Rooster behaviour

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10 years 6 months ago #36344 by clemclan
Rooster behaviour was created by clemclan
I don't really know that much about the behaviour of a roo apart from the obvious. We have one that's always kept himself to himself, crows excessively but he's never shown any aggressive behaviour towards anyone except for other chickens or duck when there's food involved!

I have a new rooster, he's an orpington, eight months old and I acquired (a week ago) him with orpington hens with the view to breeding them. When I was outside the other day I attempted to pick up one my shaver pullets and naturally it flapped about and the rooster launched himself towards me, which startled me a bit, and that was that. Yesterday my twelve-year-old daughter was out there and she picked up one of the pullets and then she felt a sharp scratch down her legs and the rooster had launched at her from behind, she was shocked and ran away and she said he chased her. :confused:

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10 years 6 months ago #474321 by Sue
Replied by Sue on topic Rooster behaviour
This is typical rooster behaviour!
He is seeing you as a threat towards his females! The squawking and flapping of the hens alerts him to trouble and hence he launches an attack.
He is only reasonably young and you may be able to dissuade him from such behaviour (if you are lucky) by acknowledging what stimulates him to attack, and avoiding doing it!
He needs to learn you are not a threat and he is dominant over you anyway-if you retaliate he will continue to attack! If you are submissive and walk away when he stands up to you or shows signs of attacking-then walk away like a submissive rooster would do. If you continue to make the hens alert him to trouble-he will get worse and worse and attack just because you enter his territory, whether you pick up a hen or just get inside his space!

Roosters do vary in their aggressiveness and especially between breeds and Orpingtons are meant to be reasonably laid back. As they become sexually mature most roosters do go through a period of aggressiveness towards their hens and owners, as well as other roosters but much of the attack mode is a 'learned' behaviour by repeated actions, usually of the owner! Putting the boot, or a stick in his path only incites them to attack more. By turning away from a confrontation often diffuses the situation and from then on he has learned he has beaten you and will desist (most of the time!)

Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.

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10 years 6 months ago #474339 by Deanna
Replied by Deanna on topic Rooster behaviour
I am so thankful after 2 aggressive roosters, RIP, that I now have 4 non aggressive roosters, a silkie, silver spangled hamburg, shaver X and a SSH/Aruacana. All are kept separate from each other. . But none are bothered by me or anyone else.. I think its because their more afraid than cocky. I heard of a funny way of bringing a rooster down and putting him in his place. That was to pick him up, patting him and carrying him around in front of the girls, essentially embarrassing him.

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10 years 6 months ago #474352 by clemclan
Replied by clemclan on topic Rooster behaviour
Thanks Sue!

I thought this was the case, however it wasn't one of his girls. As I said, he only arrived last week with 'his' three girls but it was a shaver pullet we were picking up, unless he just see's all them as his! even though he just hangs around with his orpie girlies.

When you do walk near him he does run away so I'm hoping this is a good sign that he's not going to be aggressive in nature, unless he's just settling in at the moment!

Cheers for the advice!

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10 years 6 months ago #474353 by clemclan
Replied by clemclan on topic Rooster behaviour

Deanna;477323 wrote: I am so thankful after 2 aggressive roosters, RIP, that I now have 4 non aggressive roosters, a silkie, silver spangled hamburg, shaver X and a SSH/Aruacana. All are kept separate from each other. . But none are bothered by me or anyone else.. I think its because their more afraid than cocky. I heard of a funny way of bringing a rooster down and putting him in his place. That was to pick him up, patting him and carrying him around in front of the girls, essentially embarrassing him.


Well I hope this one doesn't become a problem, but will do what Sue says and hopefully he'll be okay. My daughter hates him now though and I doubt she'll go near the chickens unless he's not around!

How did it go with the hatching eggs?

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10 years 6 months ago #474358 by tonic
Replied by tonic on topic Rooster behaviour
hi, i think it is unlikely that he knows which girls are 'his', if he is dominant to the other rooster then every hen in his world are his.

we have had both laid back and more aggressive opringtons. our last was called grumpy as he would race up and peck very hard if a hen sounded upset. he never flew up at us though, and we learnt to check where he was before grabbing hens and there was never any escalation in attacks. we kept him on as he was great at alerting for hawks and we assumed would attack anything that bothered the hens, which can be a very useful trait.

the most difficult thing was teaching other people not to be aggressive back, but the kids learned very quickly which hens were happy to be picked up (and so didn't react) and which to leave alone!

