Rooster will not leave its Roost in coop due to being frightened

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by barnetmill, Oct 31, 2013.

  1. barnetmill

    barnetmill New Egg

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    I purchased an old rooster to test my young farm bulldogs. Basically I wanted to see how they would react since their future job description includes guarding chickens.

    One pup passed the test with flying colors. It sniffed the rooster in the coop and walked away laid down. The other pup that is more excitable stayed at the coop and pawed a couple of times with me correcting/punishing when it did. (The pups while sharing one grandmother represent different white english strains and are behaviorally different. Both are relatively non-aggressive to people and other dogs unless they have good reason to be so.) Later in the day I put some spoiled red hot links in with the chicken to go along with the scratchfeed that I had given it. Both dogs really got interested. I went inside and at sun down the Rooster has climbed up to the roost out of sight and the chicken fencing showed some sigh of having been pushed against. This morning and as far as I can tell all of today it has not come down to eat. I had to remove the sausage hot dog links since fire ants had gotten to them and dogs were still too interested in it. Rooster still to my knowledge has not come down to eat or drink. Tomorrow should I force it out of the Roost if it does not come down? I figure when it is hungry and thirsty enough it would be forced to come down. I am not highly experienced with chickens so I am asking.

    Below is the excitable dog that would not stop being way too interested in the old rooster. Rooster went up the ramp yesterday evening and I have not seen on the ground all of today when I was outside looking. Coop is made of scrap wood and some new wood. It cost me so far about $50 and the rooster was only $5. Today while stopping at burger king there was a hen just strolling in the drive through lane and I should jumped out and grabbed it.

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    Last edited: Oct 31, 2013
  2. granny hatchet

    granny hatchet Tastes like chicken Premium Member

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    what was the purpose of putting the spoiled meat in the coop?
     
  3. barnetmill

    barnetmill New Egg

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    I thought the chicken would eat it. I thought it was alright to feed these birds scraps. Is that not a smart to do, maybe not? I am learning. The rooster did peck at, but did not finish it. It also pecked at some persimmon scraps too, but did not finish them. The lady that I purchased it from was feeding some day old bread along with the chicken feed that she was using to cut down on her costs. She is commercially in a backyard sort of way raising chicken and rabbits. Probably been doing it her whole life.
    The major problem is that the dogs also wanted the meat and started paying too much attention and I think frightened an already apprehensive bird that was in new surroundings.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2013
  4. granny hatchet

    granny hatchet Tastes like chicken Premium Member

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    that is probably all true and do you know how old? but i wouldn't feed my chickens anything i wouldnt eat myself, except for the bugs and worms.lol need some cracked corn or better feed than scratch. that should only be about 10% of their diet i belive. in the meantime some canned corn, cornbread, fresh fruit or veggies would do. no potatoes, chocolate onion. think theres a couple more im not remembering
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    That bird's so little he doesn't need to eat much. If you were feeding commercial feed, like 1/4cup a day would probably be plenty.

    I feed my birds spoiled/off meat all the time. They're not humans, they don't have human digestive systems. They don't have to eat it or starve, but they always scarf it right up. I figure if the crows can eat roadkill, my birds can eat some old meat.

    I'd just let the bird come down on his own. I honestly can't imaging he'd starve or dehydrate if he has food or water available. In my mind, a bird that does that just deserves to die--those aren't genes that need to be around lol. And remember, unless you're out there all the time, he could be stealth eating/drinking and you just don't see it. Birds in a new area often don't feel secure enough to roam around for a few weeks or so. I'm sure the dogs don't help, if the bird hasn't been exposed to them. Just saying it may take longer for him to get comfortable.

    Also--if your dogs or other predators want chicken dinner, that chicken wire's not going to hardly slow them down. I fed our birds some leftover hamburgers once and left, came home to find our German Shepherd in the coop, eating hamburger. She'd just gone right through the chicken wire, pulled it loose. She didn't care a bit about the birds, she just wanted the burger!
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2013
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  6. barnetmill

    barnetmill New Egg

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    I believe that old rooster may be smarter than he looks. I saw him carefully at least for one side of the coop testing the wire mesh. I think he was looking for a way out. I did not ask the grower why she did not want that particular bird, but he was old and was soon destined for a Vietnamese cooking pot. Apparently they often buy the old tough roosters and know how to make them taste good. fortunately my dogs are restrained in a lot of their behavior and would have to really be worked up to deliberately ripped that mesh out. The mesh is sandwiched between two boards with screws. When I am sure about the final appearance of that coop I will likely loosen the boards to place exterior wood glue and then retighten it. We have a lot of predators of just about every species found east of the Mississippi river. I live on a wooded creek area that communicates with very large river wetlands/forests. Everything from feral hogs to cougars are possible, most likely are foxes, coyotes, raccoons, possums, and maybe black bear. The two dogs can readily deal with most of these with exception of the black bears and maybe a very large coyote pack. Some coyotes are as big as these small bulldogs are.
    The one in the picture is still skinny and probably weighs about 60 lbs and might fill in to 70 lbs. The other dog, the more mild manner all white pup not pictured, is still growing and could be bigger. Her father apparently has a lot of old time mountain/alpine mastiff in him. Wt is about 125 lbs with a single rear dew claw on each back leg. He killed a bobcat trying to kill chickens he was guarding. I forgot to say that neighbors have also observed bobcats and one of the neighbors is supposed to have shot one not too long ago. So that is a task the dogs have. I also want them to keep the raccoons and possums away from fruit trees. I found out that they like pears as do the local coyotes.
     
  7. barnetmill

    barnetmill New Egg

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    I returned from a fish fry at 1:30 PM and the rooster had descended from the roost; it was on the ground level and hopefully all is well.
     
  8. granny hatchet

    granny hatchet Tastes like chicken Premium Member

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