Apr 17, 2009
    Hi. I'm new here and hoping some wise chicken and dog owners can help me make a decision. I have eight hens and one very mean rooster. I got a new puppy (my first dog as an adult) last weekend. She's a Border Collie/Aussie Shepherd mix -- a "working dog." I got her in part to intimidate foxes and other pesky predators, which I know she don't do right away, but that's the long term plan. I want her to be outside most of the day every day while my hens run the place and keep watch over them.

    My concern is my very, very mean rooster. I've been putting up with him for a year, but am concerned he's going to go after the puppy and make her afraid of the chickens instead of interested in protecting them. I keep asking people and it seems my options are:

    (a) Let the rooster give the puppy a run for her money so that she won't want to EAT the chickens.
    (b) Get rid of mean rooster.

    I'm leaning toward (b) because he's a real pain -- literally for me from time to time. I'm actually afraid of him. Is there any reason to keep this rooster in terms of flock management? Would mean rooster and new puppy eventually work out the kinks in a new relationship? Any and all advice welcome. Thanks!

  2. mwdh1

    mwdh1 Songster

    Mar 21, 2009
    first of all [​IMG]

    and for your question, I would say he sounds like soup to me.
  3. karen71

    karen71 Songster

    Apr 27, 2008
    Bear, DE
    Others will tell you cull him

    Especially if you are afraid of him - I have no roosters but apparently there are nice ones out there.
  4. raindrop

    raindrop Songster

    Feb 10, 2008
    Western Oregon
    I agree.
    There are plenty of nice roosters out there that do an excellent job at flock protection.
  5. BirdMom

    BirdMom Songster

    Mar 15, 2009
    Yep, cull the roo. I'm sure he'll make a tasty soup. There are plenty of good roos out there if you need a roo.

    Good luck! Enjoy the new dog.
  6. Jena

    Jena The Welsh Witch

    Nov 2, 2008
    I am agreeing with everyone else and for a slightly different reason.

    I also have a Border Collie, a large excellent dog, and maybe what I say will not apply to your little girl due to the aussie bit of her.

    My big bold dog, is a sensitive soul. ( highly intelligent too). he was bouled over by a cocker spaniel when he was a puppy and has never forgotten it.

    He was being playful and I was shocked to be honest that a cocker started to play with him and then quite aggressively rolled him over and became quite nasty. My boy is now a large dog really and very playful, but is so wary of other dogs, and runs a mile if he sees a cocker spaniel, he has never forgotten.

    So I am thinking that maybe if this Roo did push your girl around then it could spoil here for being around your chickens.

    Soup for sure.
  7. KattyKillFish

    KattyKillFish Songster

    Mar 8, 2009
    Dillingham, Alaska
    i would HAVE TO SAY option A. the pup will grow in fear of the roo, and likely wont kill them eventually. you'll still have to watch out though, all dogs have the potential to be chicken killers.

  8. basicliving

    basicliving Keepin' the sunny side up

    Mar 20, 2008
    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    Hi Karen in Colorado and [​IMG] !!!

    I had a somewhat similar situation when we got two new puppies in January. Although my rooster, Duke, is not "mean", he is a big roo and he is very protective of his flock. When the pups were very young, we never let them outside without being on a leash - mainly because we didn't want them to chase chickens and hurt them out of playfulness. We wanted to "work" with them and learn that the chickens are part of the family. I was quite surprised to learn that they had no intention of messing with the chickens - but the rooster had EVERY intention of attacking them! Like I said, he is very protective of his flock and saw them as a threat. Over the months, we have finally gotten our rooster to mostly accept that the dogs are stay and are not a threat, and the puppies are learning not to chase chickens. When Duke came at the pups, I would pick him up, and cradle him like a baby. Then squat down and let the pups sniff him. I did this several times, and he eventually quit coming at the pups. This is an ongoing process, but now the puppies go out without a leash - although never without our supervision. Eventually, I believe we will be able to trust them out alone - but it will be a while. Last night our little male pup, Diesel, was laying on the ground with chickens pecking all around him and he was just watching them. Duke doesnt' seem to like them anymore today than he did the first day we got them, and he fusses when they get close, but he no longer comes at them.

    As for your rooster, it sounds like you have already had issues with him being aggressive and you are somewhat afraid of him. Even without the new puppy, it sounds as though you were leaning toward getting rid of him. So, I've written all the above to say this - if you are willing and comfortable enough to work with your rooster, I firmly believe you can work it out and all will be well. But if you are not comfortable handling your rooster, you should probably get rid of him. Not only for the puppy's sake, but for yours.A good rooster is worth his weight in gold - but I personally wouldn't have one that I felt threatened by and couldn't handle and work with.

    Let us know what you decide. Best of luck.

  9. Karen in Colorado

    Karen in Colorado Hatching

    Apr 17, 2009
    Thanks, everyone, for the warm welcome and advice about my mean rooster. Sounds like the consensus is that he needs to go. I almost got rid of him several months ago because he's so aggressive and now with the puppy that seems even more likely. Penny, I'm amazed that you can pick up your rooster! I could never, ever do that with this guy.

    I got 20 new peeps yesterday. They're in a galvanized tank in the living room the the puppy watches them through a grate that's over the tank. My hope is that the puppy, Lucy, is learning to view them as "her flock" to take care of. Who knows what she's actually thinking. If there happens to be a rooster in this batch hopefully if it grows up with Lucy they can have a cordial relationship.

    More advice and comments welcome. Thanks again!
  10. TheDuckCrew

    TheDuckCrew Songster

    Feb 21, 2009
    well with teh 20 new babies, you will probably have a nice roo in the bunch. as for the dog, i think its better that she is a girl. i have shih tzu and she's an old girl, but when we got our ducklings, she instantly adopted them as her own babies. she would scare the cats away and would lick them clean. she could herd them anywhere and would growl if anyone got too close and the babies got scared. hopefully your dog will love the chickens just as much and protect them.

    oh and WELCOME TO BYC!!!

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