How to Deal With a Mean Rooster

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If you’ve ever raised chickens, then you’ve come across at least one mean rooster in your life…

So, how do you handle a rooster that’s a bully?’ 

That’s a question that has been plaguing a number of my ‘newbie’ fellow homesteaders lately.

For those of us who choose to grow and raise our own food, we flock together to learn and grow in knowledge of the practices of homesteading.

And of course, this includes raising chickens.

 

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Since I belong to a number of homesteading groups, I’ve been able to learn, and share of my own experiences raising chickens.

One thing that amazes me, is just how many people in some of these groups advise hitting or kicking a mean rooster!

I can understand protecting oneself from injury, but in my experience in raising chickens ‘you get what you give!’

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Like people, chickens all have their own personalities. Some are very docile and laid back, while others can be very aggressive or down right mean!

So, how do you handle an aggressive or mean bully?

In Proverbs 12:10, it says we are to regard the life of our animals.

In other words, we are to care for and respect our livestock, not be mean or abusive.

If you’ve already got a mean rooster, kicking them or hitting them with a broom is only going to make matters worse! Especially if you are trying to raise a rooster that is caring and protective of his hens.

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This is what has worked for me…

First, when confronted with a mean rooster, stand your ground. In most cases, the rooster is just trying to establish pecking order.

If you show fear, you’ll never get the rooster to believe you’re the boss.

When a rooster shows aggression towards me, I pick him up by the tail feathers (and yes, they may lose a few tail feathers in the process). I then grab his feet and let him hang upside down till he calms down.

This should only take a few seconds…

While still holding his feet (because if you don’t, those spurs could do you some bodily injury), I upright him and hold him next to me for a few minutes while talking quietly to him, making sure I keep my face away from his beak.

Afterwards, I put the offending rooster down to see how he acts.

It should only take a few times of this happening before he gets the message that his aggressive behavior is not allowed.

In a worse case scenario, where his behavior does not improve, I invite him to dinner. 😉

Till next time,

~ Sheri

There’s Another Rooster in the Yard

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MORE THAN ONE ROOSTER IN THE FLOCK CAN BE CHALLENGING… 

Last spring, my boy Teriyaki (a.k.a. Terry) sired 10 chicks. Four of them were boys. And although they all grew up together, we wound up having to remove his boys from the flock.

Once they came of age, our hens had their hands full from all the attention they were getting. Having so many roosters stressed our hens!

The boys were allocated to the barn, and life for our hens returned to normal.

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Terrys’ youngins, however, were not keen on their new digs.

But move them we did…

We originally had plans to butcher the ‘extra’ roosters. But instead, I decided to split our brood into smaller flocks. This allowed each of our roosters a few hens of their own.

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SHARING THE YARD…

Since we sell our eggs as ‘pasture raised,’ we needed to be sure that our chickens each had their day in the sun.

At first, we kept our ‘mini’ flocks separate. Some in the coop. The rest, in the barn.

While this kept our roosters from fighting, it meant a good deal of their time was spent indoors.

Something had to change….

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With a gate over the coop opening, ‘Terry’ and his girls were able to see Mr. Wattles and his Rhode Island Reds. The ‘Reds’ were originally Terrys’ girls. He was not keen on seeing his ladies with his son, Mr. Wattles!

After a week, of taking turns outside, I decided to test the waters. Would Teriyaki and Mr. Wattles get along in the great outdoors?

I pretty much let ‘Terry’ have his way in the chicken world… however, he does know there are some things I just won’t allow… Like an aggressive rooster..

He may rule the roost, but I rule the rooster… mom and I kept an eye on things while working in the garden.

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At first there was a small skirmish as they sorted out the pecking order… but once they figured out who was boss, things settled down.

And so, once more, life has returned to normal on the homestead, even though there is another rooster in the yard.

Till next time,

~Sheri

10 Signs You Have a Homesteading Spirit

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WHAT COMES TO MIND WHEN YOU HEAR THE TERM ‘HOMESTEADING?’

