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Rooster physchology
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Cindi    Posted 08-22-2003 at 06:54:08       [Reply]  [No Email]
I think I finally learned how to handle roosters. We have a big mutt rooster called Brewster. I'm not so sure if he's actually mean or not, but he is not above trying to intimidate you if he gets the chance. He's gotten the chance from me several times. One look at his spurs and you would understand. An inch and a half of wickedly curved claw with a needle sharp tip at the end of each leg. If I had to guess I would put his weight in the neighborhood of 8-10 lbs.

I spent a lot of time getting out of this roosters way. If I was walking along and he walked out on front of me I would go around him, keeping one eye on him all the time, so that when he ventured a peck at my ankle, which he would invariably do, I could get out of the way fast enough.

It galled me to have this rooster running things, but I knew that if I did what I wanted to do, which is drop kick him across the pasture, that I might injure him. As big as he is, he could still be considered fragile under the type of kick I was prepared to deliver. Going in the chicken house when he is on the roost, is a definite no-no. He would just as soon land on your head and rearrange the part in your hair, as look at you.

I've had him land on me before and it is not a pleasant experience. I got away with no serious injuries only because I was inspired to tuck my head between my legs and back out of the coop leaving him to slide off into a heap on the ground.

A few months ago I bought a bunch of chicks from the local feed store. Straight runs. I never have bought them this way, I was always afraid I would end up with all roosters, as straight runs are not sexed, you get what you get.

As anticipated, I now have in the neighborhood of ten plymouth barred rock roosters, not too mention Brewster and Big Red, a Rhode Island red rooster who pretty much stays to himself.

Now it's almost impossible to walk anywhere without confronting a big healthy rooster and I guess I have started to lose my patience from wandering around out there like a drunk, trying to dodge them. I haven't walked a straight line from the feed shed to the chicken yard in so long that the path that I had once worn down is now completely grown over.

This morning I went back to check on piggies and almost immediately a plymouth rooster planted himself in front of me, demanding...feed I guess. I clenched my teeth and just held my course right through the middle of where he was standing. He jumped out of the way at the last minute squawking.


I had the same success with the next two plymouth roosters. I was feeling pretty confident by then, and almost wished Brewster would come along so I could try out MY new intimidation tactic. Sure enough, on my way back to the house I saw him out of the corner of my eye making his way rapidly across the hen yard toward the gate where our paths would cross.

I slowed my progress slightly to make sure that he would be waiting for me at the end of the path. There he stood, eighteen inches of feather, stew makings, and rigid bone, spurs glinting in the early morning sun, cocky as he could be. I never even broke stride, I waded right through the middle of him, scattering feathers and dust, and I'm almost sure I stepped on something connectd and sensitive as he let out a warble that could only be motivated by discomfort of some sort.

The change in his personality was miraculous. I walked several feet before I turned around to look back at him, and found him standing by the gate, his head cocked to the side, one eye gleaming at me. If I could read his mind, assuming he has one, I reckon he was thinking....'what the heck just happened?'...that was what was written all over his face.

I walked back past him two or three times, just to see what he'd do and he stayed glued to the spot he was standing in, but now refused to look at me. I guess his feelings were hurt.

After all the running and dodging and trying to be politically poultry correct, as so often happens, I lost my patience and I am always amazed at what I learn when this happens. Common sense dictates that a hundred and (mumble mumble) pounds far outweighs ten, and all it took was a little short course in weight dynamics to share this information with Brewster.

I still won't go in the hen house when he's in there as he has the advantage of surprise as I never know where he'll spring at me from, but henceforth, the paths belong to me, and if the day ever comes when he starts jumping at me from the top of he gate (he's not dumb, I expect this to happen eventually), well then there's always the stew pot. I have all those plymouth barred rock roosters out there, strong and healthy and looking for work.

RayP(MI)    Posted 08-22-2003 at 20:05:29       [Reply]  [No Email]
Wellllll, when I was about 4 (gads that's a long time ago!) we had a rooster who regularly attacked me. My dad got a toy shovel of mine, and taught me how to smack the rooster with it. Next time he came at me wings beating and spurs slashing, I caught him broadside with the flat side of the shovel. Probably only knocked him ten feet or so, but that was the last time we had a problem with him. (He was first on the list for Sunday dinner, a month or so later!)

