Are you ready? It's time for our 14th annual photo contest! Enter your best pictures of the year, for a chance to win a calendar and annual subscription here. Hurry! Deadline for entries is October 21.
A short time ago a subscriber to DG, Posted a new thread. (How to raise a nice Rooster) That was an excellent question, and to be honest I was somewhat dismissive of the question. For that I apologive to Elleisn. After following that thread from the begining I realized not only was it a good question, but there were some real problems that some of our forum friends were trying to deal with and having no relative success.
That concerned me and I thought (Baloney) There has to be a solution to this problem, besides Freezer Camp, Rehoming, and just outright frustration. I'm not saying Rehoming, and freezer camp, are wrong. I'm saying there has to be another solution, So I don't have to rehome, or butcher, or give away a Rooster I want to keep but can't tame him with any real success. I was commenting to Gallesfarm that I used to train dog's (dobermans) for the police dept, and that finding a good Roo seemed to be like the task of finding a good dog. That innocent remark sorta hit me right between the eyes hours later.
As I attempted to sleep last night after hours of researching the issue, The thought popped into my head. Yes you had to find the right dog, but after that you had to know how to train him for his job. Which is to say you could have the right dog but, if you did not know how to test and train him, he was for all practicle purpose still useless. If you can see my point then maybe many of us have the right Rooster, but, really don't know how to test them for the right qualities, and then know how to train them to bring out the best in them. Does this make any sense? I am still researching this issue, but I feel like I have found some good info that just might help. I would really like to resolve this problem and am will to put the time into it if you feel it might help. If not then I'm willing to also drop it. Just leave your comments on this thread and I'll follow your lead on this. Haystack
I stand right next to you as your right hand warrior in this training session sargent!
I too believe there are no bad dogs, just bad trainers (lol)
No really.. sometimes, it does become a handling issue and sometimes it does become finding what the animal, no matter the animal, is good at and inhancing that ability and embelishing it to fit your needs and train it on that foundation.
I sure hope that added to what you said Haystack.. My point.. I believe what you said 100%!
I do believe there are some ways that work to help establish a people dominated pecking order. I am one of those frustrated rehomers who would love so examples of things that can be done. So if you are willing to try I am willing to look on with you. Someone once told me that if you pick up the aggressive roo and hold him (with his head facing your back while under your arm) and do chores with him like that it shows him that you are not hurting him and you are the boss. I did that with my Duke and it worked for me. The only thing was my kids. He was to big for them to tuck under their little arms. LOL I am with you as you try new and exciting chicken theropy Great Uncle! :D
The biggest differences between roosters and dogs are hormones. First, you can neuter a dog and that makes domination and training much easier. Second a dog gets a surge of hormones when he smells a female in heat. A chicken has them all the time.
When chickens are quite intelligent and can learn many of the same tricks a dog can, they don't have the long term memory. A dog will remember a command or trick for years, even if he doesn't use them every day. A chicken is pretty short term. A dog's head is filled with "food, sleep, pleasing the pack leader, sex, play, food, food, food ..." (sorry I have a Labrador, food is king). However, a chicken is "I'm the leader and have sex with everyone else." Food is in there, but it's down the list.
So anyway, yes, picking up the chicken and showing him that you are dominate does work. (I turn mine on his back) It has to be repeated on a regular basis and don't expect him to recognise another human as dominate.
When I was a kid, I had a pet rooster. I raised it like a dog. He knew all kinds of tricks and accepted me as dominate bird. My mother and sister however, he considered "hens" and danced around and flirted with them. (My sister learned real quick not to lay out in the grass sunning herself). Any men who came into the yard, other than my father who EVERYBODY and EVERYTHING was afraid of, were treated as other roosters and attacked. This went on all five years we had him.
So yes, temperament is very important, pick breeds that are docile, but more important, give that little guy lots and lots of attention as he grows. Then when he is an adult and starts feeling aggressive, pick him up and show him who is boss.
Well it's 5;30 A. M. My time zone, and I have read the replies. And Frans & Sew I think we are all on the same page. I'm in total agreement with you Frans also. Sew I read that concept also, and while I take no issue with it, I can certainly see some problems. Like trying to hold a fifteen lb roo and doing a chore that takes two hands not to speak of the weight problem.
Anyway I would like say, at any given time feel free to agree, disagree, add to, subtract from or just laugh at anything I enter on this thread. All I ask is that you at least consider whats being said. If you have found your own solution more power to you, It is those who are struggling with this dilema, and who I call friends that I wish to find some help for. Some of this material will be my own, some will be researched, You might think some also came from outer space. LOL
Most of what I post will be done on Monday evening while you are sleeping, also on Friday late evening my time. That is what will work best for me in order to continue my research and contact some of the Informants. Input and feed back helps me to see if we are together still or if I have caused someone to stumble. My first entry will be posted this evening around 6 p.m. my time zone. My deepest regards Haystack.
I love this thread... I know it's not going to fit every situation every time, but it does give hope for the roos you really want to keep.
I think Jyl is majorly on track..
About 35 years ago I read a book called "you and your horse"... I can't remember the author.. but it was cutting edge Horse Whispering type thinking.. If you know how an animal thinks.. and what they can comprehend.. you are FAR ahead of the game. Think like a chicken thinks, and you see their world so much better...
I guess what I'm trying to say is.. See their world as they do, and provide them with an environment that is suited for THEM.. not how you want them to see your world and fit into Yours. Does that make sense?
We can't really think like chickens.. but when we know things like Jyl says.. it helps greatly.
I try my best to give them a place to be the majestic creature he is.. a rooster.. and let him rule the roost as it was meant for him to do. If kids come to see chickens, they are quickly diverted to the silkie pen. LOL
I am all for Chicken Whispering --in no way making light of your efforts, Hay! The more clearly we see the rooster's eye view, the better able we will be to keep them. Domestication is, after all, an alien state of affairs to our birds. My daughter is old enough now to be the dominant one, but a year or so ago the roos were still occasionally pestering her.
I was taking to a Falconer and he explained that when working with birds you have to realize that they are primarily emotional and selfish. That is, they react strongly and they act in their own interest...and do not consider yours. Sort of like a human 2 year old. I've heard similar reports about Parrots and Ostriches. It is not that they are stupid or unfeeling. If they love you, you are everything to them...but it is not a flexible way of thinking. If they feel they should attack--nothing will make them stop until they don't feel that way anymore. So the challenge that Haystack has bravely taken on, is to figure out what makes them feel like attacking and what makes them feel like it is no longer a good idea.
None of my roosters so far have shown human aggression, but I have a little black Dutch Bantam roo that suddenly decided to remove the head of my little white Serama roo. I didn't realize how relentless he was about it till all the feathers and most of the skin was removed from the top of the Seramas head. He hasn't bothered any of the other roos he is in with.
JYL, ZZ's, Grownut!!! I read your posts and very much enjoyed your input. In fact all of you have said and made some excellent points. A lot of what you said needs to be said over and over again.
Please understand I am no authority whatsoever on this Rooster thing. I make no bones about doing this research as much for myself as others. I am only and interested student, along for the ride. I do however believe I'm intelligent enough to appeal to common sense, couple that with research, and a little experience and generate enough ideas to get us all to think and consider. With help from the good people of this forum if we can throw some ideas and facts around to the point that it helps some? Then it has been worthwhile. Haystack
I'm sure most of you on this forum thread have at least heard of the woman who lost both arms and most of her face to a lady friends Chimp. That lady who owned that chimp had owned him fourteen years without a hitch. And then suddenly!!
I'm also sure most of you are familiar with the Sigmund and Roy show! With their white Bengal Tigers! This show went on for years without a hitch. And then suddenly!! The persons that were attacked in both of these cases will never lead a normal life ever again.
Neither of these situations had to happen. We are just arrogant enough to think that we always have the upper hand, and can therefore throw common sense and caution to the wind. Well what does it take to wise up??
