Friday, July 6, 2012

Roosters with an Attitude

Remember this post when I talked about getting rid of Clove? Well, I lied. Sort of.

Clove posing for the picture....he is beautiful and he knows it!

Clove went to live with a friend of mine but she could not keep him, so, he is back. He has been for some time. Poor guy. We actually had some other offers and places lined up for him to go, but in the end we feel bad giving him away because our neighbors have become so attached to him. Almost every day, Clove books it over to the neighbors house once we are gone. He stands at their back door and crows until they come out and feed him treats. Yes, they are spoiling Clove rotten and they think he is HILARIOUS. The other day I went over to their house with Clove in my arms with hopes they would just keep him. I put him down and our neighbor said to him, "Clove, you want a biscuit?" and proceeded to feed him. Oh, dear.....

looking for bugs

Well, Clove (a Partridge Rock) is proving to be a trouble-maker and he is super smart. He has some aggressive tendencies which we have NEVER experienced before with any of our Dominiques. He is rough on the hens, not nice to Coriander (his "BFF"), and is mean to the babies. He will occassionally come running at me and BJ to attack, and we have to stand up to him and put our foot out in front of us so that he stops. A few times he has actually pecked at my shoe or spurred me out of aggression. My response is usually to pick him up immediately, carry him around for a while, pet him excessively and scold him, push his head down, etc. I make sure all the other chickens get to see him getting held so that he is throughouly embarrassed.

Had we not named him and grown attached, he surely would be going into "freezer camp" by now. I think the best I could do at this point would be to give him away, or perhaps enter him in the state fair with the intention to sell him.

Clove and Coriander.....always together :)


Poor Rosemary is scared to death of Clove, and Reggie is nearly always protecting her from him and Cori both. They have a tendency to try to gang rape Rosemary and she just freaks out. Thankfully, since Reggie is the dominant roo, he chases them off so that Rosemary can forage in peace. Reggie is a very sweet, respectful rooster. He does NOT like being held, but he would never try to hurt us and does a fantastic job of protecting the flock and keeping everyone in line. I even spied him over in front of the little pullets pen already courting them with his "I found food" noises. It was so cute.

So, readers, what are your tips for dealing with troublesome or aggressive roosters?





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8 comments:

  1. We have an aggressive rooster (Shoe is his name). He's charged me many times. I have punted him a couple times because he does not stop and would spur me. I will not let him spur me and I want him to know "his place" in MY roost. ;) He usually just starts pecking the ground near me and acts aggressive.

    We've had our kids learn how to stand up to him and not be afraid of him. We never turn our back to him.

    Shoe is disenfranchised because his son (Patch) took over the girls (pretty much all 16 hens) and Patch chases Shoe off ALL the time. He doesn't like him around. Patch is very sweet and protective of his girls and even of his people (me). :) He doesn't like when his dad is around me and chases him off. It's kinda funny. :)

    Anyway, with our aggressive rooster, we have found that showing him who is the boss has worked best.

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    1. Haha!! I'm so glad that Patch is your alpha roo and protects all the ladies from Shoe! My husband has certainly kicked Clove a couple of time but thankfully I've never had to. Usually if I stand up tall to him and move forward or put my foot out it is enough to stop him. I can't turn my back to Clove either. Thanks for sharing your experience!

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  2. Ah the rooster conundrum... I know I am going too sound like I belong on Mob Wives when I say this, but I know a guy named Vinney. I had a rooster. When I thought he was a she, I loved her so. Then it became clear she was not a she. Even before I knew she was a rooster I named her Big Bossy. She was always taking care of business in the coop, she seemed to run the show. The Big Bossy got to be actin' like a rooster and was violating my girls ever which way he could. He was a big Rhode Island Red. Just a beauty. I began to worry when the spurs would grow in. Would someone get hurt? The girls also did not seem too happy. Very skittish. Within 2 hours of relocating Big Bossy it was like we had a different flock. Everyone was happy and relaxed.

    I found Vinny by calling around. I called a Christmas Tree farm that had a petting area for goats and different birds including chickens. They didn't want the rooster but told me about Vinney. Come to find out his business card was at my feed store that I go to, they were going to be my next call. Vinney is a bird trader. He has a big place with all kinds of birds(ducks, geese, guinea fowl, old hens and roosters) All the birds that go to Vinney eventually end up in someone's pot but while they are there they live a good life. I also feel confident knowing that they won't end up in some fighting ring, I would never want that to happen. It is a bird paradise at Vinney's with lots of protected space. We have a much happier flock now. I would never send any of my older girls to Vinney. I feel that I owe them a retirement home for all of the yummy eggs they have given us. I just don't have any love for the roosters. I know it is only natural but I don't cotton to any rooster violating my girls!

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    1. Awww, I'm glad your girls are happier without your roo around! I wish I had a "Vinny" type person near me. Although our problem is the neighbors have grown so attached we would feel bad getting rid of him :( I don't mind the roosters, they are pretty fun and very endearing with big personalities as long as they don't act aggressive towards us!

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  3. I wrote about this a few weeks ago when one of ours went aggressive on us: freezer camp. With a backyard wedding and friends with very young children who like to come and visit the girls in the hen house, it was the only solution for us. We gave Frank a great life, but at the end of the day... once he'd attacked us, I couldn't justify the danger of keeping him on the property. I will note that before freezer camp, we did try a variety of strategies to establish dominance and put him in his place... gently and humanely... but nothing worked.

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    1. I think your made a smart decision with the freezer camp- especially with young kids around! We may have to face that some day with Clove....but right now I'm hoping to tame him a bit more and like you said try our best to establish dominance. Freezer camp will be a last resort I think. And you are so right- we have given these roosters such a great life! Thanks for sharing :)

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  4. I had a beautiful splash orphington rooster named Hurley that some friends gave me when they moved. I was so hoping that he would be a good rooster and take care of his girls. I was hoping to gets some chicks out of him because he was so pretty. Not so much, I had him for only a day when he reached out and pecked me nasty hard the first time. It went down hill from there, I tried everything to get him to mellow out but I was scared to have my little one near the pen. (her favorite spot) The last straw was when I relized that he had torn one of the hens open down to meat on both side of her back from aggresive breeding. He went to freeze camp the next day. I am still hoping I can get her to heal. She is a beautiful gentle bird.

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    1. Oh my!! I sure hope your poor little hen can heal up nicely. Isn't it always the beautiful roosters that end up the meanest? That's how it was with ours at least....

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