I’ve always fed the hens grape treats, and as a result, they’re quite friendly (they’ll crawl in my lap if I let them). But, when Will joined the flock, he made it apparent he had no use for grapes, and didn’t appreciate me feeding the hens either.
The hens were still enthusiastic about grapes, but Will would try to call them away, and when that didn’t work, he’d growl at me! Now, he’s generally a nice rooster, so I was puzzled. It finally dawned on me that Will knows he’s head rooster, and didn’t appreciate the competition for his hens.
After this “Chicken Whisperer” moment, I started offering grapes to Will first, and he finally started taking them and feeding the hens! He never eats them himself, he always gives them to a hen, and he doesn’t seem to mind if I feed them too, so long as he continues to get grapes. Now, both Will and I feed the hens treats, and everybody’s happy.
I’m pretty sure Will thinks he’s head rooster,and he’s right. But there’s only one head chicken, and that’s me! Will seems to have gotten over any worries that I was challenging him for his hens, and has never made any aggressive moves. He doesn’t even growl anymore except when I come up on the flock and surprise him. Will has turned out to be a great rooster, he takes care of the girls very well, and we enjoy them all tremendously.
I am completely new at raising chickens and have been reading a lot of info. From what you’re describing, it sounds like Will may think that he is the alpha male, even when you’re around. I’ve been reading that it is very important to establish yourself as the alpha male (even if you’re female!) or you just may receive a beating if Will thinks you are challenging his “alpha-ness”. I read that you should behave like the alpha male in the presence of a rooster (don’t let him mount in your presence and you are the protector when you are there).
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