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why is my rooster so mean HELP!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by melissaowens, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. xC0000005

    xC0000005 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Unless that bird's got your heart in his hand, I'd suggest you take his in yours, from the bottom of the cavity, followed by anything else that might be in there. Mean roosters often stay mean. If you really want to try and therapize him, make him acknowledge that you are in chage. That means making him submit, by petting him, holding him, or carrying him around until he gets it clear that you (and not he) are in charge. But if you have any children, or anyone else, someone who might not have the same heft and look, it's time to lead that bird by the beak to the stewing place, because he might learn to respect you and still take it out on your daughter or son.

    Roosters are spares for a reason in the great circle of life, and just like I tell folks there's no excuse for putting up with mean bees, there's no excuse for putting up with mean stewsters.
     
  2. Hyline

    Hyline Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have tried everything with mine, and I love(d) him too and tried domination, aggression, wooing, herbal supplements, you name it I've tried it. I am saying sayonara to him today. I am over being attacked every day and paying for the privilege - there are NICE roos out there! Give him away or take him to a forest and give the foxes lunch or something, but don't keep him.
     
  3. Daisy8s

    Daisy8s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:
    I have also found that if a wear my suede flesh-colored shoes my rooster will peck at that whereas he ignores my regular barn boots. Conversely, he acts more submissive and almost cuddly when I wear a certain red coat that I wore a lot after he'd been severely injured as a cockerel and needed one-on-one medical care.

    It makes me sad when I read these discussion threads about roosters. Only two options are ever presented: dominate your rooster or kill him. There is a third option and that is to be neutral. Farmers have handled aggressive male animals successfully on their farms for years and it wasn't by dominating them. You give a male respect and distance and do not ever engage directly with him.

    I have never heard anyone in the "dominate" camp say that their method works long-term. They have to be constantly on guard and prepared to repeat their own aggressive act every few weeks.

    I have chosen to not enter into the pecking order of my flock. I'm not a chicken and they're not humans so neither of us needs to control the other. When my rooster was an adolescent I let him conduct his exploratory pecks (luckily it was winter and I was well-covered) without any reaction. He learned to see me as uninteresting as the walls of the coop. Absolutely no reaction when he pecked. Now we've passed that phase and he sees me as the source for food and water but NOT as a part of the flock so that he must establish where I am in the pecking order.

    Think of how adult male large animals are handled in zoos and on farms. No human is ever trying to intimidate the males in order to make them submissive.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. TonySorrento

    TonySorrento Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2011
    South Wales, New York
    Sorry ... I will dominate my roosters ... or they will be supper:p
     
  5. Daisy8s

    Daisy8s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I understand. This is the prevalent view on BYC and it's hard to picture another option. But, I would ask you to consider the millions of small farms around the world where a large male animal (bull, ram, buck, etc.) is an integral part of the farmer's herd so that he cannot become "supper". Do you think those farmers are regularly beating the heck out of their males every two weeks?

    If dominating was the only way to deal with a male animal then the only result would be far, far more injured farmers.
     
  6. TonySorrento

    TonySorrento Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2011
    South Wales, New York
    I agree if it were a business for me, that would be different .... but I want my rooster to be not dangerous ... they aren't necessary for me, until I want to start hatching my own eggs ... then they will get more leeway ... until then I will keep getting them until I get a friendly one ...and I will eat those that aren't .... again, that's for me ....
     
  7. Daisy8s

    Daisy8s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:
    I completely agree that there is great variability among roosters. Some are definitely more aggressive while others are more docile. I'm not saying every single rooster will be manageable, but I do believe that far more roosters could have been managed successfully if the owners didn't reciprocate with aggression when the rooster first began testing them as an adolescent.

    And, as you say, a common farm practice is to eat the unnecessary males.

    I just want people to know that there is a third option other than dominate or kill.
     