Clipper    Posted 08-22-2003 at 09:37:38       [Reply]  [No Email]
Just get yourself one of them rinky plastic baseball bats and the next time he comes at you send him out into left won't hurt or kill him but it will get his attention...if he's not smart enough to keep offa you then he is ready for the...pot.

Greg    Posted 08-22-2003 at 07:56:00       [Reply]  [No Email]
We have a Rhode Island that is that way. He had to learn the hard way that he is not running the show. We had to land into him a few times and now no more problems. He wont even try it when my daughter goes in the coop anymore as she generally get in the first shot if he even looks like he is going to try something or looks at her the wrong way. The humorous part of it is when we are out of town and we have someone taking care of animals for us. We always tell them to watch him when they are collecting eggs because he does have a mean streak but he will back down if you donít let him intimidate you. It never fails, he will back them into a corner and act all tough until they get up the nerve to whack him one and go about their business. He had my brother in-law fooled for three days this last summer.

ret    Posted 08-22-2003 at 08:07:54       [Reply]  [No Email]
I figured that if a 2x4 and a shovel along the side of his head didn't get his attention as to who was boss, nothing was going to.

ret    Posted 08-22-2003 at 07:31:02       [Reply]  [No Email]
Cindi, when my daughter and I first bought chicks, completely amateurs to the raising of anything in the fowl line, we ended up due to a mistake at Farm and Country, with 11 roosters out of 25 chicks. They made it good by giving us hens to replace them. But, we were stuck with a lot of roosters. One Rhode island Red seemed a lot bigger than the rest. I mean he got big. Pretty soon in the coop he watched you all the time. .Jumped me once in the coop and drew blood. Was going to kill him right there, but didn't. Outside he was getting really terrible. Ran at daughter one day and she grabbed him and threw him up against the barn. Tough bird. I hit him with a 2x4 one day when he came at me. One day it was a shovel that kept him away. I had a chicken hook and decided to catch him and he ran towards me instead of away like most chickens.He got me again that morning when I turned my back so I shot his head off. Three more of the roosters started getting foxy , killed them too. I dressed out the rooster and weighed him . Almost 8 lbs. We have a new bunch now, and two of the 4 roosters in the bunch are acting foxy. This time I won't wait. As soon as they are about 3 lbs they will be in with home made noodles for company. Why keep something that wants to hurt you? A rooster can hurt you, and an eye can't be replaced. Kill it. We had a crosslink rooster that was friendly as could be,

SY    Posted 08-22-2003 at 07:30:22       [Reply]  [No Email]
Brings back memories Cindi.

LH    Posted 08-22-2003 at 07:21:39       [Reply]  [No Email]
Cindi I learned along time ago with roosters, mean geese or any agressive critter its best to show them you are the alpha in the herd. Do oyur best to kick them to death and once they realize you are the boss they wont bother you anymore

cowgirlj    Posted 08-22-2003 at 07:33:11       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I don't think kicking the crap out of them is neccesasary. I corner my geese, or roosters, and pin them to the ground by pressing their wings against their sides and pressing down on their backs like a preditor and hold them there until they give in and are calm. They get the same message without injury.

LH    Posted 08-22-2003 at 07:51:48       [Reply]  [No Email]
I never hurt one yet I just want them to know who the boss is

Cindi    Posted 08-22-2003 at 07:58:00       [Reply]  [No Email]
So far he hasn't been agressive in the true sense of the word, he won't chase but he sees the henhouse as his property, so everybody knows to wait until he's out to go in and collect eggs.

If he gets any worse though, he'll be in the pot. He will probably be tough, but, at least he won't be dangerous anymore...... unless one of us chokes on a bone...wouldn't put it past him. Lol!

LH    Posted 08-22-2003 at 08:03:08       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yep, I know peopel that cut their spurs off too but Ive never had to do that. Right now we have an aracauna, Rhode Island Red, and Phoenix roosters. None of em attack people but they will fight with each other

Cindi    Posted 08-22-2003 at 08:21:20       [Reply]  [No Email]
Brewster and Big Red tangle occasionally but what is more frequent and funny as heck to watch is when the hens go at it. : )

Bill in TN    Posted 08-22-2003 at 09:28:09       [Reply]  [No Email]
Have you tried a squirt gun? My roster learned quickly after a couple of squirts in the eye....

Jimbob    Posted 08-22-2003 at 17:23:37       [Reply]  [No Email]
A 'blip' from the water hose works great! Best shot is on a rear end. eek!

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