silkie roo attackin kids - update

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by siouxbee, Mar 15, 2008.

  1. siouxbee

    siouxbee Chillin' With My Peeps

    110
    0
    139
    May 8, 2007
    Well, i hadn't had a chance to come back after posting until my previous topic was closed, but that long post bout the roosters was amazing and I wish I had stumbled across it before I had chickens, as mine are all almost a year old now. But, you live and learn, I guess.

    I'd talked to a couple of friends who have chickens, but the general consensus seemed to be get rid of him before he hurts someone. I agree that it seems counterintuitive that he would being so small and fluffy, but lots of small children visit my house, I'd prefer to err on the side of caution.

    My son and I worked on convincing both silkies that he's the top roo, and they seem to shy away from him now as they do from Peepers our large breed roo. He's done a little with Peepers as well, to make sure he doesn't overstep his bounds either, with all this testosterone in the air.

    My almost 4 year old daughter however is a different story. She is absolutely terrified of them at this point, so based on the advice in the last post I'm going to start doing this:

    1. Build a run for the chickens so that if kids visit, I can keep the chickens in it if I'm not going to outside at all times.

    2. Work with my daughter and the roosters. First I think we need to just do a lot of holding them, first probably me because although she has held them their entire lives, I think she might be too scared right now to jump right into that. After she's comfortable being around them and sees that they dont' attack her all the time, I'll help her take her place above them in the pecking order much the same way we did with my son. Mostly keeping eye contact, and moving toward them in a threatening manner. And having a broom or stick to trip them if they did come at us. Not harshly to cause harm, just enough to make them stumble. But now I can incorporate the ideas presented in the previous post too and expand our arsenal.

    3. Spend more time with the flock. During the winter, we just seemed not to be outside a lot with the chickens, but as each day brings us warmer weather, we're back outside much more often. Hopefully these longer interactions with the girls will help.

    These guys are our pets, there are just 10 and they all have names and we know their personalities well. I'm sorry 3 of them turned out to be roos, I was hoping to be luckier. These attacks seemed to have come out of nowhere since they've been sexually active for some time. However, I just learned today from the woman who takes care of them while we're gone that her dogs came and had their way with our flock during our trip. And not 2 weeks before, one of her goldens had retrieved one of our silkie roos (the worst child-abuse offender) and carried him off by his tail. Which is now gone.

    All the chickens were fine after this most recent visit, no injuries other than the second silkie has now also lost most of his tail, and the neighbor came back with shock collars on the dogs and make it clear that they are off limits. I understand that free ranging our chicks exposes us to threats like this, and I'm glad that her dogs haven't killed the entire flock outright like I've seen in attack photos on this site. I'm also glad that she took quick action about training the dogs to quit, and she said they won't even run up the path to our house from their driveway.

    I'm not sure if these attacks on the silkies triggered the attacks on my kids, but I wonder if it's possible.

    If we could just establish alpha male status for all the members of our family, I would consider the problem solved and just keep them in the run if we have visitors to avoid unnecessary risks. In fact, with spring planting season upon us, they were going to be spending lots of time in their soon to be created run anyway.

    Thanks to all for the advice previously, I'll let you know what works for us.
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Best of luck! Sounds like you are getting it under control and have a plan. It is very well possible that the "near death" episode may have tripped something in the little guy and so now he thinks he needs to be even bolder... or... because he did get away, thinks that he won and so it gave him the guts to try "winning" against the other "roosters" that he sees.

    Let us know how it turns out.
     
  3. coloradochick

    coloradochick Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,503
    11
    213
    Dec 19, 2007
    Brighton, CO
    [​IMG] Good for you Siouxbee for giving him another chance. I hope it all works out for the best for everyone. Good luck.

    Cara
     
  4. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    Wisconsin
    Sounds like you have a very good plan. My 3 1/2 year old had the rooster challenge her and is was very nervous about the chickens after that. I have slowly encouraged her to come into the coop with me to help collect eggs and she is getting more comfortable around them again, so I think your little one will also be okay with patience and work.
     
  5. hypnofrogstevie

    hypnofrogstevie chick magnet

    Jul 12, 2007
    Newton NJ
    I hope all goes well and let us know how it works out
     
  6. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

    6,517
    663
    361
    Jan 13, 2008
    Sun City, California
    Aggression is genetic. As much as they are a loved breed, nasty tempered silkies do exist.

    It is hard to tell if a single discouraging/alpha demonstration event will work permanently.. however it is common for roosters that have attacked people to eventually do it again. You can't tell if your own are going to be the former or the latter.

    I very gently suggest that you don't absolutely need roosters in the flock. If your daughter remains scared or nervous of chickens, it can incite attacks from a rooster, if she keeps moving away or running with frightened noises it can trigger the "chase" instinct in a rooster with some aggression tendencies. So that is kind of asking for it to happen again, possibly. Another worry is roosters that react to hens that sometimes yell when first picked up- some roosters charge and attack upon hearing that. Aggressive roosters are very prone to that.

    Not all roosters are mean, there are many that will stay mellow no matter how they are raised or handled.
     
  7. tnkinhunting

    tnkinhunting Chillin' With My Peeps

    659
    0
    149
    Feb 7, 2008
    East Tennessee
    I bought a trio of OEGB and after I got them home I noticed the roo was aggressive when I fed or watered them. I put them in a pen and and he began attacking my legs - I got a broom and kept pushing him back - he would not quit. Anytime a human, male or female came close to him and his two hen's he would run and flog them and would not quit. He showed no aggression when I bought him. However, he was a coward with another roo - he would turn and run! Everytime!

    I gave him away - they think he's the best thing since peanut butter! [​IMG]

    He is the only OEGB I have seen that was that aggrressive.
     
  8. siouxbee

    siouxbee Chillin' With My Peeps

    110
    0
    139
    May 8, 2007
    Well, both my son and I worked with my daughter today, having her face off the rooster, making "lion" faces at him, keeping eye contact, walking towards him and growling a little bit. It seemed to work, and, if nothing else, gave her the confidence she needed. She knows to do this if he attacks her, and my plan is to have either myself or my son out in the yard with her until I can be relative sure he won't go after her again.

    Like I said, he's so tiny, and since it's still cold here in CT, we're dressed in pretty thick layers that I doubt he could do her real harm even if he went after her again. But frankly, if my friend can remember who it was that told her they'd like a silkie rooster, I would probably rehome him. Not just because he's a bit of a wild card, but also because I've been thinking this for a while since 3 roos and 7 hens is not a good mix. I think all our guys would be happier if there were a little less competition.

    And I KNOW the ladies would prefer it. Poor things. When our large breed roo mounts them, both silke roos run over and start pecking the poor hen!
     
  9. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    4,871
    24
    251
    Jan 11, 2007
    As long as they dont turn their back on him and move towards the roo if he makes an agressive stance , then a serious attack should be averted. I had the dickens of a time convincing my teens to do this... if thye need to get in the house then walk backwards if the bird is in one of his "moods".
    Once they started doing this there were no more problems.
     
  10. Buster

    Buster Back to Work

    Great to hear that you have a good plan to move forward with. Best of luck to you!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by