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Author Topic: "Cocky" cockerel  (Read 2993 times)

Bumblebear

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Norfolk
    • http://southwellski.blogspot.co.uk/
"Cocky" cockerel
« on: July 24, 2012, 08:54:42 pm »
1 of my year old hand-reared Buff Orpys fronted up to my 2 year old today - jumped towards her all puffed up as she walked down the path.  She screamed, as he made her jump, and hubby just picked him up.  We usually have them (there are 2 brothers) penned up, especially when kids come to visit, but this is the first time one has refused to move out the way and shown aggression.  He is destined to go to a friends anyway (because we were quite fond of him so he was spared the pot) but now I am thinking twice as they run a riding school and I don't want to move the problem on.

He seemed such a gentle boy, albeit a bit more sparky then his brother.  We even found our silkie chicks had got into their run and were snuggled up against "the boys"!  He hasn't actually attacked, but in your collective experience is this behaviour the start of the slippery slope?  He's locked up for good now whilst little one is around.

Fowlman

  • Joined Apr 2012
  • Wiltshire
Re: "Cocky" cockerel
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2012, 09:15:02 pm »
Cockerels behaviour vary depending on time of year and age, big breeds like orps should always be watched when toddlers are about.
Tucked away on the downs in wiltshire.

Bumblebear

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Norfolk
    • http://southwellski.blogspot.co.uk/
Re: "Cocky" cockerel
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2012, 09:38:33 pm »
We've just put him away.  It's too difficult to watch them (toddler or bird!) as you can be only a foot away and watch something horrible happen in a split second.

the great composto

  • Guest
Re: "Cocky" cockerel
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2012, 09:50:13 pm »
Never had a problem with aggressive buff cockerels but usually if theres aggression then it doesnt go away and the cockerel is moved or destroyed.   I did read an interesting article about it where you keep increasing human contact so the cockerel doesnt feel threatened by you but I personally wouldnt trust any cockerel with young children its just not worth it.
The bird is only doing what comes naturally in defending his ladies.

clydesdaleclopper

  • Joined Aug 2009
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: "Cocky" cockerel
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2012, 10:14:41 pm »
Any of our boys that have been at all aggressive have been culled. They can do so much damage to a LO.
Our holding has Anglo Nubian and British Toggenburg goats, Gotland sheep, Franconian Geese, Blue Swedish ducks, a whole load of mongrel hens and two semi-feral children.

graham-j

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Canterbury Kent
Re: "Cocky" cockerel
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2012, 10:59:14 pm »
Hi,one of mine spurred me across the back of the knee,it could have been nasty I was wearing shorts at the time.He the attacked the feed bucket i had in my hand I had to hit him with it to fight him off.He is hanging in the cold store now Sunday dinner.
There is no way I would let a cockerel any way near a small child,let alone toddler.

Graham.
Graham.

Bumblebear

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Norfolk
    • http://southwellski.blogspot.co.uk/
Re: "Cocky" cockerel
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2012, 11:13:05 pm »
I did read an interesting article about it where you keep increasing human contact so the cockerel doesnt feel threatened by you .

Hubby or I can pick him up and he was hand reared - so I'm guessing the opposite - he's TOO familiar and not wary enough to show a bit of respect.

Any of our boys that have been at all aggressive have been culled. They can do so much damage to a LO.

That's what we're thinking; even though he didn't attack as such we don't want this to be the start.  DO they usually just start off going in to attack or can aggression start like I described?  Our boy who has his flock has never shown any aggression to us (or LO) - dogs, yes; but never humans.

Bumblebear

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Norfolk
    • http://southwellski.blogspot.co.uk/
Re: "Cocky" cockerel
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2012, 11:16:40 pm »
There is no way I would let a cockerel any way near a small child,let alone toddler.
Graham.

I agree.  We let them out to free range whilst she naps or after she has gone to bed.  Caught unawares by her early wakening  :-[ and didn't expect the Borp's reaction.  He won't be coming out again, that's for sure. 

graham-j

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Canterbury Kent
Re: "Cocky" cockerel
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2012, 11:28:01 pm »
Hi,some cockerels are aggressive others are not I have a large CBM who is loverly the worst he ever dose is a little dance.
I have found that handling cockerels or even showing them any attention makes them worse,my wife always makes a fuss of the hens giving them treats this also winds up a cock as you are steeling there attention away from him.I have found it seems best just to ignore them.

Graham.
Graham.

Buffy the eggs layer

  • Joined Jun 2010
  • East Yorkshire
  • visit my blogspot at www.thechickenwhisperer.co.uk
    • www.thechickenwhisperer.co.uk
Re: "Cocky" cockerel
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2012, 07:58:13 am »
Sadly I think you know the answer to this question.
There are far too many good natured cocks that end up being dispatched to justify keeping one who isnt.
They are as you say a particularly docile breed and thank goodness as there size would make them very dangerous if they wernt.
Even if we give him the benefit of the doubt about the time of year and protecting his girls etc unfortunatly there is a distinct difference between cocks who defend their girls when they feel threatened and those who become threatening without good cause.
You said that he was a bit more sparky than the other male so I suspect that he has probably been showing very subtle signs of dominant behaviour to you for a while but that you havent noticed and he hasnt had the confidence to take it further. Behaviour like this dosent just apear and disapear.
Its true that young children with their erratic movements and high pitched voices can upset many animals but a good cockerel would take his girls away from danger and only attack if persued or cornered.
I breed a very bright and gentle rare breed and raise alot of birds in the brooder. The cockerels do vary despite having the same upbringing but I always breed for temprament before looks. Young cockerels show their nature early and the hens behaviour towards them is often a good sign of their temprament. Hens dont like rough, agressive males any more than we do. Any young males that even think about challenging me are dispatched. I have bred Buff Os and despite their reputation the males were not as gentle or reliable as my Croads
The little signs that they display are eye contact and body language, standing their ground as you approach rather than moving away etc. When you are busy going about your business this can be hard to spot but if it goes unnoticed and unchecked then the birds confidence grows.
Chickens are inteligent creatures and all though in my experience the Orpingtons are not one of the most inteligent breeds, they are all smart enough to work out that if something works, you keep doing it.
Its hard to dispatch them when we are fond of them and although he is only responding to his instincts, I think this is a more responcible action than passing him on.
Personally, I wouldnt.
 
 
 
visit my blogspot at www.thechickenwhisperer.co.uk

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: "Cocky" cockerel
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2012, 11:41:31 am »
In my experience some cockerels are aggressive to humans and some are not. My fathers cockerel would not be safe around young children. Full stop. He has been cuddled ... as often advised .... but he is unpredictable and can be very aggressive to strangers, both adults and children. He is very protective to his hens and will chase even large dogs away.


I have 6 cockerels, RIR, Friesian and pekin. None are aggressive and can be picked up by the children and cuddled. They seem unconcerned if we handle the hens and are lovely to have around. Have watched them carefully if childrens' friends are here and again they seem totally unbothered. They were all well handled from being chicks .... not sure how much this helps  ??? .

 

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