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Author Topic: Aggressive cockerel, got to go  (Read 9437 times)

ellied

  • Joined Sep 2010
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Aggressive cockerel, got to go
« on: January 03, 2012, 03:36:04 pm »
George had another go at me today and wouldn't back down despite a relatively gentle boot, prod with a stick, flapping, shouting... he and I just aren't made for each other and as I have to stick my head and arm into the coop through the next box to retrieve an odd egg I am left vulnerable - he drew blood on my leg today :(

I am generally good with all forms of animal/bird and have never not managed at least a truce, I wasn't keen on a cockerel but the thought of baby Araucana chicks to expand my flock and sell on, got me carried away - but now I have to give up and possibly on the girls aswell in order to get him a home and recoup the money I spent.

I am actually quite upset about it all, and trying to think how I can make it work out, eg I reckon the limited run I was able to cobble up with temp elec chicken netting may be insufficient to give him space to take girls away from me or feel secure when I go in with them.  But I can't let them free range so close to the road, haven't the fitness or skill or even money to make a huge run for them that has a coop I can lock them out of from the outside while I clean and take eggs, and I am thinking the whole idea was an expensive disaster when I could have easily taken on another 12 ex-batts for the same money and had less hassle even if some didn't make the transition :(  Not that I need another 12 hens but I was caught up in the "having a particular breed" and the egg colours ::) and I just don't need more cockerel chicks being born that I am similarly unable to live with ::)

Being vegetarian for over 30 years now and almost buddhist in terms of my views on taking life unnecessarily I am really struggling with the knowledge that someone else might just cull and eat him which I obviously can't bring myself to do either ::) but I feel I should give him the chance of a more expert home with maybe better space/facilities.  I'm guessing from what I've already described that there won't be a queue for him as a family pet ;) but he could be a breeder in the right hands as he's a good looking chap so I've also offered the girls and everything that came with them if that proves enough incentive and gets me back to the happy place I was a few weeks ago before I got them and with my money back in my pocket to think again..

Am I missing something obvious from being a first timer with a cockerel and a novice with hens generally, something that could put George and I back on good terms or, from what I read on another thread, are some cockerels just going to have a go no matter what the space given?  I don't want to beat him up every day to get through to the girls in both pens, I can't bucket him and I haven't a water pistol but from his persistence I just think my defensive "attack" is making him more insecure and worse with me as he now crows whenever he sees or hears me and for a good 15 minutes afterwards, even from inside the coop at midnight on Hogmanay when I was pony checking at fireworks time ::)

Barleyfields Smallholding & Kirkcarrion Highland Ponies
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Ellie Douglas Therapist
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CameronS

  • Joined Aug 2009
  • North East Fife
Re: Aggressive cockerel, got to go
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2012, 03:39:41 pm »
hmmmm i have been thinking, since the obvious is a non starter.

there is a woman out at darsie (hens made easy) who has a huge pen of cockerals she would probably do a swap, the last time i was there she had a stunning selection, i was temepted by a black auracana, but went for a cream legbar to make a trio.  maybe it's an idea, i have her number somewhere if you want it
« Last Edit: January 03, 2012, 03:51:51 pm by CameronS »

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
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Re: Aggressive cockerel, got to go
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2012, 03:46:42 pm »
Hi Ewllie
I had a cockerel like that.  I eventually put him on Gumtree (he wrote his own advert  ;) ;D)  and found him a home where there was a man in the household and I believe he is fine now - doesn't even go for their kids.  I had Jamie reasonably under control for myself but couldn't guarantee he wouldn't go for my grandchildren, and a neighbour was having trouble sleeping during the day with the noise he made(shift worker) so took the decision to let him go.

