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Rubbish Cockerel?!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by EmmaJane88, Sep 28, 2013.

  1. EmmaJane88

    EmmaJane88 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi all!

    I hatched out at the beginning of June and now have a lovely boy called Tetley and his 3 girls. Tetley nips everyone but me but seems to be very friendly and non aggressive to both hens and humans.

    However.

    I think he's a bit of a rubbish protector so far. Whenever there is possible danger (cats for example) he runs away leaving the girls. He also bullies the girls out the way to eat from my hand first!

    I thought he was supposed to break up hen fights (not done that yet!) and let them eat first? He does crow in the morning but that's the only manly thing he does!

    Will he mature & start being a good husband soon? Xxx
     
  2. DStewart PDX

    DStewart PDX Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Roos are just like people. They come in all different personalities and termperaments. Maybe let this guy hang around long enough to produce some baby chicks, then get rid of him and see if one of his offspring will be a better roo for what you need.
     
  3. EmmaJane88

    EmmaJane88 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I only need him for his lovely temperament so I won't be getting rid of him. Will be hatching from him though & keeping the girls. Just wondered whether he might step up to the plate or if he'll always be one of the girls! Hehe! Xxx
     
  4. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    He is still a baby, it takes awhile for most roosters to start doing all the roostery things like wing dancing while courting the girls, finding and offering them food, and watching over the girls. Most adolescents scream and run from danger, but most flock roosters do get braver as they get older and become protective of their hens.
     
  5. EmmaJane88

    EmmaJane88 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just what I wanted to hear, thank you! I have a real bond with him so wouldn't want him to go! Xxx
     
  6. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    The fact that he's pecking people says to me that he will grow into a rooster who attacks. A peck is bad enough as an indicator, but once he grows his spurs, human lives can be at risk. Probably the majority of serious attacks are made without warning and directed at faces, launched when the human is in a vulnerable position, i.e. bending over or sitting or lying down. A human-pecking rooster is about all the warning you usually get in advance.

    This is not mentally healthy/natural behavior and is highly heritable. He would have inherited it, too. At no point does a psychologically sound and healthy male view a human as another bird to attack, or as a mate. It should never cross his mind.

    You're right that he should be letting the girls eat first, unless there is an overabundance of food, when he would share not bully them away from it. A male can tell from one glance if there is enough for him as well as the hens, and a good male will stand back and let hens eat if there isn't enough to share with them. The same as a good mother hen standing back and letting her babies eat if there is not enough for her to share. They can tell at a glance whether or not there's enough. A female has a higher demand on her body than he'll ever have, and since feeding her assists his chances of passing on his genes, a good male makes sure her needs are met. The fact that he bullies them away from treats says to me that he's also a dead loss as a rooster. I would expect him to attack babies as well, given how faulty he's indicating himself to be.

    These human-aggressive and hen-aggressive behaviors never, ever show up in a truly good cockerel or rooster, and I've never heard of one growing out of them either.

    Males are not actually supposed to break up hen fights. This is not a natural instinct but rather an altered one we bred into them in captivity throughout countless generations raised in artificial environments and socially fragmented groups. Just like we bred maternal and paternal instincts out of some breeds; we've also bred such warped instincts into some that we now have males who kill females and females who kill babies, and even babies who kill other babies. These are not natural instincts but rather what remains or develops when we prevent natural expression of healthy social instincts for many generations in a row.

    A female competes with other females to determine who is the top hen, and a male competes with other males to determine who is the top rooster. These two alphas, in the wild as well as in domesticity, would naturally then pair off, maintain a territory against all others of their own genders, and breed superior offspring to any birds that failed to win against them. Sometimes a top hen might allow a subordinate hen or two to also join the family group. At no point does a male in his right mind harm females or interfere in their fights.

    If another animal interferes with the social order competition between two other animals, problems almost always arise. The two animals contesting their places on the social ladder don't have their competition resolved, but rather interrupted and thus postponed, because the contest will keep recurring until both contestants are sure which is subordinate and which is dominant. This interruption by a third animal can and often does lead to increasing violence between them as they repeatedly try to resolve the problem but are interrupted every time. The same is true of a hen who breaks up rooster fights. Nothing is solved between the males and next time they fight it may be fatal instead of a quickly resolved, bloodless dispute like it could have been the first time.

    For the same reason, a mother hen never solves her offspring's hierarchy squabbles, because they are both necessary and healthy. Once you have an animal that viciously attacks a subordinate who has shown submission though, that's a bully, and will likely breed on that violent mentality.

