Homesteading, Organic Gardening, How to Farm, Preparedness, Self-Reliance
Although I read the Accidental Farmers book in March 2011, only a couple of days ago I found that there were podcasts to listen to all this time, so I listen to those in mp3 format everyday now and will occasionally listen to others too, so I am still behind and someone might have commented on this topic already (did not see anything right away here). I apologize if I am making a duplicate.
This is on what Liz said (with Tim agreeing) in FarmDreamcast6.mp3 about roosters.
Here is what my main comment is: PLEASE, don't tell people that if you “give a rooster what it needs...they not going to give you that behavior”. By “that behavior” in this case I understand that they basically won't attack. This is so not true! Hearing that about roos brought lots of emotions to me. Our roosters (different ones) have attacked. Believe me, they have everything you have listed – including over 15 acres to roam, almost unlimited food, 5-29 hens to protect and care for, etc... Last year my son got very close to having his eye damaged due to the rooster attack (and that is when he was standing peacefully right by my side, when I was feeding chickens their grain sprouts and kitchen scraps) I posted to ask people about roosters attacking http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/533842/do-all-roosters-attack-kids . And people did say that roosters attack and it does not even matter if they were babied (held a lot) since incubator – they still might attack – very true in my friend's case. It feels like the roo wants to show that he is the main guy here – he is just afraid to attack when you are looking, so does it from the back and mostly on smallest kids. And it is not safe!
I might sound like paranoid, but believe me, I am most relaxed among my friends when it comes to safety and such. 9 months later, my son still has a mark on his face. And I know, some kids need stitches after rooster attacks.
Thanks for all you do! I love your farm methods and I tell everyone you are my favorite farmers :)
Scientists claim that synthetic chemical exposure is not harming us. It is. Chemicals in the processed foods are causing our children and our animals to become more aggressive. They get drugs that create new symptoms, conducive to needing even *more* drugs. Chemicals in the water are causing us to be docile. And the many pharmaceuticals that do not filter out by means of the local water cleaning system --- are disrupting the production of hormones, making us sick. The cumulative effects are known. And they are ignored.
So yeah, its totally normal to have a rooster who is super aggressive. Just as people are too. Even back in history you'll find that ingesting metals creates behavior issues. Also consider the different chemical feedings farmers may have tried throughout history. It's nothing new, it's just ignored by science (gotta protect the money). You also find that if you read the Bible, there is discussion on changes in animal behavior --- and plants too.
Also meant to say --- We read in a book that Black Australorps was a less aggressive bird so we got one hen and then one (only one) rooster. I have zero experience with chickens but I thought I'd mention that. We are about to find out. So far (only 6 days old), I can't tell the difference in them. They are both happy babies.
Thanks for listening to the podcasts and for sharing your experiences with roosters. The podcasts are our way of sharing our experiences and "newbies" will benefit the more that you, we and others share our individual experiences and stories. So thank you.
We have heard others talk about rooster attacks, but our experience after raising hundreds of roosters is that they are not to be feared. Of course, like any animal, they have their tendencies, one of which is to be somewhat territorial and protective of their flock. As a result, people sometimes are confronted by roosters who want to be protective, a trait that I'm not sure is bad. When we first moved to the country we knew none of this but have learned to recognize the inherit traits of each breed and sex. Boar pigs act differently...VERY differently, when they are with females and she is on the nest. The boar is dangerously protective. Raised separately, however, many people tell us (to our shock) how they enjoy getting in and petting their 800 pound boar. We've seen it, but we don't do it.
The point is that all of us engaged in animal husbandry must learn the species, breeds, sexes and personalities we're responsible for. It was in that regard that we commented the way we did and we shared our views and experiences regarding roosters. We don't want people to have an irrational fear of roosters (even though, as you know, they can inflict harm) any more than we want people to have an irrational fear of snakes, which is common. We treat our roosters like all of the other animals on the farm - with an understanding that they are animals. Animals are unpredictable (to humans) and have instincts that we must try to understand and respect. We believe that giving and animal what it needs will cause it not to attack and sometimes what they need is to not have people in their territory. Sometimes what they need is "space" away from humans. Of course this is not always practical when their territory is also yours, so we also strongly believe that if an animal's personality does not fit with our farming method then they must go immediately. We then focus on breeding the animals that do fit well with our environment.