Does your mind conjure up images of the settlers of the old west? Or do you think you’d have to give up all your beloved modern conveniences – such as electricity and running water?

Or, perhaps you picture giving up your car to start riding in a horse and buggy…

DISPELLING THE MYTH

Homesteaders come in all shapes and sizes, and from all walks of life!

We live in the city… in the suburbs… and, we live in the country on an acre of land… or on a hundred…

If that’s the case, then how can you tell if YOU have a homesteading spirit?

THE TOP 10 SIGNS OF THE HOMESTEADING SPIRIT:

Do you…

  1. grow tomatoes, lettuce, basil and your favorite herbs on your apartment balcony or by a sunny window
  2. find kneading bread dough relaxing
  3. drive 20+ miles out of your way to buy milk and eggs from a farm
  4. learn about home remedies for healing your family
  5. have your cupboards full of your homemade preserves and your favorite dehydrated foods
  6. know how to ‘cook from scratch’
  7. find it amazing that your chickens feed you breakfast every morning
  8. enjoy getting your hands dirty working in the garden
  9. enjoy breathing in the smell of your laundry after hanging it out on the line
  10. make your own soaps and salves

So you see, the Homesteading Spirit can be found in each and every person! Wherever the Homesteading Spirit can be found, you’ll find we all have one thing in common… we want to get back to the basics… we have a deep seeded desire to grow and raise our own food… to do things the way our ancestors did…

If this is how you feel, then you’ve come to the right place.

Welcome to my homestead!

~ Sheri

A Game of ‘Chase the Chicken’

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My chickens are escape artists!

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Oh, they look innocent enough when you see them frolicking happily in the field… but don’t you dare turn your backs on them! My dastardly little dinos are quite mischievous!

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They are always looking for new things to get into or investigate. And, every chance they get, when they know we’re not looking, they find ways to escape our yard!

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On more than one occasion, I have found several of our more mischievous chickens frolicking in our neighbors garden! With my neighbor getting ready to plant seeds and starter plants, our chickens need to be confined to our yard! The question is how?!?

We’ve tried clipping their wings… Didn’t work!

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And, just when I think I have secured every possible escape route, they seem to find another! With spring here, they are becoming even more adventurous!

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Thankfully, my neighbors don’t seem to mind – too much.

After all, we did adopt the original flock from them!

I guess our brood assumes its okay to jump the fence and go visiting every once in a while… Or maybe it’s a way to beat barnyard boredom…

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Either way, Teriyaki (Terry), our head rooster (we’ve got 5), can’t protect them if they’re on the wrong side of the fence.

So, like any good informant, he lets us know when his hens escape.

I’m not sure if he’s giving his hens a good talking to or not… To be honest, when I’m out there chasing his hens back over the fence, I think it’s more like he’s laughing at me!

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Even those who use the trail next to our home find it quite amusing to watch us chasing our chickens! Especially since chickens can run faster than humans!

I’d love to replace our present fencing with taller fencing. but until we’re a little more flush financially, it’s a game of ‘Chase the Chicken!’

Until next time,

~ Sheri

Old Photos…

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My computer has been telling me for sometime that I am running out of memory…

The reason? Oodles and oodles of photos that I’ve taken since moving to our homestead.

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Over the last 4 years, I’ve taken thousands of pictures just of our chickens alone!

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Since yesterdays downpour didn’t allow me to work in the garden, I decided it was as good a time as any to sort through all those memories…

Little Sis and Baby Chicks

Some of my favorites are of the Littles that hatched last June.

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It was so much fun to watch their antics as momma took them all around the homestead, teaching them about all the things they could eat.

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I used twelve of my favorites to create a calendar, which now hangs on the fridge. It makes a lovely keepsake which we use to keep track of egg production.

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Its hard to believe the babies are almost a year old in June! Time sure flies!

