Spoiled House Rooster

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by agilitymonkey, Dec 20, 2016.

  1. agilitymonkey

    agilitymonkey Just Hatched

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    Through a variety of circumstances we ended up with a little Rooster. He was rescued from a bad situation as a hatchling by a friend. She raised him for a month in her house (with no other chickens). We baby sat him for a month before he was supposed to go to a mutual friend that has chickens (we have no other chickens). During that time it became clear that he was a rooster (not a hen as my friend had assumed), and our mutual friend didn't want a Rooster. Also, we fell in love with this incredibly intelligent, trainable, affectionate bird. [​IMG]
    He lives in a large cage in our house at night, and goes outside most of the day. He sits in my daughters lap to watch tv in the evenings[​IMG]
    And I've trained him to run a miniature dog agility course that we made (I have no idea how to upload a video). He is a truly a cherished pet of myself and my two kids (4 and 5 years old).
    My problem comes with his relationship with my husband... remarkably the rooster (his name is Chickadee) is sweet and and gentle with me and my children. He does his his Rooster mating dance and "talks" to us, but only likes to hump loose shoes. My husband likes to work in his garage when he isn't working and has enjoyed Chickadees company most of the time. But when my husband has had to be gone working for a week or more Chickadee is a real pest when he gets back. He'll run after my husband jumping and "spuring" at him (he doesn't actually have spurs, I dremel his nails and spur buttons once a week) and if my husband squats down he will pinch him with his beak.
    I'm assuming that the reason Chickadee doesn't go after myself or my kids is that we are constantly handling him. On the rare occasion he does try and pinch me after a mating dance I'll pinch the feathers on the back of his neck and hold him down (with my hand on his back) until he settles down. This seems to do the trick to knock him down a few notches with me, but it doesn't make such an impression when my husband does it.
    I've seen the posts that suggest "culling" the birds that show this kind of aggression. I've trained dogs for years and I know that most aggression problems are "operator error". He's a very trainable bird, though I'm sure the fact he was hand raised without other chickens, and the fact he has no other chickens around now might make him a bit off.
    Does anyone have any suggestions that my husband could do to help reduce the unwanted behavior? He's not at risk of injury really (Chickadee is not as small as a bantam, but probably half the size of a real rooster about 2.5 pounds we suspect him to be a Black Copper Marran mix) but it certainly doesn't I fear him to the bird!
    Thanks for any suggestions!
     
  2. agilitymonkey

    agilitymonkey Just Hatched

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    Oct 17, 2016
    Here is a better picture of him[​IMG]
     
  3. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Your husband is away long enough for your rooster to think he's a stranger. He is behaving like a rooster would towards a new chicken in the flock.
     
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Also, he's just beginning to mature. His behavior will likely intensify. A rooster's drive to fend off invaders and other threats is more instinct and hormone driven, than due to any sort of conditioning. You can't train instinct, and he's a bit old for caponizing. Chickens aren't really domesticated pets. They are livestock. You have to realize that keeping a rooster is a bit like keeping an intact bull, but on a smaller scale. They can't really be trusted fully. Some can be sweet pets, but the majority will not be. He is still very young. You don't really get a good idea of a rooster's temperament until after they are a year old. Spring hormones can turn even the nicest rooster into a raging monster.
    What I read in your post is a powder keg waiting to explode. His dipping his wing and dancing at you and the kids is actually a form of aggression. His mounting anything in front of you is an act of dominance over you. You think you have trained him, but it's the other way around. You are living in his flock, and for now, he tolerates your existence.
    As for breed, he looks like an Old English Game. Definitely not a drop of Marans in him.
     
  5. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Hi and welcome to BYC. I have no experience with raising chickens in the home, but I have kept cock birds. The displays described indicate an assumed dominance on behalf of your bird over yourselves. It could end in tears, at best, or serious injury at worst IMO. Maybe try googling keeping roos as indoor pets and see what pops up. There are threads on keeping chickens as indoor pets, but I don't know if anyone has cock birds.

    Best wishes
    CT
     
  6. agilitymonkey

    agilitymonkey Just Hatched

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    Thank you all for your input. I have no experience with chickens, and have only read about their flock hierarchy.
    I appreciate the input on his breed (though I'm sure he's mostly mutt) I could only go on looking at photos in google images, and Old English Game definitely fits the bill.
    Parrots are also pets we enjoy, but are non domesticated. They also have great ability to cause serious harm, but knowing how their social hierarchy works, and working with that in mind can sometimes (though not always) modify aggressive behavior. Assuming one rooster is typically boss in a group of chickens (I don't know that this is true), how do they assert their dominance over other roosters and hens?
     
  7. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Hens have their own hierarchy, and male birds generally have to gain acceptance to become flock leader, rather than establish dominance. They do this by behaviours, such as tit-bitting (finding food and calling the girls to it). As for multiple males in a flock - that is all out dominance establishment, through non-physical (e.g. crowing, posturing) and physical means (fighting).

    You may wish to search here on BYC or google "injuries caused by roosters", so you know what your could be potentially dealing with.
     
  8. agilitymonkey

    agilitymonkey Just Hatched

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    I was just looking into chicken hierarchy on other threads and a google searches. I see what you mean by his displays and mounting things infront of me. I'm actually working with him now with several shoes on the floor not allowing him to mount them, and I will no longer allow the dance (despite its cuteness).
    I understand that he can do damage to people with his beak, despite his diminutive size (of 2 1/2 pounds), but I have not allowed his spurs to develop and his nails are always dremelled round.
    For now at least this gives me something to work on in the hopes I can modify his behavior working with his instincts.
    It makes sense to me now why he never goes after the kids, they love to pick him up and are always following after him and scooping him up if they can. If he even thinks about humping a shoe in their presence he gets chased off or scooped up.
    Animal behavior is facinating!
    Thanks for all your help!
     
  9. agilitymonkey

    agilitymonkey Just Hatched

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    Oct 17, 2016
    Now I just need a recommendation for a comb plastic surgeon, the poor guy can't even see![​IMG]
     
  10. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Roosters can be dubbed.
     

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