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Temperment of an Amercanana

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by 10Momma14, Dec 20, 2014.

  1. 10Momma14

    10Momma14 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a Amercanana rooster who is 4 months old, this is my first Amercanana rooster to have, what is their temperament after they hit maturity? I have Amercanana hens that are the sweetest things.
     
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    For the best guesstimate of that, you'd need to know the last few generations of his family. Knowing the breeder can work just as well, if they keep aggressive birds you're playing the lotto when you buy from them. If any of the previous generations of his family, male or female, were known for aggression to humans, chances are he too will express it. Such mentalities are strongly heritable.

    Breed is no indication because people don't stick to breed standards as a global rule, so birds with aberrant temperaments get bred on in breeds that are otherwise supposed to be docile, friendly, whatever. You get nice Pekins and vicious ones, nice Orpingtons and vicious ones, nice Ameraucanas and vicious ones... Etc.

    If he's ever given you the 'evil eye', (you'll know that one when you've seen it enough times) that's a serious warning sign. If he's ever challenged you, another warning sign. If he's ever attacked you, even mildly, another warning sign.

    Best wishes, hope he turns out great.
     
  3. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    My experience with true Ameraucanas is somewhat limited (mostly it's been with Easter Eggers, which are Ameraucana crosses), but based on what experience I do have, true Ameraucanas are generally docile birds that will tolerate handling but rarely like it. Some are quite friendly and curious, while others are standoffish. Of course there are always exceptions with every breed.
     
  4. 10Momma14

    10Momma14 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That I know of he hasn't given the evil eye, but he really hates being caught. When he is on the roost, he really dislikes being touched at all. He mainly stays away when you go walking in the pin or even in the yard.
     
  5. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    You could work on taming him and gaining his trust. There's lots of methods on this forum for that.

    Talking to him, making eye contact in a friendly manner, getting him to sit on your lap until he's calm and able to sit there unrestrained, then making sure you repeat the exercise if he leaps off your lap in flight rather than calmly at the end of the exercise, hand-feeding, etc can all help a lot. Really they're all the average chook, male or female, needs. Some people advise not handfeeding roosters but we've always done that and never had aggression issues. The most important factor there is not breeding human-aggressive animals, not really what you do to them.

    Many chooks, especially young roosters, are too afraid and/or respectful of people to be comfortable around them.

    Some people prefer them afraid as they think it keeps them safer, but a good rooster is safe whether he's tame or terrified, and a bad one is unsafe whether he's tame or terrified. I've had multiples of both sorts, both tame and wild, traumatized and trusting. I've never found fear to be something you can trust to keep you safe from your own animals, whereas trust is far safer.

    He may be just human-averse, some chooks are... Nothing can be done about that, except sometimes life threatening injuries or illnesses that they're nursed through can change their minds about people.

    He may be too nervous to be a flock rooster. It's amazing how disruptive and detrimental one spacky animal can be to the rest of the flock's trust of humans. Nervousness can be based on genetics or health and can change for the better or worse but if he's been nervous since infancy onwards, best to assume he's not coming out the other side of the woods, and he's a dud.

    A scared or untrusting rooster can train hens to avoid you and think of you as a predator, by making predator alarm noises when he sees you. Even tame hens can come to trust his warnings over their past experience with you, and when he calls them away from you every time you approach, they can learn to just avoid you, and even become afraid of you without you doing anything to engender such fear.

    If you just don't feel comfortable about him, best to rehome or cull him. Generally you'll have a feeling about the bad ones before they even show you their true natures, in my experience. Sometimes it's as simple as a misfit situation, where the human and animal in question are both fine but do not connect well and will be better off with others.

    If you're sort of on guard, semi-expecting an attack, or just don't trust him, it may be all on your end and he may be picking up on the vibes so to speak and that could be making him nervous. Many animals can't trust humans that don't trust them but of course you'd have to be daft to go around trusting every animal you meet. Fine line to tread. The smarter and nicer-natured the animal, the more likely they are to tolerate your faults or forgive your failings. Stupid or unpleasant-natured animals won't tolerate anything short of perfection on your part, and they can take offense over such subtle and minor things as clumsy body language... Like you approaching their vague, general location, with your body directly facing forward, and failing to stop and turn to the 'away' side somewhat after they've taken fright at your approach. Worst cases of that I've seen had the rooster over 20 feet away, still taking the human's forward walking as a threat and panicking over it. Many people don't even realize such a thing can set a bad trend going between them and a chicken, a snowballing misunderstanding, and many chickens aren't smart enough to observe what a busy human looks like and realize it's not a personal attack. Different people get different results from the same animal in many cases, but a thoroughly good-natured animal will put up with all manner of abuse (intentional or otherwise) and clumsy communication without taking it personally and responding badly.

    If he struggles with all his might when caught, I'd be less tolerant of him due to that, it's not a good sign if he's pitting his entire strength against you.

