Spring Is Here
Aw spring, the time of year to get out and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine after months of being cooped up inside.
For poultry keepers, this is also the time of year to notice big changes in behavior among their flocks: The hens start laying with vigor, and the roosters are starting to get pretty "cocky" - challenging other males to try to move up in rank, or even turning on their human caretakers as they may perceive the big featherless apes to be a threat to their hens.
When Rufio came into maturity at the end of last summer, we got a sampling of the type of hormonal rage that roosters can display. He started to charge me, my child, and became rough and aggressive towards the hens when they denied his attempts at courtship. We addressed this fowl behavior by sticking to a strict routine of separating him from the hens during the majority of the day, keeping him contained when the little human was wandering around the yard, and frequent handling to get him used to me. After a few months of this conditioning we formed a mutual trust of each other - allowing me to go about my normal chicken care without fear of attack, and him no longer challenging me. He also started to act like more of a gentleman towards the hens, probably finding it better to take advantage of the warmth and comfort with the rest of the flock as the cold fall nights began to push summer away. Unfortunately, his tolerance for small humans was never really "cured" so we simply played the safer bet of avoiding interaction between the two altogether - keeping Rufio confined when the little person was running around the yard.
A new year, a new challenge. Although it seems that Rufio has retained his respect for me, I of course still need to work on how he interacts with my daughter - time to arm ourselves against this crazy bird. Enter the Rooster Booper 3000!
Tired of ornery spring roosters ruining your day? Look no further! The Rooster Booper 3000 is THE ANSWER to keeping those naughty boys from getting too ambitious. Safely establishes a reasonable distance between you and your naughty rooster - if he crosses the line simply give him a gentle “boop” and he’ll be sure to go running.
As an additional bonus the Rooster Booper 3000 can even be used as a social distancing enforcement tool, and is so easy even toddlers can use it!
In all seriousness though - this is only a deterrent, and quite likely will not be the "permanent" solution to dealing with Rufio's behavior that I hope for. We will of course need to continue to work with his tolerance for small children to avoid any mishaps between him and my daughter - or at the very least continue to keep Rufio contained as-needed when my daughter is outside playing in the yard... a minor inconvenience for him and I, but a worthwhile solution that doesn't result in a worse fate for Rufio.
Maybe he'll calm down once spring fever gets over...