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Discussion in 'Beginners Forum' started by OnlyMe, Jul 31, 2020.
Thank you for the post, let us know how things progress.
I'll leave the politics out, I'm swayed neither way by politics!
Though if Puffball could work a way out to extend his size 200 times then I'm sure he would sort the whole world out.
I had a dream of that last night, 'President Puffball' sat on top of a mountain and the size of a house, pecking anything that dared to move.
I've built a hide in the top of the apple tree today, I've got a small telescope and have been keeping him under surveillance.
He walks around the perimeter of the coop all day long. Then changes direction and walks the other way. He looks like a prison guard, walking around the perimeter and is totally convinced he owns the joint.
A couple of times in my 4 hour observations he spotted me, he did a double take and then homed in on my position, tipping his head to one side and staring in a rather unsettling way. At one point I nearly lost my balance and after yesterday and what with the
neighbours, if I'm not careful I'll be carted off to a maximum secure hospital, totally against my will.
But I never wanted Puffball anyway, he crammed himself into the cage when I had already chosen the grey one.
The other cockerel 'Darren' he just pecks at the ground with the other hens, not an ounce of aggression, and totally calm.
I'll update tomorrow as I'm going to see if spoiling him with tasty treats might work? Thanks for the suggestion to the posters that recommended this.
Just don't let it break your heart when he still comes after you.
I would let him out just to see what he'd do with that extra space. Of course he's decided you're the human he has to annihilate so maybe some other human should have the honors.
That is too funny, I'm trying to picture you in the apple tree with a telescope. He is patrolling and he is very convinced he owns the place. I'm with Robin, see what he'll do with the extra space. I'm still holding out hope that you can break the cycle with some treats.
Make him work for the mealworms, only a few at a time. And don't give up, I'm not a chicken psychologist but you may have to get into his head. I've been doing this for a bunch of years and there are probably a few more things you can try. When I had my Emu flock, occasionally I would have to troubleshoot an issue with one of the dominant females. In that species, the females run the show. Sometimes I had to re-structure a run based on what fighting behaviors I had going on. I always tried to view the situation from their perspective and was usually successful. Those birds would cooperatively hunt you, especially at night and I generally never turned my back to them. I sold the whole flock last year because I realized I am too old to wrestle with them to do the vaccinations or chase them anymore. I worked with Emus since 1982 and learned a tremendous amount from them in those years. I think the most enjoyable time on the farm now is spent just observing, chicken, duck and turkey behavior on a daily basis. I still learn stuff all the time!
Some really interesting comments here, thankyou so much for taking the time to reply...
I had a terrible night last night, I was up until 4 am thinking about it all, also my next door neighbour 'John' laughing at me when I came out of the chicken coop on my hands and knee's with my leather gardening suit around my ankles.
So at 8am this morning I went around to John's and said I would be out until mid afternoon and would he mind checking up on the chickens at midday and making sure they had food and water, I said if their was any eggs he could help himself. John has never kept chickens so he seemed quite excited.
I then went and sat up behind the garage with a flask of coffee and my telescope, I had a smirk on my face all the time imagining Puffball going all Kung Fu on him!
At 12:20 John walks up the path and I nearly blew my cover by shouting out, 'you're 20 minutes late' he was whistling that tune which I think is from Cindrella and the 7 dwarfs film, I've not seen the film but it goes something like this, 'I owe, I owe, it's off to work I go' and then John opened the coop gate and bowls straight in whilst still whistling.
Puffball didn't do a thing, he just kept walking around the perimeter of the fence as if nothing was wrong. I sat there with smoke coming out of my ears!
After calming myself down I thought deeply about it. Maybe it's something to do with smell. John must wear a certain deodorant that Puffball likes?
I popped into John's to thank him about 3pm, John was cooking himself something so I stood behind him chatting whilst trying to smell the scent coming from John. That's not an easy one to do without looking suspicious and I was still none the wiser, so I asked
him if I could use his toilet and in there was a roll on deodorant called Alyssa Ashley. I've never heard of it but I'll pick up a bottle tomorrow.
I then thought about making Puffball some tasty food, as suggested by you kind folk. I dug up some worms from the vegetable patch, picked some sweetcorn and used a pancake mix to bind it all together, popped it in the oven for 30 minutes and was
extremely proud of these small cakes that came out.
My wife wasn't though, she came home at 5:30pm and hit the roof, apparently I had used her best baking tins. She literally screamed at me if I didn't stop obsessing over that stupid chicken she was going to leave me.
I'll probably miss her as well when's she's gone, but their is no way a cockerel is forcing its way into my life and tearing it all to bits. I'm sure he was laughing at me when I sulked over there earlier with the cakes.
When I pick up the deodorant tomorrow I will take the cakes in and see what happens.
I think this might just work!
I need to talk to your wife. I need to see if she still possesses some amount of sanity after being married to you for however long it's been.
Puffball has it out for you. You're his nemesis and he will do everything in his power to vanquish you. It appears as he is succeeding since he left the neighbor unmolested. He's waging a psychological warfare at this point.