Much of what we try to share with people is that even if you have no farming experience you can still raise animals. When we first moved from the city we read everything there was to read about raising livestock and found it overwhelming how most things tried to talk you out of it because you needed many years of experience or a veterinarian degree in order to do it right. We firmly believe that people should be inspired to move back to the land and raise their own food, including animals. We also believe that fears should not hold someone back so we try to inspire people and calm their fears. We have found that the average person can farm and although we often caution people about animal husbandry issues, we want people to know that farming is a great way of life. We are very sorry for your experience and hope that your son has recovered well. We also hope that he is able to come away from this not afraid of roosters, but rather cautious of them. Roosters can be very beautiful and useful animals, but it sounds like this rooster needs to end up in the pot!
Thank you for taking time to reply!
farming is a great way of life
- although I am not farming, it feels that way to me too! :)
The first two roos that attacked my son did end up in soup. Just like the one before, this one did not attack until mid-winter (born Spring before), and since I don't (at least yet) butcher them myself, we will have to wait until local farm does theirs in summer. And yes, my son is afraid of the rooster :(. My almost 7yo does not want to come anywhere near roo either - he pecked her too, although did not hurt, as I understand. One time I felt something bumped into my boot - I turned back and there was the roo, no chickens near and we were not near the coop either. He bothered dh too.
I don't plan to do incubator this year and was thinking to just rely on broody hens, but roos will probably be even more wild that way.... at the same time, he probably does help the ladies to watch for predators... although with both - one roo this year and one last year - they loose some of the hens, while being fine themselves :(.
What breed(s) of chickens? 2ndly, I am the alpha male on our place. I'll allow something to "attack" me (or anyone else ) one time (if and ONLY IF) it breaks off the attack before actually touching me (or anyone else). 2nd time is chicken and dumplings (or what ever the meat is).
The only time I'll put up with it more than once is if it's breeding season... but even at that, the 3rd time (or draws blood) it's either supper or freezer camp.
If it drew blood, that rooster had to be over a year old (the spurs aren't ususally big enough)... and unless you are extremely lucky and have some broody hens, why are you allowing one to get that old?
I have more problems with Tom Turkeys than roosters... and can't honestly say I've had one make it through spring. I will say all have been tasty and less than a year old.
Pat, I had your first question as well. It seems reasonable to assume that some breeds could be more aggressive than others (chicken "pit bulls"). We have an agritourism business, we can't have our animals attacking our guests - not good for business :-)
I would think of any of the "game" birds to be the pit bull types. I've raised most of the heritage breeds (I keep trying for broody hens lol) as well as other breeds, and I personally never had to have chicken and dumplings here. When I worked on grade b dairy farms, I'd almost get fired on every farm because of "too" many chicken and dumplings suppers lol, Most of them I suspect raised leghorns (which I haven't had here). Seemed like (then) by the time I got the 3rd Rooster what ever roos were left had learned (or weren't agressive).
With the exception of silkies, I don't think I'd want to raise any breed of bantys either. While I've never raised (nor really been around them), I'd wonder about the Napoleonic sysdrome.
Honely (and I know I shouldn't say this), I wonder attacking the child (and not the parent) if the child had been teasing / playing with (maybe even throwing things) the rooster, and the rooster was replying in kind. I also suspect it wasn't the first time it attacked too. Most things (unless they are defending young) make "play" attacks before they ever actually attack. For me, the 2nd "play" attack is enough to earn supper or freezer camp.
If you know your flock, Ruthlessly cull I wouldn't be concerned. When I had tourists, I'd sure watch for people (especially children ((of all ages ))) that mistreat any animal... chasing it, throwing things etc. That's were your going to get agression from that animal.