First and foremost get rid of the arrogance. And show respect for these creatures.
Second: Quit attributing human emotions and attributes to them. That does not mean we can't love them and enjoy them. But for goodness sake don't for one minute think they are going to love you back. Trust me this love is a oneway street. I know this revelation is going to depress many but it is the truth. Get over it.
Thirdly Remember we choose them, they did not choose us. That puts the responsibility square on our shoulders, not theirs. Earlier on the hair-do post Sew made a comment she had to go to the STUPID mall, she then caught herself and said "ok the mall isn't stupid" and then went on. A short time ago Catscan posted and mentioned she had a crested chicken that she thought was just to stupid, and then realized the chick wasn't stupid she was just blinded by her crest. I mention these because they are so funny, but also to say there is no evidence I have ever seen anywhere that they are either smart or stupid. They are wired with inate instincts. If we can remember that it just may help us in the future. Have a great week-end and we'll talk about our responsibilities next Friday. Deepest regards Haystack
Actually they have done quite a few studies recently that show that some birds, including chickens, have quite a high degree of intelligence. But it is not mammalian intelligence. And it only works among chickens. Even the terrible bullying they sometimes seem prone to, may be a normal reaction to confinement. None of my free ranging roos have picked on each other (they spar--but the lower ranking one can run away and the pursuer gives up pretty quickly), but the baby bantam roos were in a cage together and it got ugly. And I don't have game roos, which I know will not give up the fight.
Let's face it...chickens are different from us. Like Haystack said: We are responsible for their welfare and we need to respect the difference. Actually I think it is the difference that I like so much...watching them react to the world and each other is always fascinating.
Then there is Dolly.. she is NOT stupid.. but she shouldn't have lived.. I had fed her for 5 days.. she just "ain't right" but she sure is pretty! She gets along okay.. but she just isn't the sharpest crayon in the box.
A perfect example of intervention into a place I didn't belong. :)
Poor Dolly. I remember how hard you worked with her. None of her brothers or sisters are so...um...simple. A chicken that doesn't know how to go home to roost is not quite a bright chicken. But she is a beauty and she has you to show her how to go to bed at night:0).
I know.. but don't you agree that I probably should have let nature take it's course? I was emotional, and thought I could "fix" her.. when I shouldn't have. I love Dolly.. Don't get me wrong. I make fun of her, but really.. she is just a lil slow... I like to talk like Eeyore when I'm around her.
I guess my point is.. when humans get in the way.. something always seems to happen... at least with animals..
In all my years with horses, I've not seen many injured that it wasn't man's fault... for one reason or another.
I think nature might have taken Dolly out of the gene pool...although she might somehow have gotten enough stimulus from a broody mother to survive. But I don't know how you could have made that decision. I mean, I have had chicks that didn't start eating right away--but with work they turned out fine. And I don't think you could have watched her slowly starve to death...or put her out of her misery just because she wasn't too quick to start eating on her own. Especially not realizing that she was actually a little short of full stack. And how could you know?
But if Br'er Fox turns up, I am sure Dolly would be the first one to climb into the sack.
You are 100% right.. there is always hope and no way I could just give up on her.
Actually, she is already such a good mom! She is huge and doesn't know she is a baby... all the tiny ones get under her for warmth. Not often you can put one in with the babiez that is that big!
Sorry for hijacking Haystack..
Catscan made the point I was hoping to make. But I'll reiterate...:-)~
Because the environment we create for them to live in is unnatural to them neither we nor they are in a position to let nature take its course. We can only do our best and learn from it. ZeeZ -you could not have done anything less. You had to find out from experience what it took to save that chicken and what its effects were. Thanks for sharing.
I imagine the learning curve for keeping roosters will be much the same. One day maybe we'll know what causes a rooster to choose aggression as its best course of action (no, I'm not humanizing, y'all! I'm using human language about birds...)
What is (our) the chicken owners responsibility? I suppose the spectrum here would be as far and wide as the owners themselves. There is probably no established set of responsibilities. Therefore it's probably safe to say we all have our own opinions. I will voice some of mine and hope you will chime in and do the same.
I visited eight chicken farms over the last seventy-two hours. In some cases I was delighted, in others I left in shock. My dear wife always tells me my coop is the Hilton of chicken coops.
1. Housing is more than a building, It should be kept dry, with lots of fresh air. Floor space should be ample for the amount of birds housed in it.
Nesting boxes should be provided and kept clean.
Food should be fresh, dry, (not damp) and ample.
Water, should be in generous supply, fresh, kept clean, and waterers should be disinfected weekly.
The coop itself should be a safe source of housing, and that would mean taking ample measures to be kept predator free.
We call it a chicken coop? Yet I have watched owners in the past seventy-two hours that walk in slam doors and scare the be-jesus out of unsupecting birds. We who raise them know it takes little to upset them. It not only effects their egg laying, but destroys the trust factor. If it's their house then we should respect it as such and consider them when we enter into it. Slow deliberate, calming movement helps to create a healthy, peaceful environment. I always announce myself before entering by speaking to them so they are not caught of guard.
I never allow strangers inside the coop. The birds know the difference.
The birds should not be subject to the nonsense of children, especially visitors children.
Roosters, due to their very nature, and unpredictability should be kept in such a manner to keep everyone safe. I have seven roosters, of which three run with the flock. They are all very gentle and also very small. The other four are in seperate pens. They are used for mating and provide fertile eggs to hatch and sell. They take turns in a eight x thirty run. So every fourth day they get to be out doors totally. I never handly the roos without good gloves and a face shield, They have not given me trouble yet, but I always wear protective gear. I know how easy it is to retaliate when injured or attacked. Wearing protective gear assures me I won't be put in that position. Because they are much faster than I, I have three different size nets I have made and that way I and they don't get all worked up. The longer you chase the worse they get with hostility. Once they are in the net it is so very simple to deal with them, then the pecking order between them and I begans.
Grownut in posting a comment mentions chicken whisperer, Friday I want to tell you about such a person, and the lesson she left behind. I hope you'll add to this list of responsibilities. Deepest regards Haystack
One thing I wanted to mention, and forgot. Those of you who are regulars on this forum are so very very special. In talking with many coop owners and observing their coop's and trust me the coop's do tell a story, proved to me just how very special you are. Some of the nastiness I saw, oh my. Even the best I saw did not compare to what I have see of your birds, coops, and attitudes. You are the best. Haystack
Thanks Great Uncle. Sounds like you have been busy. Thanks for all your time and research. Its very interesting to read about other places. I have visited a few around here. They vary greatly in their provisions. Some excellant some not so... Have a great day.
I visited one coop just a mile from where I live, I found it on Craigs List. When I arrived I did not tell the owner I also raised chickens. I bought two doz eggs for six bucks. After purchasing the eggs I put them in my pickup and asked her if I could see her chickens. She said yes and when we got to the coop I was shocked. It was a total mess. I said to her oh I see you have a window that opens for the birds, she said no, that for me, I use that to shovel the droppings outside. The coop had a horrible oder and the poo was piled about three feet high against the wall. I asked her how birds she had and she replied about thirty. I asked her if she spent any time with them? To that she replied heck no, they are not my favorites. She had four goats and three alpacas also. I thanked her for the eggs. Left and went home. I immediately opened the cartons and found the eggs were very dirty, and after washing them found three were severly cracked. I noted that the coop was approx an 8x8 and the hay was very soggy. there were five nesting boxes with a lot of poo in them. There was no roost. What was interesting about this place was the former owners were friends of mine, I had delivered propane to them several years, It was always well kept at that time, and in the three years since the new owner have there it looks like a different place totally. I cooked both cartons of eggs and fed them to the chickens. Enough said. Haystack
I thought I was the only one that said good morning to my chickens before I open the door!!!!! That's wild.. I am sensitive to my chickens feelings... I wouldn't want someone bursting in my bedroom first thing in the morning! LOL It's just the golden rule!!! Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!