    Some chickens are overexcited whenever two others fight and they jump in and attack both fighters. This solves nothing. If it's a rooster, the hens may stop their squabble to avoid being spurred to death, but that's a very faulty rooster, not some kind of benevolent dictator like some folks think. These same folks tend to have vicious hens, and don't know why.... The same is true of every social species; if two adult animals are contesting their ranking on the hierarchy, other animals interfering makes more trouble down the track, not solves it, and the whole issue escalates over time instead of being quickly and often permanently resolved with little harm done. I've seen this happen with chickens, cats, dogs, and ruminants. Even a human interfering is mostly harmful, not helpful. The only time more animals being involved in the fight is positive is in the case of, for example, a lion pride, or a wolf pack, repelling a common enemy. But chickens don't often develop such tight group bonds at all; they have a flock they hang out with, but within that flock it's often very much "each bird for itself", with every bird ranked above or below others of its own gender. No cross-gender-competition is natural, since no rooster should be competing for top hen spot and no hen should be competing for top rooster spot.

    If the two contestants can't resolve a fight, one or both need to be removed, since they lack social coping mechanisms. It's very rare that two perfect matches meet up as opponents but various faults of genetics or mentality can provoke prolonged fighting, i.e. when a genetically inferior animal insists it should have a dominant ranking over another animal which knows it's the healthier of the two.

    I would never tolerate a rooster or cockerel who damages hens. A breeding male is worth nothing if he harms females, unless he can lay and incubate his own eggs. ;)

    There are great roosters out there, many being culled for lack of a home, so I'd advise you to be rid of this sorry excuse of a male asap and get a good one. Worlds of difference, and the only people who will tell you all males are like yours, are the ones who have never had a good male and refuse to cull bad ones... In fact, they're probably the same kind of folks who bred this faulty rooster of yours. Some people have strange ideas of what is natural and think male abuse of females is healthy. If you breed him you can look forward to more males that peck people, bully females for food, and butt in on hen-fights. You may be willing to try to resolve the issue but chances are you'll have to repeat whatever you try with each generation descended from this rooster, for years to come.

    I've culled for bad behaviors and bred for good ones, and very quickly I no longer needed to cull again for the problems I did not breed on. It's been that simple. I breed them for multiple purposes and so I've bred many hundreds, from all sorts of genetics, having a ratio of males to females that reaches 50:50 all freeranging together without violence or harm, and I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that behavior is inherited for the most part and only slightly learned. In one lifetime, a good rooster won't learn the negative behaviors yours is exhibiting, even if he's mistreated. That would take a few generations to breed into his family line, and once it's in there it'll take about 5 to 7 generations to breed out, on average.

    Not one of my roosters or cockerels mistreats a female or attacks humans. So unlike some people I don't have to deal with messed up hens and being attacked by my roosters, which is vitally important if you have small children about the place. Even if you don't, please consider that at some time in future someone will likely end up with a descendant of your male if you breed him, and violent inherited behavior shows up often out of the blue. This theoretical someone might have children. Even adults can be badly scarred and maimed by roosters.

    Best wishes.
     
  7. EmmaJane88

    EmmaJane88 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, think I've dealt him a bad hand here in terms of describing his personality.

    They are currently in eglus whilst we redo their run. I hand feed them at the mo through the gaps in the run so I think they've been taught to peck. It's not aggressive, more inquisitive.

    He's only 3 months old and only began crowing 2 weeks ago. He's not aggressive to the girls at all, by bullies I meant 'gets to the front'. The reason I love him so much is because he is so sweet- I certainly can't imagine him attacking anyone. One of my girls pecks me when I put my hand through and I know when they're free range again they won't peck at all.

    I feel bad that I've made him seem like a "sorry excuse", he's really not. We got rid of the two aggressive roosters we had before for that very reason.
     
  8. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Ah, I see what you mean by choice of words/description.

    Well, I wish you all the best with him, and hope he turns out great. If he doesn't... Well, you already know my opinion on it, lol! ;)
     
  9. Angelicisi

    Angelicisi Overrun With Chickens

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    Keep in mind, Most Roo chicks raised as pets will turn on owners.
    Be careful as he reaches puberty no matter what bond you have- mother natures hormones will win. He has no fear or skittishness around humans. When he "mans" up he will do so towards humans as well as predators.
    He may end up regarding you as a hen and leave you be, but not others. Be sure to keep children away from him as he matures even if he's nice to you. A misunderstanding between rooster and child can be very dangerous.
     
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    He's just an adolescent. You don't expect a teenage boy to provide for a family and protect them, this guy's just too young. He'll mature into a manly man soon enough.
     

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