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10 years 6 months ago #474371 by Deanna
Replied by Deanna on topic Rooster behaviour

clemclan;477337 wrote: Well I hope this one doesn't become a problem, but will do what Sue says and hopefully he'll be okay. My daughter hates him now though and I doubt she'll go near the chickens unless he's not around!

How did it go with the hatching eggs?

5 out of 8 hatched, 3 infertile Araucanas, and my 2 SSH also hatched, so 5 of the bought ones hatched, last time, 8 out of 8 did, plus my SSH, so I was a bit spoiled. So I now have 13 new Araucanas and 3 SSH. Only a few weeks apart. Really enjoyed the experience. :D

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10 years 6 months ago #474386 by clemclan
Replied by clemclan on topic Rooster behaviour

Deanna;477357 wrote: 5 out of 8 hatched, 3 infertile Araucanas, and my 2 SSH also hatched, so 5 of the bought ones hatched, last time, 8 out of 8 did, plus my SSH, so I was a bit spoiled. So I now have 13 new Araucanas and 3 SSH. Only a few weeks apart. Really enjoyed the experience. :D


that's great! Sadly, none of Miss Opington's were fertile as I discovered when checking. So Ozzie the 'non-aggressive roo' wasn't doing his job very well. Still it wasn't planned, she was broody and I let her sit with some of the eggs from that day. She was only sat on four and then two had collapsed, so after checking her eggs and they were watery I took her off the nest. However, I did buy a dozen fertile eggs this week (Dorking) as another hen (Light Sussex) was brooding so she's sitting on these now. Fingers crossed!

Enjoy your new chickies [;)]

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10 years 6 months ago #474388 by Deanna
Replied by Deanna on topic Rooster behaviour
Ah that's a shame, yes, the Araucana wasn't up to scratch either this time round. But I'm loving the little black one I got, I knew she had a black girl. And didnt get one last time.

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Best of luck this time. Are dorking a a heavy breed? They are not one I have read up on, so I'm away to do that.....

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10 years 6 months ago #474402 by clemclan
Replied by clemclan on topic Rooster behaviour

tonic;477342 wrote: hi, i think it is unlikely that he knows which girls are 'his', if he is dominant to the other rooster then every hen in his world are his.

we have had both laid back and more aggressive opringtons. our last was called grumpy as he would race up and peck very hard if a hen sounded upset. he never flew up at us though, and we learnt to check where he was before grabbing hens and there was never any escalation in attacks. we kept him on as he was great at alerting for hawks and we assumed would attack anything that bothered the hens, which can be a very useful trait.

the most difficult thing was teaching other people not to be aggressive back, but the kids learned very quickly which hens were happy to be picked up (and so didn't react) and which to leave alone!


He only came to us last week, so his girls are the three he came with, he doesn't go anywhere near the others yet! He just hangs around with those three all day. Sure he will once he's settled in! Not sure at the moment who's the dominant one out of the two roosters. They had a stand off and he gave in first and ran, I haven't seen them near eachother since.

Always good to hear others stories, this has been very helpful as this roo isn't as laid back as he other one appears to be, albeit he can be too noisy at times! [;)]

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10 years 6 months ago #474403 by clemclan
Replied by clemclan on topic Rooster behaviour

Deanna;477376 wrote: Ah that's a shame, yes, the Araucana wasn't up to scratch either this time round. But I'm loving the little black one I got, I knew she had a black girl. And didnt get one last time.



Best of luck this time. Are dorking a a heavy breed? They are not one I have read up on, so I'm away to do that.....


Yeah it is, nevermind, better luck hopefully this time with the Dorks. I think they are a heavy breed and I think they are a popular breed in England. I am sure Hugh had them in River Cottage! They lay white eggs and are good layers and good meat birds. Nice looking as well. I did read about them but I can't remember, haha terrible memory, must have another wee read!

Love the pic - so cute! :D

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10 years 6 months ago #474412 by Deanna
Replied by Deanna on topic Rooster behaviour

clemclan;477391 wrote: Yeah it is, nevermind, better luck hopefully this time with the Dorks. I think they are a heavy breed and I think they are a popular breed in England. I am sure Hugh had them in River Cottage! They lay white eggs and are good layers and good meat birds. Nice looking as well. I did read about them but I can't remember, haha terrible memory, must have another wee read!

Love the pic - so cute! :D

I'm interested in a bird that would be good for eating as well as laying, will read up some more. Love Hugh. [;)]

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10 years 6 months ago #474445 by clemclan
Replied by clemclan on topic Rooster behaviour

Deanna;477400 wrote: I'm interested in a bird that would be good for eating as well as laying, will read up some more. Love Hugh. [;)]


Yeah Hugh's great, loving Paul West now too on River Cottage Australia!! :D

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