Rooster reform school

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mrbstephens, Sep 26, 2009.

  1. mrbstephens

    mrbstephens Songster

    After much thought, I've decided to work on reforming our much loved rooster. I've never had a problem with him personally, because I've made a point of holding him on occasion and stomping my foot at him if he comes to close. He's never shown aggression toward me and definitely knows I'm the head rooster. Several days ago he chased my son twice because my son was provoking him by dancing in front of him and the hens. (this may ring a bell to some of you on here because I posted about this once before) I thought we'd rehome him, but we just love him too much and I feel we can work on the issue. For the past two days I would hold the rooster and allow my two children to wrap their arms around him while I hold him tight and let them tug his neck feathers and poke his comb. After 15- 20 minutes of this, I put him down and we'd all chase him back to the coop. He was definitely humiliated and scared of us. I had figured we'd keep doing this every morning for a week or so, but after this morning I don't think it will be necessary. He's really very scared of me when I'm trying to catch him and runs all over the run, smashing himself on the wire fencing. This morning he did so badly that he was bleeding in several places on his comb. So I think I'll lay off with reform school unless he shows any signs of aggression again. I don't think I need to traumatize him anymore than he already is. Besides, they only free range for two hours in the morning while the kids are occupied with morning video and breakfast. By the time the kids are ready to play outside I've already locked the chickens up in the coop for the rest of the day.

    I would ask that no one reply with........cull him, make him into soup, etc. because that is NOT an option for us as we love him and would never consider doing this with any animal we've raised. If you're thinking of replying with something like that, please don't reply at all. If you would like to reply with some encouragement that would be wonderful. Thank you!
  2. mrbstephens

    mrbstephens Songster

    No encouragement available? [​IMG]
  3. Ken H

    Ken H Songster

    May 21, 2009
    Arm the kids with a small broom and keep them under close supervision so no abuses occur?
  4. MistyValley

    MistyValley Chirping

    Sep 4, 2009
    Patterson MO
    I would do what Ken said. I think he may understand who top roo is now.
  5. Hotwings

    Hotwings Songster

    Jan 27, 2007
    southwestern Michigan
    I really don't think holding him and letting your kids pull his feathers and poke at his comb and then chasing him is such a good idea. If I were your roo I probably hate you even more. If he attacks I would definately stand my ground but I would not punish him when he hasn't done anything. It is hard to get into a roos mind some are aggressive and some aren't.
  6. Lil Chickie Mama

    Lil Chickie Mama Songster

    Apr 1, 2009
    Quote:It seems to me that you have your answer. Don't let your son do that. Taunting him is wrong and if you haven't already you should explain to your son that doing that shows a challenge to the rooster basically asking him to challenge back. If that's not what he/you wants it's inappropriate behavior for your son. I don't know that I would have handled the roo the way you did, but it did work for you so good job there! [​IMG] I haven't had this problem myself (yet) but I hope it all straightens out. My roosters generally don't come up to be held, but when I go to pick them up after a small chase (if they throw themselves against the fence I stop, it's not worth it to me to stress them out) and get a hold of them, then I pet and use my fingers to "preen" them and speak softly to them saying how handsome they are. Then I gently set them down to a spot that's chest level with me and that has seemed to just make them adore me. That and the fact that I can get to tomatoes on the tomato bush that they can't get to themselves and I always share A LOT! The only time I have challenged my roos is when they overly/meanly pick at one of the girls and only enough to remind them that I'm top and so my girls know that I'll always protect them. I am trying to be encouraging, and as I said, what you did seemed to work for you so again: Good Job! Just keep in mind that your son should be taught not to do this behavior as he is much smarter than even the smartest chicken so he needs to accept his responsibility in the situation.
  7. Mr. Peepers

    Mr. Peepers In the Brooder

    Sep 7, 2009
    If your son is provoking the rooster, it may be your son that needs a little training.

    Your rooster is only doing what comes naturally. If you free range, this behavior might even be desirable. Agreed, when this natural behavior becomes a true threat to you or your family, then a little "behavioral modification" is justified. However, in this case I don't see much of a threat and it appears that you terrorized your rooster to the point where he did physical harm to himself in order to avoid you. That comes across as a little cruel to me. It would have been much easier and kinder to just instruct your son not to dance in front of the rooster.

    Sorry if this is not the encouragement you were seeking.

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