Really, I hate to think of the life some chickens have... I know if I went to other places I too would be horrified.
A neighbor and I took a trip to the town of Mt Vernon, thirty eight miles south of us. There was an ad in the Little Nickle selling Aracaunas. I told him they were probably Americanas. He asked me if I liked them and I said I did, he also knew I was doing some research of Chicken Coops and asked to join him, so I did. I showed him my Americana Roo and he was impresed. I have lots of pullets but he wanted a few now, and mine are just 8 wks. When we first arrived we both did a second take and he managed an ughh. I was approx an acre of pure filfth, I have never seen the likes of it anywhere. there was garbage, broken down crates, car parts and mud and poo everywhere. A guy come out of a degrading ole single wide to meet us. he was wearing sandals, I was grateful I had boots on. He asked if we were here to buy chickens. My friend replied yes and gulped. Well the chickens were everywhere. He must have had at least a hundered or so, He asked my friend how many he wanted? My friend said five, and the old guy said I'm only selling the Aracaunas and my friend said fine. The guy said I'll gather them up and when he picked up the first bird, I said wait a minute those are not Aracaunas but rather Americanas. He said same thing, I said evidently you don't know your chickens as they are not the same. This gave my friend the out I knew he was looking for and we took our leave. I never did see a coop but I did notice a lot of eggs on the ground amongst all the auto parts. We didn't talk much on the trip back, my neighbor just smiled shook his head and said thanks for saving me.
Had he bought chickens I would have cried. Gotta tell you while we were there I kept thinking of Mox. With her kind heartedness, she would have once again been in the Rescue business. I can not believe the neighbors have not turn this in to the health dept. Poor ZZ's would have been crying her eyes out, the rest of us would have had to really work to keep our composure. I know I sure did.
Those were the two pathetic ones I saw. The rest were acceptable though not great, There was one exception, a couple in the town of Sumas on the Canadian border. They and their two little ones were clearly having a good time with their birds and the coop was nicely done, and clean enough though a little small for the number of birds they had. There was also a very nice sized run for them. Haystack
P.S. One thing this has helped me to understand, is that so many have animals and birds that probably should not have them. And because of this there will always be a need, for people like Claire and so many of you who who frequent the poultry forum. I know there are others out there we have not met or heard from who also love their animals and birds. Thats is encouraging.
This story is about a guy in his later years of life. As the story goes a relatively young lady was on her way to an event and got lost. She drove into this elderly mans drive. Upon seeing his visitor he went out to see if he could be of assistance, She told him she was to be at a certain arena at a certain time and wondered if he could help her to locate the place.
He told the young lady he knew where the place was and asked her what the event was that she was to attend. She stated she was an instructor and was supposed to address the local 4H club. Oh he said and what is the topic your going to address them on. How to tame a mean and overly aggressive rooster, she replied. The man said oh, while he silently thought to himself. "I have been raising poultry for over fifty years and have dealt with more mean roosters than she has ever seen. And just how do you do that, he stated. I really don't have time now to explain, but will be giving a demonstration with two live mean roosters at the club meeting. Then he openly admitted to her he was a poultry farmer, and had dealt with his share of mean roosters. She asked "and just how do you deal with them. He said first you must learn to love chicken soup, then you must learn to love chicken and dumplings, thirdly you must learn to love chicken and rice. The young lady kept her composure and said Sir, have you ever regretted, or missed any of those Rooster's you disposed of. With a little smirk and sheepish grin, Yes I suppose I have regretted and missed a few over the years. She smiled slightlly and asked, would it be worth your time to see that there is another way? With that question asked, he decided to invite himself to the demonstration. Heres how it went. Next Post
Wow, this is a very interesting thread, I will be watching it.
Where I had to board my dairy goats for a while, there was a T E R R I B L E roster. This was my first (and I'm happy to say the last) experience with a rooster. This thing would come from no where and attack me. I love, love love animals, and never in my life would I harm one, so warning don't read any further,...
OK too late to turn back now...
I took Delight, in swatting at that darn burn, if I could have caught it I would have been a self taught neck ringer...
The young lady was in the arena, with her was a container, containing two aggressive roosters which were not owned by her
As I understand she was wearing protective gloves and some kind of eye protection. The 4h club and the old man were on the outside with fencing inbetween. She spoke with the youngsters for a few minutes and then proceeded to open one of the doors to the cage. The rooster came running out and after just seconds went for her. She turned her back in an act of protection and he tore at her pant leg, she pulled away and the rooster flew up and struck her in the back, all this time she is talking to the kids and suddenly she turned and faced to rooster head on. He flew up about waist high and she grabbed him by the leg, in just seconds according to the old man she had both legs. She then using the other hand secured the wings and finally with the wings and legs under control transfered the rooster under her arm, trapping the wings and holding the legs. Still taljking with the children, she said now I want you to watch this, with her free hand she took one finger placed it on the roosters beak and pressed down until his face was facing the ground. She held it there for about 15 seconds, she then released it and his face stayed down several seconds, the bird then looked up and she gently placed the gloved finger on the beak and again forced the head toward the ground. According to the old man the head remained down for about a minute, she repeated this process six or seven times. The last time the bird never did look up. She still speaking with the children showed them there was no reason to be mean or hurt the Rooster, it was simply a show and demonstration of dominance, and no one understood this better than roosters, still talking she leaned over and placed the bird on the ground went over and sat on a bench all the time talking to the kids and a totally surprised old man. She after a few minutes took a long stick and gently hearded the rooster into the cage. She took the second rooster out and repeated the preformance with exactly the same results. Then after the instruction period she said. " Do not ever make friends with the rooster, he will then think you are equalls, We want him to understand we are the dominant and when he learns that you will have not problem." She suggested this routine, may have to be repeated once or twice, but that if you are with the rooster routinly, he is likely to remember. She also suggested that if the rooster tries to get to friendly or to close, you should carry a small switch and remind him that you are not friends, just tap him on the tail feathers as a reminder don't get to friendly or to close. That is exactly how he is with the hens. The old man who tells this story says "She is one of the smartest and wisest, pjersons he has ever met. He now routinly deals with his roosters using theis method. No more chicken and dumplings. I loved this story and have vowed that on my next meeting with a mean roo I am going to give it a try. I loved the old man in this story also for giving deference to a young lady, and to be willing to learn there just may be another way. Deepest regards Haystack.
Hi Meadowyck!!! Thanks for joining us and your story had me rolling. I think most of us can relate, and that what makes it so funny. I so remember a gander that had me terrorized when I was a small boy. I still shiver when I see one. As a friend once said, a mean gander makes a the meanest roo look tame. LOL Hay
I will post just a few follow-up thoughts tomorrow night to finish up. Please forgive the typo's. Hay
I didn't get a male. I got 3 pullets, but 1 died. The other 2 are doing great, getting big, and looking very healthy. I noticed you talked about training Dobermans. I used to have Dobermans. Right now I have a cat and a German Shepherd Chow mix. When I brought the babies home, I put one in my hand and showed it to Lucy. I tried to explain to her it was now her new job to protect them, since we have foxes in our neighborhood. She looked at them very curiously, but then one pecked her on the nose, lol. She doesn't like them, but she does protect them. Whenever the cat walks into the room, Lucy just casually walks over and stands between the cat and the chickens, lol. I would like to get a rooster, but they didn't have any at the hatchery. I grew up with roosters, and I do have a great fondness for them. They are great fun. Thanks for responding.
My Mean Roo is just a mean roo. Ive tried carrying him around, Ive tried walking around with him hanging upside down, Ive tried scolding him. Ive resorted to carrying a walking stick into the pen with me, and he still tries to attack me, or the stick. Once again, he tried to jump on me the other day, and I took a golf swing at him and sent him flying. He landed on his side, spun around a few times, his eyes rolled back in his head, and blood came from his mouth. His eyes flickered, and stopped. I knew I had just killed him, and was mentally thinking how many more fertile eggs I could get from his girls.
