New roo tomorrow. Is our mean silky roo toast?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cricket-cricket, Apr 11, 2009.

  1. cricket-cricket

    cricket-cricket Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 22, 2007
    I'd wanted to start a dual purpose flock. We do harvest our own meat, but not among the fans of x-rocks. Among our hens are orpingtons, wyndottes, delaware and rocks. We needed a broody, so naturally got a silky... who started crowing toward adolescence, [​IMG] so no broody there!

    We kept him anyway and culled other surplus roos. Needed a good male - so kept the light brahma! THere was little fighting among the silky and the brahma. (The brahma was totally king). But at about 9 - 10 months - the brahma started to attack us. YIKES! He got about 2 swipes in on different occasions before we had enough. Too bad. Dressed out to 6 lbs!

    That left silky Sue in charge...but within a few weeks - he TOO started becoming aggressive. Is this a learned behavior? He was so sweet until then. I've put up with the pipsqueak attacking now for 1.5 mos. (much easier to contend with than that big brahma! So I'm now 100% SURE he is the sire of the 4 eggs now in the incubator. (Still hoping to get that broody!)

    Our animals are well taken care of, never beaten or chased - but we don't pet or handle them unless needed either, so as to establish a boundary. I'm not sure why they both went berzerk. Both breeds are supposed to be gentle.

    Anyway - back to our plan of dual purpose flock. We're hoping for a good hatch and a silky cross pullet. (Am told they're even better broodies yet!). Tomorrow we'll be picking up a Gold lace Wyndotte roo as replacement for our unlamented brahma (RIP). The wyndotte is of good size and character - has thus far shown no aggression toward humans.

    How do I handle this now? Put him in with the group and hope for the best? Anticipate fighting and let them sort it out? Is there a possiblity that he will KILL our silky? Any chance that after being deposed from the throne, our silky will return to the sweet self he once was?

    Sorry so long. Thanks in advance.
  2. ThePolishPrincess

    ThePolishPrincess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Cae is a Silkie and is also a VERY mean roo. I'm just a softie for him but if I wasn't he would have been out almost a year and a half ago. He is a vicious guy. Try a water gun and keep it with you, spraying him any time you come close to him.

    Roosters are two things. They are either nice or not nice. You have little to do with it. Out of 14 roosters that I hand-raised from birth, hand-fed, handled each and every given day, only one had built up a bond with me. Which figures because he died in a freak accident last December. The only guy I ever missed and still do.

    Think of Silkies as the pretty-boys of the chicken world. Beautiful to look at-horrible, mean dispositions!

    I'm not sure how to integrate them. You'll get better answers than me. But I can tell you that that one Silkie beat the living tar out of two of my roos, so bad the graphic images give me nightmares still. One had raw flesh all over his face and feather plucked out from everywhere and Cae still wouldn't let up. The poor roo is now the lowest in the order.

    Sorry for that, but you get the jist. You have really no chance in getting him sweet or friendly again. And you really don't know who will be the king. Depends upon who will brake first.

    Good luck with them!
  3. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    None of my silkies has ever had a horrible disposition. The roos are especially nice. Your lack of handling your boys is coming back to haunt you.

    Roosters view humans in one of three ways.

    1) as a predator from whom he needs to protect his flock

    2) as competition for the favour of his hens

    3) as a wise, all-powerful and kind treat & food dispensing giant.

    Needless to say, you want him to view you as the third.

    If you fight him, he will see you as a danger or competition. Physical violence against him will escalate the problem. You may win a battle; but he will be cnotinually plotting your overthrow so that he will win the war. Nervously entering his territory and grabbing eggs or hens is a threat. Rather, confidently enter his area, talking to him and telling him what you're doing. No, he doesn't understand English, but you're communicating TO him rather than ignoring him or being wary about him.

    Lavish attention on him while properly holding him so that he cannot hurt or injure you. Offer treats, even if he won't take them (often won't at first). Put him near hone of his hens and take up that bird--after a quick look over, give her back to him.

    There is no option that he can "win"; he must know this as a Great Truth, as a law of nature.

    Body language goes a very long way towards solving the problems.

    Most roos can be reschooled and turned into appropriately behaved flock guardians, but it does take time and deliberate attention to your interactions.
  4. nzpouter

    nzpouter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 19, 2009
    new zealand
    eat the silkie, you might get 2pounds worth of meat... [​IMG]
  5. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    cricket, you didn`t mention the age of the new guy. If he`s young, the silkie could run a good bluff and give him a hard time. If he`s mature, it could go the other way. Integrating roosters is never smooth. Somebody is gonna be at the bottom of the pecking order. Only thing you can do is try it.

    On a brighter note, if you decide to not keep the new rooster, the silkie may be redeemable. The squirt gun idea has merrit, but they soon learn to rcognize the gun and stay away. Never tried it, but I have it as legit, hold the rascal by the legs and dip his head in a bucket of water. When you start to see bubbles, take him out and set him down. Supposed to do wonders for "attitude". You may have to repeat once, but it`s worth a try.

    I believe you have a good chance of getting your broody, either from your eggs, or from the girls you already have. In my recollection most of those breeds have a high percentage of broodies. Good luck on all counts......Pop
  6. cricket-cricket

    cricket-cricket Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 22, 2007
    Thanks all. The new roo is approaching 1 year old, probably from last Springs hatch. Our silky is the same age. I could separate them for a day - but wouldn't that just cause anxiety to mount?

    At any rate - of the roos (or any of our chickens) they were handled only a little - petted some, and the silky was definitley picked up now and then. Too cute not to. So again, I don't know why. The hens all know me well as "the dinner lady". They literally come running and swarm my feet.

    It may be our set-up, but I've yet to have either of our orpingtons go broody. They're now 3 years old. The rest of the pullets (WYn, NGJ, Del, & Rocks) are last SPring's hatch also, I have hope that one of them may go broody this summer....hence the desire for a good male.

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