why is there always one?!!! GRRRRRR

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by pookiethebear, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. pookiethebear

    pookiethebear Songster

    Apr 29, 2008
    I have 13 chickens in my basement..... The first 6 are RIRs and area week older than the other 7. When i try to feed the RIRs there is one that will attack me. I am all pecked and scratched from this one bird! I generally give it a backhand and send it sailing across the pen when it attacks, but geesh, this is getting old. The RIR were a straight run and the guy who picked them for us used an old farmers technique for get hens...well I am thinking this one is a roo. What can I do with this bird? He makes me almost afraid to stick my hand in then pen to get the feeder to refill it. Now, some of the other RIRs are sweet as pie. One will follow me around when I am cleaning the other half of the pen and lets me pet her...but this one....wow..... I think he is still a little small to be butchering....11 weeks old. I am hoping things will calm down once we get the coop finished and get them out.
  2. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    They probably will settle down when they get out of confinement. In the meantime, may I suggest you wear gloves?
    If he is a male, sounds like he is a vigorous one. Be worth watching that fellow.
  3. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Take him out and pet him and be gentle.

    If you slap him across the cage he has developed an association with your hand and physical attacks. He is getting you before you get him.

    Take him out. Feed treats from your hand and teach him your hands are not attackers.
  4. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    Quote:I second that....s/he is seeing your hand as the " deliverer of punishment" So retraining is the key here. Gently pick up the chick....hand feed it treats....talk softly, and hold it close,( just not close to your face) Be gentle...Im sure it will come around soon. Good luck with it.
  5. pookiethebear

    pookiethebear Songster

    Apr 29, 2008
    I try not to drop kick him, and let it go a few times, but I can only take so much...I have slapped him twice, and this morning he came up pecked me and ran before I could recoil/react! He knows full well what he is doing. I do not take them out of the pen. I talk to them all the time and pet them, and feed them. This one is just really aggressive, esp when there is food involved. He will muscle his way into the feeded and stand and pace across the top of it and chow down, he pushed right in when I hand feed them treats as well and is not nice about taking treats. He might be soup before long, but I really do not want to do that, I want them to grow and be happy chickens....with a happy owner! I am afraid if I do get rid of him another chicken will step up and take his agressive place.
  6. Red

    Red Songster

    Mar 17, 2007
    How old are the chicks?
  7. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    He has put him self in the position of flock roo. That is what they do. It is perfectly natural behavior.

    You will not have gentle friendly chickens if you don't take them out one at a time and handle them. Handling means more than sticking your hands in and giving a pet.

    Your hands are not seen as friendly. It is not the chickens fault. You have these big looming things coming directly into their domain, their territory. It is threatening to them.

    Again, you must take them out, handle them, pet them, let them sit on your lap and feed them out of your hands. If you don't do things like this none of your chicks will grow up to be people friendly.
  8. Sparrow

    Sparrow Songster

    Apr 11, 2008
    I agree with MissPrissy.

    Chickens are emotional creatures, they remember the way that each person treats them and responds accordingly. It's not so different from how you would likely react to a similar situation. If you encountered a person who hit you frequently, in return for you just doing what you are instincually supposed to do(normal human activities), would you view that person as someone you want to be friendly with? I highly doubt it. I know I certainly wouldn't. Also, when you hit your chicken, it hurts them much worse physically than it hurts a big mammal like ourselves. They are BIRDS...delicate creatures that are not designed to be hit and thrown. They are tiny compared to you, they have no fat to pad the blow from your hand. You are hurting him much worse than he is hurting you with his scratches.

    Additionally, birds do not learn ANYTHING through slapping. They do not react that way with each other, so do not expect it to be successful when you do it. They don't understand. He is an animal with an individual mind...he will act up occasionally. Every living thing does. If you utilize dominance techniques with him when he misbehaves, and show him tolerance and kindness otherwise, you will have a totally different chicken.
  9. seriousbill

    seriousbill Songster

    May 4, 2008
    While I largely agree with MissP, I also have had some experience with aggressive RIR males, and there are some that are just dead mean, and there's really nothing short of culling that will fix it.

    As to vigor, I don't go in for keeping the sickly ones just because they seem sweet (and sick birds often seem so), but I also don't think aggression=vigor either. Some aggressive birds are just miserable, slouchy, rough-feathered stick-figures with an attitude and don't make good breeder specimens. Either way, it's all too easy to anthropomorphize too much, and doing so can be counterproductive to good chicken-keeping.

    RIR males are, in my experience, a whole different ballgame as compared with some other breeds like Delawares and Orps; with RIRs, it's more often an all-or-nothing proposition. They didn't get that rep. for being trouble for nothing. If good temperament is important to you, cull the bird, and keep a nicer roo. Life is short.
  10. Whirlwind

    Whirlwind Songster

    Apr 14, 2007
    Tuttle, Oklahoma
    I agree with seriousbill. Life is short. JMO. You are supposed to enjoy your chickens and not dread to go see them because you have one that is mean. I would make noodles before he gets worse. I had a roo, he had to go because he was always trying to get me. It will probably just get worse with age. I have all hens now, it is nice, they are friendly and I am not always looking behind me. Good luck with what ever you decide to do. [​IMG]

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