Then, son of a gun, he came back to life, got up, and wobbled off. That was last week, and he still wont even hardly look at me when I come in the pen. I still dont go in without my stick, but I think Ive finally gotten it thru his hollow little head that he has to leave me alone. We'll see how long he stays submissive, but geez, he's hard headed.
Those little monster and are something else for sure. Glad it brought a few chuckles to ya. Now when I look back I think of how funny it was and have a few laughs myself, but more at how I must have looked should someone have been around watching me being stalked by the rooster from down
below... _ _ _ _ LOL Never turn a corner without looking carefully around it first to make sure the thing was there waiting... sure could have used one of those look around the corner mirror from when I was a kid...
Anybody know if they still make though things? My step grandson would get a kick out of that...
The Rooster Whisperer! Great story Haystack! That procedure sounds completely different than what we have been doing.. and is very interesting.
Since I've got a roo that is totally compliant.. I can't practice on him.. but I am glad to have that info..
Speaking of info.. LOL
The correct spelling is Ameraucana. I believe the Americanas you refer to are Easter Eggers.
Ameraucanas come in specific colors, breed true, all have muffs & Beards with blue/green slate legs.
EEs come in an endless variety of colors, some with blue legs, some not.. some with muffs, some not.. all lay blue/green eggs.
Aracauna = Rumpless with Tufted cheeks.. some have tails, some have clean faces.. sky blue eggs.
I'm getting into Ameraucanas for breeding. This is what I wanted to do years ago, and have finally decided on the main breed I want to work with. Maby in a few months I will have a roo that needs an attitude adjustment.. LOL
I wanted to close my part on this thread, with just a few follow up comments.
I wanted to acknowledge the value in what ZZ's mentioned, no mating in front of her, this is very valuable in the area of dominance, which I also practice.
Catscan as well, mentioned studies on the intelligence of chickens. Birds that poop in their own food??? H O W E V E R she is correct, I must admit it. Proverbs 1:17 acknowledges some level of intelligence, even if it is not mammalian intell. Thanks Cat.
JYL brings some great info and ideas to us also.
I'm always open to learn more, and consider other ways of doing things. I only shared this info in hopes of helping some, If your way works better for you then I applaude you. If you have not been successful then perhaps you'll want to give the chicken whisper lady' technique a try. What can it hurt? I do hope we can help each other in finding ways to accomplish our goals without being cruel and abusive to the Birds and Animals that give us so much. Haystack
Hi Grow! Bless your heart. I always love your input and comments. I am not sure at all my dear. but I have a Murray McMurray hatchery catalog in front of me and it say's Americana (easter-egger) chicks for sale. Page 22 It also says they are a crossbred of Araucana and american breed chickens, and therefore not for show. It is spelled as I quoted AMERICANA and it is the 2009 Catalog. So I'm only quoting what the catalog says. Thats all I really know, and thanks for asking. Hay
Great info here. That is good to know about the breeds! The kids and I are hoping to score a few Araucana pullets to complete our flock. I am just not 100% sure of what to look for. I believe the Araucana are rumpless. Is that correct? Thank you so much for your time on this thread. I hate to see it end. I have been so busy wrapped up in a 20 page paper that I have not been on often, only to read. It is greatly appreciated Great Uncle. :D
Hi there you beautiful doll, (SEW) It is now just six a.m. and D.W. and I have been watching our little Brinsea 3 egg incu. One has pipped, and the two others have lots of movement, If all goes well it could be 100%. To cool.
Yes my dear Sew you are right about the Araucana, I hear they are hard to find, so I wish you great success. Have a great day!!! Great Uncle Hay
Hay, I hate the fact that you want to close your part of this thread as I thought it was just beginning and I was getting into the stride reading it and forming my thoughts and hadn't even commented yet.. which for my long-winded mouth says a lot.
You speak of going to other places and tell us of your thoughts and sightings... I go to places and it leaves me wondering if I am putting my family in the poorhouse for what reason??
I usually have a guilty feeling.. about what I will never know.. one day I will ask someone that is much better trained than I, but this guilt is what pushes me to try to do better every day.. it is what makes me read about a better feed formula or a better handling method or keep reading Hays thought on humane-ness.. Yes, I talk to my chickens, my goats, my alpaca, my sheep, and my children.. and my dh is right along side of me shaking his head and has that little glitter of wonderment in his eye and I know he approves even if he teases me.. but I degrease here..
Where I was going with this is..
Last year I had to many roosters so I ran an add on craigslist for silkie roosters $8 each.. I had many emails, I really wasn't screening as if I was looking for a forever dog or cat home, I understand these animals are livestock and some folks do eat them.. I eat them! Anyway, I only had one nice lady come out and actually buy one.. she was nice but about fell over dead when she told me which one she wanted "Billy the bully" I called him aver and he came.. he jumped on my arm and I handed him to her... ??? have I gone to far???
I went to a bird swap a few weeks ago... I took 5 roosters, assorted breeds, nothing fancy, but my guys no-the-less
I realized folkes were there to buy restaurant food, fighting birds, they were selling product.. could have been shoes as well as birds... I KNOW THIS!! I really do.. I have no problem.. BUT.. why can't you act like a humane being in the meantime.. why do you have to break their leg stuffing them in a 10 in cage... I was standing at the back of my truck.. opened my cage and was talking to my guys.. one of them jumped on my arm and I petted him.. gave him a treat and set him down.. I closed the cage, turned around and there was a young woman standing beside me.. she told me her roo had just died.. they think a coyote got him, she had him a couple of years.. they came to the swap to find a "replacement".. nothing fit the bill... till she saw me talking to my birds...
I gave her the bird... a few hours later I saw her and her husband and their little boy.. they were pulling a little red wagon, the boy and the bird were in the wagon, eating a hotdog, my bird was the bread from the hotdog...
I left that day thinking... and questioning.. myself .. I am trying to become self-sufficient.. I took the birds up to the swap because I need to scale back on pets and I need to have animals here that will Pay their way.. I can still treat them in a manner I would want to be treated, But there has to be a happy medium.. where I can do it and afford it, and not neccisarily make a profit but not go bankrupt in the meantime. This not only is my hobby, it is my way to stay at home and still provide for my family, just because I love it does not make it any less of a job.
And.. other than my time... it only takes minutes to rake up a mess... I use deep itter method so every couple of months I clean out the coop... I don't understand letting them live in squaller.
Oh.. and behavior... I think it is all in the presents.. I am the top roo.. I am the buck... I am the stallion.. therefore there is no question.. noone even has to try.. I think if they (the males of the (my) animal world) know there is no other option fron the beginning...
Now with all that said... don't think for a minute, late at night out of sight of these monsterous creatures when I am in the jacuzzi, soaking, aching in pain from being TOPDOG.. that I personally know they really are in charge.. LOL
NEVER LET EM SEE YOU SWEAT!
To answer you Hay.. The Roo I have is an EE. There are only 8 colors of Ameraucana.. nothing wild and crazy.. LOL To recognize an Ameraucana, It's all about color first.. if you don't have a Black, Blue, Blue Wheaten, Brown Red, Buff, Silver, Wheaten, or White... you have an EE... which is NOT any reflection on EEs!!!! I love EEs cause you can get those wild colors..
Hatcheries have been selling EEs as Ameraucanas for many years.. Several have stopped since the Ameraucana Breeders Assoc. has educated them.. but your local feed store probably still advertises Ameraucanas or even Aracaunas when in fact, they are Easter Eggers. Our feed store still sells them as Aracauna.. not due to malice, just ignorance.