I am lazy my self my chickens are under 24 7 video observation. Even at work big brother is watching them.
I'm glad that you decided to make some treats, I just have a bit of information that you might find useful next time.
1. pancake mix is not good for chickens, it contains far too much sugar. As long as it's only a treat now and then, once a week or less, you can get away with it. Same with bread, fruit yogurt, ice cream etc.
2. cooking the worms (if I understood correctly) didn't really do anything, by the time they are cooked, they are dead, chickens like their worms squirming, the thrill of the hunt. Next time you might substitute dried mealworms, they have a stronger smell to the chicken so he'll know they are in there. (just don't want you to waste your time and energy digging worms that he won't even know are in there ) Plus, the pancake mix would drown out the flavor.
3. Go to a second hand store and buy a muffin tin specifically for this purpose, save yourself and your wife some screaming lol
Now that I've squashed your enthusiasm (that's my job! I'm really good at it! hahahaha j/k) there are several treats you can use to entice him to be your friend but please don't get your hopes up, once a roo has decided that you are the enemy, it's pretty hard to change their minds.
1. straight up mealworms are usually a major favorite
2. frozen (thawed) sweet corn is good too
3. frozen (thawed) peas
Here is a very nice list of healthy treats that you could easily use to entice cooperation:
Yup, what Sylie said! No need to get into complicated treats. You may win him over eventually,or maybe not. I'm wondering if he has a literal pecking order authority conflict with you. The answer is somewhere in that little primitive pea size brain as to why he targets you specifically. I get a tremendous amount of mileage, goodwill and cooperation from mealworms. Keep us posted!
I'm now printing out all of your replies as they hold so much valuable information.
Puffball loved the cakes, we sat together in the coop with all of the others as if we were on a picnic. It's only when I got up to walk out he gave chase?
My wife on the other hand wants to know why I'm wearing Alyssa Ashley roll on deodorant which is apparently for women?
I just said John next door wears it and I liked the smell, she looked at me in such a way that I don't even know how to put it into words.
Still I feel I'm getting somewhere with Puffball!
A grown man or at least I'm assuming an adult since you're married, is letting a little flightless bird to get inside your head.
I still want to know what he's going to do if you let him out into the garden.
I'm with Robin, the garden represents unfamiliar territory. I was thinking about the cakes you made. During the late 1800's, the poultry books are full of recipes for cakes similar to what you made for all sorts of purposes, treats, medicinal, healing, conditioning etcetera. Glad you are making progress!
PJ, you know what I want to read, don't you? That the bird chased him around the garden relentlessly.
What I think is going to happen is just as you described. He'll ignore OnlyMe until he knows the garden and then it'll be on.
My thoughts exactly, he won't go too far at first but he's more than likely looking to expand his territory. So now I'm thinking back to the chicken psychology portion of this. I wonder how he is triggered and does his gameness contain any emotional intelligence? He seems to exhibit some impulse control at times and chooses his targets. It may be just based on his perception of pecking order.
Most breeders won't use one that aggressive. They don't want to pass that trait down to the progeny. I did have one that was like Puffball, way over the top aggressive. I rehomed him warning the new owner about his aggressiveness. The report from the new owner was that he wasn't a problem at all.
The new surroundings for some reason made him a better bird to have around.
You are right. There is an old chicken saying about how you never "keep a manfighter" and human aggressiveness is an undesirable trait from any angle. But, sometimes a change of environment works wonders and you get a bird with a totally different personality.
Thank you for the laughs (and giggles too!) hahaha I do hope you find a workable solution... or simply keep him (as is) so we can all laugh about the antics.
I have the opposite issue with my Banty roo.... he likes to mate with the back of my hand! Ewww and ouch!! Maybe they can meet up and find some middle territory here!!
I thought people might be getting fed up with the updates so I stopped posting...
I woke up this morning to find a note pinned to the refrigerator door, it read, 'This isn't working, I've gone to stay at my mums', not to sure what my wife is on about as I opened the fridge door and the light came on and everything was nice and cold inside?
She did ask John yesterday if he used 'Alyssa Ashley roll on deodorant' and he said no, but his daughter does.
The trouble is now Puffball seems so much better with me when I'm wearing it, I mean though I'm going into the cage with treats he only goes all Kung Fu when I leave. I'm half wondering whether moving into the coop on a more full time basis might work?
For anybody wondering the coop is 32ft x 16 ft, full of swings, and branches. The house they go in at night is 20ft x 12ft and built like a hotel, so they really all do live in luxury.
I've also extend the run to another 32ft x 16 ft on the side. But they still look for a way out so I might have to increase it again.
The only one to escape so far is Puffball, he was found in the horses water trough by the girl that keeps her horses in the far field. Apparently he was sitting on the ball valve within the trough having a right good flap around, it was extremely hot that day and I have now built them a swimming pool in the second chicken run.
Nah, keep posting, post some pictures. You have the start of a good story or novella!