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Rehoming behavior

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by joneus, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. joneus

    joneus Songster

    Apr 2, 2011
    Ballston Spa
    How long does it take for a rehomed chicken to adjust to their new home and new family?

    I took one of my 4mo roos, Willie, to his new home on Saturday. From the day he hatched, he's always had a very friendly personality and had never shown me any sort of aggression. So, you can imagine my concern when his new mom sent me a message that he's been attacking her pant legs when she goes into his pen and that he bit her on the lip! THAT is not the boy I raised!!

    I feel terrible about this! He was such a nice little roo when I gave him to her! [​IMG] Its only been a few days, so we're both hoping that he just needs more time to adjust. Any thoughts on what she can do to help the process? I dont know a whole lot about chicken psychology, but he was the dominant rooster of my flock- could he just be trying to establish dominance with her? Should I have not given him away?

    Oh dear Bob, I never, in all my life, thought I'd be worrying about the emotional & psychological welfare of a chicken!!! [​IMG]

    If he continues to be a problem, I am willing to take him back- but what are the odds that this will be a permanent change?

  2. chi-rn

    chi-rn Chirping

    Jun 11, 2011
    Well, at 4 months, he's really just beginning to try on his rooster feathers (so to speak). I think that, coincidentally to rehoming, his hormones have also kicked in. He's going to test his space. You want a roo that is dominant enough to protect the flock .. that's what roos do after all. But you don't want a roo who is aggressive towards people, especially those who must enter the chicken space! I'd encourage her to pick him up & carry him around for 10 minutes or so at least once a day so he can get a taste of human versus roo & realize the difference. I do this with my roo. He doesn't want to be picked up, but I want him to learn to keep a wide distance between us & to leave me alone when I want to handle my hens. If he comes too near me, he gets picked up. I put one hand over his head & make him hold his head down in submission. If he picks it up, I gently lower it again with my hand. He has to be calm when I put him down. If he struggles, I keep holding him. But, I'd never let his beak get close enough to my mouth to take a peck. I'm doing all this before he gets his spurs. If he learns to respect me, I'll respect his need for space. If he doesn't, I'll invade his space! Being a protective & fiesty roo is OK. But, aggression towards humans cannot be tolerated.

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