If I am correct.. (which might even shock me... LOL) The term Americana is something that was developed as a "unique" spelling as to not falsely advertise the sale of Ameraucana. Google Americana and you will not find a poultry breed.. You will find music! LOL
Sewin.. Aracaunas are rumpless (desired trait for that breed) most of the time.. and have "tufted" cheeks. NOT muffs and beards like the Ameraucana. Aracaunas also have the lethal gene due to the tufted face. They are quite difficult to hatch... and then get a surviving chick..
IMHO... EEs are the most desirable of all... unless you are going to show/breed.
geez, now I have to go find out if my americaunas are just plain ol EEs.. lol, they all lay green/blue eggs, BUT I noticed this year they are not selling americaunas but EEs. Wonder if they had to clarify.
I will have to check, muffs, cheeks, beards, leg color.. body color.. and what else?? poor Ali won't know what hit her when I take the manifying glass to her.. LOL
I have both EEs and Ameraucanas. I am breeding my EEs for egg color, what they look like means nothing to me, other than they are very pretty and lay huge aqua colored eggs. I love the size of the eggs, so I am crossing them to a wheaton Ameraucana rooster to try and keep the huge size and "blue" up the eggs a bit. I also have blue/wheaton Ameraucanas, which I am trying to breed to the breed type, and also keep the oh so sky blue eggs that they lay...not as large as the EEs...but bluer. There is a clean faced gene in with these birds, so in order to save type, I need to be sure and continue with the muffy faced ones.
See? That's what I think is the misconception.. "plain ol EEs" I think it's the other way around!! Just plain ol Ameraucanas! LOL I think the wild colors are more fun.. I believe the EEs lay bigger eggs.. and they all have that wonderful EE/Ameraucana temperament..
I don't believe the name Easter Egger is a discredit to the breed by any means... I don't see them as Mutts.. I think they are great..
Cause really.. Look at the pics of Ameraucana pullets/hens.. pretty boring compared to the EEs!!!! (IMHO)
Okay.. animals always have a way to make me a liar.. LOL
Plum, the raging hormone monster roo attacked me 4 times just now..
I did the head thing with him, but he still came at me. I do hope it was a huge mistake on his part and that he is terribly sorry.. LOL
I have to totally trash the term Chicken Whisperer.. cause honey, you could hear me down the street and it wasn't pretty. LOL
The first time, I just backhanded him and let him stand there for a minute and think.. When he gathered his bearings, he came at me again.. so I put him down and did the head in the dirt thing.. he stayed!! I thought.. Oh cool..
Then I let him up.. he came at me intent to do some harm this time.. I couldn't catch him for him trying to grab me with his feet.. Then I finally did.. and hung him by his legs for a minute to stop him.. and did the head thing a couple more times...
Just as I thought he was gonna be okay.. Whammo.. he got me again... He came very close to loosing his head.. VERY close.
That sounds just like my rooster. I did the carrying around thing, I did the hang upside down thing, he still kept coming back. He just didnt believe I was the alpha. Until I wacked him HARD...hard enough to knock him down and out, eyes rolled back in his head, blood from his beak. It wasnt what I wanted to do, and had never done it before, but I had enough, especially when he knocked me down from behind and hurt my shoulder. Ever since then he hasnt gone after me. Hasnt even wanted to. I think he finally believes Im bigger than him.
OMG ZZ's I'm sorry, I can't stop laughing. You are such a riot. I would pay money to see your exhibition. Gotta love it darling. Haystack
You know Frans, what surprised me was six of the eight coops I visited had no roosters at all and when I inquired there was no apparent interest in roos at all.
I fully enjoyed reading your post Fran and must say I truly thank the Lord for people like you, I understand the balancing act you speak of, I find for myself also that the birds have to pay their way. Yes I do love them and all but, even though thats true I also have limited resources as do most of us. Yet you still maintain a very decent and humane approach to the buying and selling procedure. We need more people like you. Your a great example and inspiritation to all of us. My very best to you Haystack. I'm not sure the thread has been successful but at least we kicked some things around and that can only help to make us think. I loved the input and am grateful to all who participated. Hay
Nah.. not really. I don't believe in revenge.. or cruelty to animals.. although the thought briefly crossed my mind.. I just couldn't resist.
I'm sure my episode would have been a good show.. waddling around (I just put up a shade cloth for them) doing a cock fight with a roo... and having HIM get the upper hand!! Not to mention I'm in shorts & a tank top.. (which was failing me) Then, when he scratched me I said a few choice words and went back for more.. LOL
It was funny indeed.. but not as funny as when I fell in the mud like Orca yesterday.. in slow motion over the fence.. I left a huge butt print in the mud with my feet up in the air.. Oh I am so glad no one saw that one!
Haystack.. I think this thread was very successful in many ways! Maby you can't take the roo out of a rooster, but we can share, laugh and enjoy all the different ideas and experiences and do our best to make our chickens world the best it can be.
I find this thread VERY successful.. even with zzs little fits.. lol..
I think their are as many ways to "raise" a rooster as thier are to raise children.. no 2 are alike and all blame and praise cannot be put on parents, genetics nor envirorment.
I have spent a lot of time thinking about the cloning issue and the folks that pay, or would pay, millions to duplicate their perfect pet or a lost beloved child.. and I have come to the conclusion, no matter how perfect the genes are, no matter how identicle, unless every word, every degree of weather, every milasecond of every day is exact, thet cloned person or pet will not be the same.. one tiny bee's breath can change the entire structure.. pretty deep thoughts..
Sometimes... we might just have to sooth ourselves with... "it's just a bad rooster"
t was funny indeed.. but not as funny as when I fell in the mud like Orca yesterday.. in slow motion over the fence.. I left a huge butt print in the mud with my feet up in the air.. Oh I am so glad no one saw that one!
OMG, hahahahah...what a visual that is. And Im POSITIVE you dont look like an orca, but geez thats too funny, hahahahahahahah
LOL LOL No one has made fun of me yet.. LOL I am so glad I watered that area for the chickens.. it was freshly tilled.. and so nice and soft. Now it has a nice deep spot for a pond.. LOL
I have been using the pitchfork to "till" up an area in the coop runs.. I not only provide plenty of cool dirt for them to dig in, I bury the straw, feathers, and poop from the week earlier which makes the soil nice and rich and full of worms..
I think I figured out why Plum saw me as a threat.
I put up the shade cloth, so to get in the pen, I was squatting down... checking out the hens... Marlow pecked my thumb ring and it surprised me.. I pushed her away.. she squawked a little..
Picture that.. smaller.. waddling around... messing with his ladies? It was my own fault.. He only did what he thought he had to.
I put him away tonight and we practiced not struggling and parting in peace... he was fine. I will not punish him for doing his job. I will let this one slide as a learning experience, and just be aware.
I agree with grow, zz, thank you for thinking the situation through and reporting your thoughts..
I believe you are probably right on the money. Most situations can be deduced to the moment the situation/perception got out of hand. This is what this thread was all about.
OH, for those of you who have been following this thread, remember the first coop I visited that was just up about a mile from me? Where I bought the two doz eggs and then fed them to my chickens because they were very dirty. While I was waiting for the P.O. to open this morning she called me and asked if I wanted to buy more eggs. I told her I wouldn't be needing any more. She then asked if I had some free time if I could stop by and I told her I had to go to the Post Office and would stop by on my way.
When I arrived fifteen minutes later, she hurried out the door with a big smile. I asked her what was up? She said when you were here to purchase eggs you mentioned you raised raspberries, logan, and boysen berries. I said yes, she said would you be interested in exchanging berries for eggs?
I said to her, can I speak to you without hurting your feelings, I could see her gulp, but she bravely said yes. I told her the real reason why I had come and bought the eggs. I told her I fed them to my chickens (boiled) she looked shocked, I said I'm sure your a very nice lady, but the eggs were filthy and three were cracked and probably polluted. The compost pile you throw out the coop window within two years will rot your coop, and you have a very nice filthy coop. I would certainly entertain some type of trade if you were willing to clean things up, and then keep it clean.