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As I sat looking through all those photos, one question kept coming to mind, “Which ones do I delete?”

The ones that came out blurry, that’s a given…

But what about all the others?

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There are the those that I didn’t consider to be ‘professional enough…’ and then there are those that were not ‘blog worthy.’ However, I still enjoy looking at them all the same.

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So again, I ask myself, ‘How can I ever get rid of them?’

I guess I won’t. It’d be like tossing out photos of my family!

My computer is just going to have to keep yelling at me about all my photos!

My memories are more important than my computers!

~ Sheri

A Lofty Goal

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Recommiting myself to have our small farm support itself, I looked at the planting calendar.

What I discovered is that its just short of 15 weeks till the 4 year anniversary of our move to the country!

This got me thinking…

A fellow homesteader I know had given himself the challenge of growing and raising 100% of his food in just 100 days!

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That’s a lofty goal for sure!

Could we do that?

I think so!

We have until July 27th… that gives us 102 days…

Its will be a lot of work!

Already I can see some challenges we are going to have to face…

Our plan is to use the whole northwest end of our property…

The first step will be to decide which veggies to grow…

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No specialty veggies this year! Only what we know we will enjoy! And, only foods that are Whole30* compliant… You can find more on that reasoning here.

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Next, we will have to figure out how to keep our flock out of the garden area.

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The fencing that we used last year, was relocated to the back of the barn to replace broken fencing, and to enlarge their free range area.

We have other challenges to face as well…

With a late snow, and April showers, the original garden has flooded. The area has been too hard or too wet to plant any cool weather veggies.

With last night’s thunderstorm and today’s down pour, even the chickens had the good sense to stay indoors most of the day! Only when it stopped raining, did they come out to get some worms for a bedtime snack.

Even though I didn’t get out to the garden today, tomorrow is supposed to be sunny. Perhaps I will at least get outside to remove the debris from last nights storm…

~ Sheri

*This post contains affiliate links. This means that Country Girl Homestead makes a small commission on items purchased via these links. This income directly offsets the care and maintenance of our farm. Our flock thanks you for supporting Country Girl Homestead.

A Lifetime Gig

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Mornin’ y’all! Sheri here! For those who don’t yet know… Recently, I committed myself to doing The Whole30  because of severe stomach and gallbladder issues.

Well, I just finished my first round of whole 30, and am presently working on what’s called the Reintroduction phase.

What does that mean? Well, I’ll tell ya!

Over the next 10 days, I’ll reintroduce certain foods… beans, gluten and gluten-free grains, and dairy… and I’ll watch for any reactions!

Because of the severe pain I’ve had, I know that doing this for just 30 days will not be enough to heal my digestive system! So, I’m planning on another whole30… or 60, or even 90!

Most likely, because of the progress I’ve had already, I expect this will be a lifetime gig!

I’m okay with that! – Being healthy and pain free is a good thing!

Here’s some of the results I’ve already seen:

  • Day 31: Stepped on the scale and I’m down 8 lbs. That’s the equivalent to 32 sticks of butter. That’s a lot of butter!
  • My ‘skinny jeans’ used to fit snugly. Now, they’re loose and baggy!
  • I have a better handle on what foods cause me pain and discomfort when I eat.
  • I no longer need my expensive stomach meds that had serious side effects!
  • My relationship with food has changed!
  • I enjoy cooking again!
  • I’ve discovered new and interesting ways to prepare my old favorites!
  • I have more energy.
  • I’m sleeping better.
  • I’m not as moody as I used to be!
  • My back pain (degenerative disk disease) isn’t as bad as it used to be! I’m now able to stand for longer periods of time before needing to sit...
  • Where I used to take 2 BP meds… I am glad to report that I am only using 1 BP med! AND before long, Lord willing, I will be off that one as well!

My next step is to turn the whole northwest section of my small farm into a whole 30 compliant garden! More on that tomorrow!

Here’s to better health!

~ Sheri