Before that however i did control him enough for him not to threaten me.  I picked him up (used a jacket thrown over him the first time  ::)) tucked him under my arm and walked around the place for  an hour doing things - it was a bit awkward I admit.  Then turned him round to face me, shook him, swore at him and gave him a real face to face lecture,  then threw him to the ground.  I did that every day for a week and he gave up attacking me.  Worth a try if you feel up to it, but I could come over and give you a hand if you like?  Have you tried the 'pressure and release' like you do with dogs and horses?
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Aggressive cockerel, got to go
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2012, 03:54:53 pm »
I think you are right that your flapping and shouting and poking are all inciting him to fight - he will see all those activities as threatening and his response would either be to run away or to fight back; you have a feisty one so he's fighting back, or going for the pre-emptive strike.  But it may be too late now to change his behaviour, unless Annie's method works.  In my book a vicious cockerel goes in the pot, but I see why this is not possible for you.   I do think though that if you are going to hatch eggs then you need to have a destiny in mind for the half of hatchlings which will be male - once they reach a certain age they start to fight amongst themselves and there is no peace for you or the hens.  But I think you have realised this now.
I hope you find a home for him - keep us posted :chook:
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CameronS

  • Joined Aug 2009
  • North East Fife
Re: Aggressive cockerel, got to go
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2012, 03:58:10 pm »
i perhaps should have mentioned by huge pen, it's one where the cockeral go from a hatch, and are raised till they are eating size, but she sells/trades if people want. they are not there all year round i should have said that
 

PetiteGalette

  • Joined Dec 2011
Re: Aggressive cockerel, got to go
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2012, 05:10:39 pm »
How many girls do you have in with him?

When one of my younger breeding cockerels started to get funny with me I swapped the water-pistol for 8 more hens...................... never saw him after that as he was either too busy or, maybe, too kn**kered after running around after 10 of them.
Your rooster may well be OK if you sell him on to/swap with someone with more girls to keep him occupied and reduce his testosterone levels!
A pessimist sees only the dark side of the clouds, and mopes; a philosopher sees both sides, and shrugs; an optimist doesn't see the clouds at all - he's walking on them.  ~Leonard Louis Levinson

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Aggressive cockerel, got to go
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2012, 05:52:17 pm »
I think some cockerels are just aggressive!

All my current ones are gentlemen with me, despite fighting each other sometimes and being very active with the girls. But I used to have one, different breed from now, same place, same set-up, that would attack me wherever i went. In the end, he got sold, with his girls to a man who was going to keep them at the end of his orchard.

I remember one as a child, again, just one out of several, who was fine with my dad but would attack my mum -  she had to use a dustbin lid as a shield whenever she went into the end garden where they lived.

Most cockerels in the world end up in the pot, so try not to worry too much about someone else doing that, if he doesn't work out elsewhere.

And don't worry about getting another one for you either, chances are he'll be entirely different. As I said I have four adult cocks and about 10  ::) 8 month old cockerels and none of them attack me  :-*

ellied

  • Joined Sep 2010
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Re: Aggressive cockerel, got to go
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2012, 08:50:00 pm »
He has 3 girls of his own, but out of necessity it's an extension added on to the permanent run where I have 8 misc laying hens and that too may be part of his problem as he probably reckons I'm not only too big an intruder in the small run he "owns" but might be about to steal his girls and put them next door or something, where he reckons I should give him the other 8..  He must be frustrated, hormonal and also intimidated by me, and my defence is just adding to his stress so he is escalating to my cost.. :(

I could try them all in the big run and see if he eases off me with 11 girls to play with, but I am wary of letting him loose in there if he's going to remain aggressive towards me long term and start "defending" their coop and eggs the way he does his own ???  I'm losing confidence and hate the fact that I am making his life unpleasant let alone that I am having to deploy violence however limited.  It is just so far from how I want my life to be :(

I guess I'm not that good at dealing with males of the species ::)
Barleyfields Smallholding & Kirkcarrion Highland Ponies
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Ellie Douglas Therapist
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Hermit

  • Joined Feb 2010
Re: Aggressive cockerel, got to go
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2012, 10:37:53 pm »
Simple, dont challenge him, dominate him. Let him be for a couple of days totally ignoring him and then get hold and hold him flat to the floor for a minute. Then repeat as necessary , it does work . Getting into a flap , running away or fighting him back is giving in , you need to be top of the pecking order, strong , calm and dominant..