I was in utter shock at her next statement. She said this is my first time with chickens and what you said really stuck in my head. I responded by saying what did I say. She said you asked me if I spent any time with my birds besides feeding and collecting eggs, and I said no. She said I could see it in your face that you were upset with my answer. I'll make you a deal, if you tell me what needs to be done, I'll do it and then we can exchange eggs for berries. I said DEAL, she then said come with me I want to give you something. I followed her up to the chicken pen and found two three day old (Lamancha baby goats) She picked up one and put it in my arms. The baby was tan colored as was it's mommy, the other was black and white. OMG they were so soft and cuddly. They smelled beautiful and after holding it for about ten minutes I declined the offer and told her I would get nothing done if I took it home. I made her a list of what needed to be done, and took my leave after thanking her for her kindness. I still can't believe this all happened, but I just had to share it with you, by the way I told her about my friends here at Daves Garden, and told her I would show her the site and introduce her if she pleased. She smiled and said she'd think about it. Hay
;Thanks Fran, that was the very point I was making with her, was that she wanted to make goat cheeze. She also had four nubians. She said she made a goat cheeze spread last year, but wanted to learn how to make hard cheeze this year, that was when I told her about all you great people and the great advice I had received from all of you over the months. I hope she will follow thru with it all! On my way home I kept saying to myself this didn't really just happen. I'm still shocked.
Wow... Haystack, you just made my day! That is just so cool... See how quick we are to judge by appearance? It would never have occurred to me that someone just didn't know what to do! I personally probably wouldn't have been able to say it.. but after reading this.. I will never look at things the same.. and I would be able to help out!
I do hope she comes to join our fun. This is a whole new world just waiting for her to enter. I am forever grateful for finding this site. I've learned SO much and it has enriched my life greatly. It would be so fun to have her. She is a special person in my heart already! As are you my friend Haystack.. that was a beautiful thing... I thank you dearly for sharing.
ZZ's I'm as guilty as you, I thought she was just nasty and lazy. The whole thing made my head spin, It was a great lesson for me as well. I'm still in awe of her. I must tell you holding that little goat almost made me cry. I kept my eyes on the goat while I was trying to regain my composure, I truly was flooded with emotions and almost lost it just telling my wife about it. LOL Now everyone knows I'm just a big baby. Haystack
That is wonderful! I am so thankful for people who are open and willing to listen. It really is important to remember to be open to suggestions and to consider things being said. Always look for that grain of truth in someones words. Thanks for sharing that! What a nice way to start my day! :)
Hi there Porkpal!!! Early this a. m. I received a phone call from a stranger, asking if I still had chickens for sale? I told him I had a small amound. He asked if he could come over and look. As it turned out he was only about 3-5 minutes from me. He has never done chickens. He wanted ten, but was not really ready. The more he looked around the more he realized he was not ready. He had so many questions! I told him about Daves Garden and all the wonderful friends who were just waiting for his questions. He then said Oh I love computers and would probably love talking with those people. I asked do you know anything about computers. He said oh yeah. I told him I could not ever figure out how to send pic's. He said we'll fix that right away. And in thirty minutes solved all the problems I have been having for months. I ended up giving him four hens and a rooster. They are three months old. The Rooster he posted was given to me by a lady who could not keep him as she lived in the city. He is a bantam and his name is Braveheart. He also will be going to my new found friend who will soon be a member of Daves Garden. Thanks for asking PorkPal. Haystack.
I just think it is so ironic after having all these computer geeks come out and can't figure it out. Then along comes a guy to buy chickens, and he solves the computer mystery. And he had it all done in thirty minutes. He has not taken his birds yet as he has to fix up an old existing barn. I looked in on him yesterday around 4 p.m. He, bless his heart has no clue how to prepare this place and is no Handy Andy with tools, so I just laughed and told him I would return with cordless power tools today and we'd fix it up. I could see in his eye he was saying thank you, thank you, thank you. I knew the look, because that was my look when he solved my computer problem. So I will speak with you to tonight, Gotta go to work now. Haystack
WOW Haystack!! God always puts special people in our lives for one reason or another. and YOU are truly that special person..reading your posts and the notes you have sent me have gone a long way for helping in my life..
please dont ever change, and keep up the great posts..
God Bless you!!!
you are awesome!!
Thank you Cindy!!! But in reality the Kudos go to the wonderful people of this forum. This is not said to be humble, but rather because it is true. I'm am and have been so inspired by the good people of this forum. I could start in and list every name on this forum and tell you how you have taught me so much and inspired me so much. That is why I try to get new people to try out the forum. I want them to experiene the true and warm experiences I have had. I'd be up all night telling of the goodness you all. Haystack
I have had a ton of D-mails wanting pic's of how I use the air space in my coop, I have promised to start a new thread and furnish pictures. I spent all day building a pen and taking pics so I could show how I have done it. For some reason I have come across another problem getting the pic into my pictures. My friend who helped me is very sick, so I am waiting for him to get well so he can help me out.
For those of you I promised, I'm very sorry, this is going to be delayed a few days. I do promise as soon as he is well it will get posted. Haystack. If I weren't such a computer nerd.
Very well said Cindy! I feel the same way.
Haystack makes me smile when I'm walking through the field.. or at the store.. or even on the phone with Krystal.. Funny how she "knows" Haystack and always giggles when I tell her about our emails or posts..
Haystack, you've made friends you didn't even know!
I too tell all the chicken people I meet about DG. I love this place and what it's given me! So many happy memories here. :)
I read this thread again, twice. This really needs to be a Sticky. I learned a lot from this, thanks for the bump up. You all are the BEST.
Thisis especially important to me right now as I'm planning to keep a few roosters from hatches. I can clearly see that I humanized the roos I had before and didn't let them be roos. They had a job to do and I wasn't letting them do it because the hens lost a few feathers in the process. I did Hay's holding method with the roosters and it really did work. I can see now that I gave it up too soon and really hated them ripping out feathers on the hens.
I really hope you all will keep adding to this - great info by people I trust to have the best interest of chickens, and letting them BE chickens.
The one thing I will not give in one is... my Wellies really are dumb as rocks. LOL
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Please continue this thread!!
You might be interested in this: http://www.behavior1.com/index.html
I work in an animal shelter in the behavior and training department and my boss went to Bob Bailey's chicken camp a number of times. Chickens are VERY trainable, and a lot of the dominance theory stuff is out of date these days.
I'm not saying that force-based methods can't work, but using force can often have other consequences like increased aggression and animals that are too shut down to learn effectively.
The dominance studies were 50 years ago and they have been overturned since then. We just know more now then we did then.
There are a lot of positive reinforcement methods of training now that produce a happier and more willing animal. Clicker training in particular will get you an animal that is interested in interacting with you and is eager to learn. You can train everything from elephants to mice this way, it's really exciting and interesting.
I don't mean to come off rude, but aren't you assuming an afwul lot. You mention force techniques, and you insinuate I teach force. You have never seen me instruct a class but yet you assume. I find that rude. I have seen the clicker technique many, many times and I see some value in that, and yet not all together. Would or do you use the clicker technique to train your children, do you believe in the time out method for children. Just wondering? Methods are always up for stiff debate. Thanks for your opinion...Hay
No matter what you are training it is necessary to first have its respect. The animal (or young child for that matter) must view the trainer as a superior or leader not as an equal. One way animals communicate their superiority is by holding their heads higher than their challengers. That is what I see happening in Haystack's rooster training technique. There is no real force involved. I press the rooster's head low with one finger and have never met significant resistance. I have used the same general principle in dealing with "pushy" horses. I put their heads lower than mine - not possible with force. I achieve psychological dominance not physical dominance.
I apologize if I sounded rude. That was very much not my intent, I simply wanted to share some other training methods. The people here are obviously very knowledgeable.
