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February 15, 2011

The Inevitable

When is a rooster mean?  I am not sure that it is entirely easy to draw a line in black and white.  How much does nature and hormones play in their actions?  Can a rooster suddenly turn mean?

I guess I have been thinking about these things lately because Chocolate, for better or worse, is starting to really get more aggressive over these past two weeks.  I can still grab him and hold him. He sits quietly and seems to enjoy my affection.  However, he is really becoming very territorial with his girls.

I can say that all the girls respect me.  They understand that I am the human leader of the flock.  They are curious to see me, giddy almost, and the conversations that ensue as I make my way over to the coop are priceless.  On the other hand, Chocolate does not appear to be so thrilled.

About a week ago, I was going into the nesting boxes to collect the eggs.  All of a sudden Chocolate came storming into the coop.  He had has wings extended outward and fire in his eyes.  I felt like I was going to be dealt with by the rooster.  I was entering his house.  I narrowly escaped his fury by quickly closing the nesting box.

These past few weeks, he has been asserting his dominance with me; dancing his rooster dance trying to let me know that he is the boss.  I was truly nervous when I had to go into the run myself.  I thought that if I bent over for a second, he would surely have his rooster feet implanted into my backside.  His need for humpty love is becoming insatiable. I feel bad for the girls. Finally, today as I was retrieving the waterers for cleaning and refilling, I was pecked. 

My heart is heavy.  Chocolate is just being a rooster.  In my heart of hearts, I feel as if we may have to rehome him soon.  I know that his fate may not be nice and that saddens me.  I am still dealing emotionally with rehoming Peanut. I would love for Chocolate to live a long full life.  Unfortunately, it does not come easy for me.  I am not a farmer.  These chickens are our pets.

I have to come to terms with the reality of the issue at hand.  I think it is now safe to say that I'm pretty sure the answer is not if the time comes, but when.

7 comments:

  1. Hi Tillys Nest,
    My family got a "hen" but turned out to be a rooster. We were wondering if you would know what type of chicken would go best with a Sussex and a Silkie.

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  2. Hi hippocheeseman, I would recommend Buff Orpingtons. They are incredibly gentle and good egg layers and they tend not to become bullies.

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  3. Thank you for the good information I will try to get one of them for my family.:)

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  4. You are very welcome hippocheeseman!

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  5. After a lot of consideration, we are rehoming a 14 week-old cockeral, Leonard, kindly given to us from a suburb of Canberra, where roosters are not welcome. And for the moment, we find him a delight; a real young gentleman. There was a quick fight with each of our four 15 month-old Isa Brown rescues when they met for the first time (the girls all started the fights, by the way). He won each one. And since then he hasn't been rough with any of the silly girls. Well, he has tried to mount a few as his hormones are beginning to flow. He follows the girls around the paddocks, crows occasionally and puts up with their frenetic feeding at 'treats' time. We trust that as he matures, he'll be a rock-steady guardian and we hope he'll help curb the girls' bullying. A few photos at kaala-heights.posterous.com
    PS Love your blog...well done.
    G

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  6. GraGra, Thank you for sharing your story. Parting with them is never easy. We just need to give them the best quality of life we can for the time when they are in our lives. They are great fun to watch and very entertaining. You are right. He will interfere and stop the girls from bickering. Thanks for stopping in. By the way, your website is great and Leonard is a very handsome boy!

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  7. My rooster is now 8 months and has to go too. Until the last month or so he was good as gold but now he likes to attack me when my back is turned and our dog when she's walking away - it's too worrying for our dog's eyes. Sad but it seems they do get aggressive.

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Thank you so much for your comments. I love hearing from you!