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Aggressive cockerel, got to go
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2012, 06:42:50 am »
Carrying them around under your arm while you do jobs makes the point as well  ;)

deepinthewoods

  • Guest
Re: Aggressive cockerel, got to go
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2012, 09:16:14 am »
i agree, calmly hold the b....d down, maybe under a blanket or sack, you must dominate him, aggresion isnt neccesarily a bad trait. but you must win!! every time he faces you off hold him down!!

ellied

  • Joined Sep 2010
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Re: Aggressive cockerel, got to go
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2012, 09:43:25 am »
Someone is coming to see them this afternoon, so as that is the time it most happens (mornings he is checking out the girls and evenings they're indoors when I go in to lock up so it's egg collecting and corn time he does it) they'll see what he's like and if they take him on and have the 4 of them then I will be sad but probably relieved and maybe assert myself a bit earlier if in a similar situation in future.

If not then I'll give it a go tomorrow, I see what you mean about the difference of confidence.  I'm not running away at all but I am responding to his challenge rather than assuming leadership and acting accordingly.  Thanks for that :)
Barleyfields Smallholding & Kirkcarrion Highland Ponies
https://www.facebook.com/kirkcarrionhighlands/
Ellie Douglas Therapist
https://www.facebook.com/Ellie-Douglas-Therapist-124792904635278/

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Aggressive cockerel, got to go
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2012, 10:37:02 am »
i agree, calmly hold the b....d down, maybe under a blanket or sack, you must dominate him, aggresion isnt neccesarily a bad trait. but you must win!! every time he faces you off hold him down!!

Yes, and that works in his tiny cockerel brain - you are now the dominant 'male', and he submits (or if you let him go, and he doesn't run off wailing, catch him and do it again until he does!).

The problem with this approach is that naturally, you should now gain rights to his girls, and as the new cockerel, send him packing whenever you see him.................. however, what actually happens is that you go back inside for a cup of tea, he re-asserts his authority over the flock, and you're back to square one again!!

I have to say, I found it amusing living with a "1-foot ninja" initially, until I realised firstly that Mrs Womble didn't find it nearly so funny, and secondly that if the little **** could kick me in the b@llocks, he could also kick a child in the eye, and I'm afraid that just wasn't worth the risk.  In the end, he made a superlative casserole, and it turns out that the world is full of 'spare' cockerels (heck, we have half a dozen at the moment, and that's not even counting the two who are marinading in tandoori sauce ready for tonight!), and basically life is too short to put up with living with a wrong-un!

Morally though Ellied, I can see your problem! The side-issue of course is that even if you buy sexed hyrbid POLs etc, the boys were still born and killed to allow that   :(.   Unfortunately then, it seems that ex-batts might be your only long term solution, though of course you'd still have to have a plan for what to do with them once they ceased laying, or you'll end up running a chook retirement home!!

HTH!!
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

Heather

  • Joined Sep 2010
  • West Yorkshire
  • Hi, I live in Yorkshire and keep a few chickens
Re: Aggressive cockerel, got to go
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2012, 10:45:15 am »
Being vegetarian for over 30 years now and almost buddhist in terms of my views

Hi Ellie
I so understand where you're coming from.  I was vegan for over 20yrs.  I began keeping hens 18months ago and really enjoyed raising chicks this summer. I haven't got a cockerel but hatched eggs from a smallholder, all from different hens.  It was a thrilling time - all these cute chicks, different colours and types.  But then what happens to the 50% male ones?  In my case they all went back to the smallholder, as agreed at the start, but of course he will only keep a cockerel if it's the right type for breeding. The truth is, there can be no pullets without unwanted cockerels.  It's a really difficult thing for people who don't want to kill, or cause others to kill.  I suppose you can sell your bad-attitude cockerel?  But breeding any animals raises these questions.
Heather
Heather

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
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Re: Aggressive cockerel, got to go
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2012, 10:49:00 am »
Quote
The side-issue of course is that even if you buy sexed hyrbid POLs etc, the boys were still born and killed to allow that   .   Unfortunately then, it seems that ex-batts might be your only long term solution, though of course you'd still have to have a plan for what to do with them once they ceased laying, or you'll end up running a chook retirement home!!
But the ex batt hens are only there because their 'brothers' have been killed., so where do you stop with the morality of it? :'(
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

 

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