I'm not assuming anything about a class I haven't attended, but many of the examples given in this thread describe force-based methods. Force doesn't mean violence or harm, it means physically manipulating the animal. One method is holding the rooster under ones arm, one method is moving the rooster away with a stick, one method is pushing on the beak to lower the rooster's head. These are force-based methods because they involve physically moving the rooster. I'm not passing any judgements. I also don't comment on child rearing because I don't have any children.
As an example, say I want to teach my dog to sit. I can push on his bottom until he sits and then praise him for doing it. That is force-based because I am physically manipulating the dog to make him do what I want. Or I can hold a treat directly over his nose and slowly move it back over his head - the head comes up, the bottom goes down, he is sitting and I praise him. That is shaping a behavior. Both methods work, they're just different. A very sensitive dog may not respond well to being pushed on. A very distracted dog may not respond to food. Different. Personally, I prefer to shape behaviors. Many animals are much stronger than humans and force-based methods with large animals can get humans very injured. I'm sure you all know that!
Speaking strictly from personal experience, the biggest problem with dominance anything is that it so often masks the real answer (or even the possiblity of a different answer). I hear "he pees on the floor because he's dominant" but what if he has an infection? I hear "he's aggressive because he's dominant" but what if he's really scared to death? Being dominant over him isn't going to fix either an infection or fear, and it will probably make fear worse. But why bother taking him to the vet if we already "know" it's dominance?
Positive reinforcement methods quickly have animals thinking all good things come from humans. I want my animal to see me and think "here comes that lady that brings good things" not "here comes that lady with whom I have an adversarial relationship."
sylvi74 welcome to the Poultry & Livestock forum. I think the term "force" is what caused some ruffled feathers. I understand what you mean by forced methods... regardless if it be a hand or a finger, manually moving an animal by using a hand is called forced.. I'm glad you explained it above. Force is a harsh word is all...
I know what you mean though, I've seen people try to train horses or dogs by pushing them to steer them away or whatever.. and it SO doesn't work!
Haystack's method above may be labeled a forced method, but it works, without repercussion. It saves Rooster's lives, keeps people from getting hurt and provides for a happier environment for all concerned (including the hens). As well as calming a rooster that objects to being handled, mostly from fear... it is calming and that is what is needed... in all situations! For instance, an injured animal.. or visitors, etc. With the method he teaches, there is no lasting aggression that just comes up in other areas, it just calms the rooster and creates a safe environment.
I see your point, it's just not the case in this particular method.
I hope you continue to add your thoughts and opinions to our forum. Someone might have just been waiting to find what you have to offer. It takes all kinds of opinions and information to make the DG world go round.
Wow! I had no idea that the anti-dominance ideology had extended to chickens. I find it fascinating that current academic thought tells us that we are just imagining animals behaving hierarchically. I have 15 rescued feral cats and three rescued feral dogs from Taiwan and almost always have another foster dog. Every single day i observe them relating to each other in a hierarchical manner. I wish they were egalitarians but reality shows me otherwise. I always enjoy hearing about different training methods so this post is getting me in training for the time when I can add chickens to my furfamily.
Dominance theory never applied to chickens because chickens aren't pack animals in the first place. The original dominance studies applied only to wolves. The wolves in the study were wild-caught animals in captivity FROM DIFFERENT PACKS which were caged together in too-small enclosures. They fought violently. From this, we developed flawed ideas of what wild wolves acted like. Then the assumption was made that dogs are wolves.
Once researchers began to study wild wolves in the wild, we got a much better idea of what life is really like for wolves. It doesn't include violent battles. Violent battles injure animals and injured animals can't hunt for a living. It doesn't make sense for animals who are cooperative hunters to injure each other. If you watch footage of wild wolves, what you see is a lot of body language, posturing, and noise. You DON'T see wolves hurting other wolves, you DON'T see wolves "alpha rolling" other wolves. You DO see appeasment behaviors where other wolves roll THEMSELVES over to show their bellies, but there is no physical force involved.
Yes, animals behave hierarchically but it isn't rigid and unbending and it doesn't involve force and violence. I'm sure that anyone (including me) with several animals can tell you that Dog 1 may be dominant over the food bowl while Dog 2 is dominant over the couch while Dog 3 is dominant over the toy. These relationships are fluid and change. There is no single "dominant" animal who runs everything. It just doesn't happen that way.
Another problem is that dogs just aren't wolves. Sure, they look a lot like wolves. Yes, they developed from a wolf-like ancestor. However, we have artificially bred them for thousands of years to not be wolves anymore. "The wolf does it so the dog must do it" isn't sound reasoning. "I can be the dominant member of the wolf pack" doesn't work either. The dog does not think that we are dogs. The dog KNOWS that we are not dogs. Dogs are amazingly tolerant of the things we do to them, mostly because we have selected them to live with us and not hurt us. Alpha rolling a dog doesn't teach him that you are dominant, it teaches him that you like to force him onto his back. Many dogs will tolerate this. Some will bite you badly. Some will develop a fear of you. Some dogs are so frightened that they will roll over and pee all over themselves. They aren't saying "you're a dominant dog," they're saying "I'm scared that I'm going to die, please don't hurt me."
We just don't need our animals to fear us. There are other methods. That's all I've tried to say here. I apologize if I'm offending anyone, that isn't my intent. Can fear control animals? Yes. Fear can control people too. The problem comes when the person or animal has had enough and explodes and hurts us. PERSONALLY (not speaking for anyone's methods but mine) I want my animals to like me and enjoy being near me. I don't want them to fear me. I have a fearful dog. He came to me that way at age 9. He is nervous even though I have never treated him with anything but kindness. If I were to alpha roll him, it would be a horrible and terrifying experience for him. If I corner him and put him in a situation where he thinks something truly terrible is going to happen to him, he might bite. He wouldn't be biting because he is trying to be dominant, he would be biting because he doesn't think he has any other recourse. I feel bad for the poor guy, going through life being scared so much. I don't want to make it any worse. He's come a long way since I got him with NOTHING but positive reinforcement training. My personal experience is that you catch way more flies with honey than with vinegar. I'm sure many people have experiences completely different from mine.
Sylvi, I can't speak for anybody else, but I certainly am not offended by a different viewpoint. That is what makes America great. There's a free exchange of ideas.
I fully realize "dominance" studies were conducted on wild-caught, but ultimately captive wolves. Why the anti-dominance proponents cling to any studies about wolves--whatever their results--and seek to distinguish wild wolf behavior from captive wolf behavior--is beyond me. I'm talking about plain old, everyday experience with animals, not some esoteric studies conducted by ethologists who seem to be ideological, and hence result-oriented, when making conclusions about behavior they observe.
I fully agree that animals tend not to be dominant in every single aspect of their existence. That doesn't make them any less dominant. My alpha female dog does not approach bowl licking with the same zeal as the number two dog, so she's happy to accede on that point. That she's primarily dominant, rather than universally dominant, does not make her any less dominant as the leader of her pack.
We had a horrible "neutered tomcat" who was the bane of all cats, but let his wimpy brother dominate him when it came to food, something that wasn't important to him. Yet he remained the quintessential alpha male cat with his giant melon head and tree trunk neck and no other cat dared to confront him. It is entirely irrelevant to the equation that he allowed his brother to get more food. I don't understand why dominant has been translated into universally dominant in every single respect.
My alpha female engages in elaborate dominance rituals with the fosters. First, she play bows (butt-up, happy body language). Then after they start to think she's a nice friendly dog, she lightly mouths the back of their neck, going all the way down the spine to the tail. More play bowing, followed by humping. Yes, a female engaging in an entirely ritualistic display of dominance. Then she grooms the new dog's back of the neck, followed by more humping. After this ritual, the new dog respects her, but does not fear her, the essence of great leadership.
