Advice needed re my Ancona cockerel

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Sandrine
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Advice needed re my Ancona cockerel

Post by Sandrine » Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:00 pm

Hi all,
I absolutely love Tom my ancona cockerel to bits but at nearly 7 months old now he is becoming a bit of a nuisance in more than one way... Can fly too high (so even 6 feet fences wouldn't keep him in), far too noisy (very much likes the sound if his voice at any time if the day and night and although the neighbours aren't too bothered, we feel for them...) And the worst bit, he is becoming too agressive (probably aggressively protective of the girls, but he does attack us for no apparent reason). He made my hand bleed the other day, he was that vicious!
So I would like to know if there is a way to calm him down a little, tame him in a way.
If not what's the best way to go about finding him a new home? I have advertised him on here, I have asked tge place where I got him from (as egg)... No luck so far... One of my colleagues has offered to take him but as I know it is to have him for a meal, I just can't bring myself to let him have Tom... I know that anyone who might have him might be for the reason, but sonlong as I don't know, in a way, it's a little better... Not much though!
Any good ideas would be welcome!
rick
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Re: Advice needed re my Ancona cockerel

Post by rick » Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:45 pm

I absolutely sympathise with your predicament Sandrine. Freely admit to being a 'softie' when it comes to my own chickens although do heed the reasons and responsibilities for taking hard decisions when necessary (when that is necessary can only ever be a matter of informed judgement for the keeper, who is the only one who really knows the situation at hand.)
There isn't any way you can calm him down that wouldn't deprive him of his natural behavior and so isn't a fair option. He is what he is.
He thinks of you as a lower ranking member of the flock to be put in their place. But if you were stern enough from the outset for that not to have happened then you probably wouldn't be in the current dilemma. It has been said about cockerels before on this forum 'three strikes and their out' and that is a very reasonable and sensible stance to take (whether that is easy on you is a different question.)
Very occasionally genuine re-homing is possible - its pretty rare though.
So, unfortunately, it comes down to seeing a way of accommodating him as is or letting go of him. In the end he is better off on the table than running the risk of being taken for sport. It is better to know what happened to him and that it happened in a proper way - tough on you, but better.
In the wild cockerels don't last long unless they beat (chase out and often kill) the opposition. They are champions for the flock, taking on the competition and the predator alike and expect no quarter. You shouldn't feel bad if you find you have to - though you almost certainly will!
Sandrine
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Re: Advice needed re my Ancona cockerel

Post by Sandrine » Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:32 pm

Thank you Rick for that, it's definitely making me feel a tiny little bit better wuth the decision I may need to take. My husband is better in that way, and will not feel quite as guilty as I will...
We have actually been stern with him from the beginning, and the same with Peckford, our new Hampshire red cockerel. Peckford is si much more gentle, quieter and yet still protectove of the girls too but more of a gentleman. Absolutely no problems between the two of them either, if anything he's probably too gentle compated to a couoke of the hens that are more strong willed.
Tom has just gained in confidence, in character strength and agressivity a lot more than Peckford - he even looks more flamboyant than Peckford even though he's not as colourful!
Like I said we have been stern from the onset, but trying to be fair also - pretty much another parenting experience lol 😂 firm but fair! He's just not impressed anymore...
It has been more than 3 strikes now, we can't let him roam freely in the garden if we're out there too, because he'll attack us if we come too close - even if we have food!
I kind of already knew that there was no way to tame him, but thought I'd ask anyway...
Ok, I think I'll have to discuss it again with my husband and make a decision shortly. Thanks again for this advice, I appreciate it...
MrsBiscuit
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Re: Advice needed re my Ancona cockerel

Post by MrsBiscuit » Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:57 pm

I know some people have had success with picking up cockerals and tucking them under your arm, face down, and carting them about as you do your chores outside. The idea is that he knows you are boss and he isn't. You could perhaps try this at dusk to start with as he will be more docile. However, I wouldn't stand to be attacked by my own birds and I know my brother operates a 'one strike and you are in the pot' policy, as he has children. If Tom was mine he would also be culled; and it may be easier for you to give him to your colleague as I do understand its not easy to do the deed. As we move into Spring the hormones will only get stronger as Tom does what comes naturally, added to which he is a light Mediterranean breed and they are often feistier than large soft feather breeds.
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Marigold
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Re: Advice needed re my Ancona cockerel

Post by Marigold » Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:01 pm

I agree with Rick - and would add that, with Spring coming, the situation between him and Peckford isn't likely to continue to be amicable at all, so you may well end up with some really nasty infighting for the top job. It's really not a good idea to keep two cockerels together, it's asking for trouble as they mature. And think how you'd feel if he attacked a visitor, or had a really bad go at you or your husband. Even an accidental deep scratch from an over- eager friendly hen jumping up for treats can rip open your arm, as I found out for myself a few months ago.
Then think what a relief it will be, to go out among your flock without having to watch out for an aggressive bird all the time. And I bet your lovely neighbours will be glad not to have to hear him all the time, however polite they may be about it.
If you have someone who will do the deed for you, in a way that will ensure his life was appreciated and not in vain, I think you're quite lucky, really. He's had a lovely life with you, no need at all to feel guilty about having him culled, all part of hatching your own birds really,
Sandrine
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Re: Advice needed re my Ancona cockerel

Post by Sandrine » Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:36 pm

Thank you very much everyone! I reallyvdo appreciate your good advice, especially as it helps me think about it from a different angle. To be fair I think the girls will be happier too because he is quite demanding on them already (probably because he is still young?) And not sure they particularly enjoy his "cockledoodledoos" most possibly echoing in the coop when they're trying to sleep... My husband will be happy to not have to listen to him either, he's probably more annoyed about the noise than the neighbours to be fair... Their children are quite fascinated by all our chickens - though they haven't been to see them since Tom has become more boisterous... Like you said we don't want him to attack visitors, especially young ones.
Thank you for your suggestion MrsBiscuit... I am not sure that I woukd want to give it a go to be fair... I think the last attack (which I can still feel on my hand) has made me reluctant to go near him, nevermind picking him up! I was ok with picking him up and put him where I wanted him to be etc before this incident... But since then, I think he probably knows I'm not happy with coming too close. Although it will pass, but that's just me.
After talking about it with my husband earlier, I got in touch with my colleague. So what needs done will be done very soon. I might be sad about it for a while but it'll pass, and weighing up the pros and the cons, I know it's the right decision at the end of the day.
MrsBiscuit
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Re: Advice needed re my Ancona cockerel

Post by MrsBiscuit » Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:02 pm

Well done, I know you have done the right thing, tough though it is.
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Marigold
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Re: Advice needed re my Ancona cockerel

Post by Marigold » Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:27 am

Yes, it's never easy, having a chicken culled, but where there's been good reason I've always felt OK about it quite soon afterwards!
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