  8. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with you Daisy B. Most people don't take the time to understand why their male animals are reacting as they are. So interesting about the suede shoes and the red coat! I suggested to my SO that perhaps my gentle roo remembers when I rescued him from being pecked to death by his StepMama and brother when he was newly hatched. It is possible that at that time I was wearing the comfy clothes that he prefers to see me in now.

    Why stress an animal by wearing scary clothes when it is easy to work with him? Of course, not everyone has the time to give their animals one-on-one TLC like we do, I guess. Or they don't really bond with them or care for them to the extent we do? They see them as utilitarian ends to a means.

    I grew up on a farm, and you are right. We had male hogs and bulls, and my dad was a Gold Medal Premium farmer. He didn't try to control or dominate his animals but was gentle and loving with them, and that worked just fine. No problems. He was always careful to tell me not to go near them, because he knew they might go beserk with a small child running around and charge.

    I don't have children, so I don't have to worry about them terrorizing my rooster, thank goodness.

    I did the same thing you did. When my roo was little and just coming into his hormones and was isolated inside the solarium, where he still prefers to roost at night, even though he's now been integrated into the flock, he experimented with pecking my hand, as if I were a hen. I didn't react other than explaining to him in a calm voice why that wasn't acceptable, and he soon grew disinterested in doing that.

    I find he responds well to lots of touch. First thing in the morning I open the solarium door and pet him. He especially likes to have his earmuffs and eyebrows stroked. He just eats it up. Later, as it warms up, I let him out to play with his girls. The only time he gets aggressive is if I wear dress clothes. This may be because he's looking at my legs, and he grew up in the elevated solarium, at head level with me. When I pick him up and hold him, and he sees that it is me, not my scary legwear, he calms right down and realizes everything is okay-- I am not a beastly monster, after all.

    Animals are so fascinating! I feel so privileged to have had this little guy in my life to teach me so much.
     
  9. TheWaddler

    TheWaddler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Austin, TX
    I think the other way of thinking is the worldwide way of dealing with it. Zookeepers and large livestock handlers all have sticks or cattleprods to help control the animals they work with. I doubt many go at it with a soft heart and just hope things work out. Small farms around the world usually have children who help with the farm work and often drive teams of animals to work fields. How do you think they deal with them, prolly like every one else and won't risk a dangerous animal around their children/friends/family/or other livestock. Dangerous animals around the world are killed, people are trying to meek out an existence....trying to rehabilitate dangerous animals is not the norm, eating them is. The reason there are not far, far more injured farmers is prolly because they kill and eat the dangerous ones (and the truth be told there are still probably just as many injured farmers still out there).

    Domination is something pack/flocking animals understand. Someone is always in charge and they maintain that leadership through pure brute force 99% of the time. My lead hen is in charge because she dishes out more than she takes, she will lose that top spot when someone tougher comes along, not someone with better management skills.....[​IMG]
     
  10. Daisy8s

    Daisy8s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think it's interesting that we're getting similar results but with very different methods. I intentionally do NOT pick up or handle my rooster much as I feel he would interpret that as being dominated by me.

    I guess I'd sum up my approach as this: I treat my rooster as if he were a 2,000lb bull.
    a) I move slowly and predictably in the coop,
    b) I do not make direct eye contact as this is a sign of aggression (people with certain dogs may relate to this),
    c) I use my voice to either warn or persuade the rooster. For example, if I need to be somewhere he is standing then I tell him and move slowly in his direction. He will move nicely for me. Conversely, if I need him to come towards me then I call him with the same "treat call" I use every time I put kitchen scraps in their coop. If he doesn't respond as I'd like then I wait. Patience is always rewarded.
    d) If I have to do something he doesn't like (such as when he was injured and had to be treated) I do it firmly and quietly with minimal fuss and handling. It's at these times that I feel rewarded that my chickens understand I'm doing a job to help them, not trying to be a member of the flock.

    I feel like it's a way of using the same good barn manners that my father taught us kids on our dairy farm rather than trying to enter into the pecking order and make sure all the chickens are scared of me.
     

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