Harold the Rooster

AMKuska

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Earlier this year, I told my husband I wanted to get some Sebrights for a training project for my blog. That blessed man helped me find the chickens, built me a coop, and got me all set up to get going. We purchased 7 Sebrights because the only ones available were kinda sickly, and 3 survived. As luck would have it, it's a decent ratio of 2 hens and 1 rooster. The rooster's name is Harold. Harold was born 3/30/23. He's an Aries.

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Harold is my training project. He's already learned how to touch a target on command (Hopefully well enough that if he flies up into a tree I can call him back using it.) He just learned how to bow today in preps for learning to sit. If I can successfully train him in basic obedience, there's a Rally-O judge (kind of a funner version of dog obedience) who will judge him.

He's been a very fun little bird so far. I was hoping that one of the hens would be more interested, but they'd rather steal all Harold's treats as soon as he wins them.
 

AMKuska

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And here I had to dispatch, very gruesomely, my accidental rooster.

Good job!! Way to go, Harold!!
Harold has gone out of his way to be cute, charming, and completely unaggressive so far. I suspect my silkie rooster must have told him what happens to roosters who aren't friendly and loving around these parts.
 

AMKuska

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We worked on sit today. With dogs, if they don't lie down on command when lowering a treat down between their front legs, luring them under a stool or other piece of low furniture can help capture the behavior you want. I need Harold to put his little tushy on the floor, and I think the same method will work well for that.

Harold is tiny, probably not more than 6" tall, so I made a small frame to simulate a piece of furniture.

Right now he just has to lower himself a little bit to get under the bar, but I'll gradually tape paper strips until he has to stoop all the way down when he goes under. At that point, I'll start capturing that lowered pose, and fade the bar out.

Sylvia and Brighty picked up on going under right away, and were earning corn left and right. Poor Harold thought I wanted him to stand grandly on the top of it and puff out his chest. You know, like he's #1 on the podium already!

After he realized he was not getting any clicks however, he began going under it. I got a nice little screen capture of him working very nicely here. He's a very good boy.

He came and sat in my lap for a bit after we were done and made happy chicken noises at me. He's truly a very enjoyable rooster to work with.
HaroldWorks.png
 
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baymule

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My son in law has a coworker who has a bantam house rooster. He is litter box trained and never messes in the house. He roosts at the top of the kitchen cabinets and crows at 5:00 AM to wake them up for he’s breakfast. They love him dearly. I never knew a chicken could be litter box trained!

I’m following yours and Harold’s adventures!
 

AMKuska

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My son in law has a coworker who has a bantam house rooster. He is litter box trained and never messes in the house. He roosts at the top of the kitchen cabinets and crows at 5:00 AM to wake them up for he’s breakfast. They love him dearly. I never knew a chicken could be litter box trained!

I’m following yours and Harold’s adventures!
I'd be very interested to know how they did that. I'm not at all interested in having a house chicken, but I always thought they couldn't control their bowel movements. I don't think they have a denning instinct, so you couldn't use that, hmm.

I believe Harold, Brighty and Sylvia think I'm their mother. I went outside this morning and heard the sharp, "PEEP! PEEP! PEEP!" of a chick who has lost their mom. I tracked the sound to the Sebrights, who were all clustered at the door looking for me!

They were very glad to see me!! And showed me the poor, sad, empty condition of their feeder. I'm a little surprised they made that sound since they seem a bit big for chick noises, but after their feeder was full the insistent lost-chick peeping also stopped.

We worked with the bar a bit more today. I got a few very pretty videos of Harold for the video class I'm making for my blog. He was very handsome.

The new coop backs up against the fence of my neighbor's property, and she came out while I was training. She was delighted to see all of Harold's tricks! I'm happy she likes them so much.

Here's a screenshot of Harold running up to me from the videos. He was much more reliable about going under the bar today. I'm going to make it a bit harder tomorrow and see if he can manage it. If he can't, I'll simply go back to where we were today for a few days and then try again.

haroldruns.png
 

AMKuska

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I lowered the bar today with some t-shirt yarn I made years ago. I sure didn't realize I'd be using it for something like this! They all adapted really well to going under it. It's clear it will have to be a lot lower before they are in the right position. They sure are short!

None of Harold's pictures came out today, mostly got his butt and legs sailing past. Here's one of Brighty though, going under the lowered bar like a champ!
brighty.png
 

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