Friday, September 3, 2010

Giving Peace a Chance

I have been having on and off problems with John's rooster being aggressive. So I did what I always do when confronted with these kind of delemas --I googled. Very interesting results!!!

Back a few weeks ago, I came up with all kinds of "ways to let your rooster know you are the number 1 rooster." Some of the suggestions included: bombarding with tennis balls, shooting with a water pistol, and hold the rooster down. All power trip stuff. None of this spoke to me but I had to do something. There was one site that said you should feed the hens and keep the rooster back until they have eaten and not let him mount the hens in your presence. This was something I thought I could handle. More aggressive stuff but at least it didn't suggest out and out combat. All of the sites said if all your attempts fail it is time for chicken soup.

The last few days he has been acting out again. When he comes at me, he is so quick that I can't grab him to hold him down and I end up chasing him all over. So, I went back to the world wide web in search of a different approach, that would not end in chicken soup, like clicker training for roosters.

I didn't find any results for clicker training roosters but I did find a GREAT article at motherearthnews.com that really spoke to me. http://www.motherearthnews.com/happy-homesteader/help-for-agressive-roosters.aspx Richard Plamondon is a chicken farmer in Oregon who raises hundred of chickens on the land. He has a completely different approach.

"Rooster rules don’t apply to you, and this means that you are free to act in an un-rooster-like manner. You have options, and the most important option is to reject the roles that others project onto you. " Richard Plamondon

Plamondon has three rules for desensitizing an aggressive rooster. 1. Never fight them. 2. Don't scare them. 3. Feed them handfuls of grain. Using this approach over many years, he said, he only met one rooster he couldn't desensitize. In the article he asks-- what is the fighting going to look like to the neighbors and are you sure you can explain it to your kids? What DO Beau and the sheep think? (he deserves it OR is that crazy lady going to chase us around?)

Even if you don't have chickens, does all of this SOUND FAMILIAR? I wonder if we could get Mr. Plamondon to go to Washington?

I will leave you with one more piece of advice from the article and encourage you to read the article.

I remember an old farmer telling me once that, with livestock, the important thing is to think through the relationship. You’re supposed to be building a pleasant present and a better future.

I think I would leave out " ,with livestock,".


3 comments:

  1. Seems to me like if we're giving the roosters the benefit of the doubt, that they "understand" our behavior, doesn't it seem like he'd think we were rewarding him for attacking us if we give him a handful of food afterward?

    I like the concept though. Good luck. If it doesn't work let me know. I know some people.

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  2. You don't feed them after they attack you, you feed when you go out to see them. It's kind of like the saying don't bite the hand that feeds you or something like that.

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  3. Have you tried feeding him from your hand yet?

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