    If you restrain his wings so he doesn't feel imbalanced or unsafe, he should settle, but the bird that does not settle not only doesn't trust you, it actively dislikes you. If he absolutely will not accept being handled, that's an issue that generally means future issues are coming and they'll be worse.

    It's one thing to avoid you or struggle when caught, but entirely another to refuse to have anything to do with you and battle with everything they've got to be free of your touch. Such animals are more trouble than they're worth in my opinion. Sooner or later you need to treat them or handle them for whatever reason, or their offspring (mentalities are quite heritable), and their mentality makes what should be a simple job either difficult, or dangerous, or downright impossible, and the animals are the ones that have their lives at stake there.

    A chook that cannot be handled is a liability both to you and itself. It's for their own good that livestock are kept tame; it's also for our own good. You hear some sad stories about chickens too aggressive or afraid to receive the treatment they need, which then die during attempted treatment for curable issues, because they are too combative or terrified for it to be feasible. There's quite a few threads on this forum where people are suffering emotionally over trying to treat a rooster or hen that is too aggressive or afraid for it to work. Breeding human-hating chickens is asking for a world of trouble. If he were mine, I'd try to tame him, but he'd better respond quickly, or he'd be on the cull list. My experience has been that it's no use trying to work against a mind that is solidly set against you.

    Best wishes and good luck.
     
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  6. attimus

    attimus Chillin' With My Peeps

    That is probably THEE best and most thorough explanation of temperament I've read. I'm about to pick up an Americauna rooster myself to introduce to an existing flock. Been promised a well mannered behaviour. You can never really tell how things will go down til the moment. I stay hopeful.
     
  7. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Thanks, glad it's useful to you, but of course it's not complete, there's always much more variation and always exceptions to the rule. Still, can't go writing a whole novel here about it, LOL!

    Good luck with your new rooster, sounds like you've already got a good idea of how unreliable things can be. Good to stay hopeful, the great roosters out there really do make having roosters an easy and delightful thing. The bad ones make it a terror or a horror and unfortunately frighten many people off them for life, which is a shame.

    Best wishes.
     
  8. 10Momma14

    10Momma14 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The one that I have, so far he has been good. He is a booger to catch, but once caught he doesn't struggle. At night I can walk into the coop and he will alert the hens. But once I speak, he calms down and allows me to touch him on the roost. My daughter who was so terrified of a pervious rooster we had before, is actually calm around this one. An Black Asturlope rooster we had before would attack her and break skin. He used to be a sweetheart before my husband had to do away with a hen who got injured to the point nothing could help her. He would even take after my mother, husband and myself. I don't want to cull this beautiful boy.
     
  9. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    That's very interesting about your B.Aus.Orp... I had one crossbred male who arrived with some crossbred B.Aus.Orp hens, probably his sisters, but anyway they were supposed to all be hens for laying purposes and I was new to chooks then so let them all grow out together. He took a real fancy to one hen, would sit beside her on the nest as she laid, etc. He was always good with people, all throughout his life, but early on his favorite somehow received a smashed shoulder joint and had to be put down. He was never the same again, even though he didn't see her get put down.

    From then onwards he slowly became more and more sour to hens and subordinate males, escalating until for their sakes I killed him. He began picking on one of my tiniest hens until the mere sight of him would send her screaming and running. She was the only one he ever managed to produce offspring with, one unremarkable pullet and that was it, after all his years of me trying to breed him and giving him access to so many hens of so many bloodlines... Fault was surely on his end, he was so close to infertile it's almost talking it up to call it subfertile, lol. He just became bitter and savage, so he had to go.

    Fertility issues aside, he clearly changed after losing his preferred mate, and since then I've seen this happen with many roosters and hens. When they really do get attached to one particular mate, that's it, it's like the love of their lives and they are never the same after losing them. Other people, even usually less sentimental sorts like commercial breeders, have also said they've seen this happen.

    My only experience with Araucanas (none with Ameracanas but same general group) was with a buff and lavender male given to me, with the stupid habit of interfering in hen fights, too spacky to catch or deal with without a hysterical fuss, ended up being killed by my landlord for crowing at night, and not a loss at that either. I was going to kill him anyway because hens that had gotten along for years before his arrival were now escalating ordinary squabbles into serious fights thanks to his utterly daft third-wheeling interventions. His sole daughter I still have and she's ok, but a bit faulty.

    Best wishes.
     
  10. 10Momma14

    10Momma14 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 15, 2014
    Northwestern, Arkansas
    The hen that we had to put down, wasn't the B Australorp's closest one. His favorite was his Black Australorp hen. So I don't know what happened with him to be so mean. But with this Amercanana rooster, if the hens start to fight. He will go over and break them up, I think its real neat how he can just stop a fight right then and there. But he fights with his brother every now and then. We don't want to seperate the two, in fear of one becoming to cold with it being winter. The two brothers will stick together sometimes and other times want nothing to do with one another.
     

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