Under new management

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by A.T. Hagan, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    So, back in August at a swap I traded for a Shamo (O Shamo?) cockerel. He was a striking looking bird and I was curious to discover what they are like since i had never actually seen one but in photos online. I thought he might make an interesting cross with some Dark Cornish ladies who like them tall and handsome.

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    I brought him home, put him in quarantine, and started doing to research. I wasn't sure if we were going to be able to keep him or not since they are reputed to be unable to get along with other roosters as in fighting to the death. But since the eldest daughter was taken with him and had named him the Red Baron I wanted to at least see if it could be done. We waited out his thirty days and last weekend was the first chance I had where I'd be home both days to keep an eye on things.

    The boys in the rooster pen knew about him since they'd been eying each other for a while and you cannot mistake the Baron's crow when he sounds off. Saturday morning I moved him into the bachelor quarters roost house where the boys spent the day boasting and crowing at each other through the wire. I waited until it was good dark to open the door and let them in. A minimal amount of crowing but that was it. They all really just wanted to go to bed.

    Sunday morning was going to be the moment of truth as I opened the door to let them out. Inside it was too crowded to really start a ruckus but all bets were off once they hit the ground.

    There are thirteen other roosters in that pen ranging from about two years old down to about eight months. The breeds/varieties are White Leghorn, ISA Brown, Barred Rocks, Cuckoo Marans, Easter Eggers, and one White Rock, the oldest bird and the flock boss. Somewhat to my surprise it was the ISA and Leghorn boys that really went at him.

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    The flock boss is the one in the middle. He's just molted and has not grown out his new tail feathers yet. The front bird is one of the ISA boys and the hindmost one of the Leghorns.

    Many times it was three on one. Not that it did them any good. The Red Baron was not buffaloed as he plowed through them. He could not jump as high as some of them, but that was OK. He just knocked them down. I stood and watched the proceedings for about forty five minutes because I wanted to make sure no one took any real injuries since I am keeping all of them for future breeding work.

    Seven of the thirteen boys made a play for him. The Barred Rock, Cuckoo Maran, and Easter Egger boys took a good look at the way he handled the rest and gave him best right off. Cicero the White Rock flock boss, the White Leghorns, and the ISA Brown boys were not going to give it up without a fight though as they scrapped from one end of the yard to the other.

    But the Red Baron wasn't following the rules!

    They'd jump into the Time Out Tree:

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    The Baron would jump into the tree with them and chase them out.

    They ran to the roost house safety zone and the Baron would jump in with them. Finally had to open another door so they could get out again to get away. The Red Baron is more of a wrestler than an aerial fighter. He doesn't have much in the way of spurs yet but if got his beak on them they quickly decided they did not want any more! Cicero found out that while he's about the same mass as the Baron he was wholly lacking in traction power and the Baron would just knock him down again and again.

    So, after about forty five minutes the Red Baron was the acknowledged new flock boss.

    Cicero had been deposed with a minor sore head but was not otherwise injured.

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    He's been flock boss twice before, been deposed, and seemed to accept it as fortunes of war.

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    The ISA Brown and Leghorn boys got their heads skint a bit, but were also not otherwise injured. Off and on throughout the day one or more of them would decide to try their luck again. Same result every time. After about thirty seconds the Red Baron would shoot them down (foiled again!) and they'd run.

    And the Baron?

    Well, as you might expect he got his head skint a bit too, but was not otherwise injured.

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    He does not usually look so ruffled, but considering he'd just fought (and defeated) eight other roosters I think he can be forgiven a bit of sartorial discomposure. He soon was back to his sleek laid back self.

    I checked on them throughout the day to make sure nothing was going wrong and by the afternoon the boys had pretty much all settled down and were back to their usual routine.

    I have to say this was the easiest integration of a single rooster into an established all-boy flock that I've ever had. Some times it takes days with considerable bloodying each other to get the new pecking order settled. But that's between boys who were more or less evenly matched. Put a pro in amongst a bunch of amateurs and things fall out (literally!) much faster.

    So, the Dun Hagan Farm Bachelor Quarters is now under the Management of the Red Baron.

    Things are back to normal.

    The life of a rooster. Crowing and boasting all day long.
     
  2. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

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    A.T That was a heck of a venture with all those roosters all at once, You had some stones to do that. Good job though and the outcome was what you hoped for.
     
  3. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    North/Central Florida
    That's why I stood there to make sure it would go the way I wanted it to.

    I wasn't concerned they were going to hurt the Baron. I just wanted to make sure he did not kill any of them!.
     
  4. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

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    Yeah I would have hung out to and wait to intervene if needed, sometimes you need to do this for many reasons, but only experienced chicken folks need attempt this. I would hate to see some pet chicken person attempt that, as it is a accident waiting to happen. I have had to introduce roosters to new roosters before also and you gotta be there, I think you did well A.T.
     
  5. stoopid

    stoopid Chicken Fairy Godmother

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    YAY Red Baron. I recently hatched out a bunch of Thai gamefowl. Incredible, amazing birds.
    I am falling in love with these oriental games!
     
  6. TheJuan-n-Only

    TheJuan-n-Only Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 10, 2010
    Tampa
    Great Story!!! and well done Baron...or should I call him Mr Baron now! lol
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Maybe him not having much spurs yet contributed to the good luck. Or maybe just his fighting style. If one had drawn a significant amount of blood it could have turned out differently.

    Now that the bachelor pen has settled a bit, I'm sure you know better than to put hens in the mix. What you saw might have been more pecking order than pure mixed flock dominance. If mating rights come into play, it might really get serious.

    Nice story and nicely told.
     
  8. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    An epilogue to the weekend's rooster integration adventure.

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    That is all but one of the roosters in the pen yesterday evening. I'd just thrown in a ripe persimmon which they all wanted a piece of, but of course the flock boss gets first served.

    Not that I would have tried this with two GAME birds, but I wish all new rooster integrations would go this smoothly!
     

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