Rooster Psychology . . . by Nathan, 13

gIf have read older posts, you may remember our first rooster Tricky Chickie.  He was very mean in life, but he was very sweet (-tasting) in death.  He was always cocky and fierce to everyone, and we weren’t prepared for that when we raised him.  (That picture was taken over a year ago when all the chickens escaped and we had to herd them back in.  Tricky was not so willing!)

We also had another rooster, Morgan.  He was never mean to anyone, and we did not have to teach him how to behave.

Now that both of them are gone, a friend gave us an an Ameraucana rooster.  He’s still adjusting to his new coop, and so far everything has gone well between him and us, but he had a rough start with the hens.

He’s the smallest chicken in the coop (except for the bantams), and when we first put him in, they started picking those petty little chicken fights.  However, that was really no surprise; chickens do that all the time.

He's not very socialized. Here he is, cowering behind the food bin. He is such a chicken!

Who are you?

He’s beautiful on the outside, but only time will tell if he’s beautiful inside.  He is still young, and we naturally do not want to go through with him what we went through with Tricky.  No, he has not attacked anyone yet, but we still don’t trust him because of past experiences with roosters, and because we can sense that he is aggressive within.  Sometimes when I walk near him, he seems to be thinking, “You know, I just can’t stand that human… it sure would be fun to attack him… but he’s a little bigger than the roosters I’m accustomed to fighting with.”

Caleb and I are officially the “alpha males,” so we named him “Beta.”  The day may soon come when he flogs one of us—unless we prevent it before he lets loose.  Caleb and I intend to teach him that turning aggressive will never pay!

Here are some of the methods and techniques we are using, based on some ideas that we’ve read about.

  • Every time we go into the chicken coop, we crow.  We can’t crow very well yet, but we’re getting better and better at it.  If Beta starts to crow, we will out-drown him with a defiant crow of our own.  (Actually, he has not crowed yet, surprisingly.)
  • If he ever attacks us, we shall not run nor show any signs of fear.  We will stand our ground!
  • We will not allow him to mate in our presence.  An alpha rooster would never put up with that from the beta rooster.
  • We’ll handle the hens frequently.  For example, we’ll pick them up and pet them just to prove a point.
  • He won’t be allowed to access the food until we are out of the coop.  We’re at the top of the pecking order!

If all these plans work, Beta should remember his place and not challenge us . . . or else!

Hopefully, with our broody hens and friendly-to-be rooster, we’ll be able to hatch some chicks in the spring!