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Why is he doing this?

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My Araucana boy is a good chap with the ladies- he looks after them, keeps them all together, makes sure they know where the best food is etc etc..however..the last couple of mornings when I have let them out of the coop he has charged at me and pecked my feet-any ideas as to why he has taken to picking on me!?

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You can pick him up and walk round with him, but if he does it, push down on his back as if you are treading him like he does to the girls ... shows you are dominant.


I had 3 LF cockerels that were the same but I just used to push them flat and they soon got the message.

Sometimes they're easier that flighty little Belgian cockerels that go for your face! :lol:

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We had a cockerel that was so vicious that he pecked right thru my friend's Hunters wellies & cut his foot so badly that he had to go to A & E and get a couple of stitches! He was called Rambo though!


My friend was a gamekeeper living in the wilds of nowhere but was so impressed with Rambo that he gave him a home- I was struggling with him too- & said he was excellent at protecting "his ladies"- no dogs, sheep etc. would go near them.


So I would agree and say that you need to nip his aggressive behaviour with you in the bud.

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I agree with all the tips about subduing him - but if its any help, my experience is that the older they get, the more docile they become! So hang on in there!


By the way, just be firm with him, don't show aggression back. My Phillip reacted very badly to my neighbour when he was in his teenage years, but only because the moment she saw him, her voice became aggressive and she waved a broom about threatenly - before he'd done anything. Once we persuaded her to act firmly he was fine with her.

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All about dominance, our first girl Poach was very pecky, and it's all about being the head chicken, she wanted to be the head chicken, because she was the head of the flock, but she needed to learn that WE were the head chickens, and that while she may control the flock, WE controlled ALL of them, so we had access to her, and the others.


Basic Chicken Psychology applies.


Maintained eye-contact, prolonged, no glancing away, firm fixed stare. The way a chicken wards off another chicken, is a fixed stare, if the other chicken doesnt get the hint, then a lunge, then a lunge followed by a peck until she learns to wait for the food. So the same goes, fixed stare at the eyes, firm voice, and confidence.


Never back away, if he charges or is pecking at your feet, ALWAYS move TOWARDS, you are dominant, backing away or retreating will be seen as weak, the cockerel must move where YOU want him to, not you moving where he wants you to. it's your space, and he is your boy.


Pecking, essentially you need to "peck" him, but of course you can't litterally "peck" him, it's wierd. But what we did with Poach, was with a single index finger, a gentle but firm prod around the flank / wing so she got a gentle shove sideways (seriously, NOT hard) it's the equivelent of a peck, she moves, she knows it's your space, you've asserted dominance.


Voice, voice is important, our girls recognise a few words and phrases mostly by tone but also by length, "no" and "quiet" for example when one tries to peck another "no" usually nips it in the bud before it happens, and when they're being grumbly, "quiet" usually gets a short term reaction, obviously alarm calls we go running to make sure they're ok. But they also understand "It's ok", and "you're all right" and it calms them down immediately after an alarm call.


If at any point your harming the chicken you're doing it wrong, but everything should be designed to control the behaviour, and you'll feel a bit of a tool doing it.


But after a couple of weeks of daily interaction, doing all of the above, we not only stopped her pecking us, but pecking the other chickens. and she even would go into the submissive posture when we went near her to pick her up. She was good as gold for the rest of her life, she never pecked us, and we even minimised any bullying towards the other girls.


I hope this helps, and I won't deny you look a plonker doing this in your garden, but it worked, and for the two weeks of looking an idiot, we had a perfectly behaved chicken, that could even be held by strangers. It had no impact on her position or functioning of being head chicken with the others, but she knew we were the bosses, and she used to run to see us, and we'd chase each other around the garden and treats.


We even got them to learn "up" and "down" on the low internal garden walls through the treat process, and she'd come and sit on my knee etc. It sounds harsh and it looks silly, but i really can't recommend it enough.

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That sounds like a great plan House and thanks for posting.

Non of my girls are aggressive to me, but the top chuck and the bottom chuck are both being aggressive toward the two new juvies, (need to stop calling them babies) they have only been together at bed time and for an hour during the day. But because the new girls are young, don't want to just leave them in unsupervised.


I stick the new girls in the (cube purple) before the others go to bed then stick my head in to watch them until they settle down. Chilli, head chuck just can't help herself and has to peck at the young ones, so I have been "pecking" her with a sharp no. Unfortunately, she then turns to Bluebell, (bottom chuck) and pecks her, which in turn makes Bluebell peck the young ones.


Going to make some higher perches for the WIR at the weekend and do a couple of hours of supervised mingling, I think I am going to have a lot of "pecking" to do :roll:


Can't wait until they are all one big happy family - don't they drive you mad. :wink:

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