ROOS - Free range vs caged/penned/not free ranged

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by johnsons-r-us, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. johnsons-r-us

    johnsons-r-us Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] Hello!

    I've read so much about roo behavior in the last few months. Ours are not there yet....but no doubt if we have them long enough something will happen. [​IMG] Has it been the experience of those here that free range roos are better or worse than those caged/penned/not free ranged? I wondered if keeping them confined maybe there was more of a change of them being mean due to frustration of not being able to roam freely and forage, keeping them somewhat busy?

    Is there anyone out there that has had a roo or two for more than a year or two without behavior problems? I'm beginning to think from all I've read that I just need to get a new roo each year to try and prevent issues later on. Maybe it's just the bad stories that come out? [​IMG]

    We free range morning to dusk when they put themselves away. We lock the coop at night and let them out in the morning. I am unwilling to change that. They stay around the 2 1/2 acre yard around the house and we love having them around. At first sign of any kind of aggression that would be it. Zero tolerance is the way it has to be. This may sound bad to some, but the chickens are here for us, not the other way around. I will arrange my flock to suit my family, not the other way around.
     
  2. Blue

    Blue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In my experience, whether your chickens are free-ranged or in a coop and run setup makes no difference in the temperament of the rooster. The only exception I've experienced is with a RIR bantam rooster. He doesn't always like people coming into his coop, but he's perfectly fine when he's out in the yard. Also, the size of your setup vs. number of birds you have will factor as stress from overcrowding could affect a bird's temperament in a negative way.
     
  3. foxypoproxy

    foxypoproxy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My polish roo is really friendly and docile but i have noticed he will get a little frustrated now and then from being confined.
    When hes in an open area in the yard or in your lap, he is very chill.
    So i'm going to say that being confined "could" aggravate them and "maybe" change their behavior.
    My polish is maturing and his hormones are raging so its hard to tell.

    Though, Years ago i had a free ranging old english game roo and he was just mean.
    Didn't matter where he was.
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I don't know if free ranging helped our roos temperments toward humans, as we have no problem being dominant to all our animals and it's just never been an issue. But I do believe it enabled us to have a higher roo to hen ratio and not have the hens overbred. At one point I had I think 4 roos and probably 16 mature hens, free ranging over an acre, and everyone got along well. No bare backs, no fights, nada. Now, we've cooped our birds (a combo of a new dog and too much chicken poo on the porch), are culling our older hens and probably our two older roos. We'll see how things settle by spring and will probably keep a home hatched roo, I like having at least two.
     
  5. johnsons-r-us

    johnsons-r-us Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 18, 2011
    Eudora, Kansas
    Thank you all. I hope free ranging keeps my roo happy for a while.
     
  6. clairabean

    clairabean Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2010
    Kootenays of BC!
    We have a huge Buff orp roo. We have had him for close to two years with no problems at all. One day when I was clipping the hens' wings he was all jittery and managed to come up and take a pathetic little peck at my glove. But he was so nervous, it was almost cute. He has never, ever chased or made any aggressive move towards us, our kids, or our 9lb dog.

    The chickens have an enclosed pen and they sometimes free range our yard.
     
  7. Achickenwrangler#1

    Achickenwrangler#1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think there are just too many variables to predict how well a rooster will 'turn out'. I've read alot of rooster 'problem' stories too and sooner or later its bound to influence you, I have to laugh at myself, there are alot of things to worry about, a rooster just isn't one of those, If hes free ranging without causing any problems, then hooray! If it becomes a problem, then there are bound to be solutions.
    It all depends on your own situation and I am sure you will handle it. All the roosters I have seem to be very respectful of me, maybe totally fearful applies to some, one who won't even roost in the coop (I tried to tame him when he was young but I think he is truley feral) A couple of others can be caught and handled, roost in the coop, and know enough now to go to their own 'cage' at night.
    I was watching them for signs of aggression, since I have had to deal with bulls that needed extra rings in their noses, and rams that would knock you heels over elbows given the opportuity, as well as stallions, so I have to laugh at myself for worring about a little bitty rooster - oooo a beak and spurs! yikes!
    I think they can just sense fear in your body language so as long as you aren't afraid of them, it gives them no opportunity to act the fool. Kids may shrink back from fear and /or uncertaintly so roo sees an opportunity. People do seem afraid of them, I went to catch one last week, and a friend of my husband said something about being careful (I didn't really hear it) and my husband laughed. I kinda wondered what he was worried about.
    I think a free range bird, hen or roo is better adjusted reguardless of sex, and less likely to develope neurotic tendencies, I agree with your statement - they are there for me,to provide a service, if they become a problem, off with their heads!
     
  8. johnsons-r-us

    johnsons-r-us Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 18, 2011
    Eudora, Kansas
    Achickenwrangler#1 :

    I think there are just too many variables to predict how well a rooster will 'turn out'. I've read alot of rooster 'problem' stories too and sooner or later its bound to influence you, I have to laugh at myself, there are alot of things to worry about, a rooster just isn't one of those, If hes free ranging without causing any problems, then hooray! If it becomes a problem, then there are bound to be solutions.
    It all depends on your own situation and I am sure you will handle it. All the roosters I have seem to be very respectful of me, maybe totally fearful applies to some, one who won't even roost in the coop (I tried to tame him when he was young but I think he is truley feral) A couple of others can be caught and handled, roost in the coop, and know enough now to go to their own 'cage' at night.
    I was watching them for signs of aggression, since I have had to deal with bulls that needed extra rings in their noses, and rams that would knock you heels over elbows given the opportuity, as well as stallions, so I have to laugh at myself for worring about a little bitty rooster - oooo a beak and spurs! yikes!I think they can just sense fear in your body language so as long as you aren't afraid of them, it gives them no opportunity to act the fool. Kids may shrink back from fear and /or uncertaintly so roo sees an opportunity. People do seem afraid of them, I went to catch one last week, and a friend of my husband said something about being careful (I didn't really hear it) and my husband laughed. I kinda wondered what he was worried about.
    I think a free range bird, hen or roo is better adjusted reguardless of sex, and less likely to develope neurotic tendencies, I agree with your statement - they are there for me,to provide a service, if they become a problem, off with their heads!

    Thank you for your post! Made me [​IMG] I agree with everything you said. My kids (mostly my 6 year old daughter) like to carry Larry around (our roo) but I've told them to stop chasing him down and picking him up. I figure with all the stories I've read i don't want to take any chances. All of ours have been great so far. They are not pets but to all come running when we go out in the yard as I think they want treats! Now the little OEGB bantam roo thinks he's the boss of our toy poodle and pug. He comes up behind them if given a chance and chest-buts them in the butt [​IMG] They turn around like "what the heck?" look on their faces. Wish I could get that on video [​IMG] I hope we can go a while with our small flock. I really don't want to change out my roo for another year at least. They all seem to get along so great. Like you say, I'll just have to wait and see.​
     
  9. ziL

    ziL Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a more time-consuming set-up where everyone is put in the barn at night, then carried to their outdoor pens the next morning. My cockerals are all very friendly though, partially because of their daily handling, I think.
     

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