Re "dominance rolls." dogs do that to each other all the time. On one occasion, I poked my alpha female in the side of her neck with nothing but a single index finger after she twice displayed inappropriate aggression (jumping at) another dog in the off-leash area. She responded by going on to her side without the slightest panic or fear, even though she is a very fearful, shy dog. When she went down, all she was telling me was that it was what I call a "righteous bust," the look an animal gives you when it knows exactly why it's being disciplined and acknowledges the justice of the discipline. On another occasion, I had an alpha male foster who was not a bully, but gave her a look telling her that he was king. She went down on her side without being the slighest bit flipped out.
Dominance does not have to be "Tiger Mom" or the "Great Santini" who exemplify nothing but abusive, authoritarian, fear-provoking tyranny. It means somebody is a leader and will be treated with respect.
A rooster is a hard-wired creature, with a built-in desire to dominate. I've had horses all my life and have many a fond memory of running from attack-roosters. I think Hay's dominance rituals were completely non-violent, make perfect sense and have the positive effect of saving roosters' lives as Babiezz appropriately observed.
WOW Illig1: I readily admit I could not have said it with the finess that you just displayed...The new age philosophy certainly has some value, I admit that. The problem it seems to me is that they throw out the baby with the bathwater.
We see that same thing with those who believe children should have no discipline, everything is just "Time Out" I don't believe that, even if a time out would work. It certainly will not work with everyone or every occassion. There must be a place where a good spanking is appropriate.
As you well stated, dominance should not be related to fear mongering. I made it quite clear in the begining that no rooster should be abused or treated meanly. Often times wonderful Roosters go to freezer camp as a last resort. That should not be. I wanted to furnish people with a gentle alternative that I found to work, and the fact that my agressive roosters still want to be close to me proves they are not fearful from the methods that I use. I won't go on as I think you made my case better than I ever could have. P.S. I also enjoy other thoughts that might work better...Hay
Hay, I totally agree that open minds lead to improved knowledge and that we will all benefit from having that kind of attitude, rather than just sticking with what we learned as children. I'm very interested in dog training so I'm always watching shows like "It's Me or the
Dog" which features a positive-only, anti-dominance philosophy, as well as the "Dog Whisperer" which uses dominance-based training. I've learned so much from watching both shows and now use training ideas coming from widely divergent underlying viewpoints. For example, mainstream dog thought tells us that comforting fearful dogs legitimizes a dog's fear and encourages it to be more fearful. I have found the exact opposite to be true, a viewpoint associated with positive-only training. Comforting my fearful dogs and fosters makes them more confident because they feel I am acting as their protectors. They go from barking and growling in fear to taking treats simply by virtue of me comforting them and making them feel more secure. I see this phenomenon over and over and I'm so glad I didn't just stick with the prevailing, old school thought on this topic. So Hay, you are a breath of fresh air in your willingness to hear different ideas on how to handle attack roosters! Keep up the good work.
Thank you, and thank you also for your encouragement. I love dogs, and I know you do also. There is so much to learn, and knowing it all is impossible, but, listening to persons like you is not only encouraging but your positive approach I believe opens people up to hearing what you have to say. I have to laugh, many years ago I was taking flying lessons, my instructor told me to give full throttle and get the plane back in the air, I was supposed to be landing. I said ok, but why. He said remember one thing your approach will determine whether you land as planned or crash and your approach stinks. I started laughing but knew immediately that principal was one that could be applied to all of life. Your approach is excellent and makes me want to hear more of what you have to say. Thank you so much...Hay
I completely agree with you about comforting a fearful dog. About 7 years ago I adopted a cute little pup from a rescue agency, they had found this dog and his brother sitting (perhaps hiding?) in an alley. When I got him and took him home, he was so frightened that he literally shook and trembled all over with fear constantly. I had taken a couple days off work to be home with him, and I wrapped him in a towel and just held him and talked to him soothingly for nearly two days. Finally after about 2 days he began to eat some dog food with milk in it, and eventually he lost his fear entirely, except a fear of men. Even then my younger son discovered that if he had on only shoes or was in his barefeet, the dog was much less cautious of him than if he were wearing his work boots, so he had evidently been abused and kicked around in his past young life by a man wearing boots. I can't imagine trying to comfort and rehabilitate that dog by anything but kindness and love.
It's interesting how psychology and its teachers do an about-face in their theories as the years go by, but it proves that they're simply testing out their theories, and they don't really have all the answers, by any means!
I'm not sure what this has to do with raising chickens, but there must be some connection somewhere out there!
Well I believe that Hay's overriding message is that we're all learning all the time and that we need to keep open minds about suggestions or techniques in how we handle animals. We will all learn much more with that kind of attitude rather than being ideologues.
Hi there Illig1. So tell us a little about yourself, I know you do dogs, so tell us a little about yourself and please feel welcome to chime in on the chicken discussions. Have a great day and it's good to see you...Hay
Hey, Hay! I'm just someone who has enjoyed watching animals my whole life. I really enjoy perusing anything on animal training because the commonalities-whatever the species--fascinate me. Today I couldn't leave the TV when Wild Kingdom had a show on a guy taming Cape Buffalo in South Africa-- a really aggressive animal that responded incredibly well to shows of affection.
I am a wannabe chicken person and therefore check this forum out because when I move to my retirement farm, one of the first things I intend to do is get chickens. You espouse common sense, kind treatment of animals, and an open mind which seeks alternate points of view on how to manage difficult-to-manage animals, like attack roosters. Love it!
Well we love having you here, and look forward to when you get your chickens. I got started with chickens as a fluke. My youngest daughter had five and she had to move, so her husband was going to kill them. I told him no, I would take them a give them a home. I'd not had chickens before. I have five acres to tend to and I noticed they were always following me and my dog. I started watching them and noticed they had a very calming meandering kind of attitude. I liked that so I started giving them treats and soon I couldn't get rid of them. Then I started noticing the difference in their chicenalities...lol...it was incredible to observe. I became so intrigued I started studying them and taking notes. I sorta became their student. They taught me so much. One of the most interesting things I learned was the difference in their language based on what was going on at the moment. I had one that would just coo in my ear almost like a dove. Then I had one that would talk in my ear like a chatty cathy...LOL. I find them to be very soothing, calming and intriguing. Hope I'm not booring you. Please feel free to join us on any of the threads, we talk about lots of animals including dogs, cats, you name it. It's always a real pleasure...Hay This is one of my favorite Serama roosters...
A very tardy reply to your post. I am soo not bored reading all of your chicken lore! I loved listening to my neighbor's chickens who talked constantly. Even though I couldn't see them (because of the six-foot wood fence), I could tell exactly how they were feeling at all times because of their constant chattering, clucking, and cooing, with occasional screeches thrown in for good measure. They are such animated, expressive creatures. I can't believe you're giving up your chickens and heading for life on the road! I hope you'll still be checking in here to give everybody the benefit of your chicken wisdom.
Your never tardy, and what a pleasure to hear from you. It won't really be life on the road, just time to visit people we love while we still can. I'm seventy four and my wife and I recently took up ballroom dancing. I did it for my bride, thought I would hate it. The first three weeks were horrible and I was ready to quit. Our instructor made it clear to me that I was whinning and I just needed to work at it. It finally started sinking in and the last five week I started enjoying it and now I'm loving it and my bride is happy. I want to persue more lessons with our instructor, she is both patient and direct. I'm have been working on the Foxtrott, waltz, tango, and swing dancing. Those four are my focus for the next year. I really like the Tango, it's faster than the waltz, but, slower than swing dancing. Then we want to visit some of the DGer's. They have become like family to me. We also want to spend more time with my brides family, and mine as well. We are not held down like some of the younger that are still working so we need to visit without being a burden. That means putting a camper on our truck that is fully self contained. I will invest in a laptop so I can stay in contact. I love the birds, and their owners and don't really see giving that up totally.
OK now you know everything about us. We know very little about you though. I'd like to know more about you. You, hobbies, family, pets, and anything you would feel comfortable sharing, and yes pictures are always a blast...comon...LOL...Haystack