Harold the Rooster

AMKuska

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Today I decided to do some training since Harold has been back to his normal self. He did so good!! He was quite pleased to jump on the box many times for corn. He also seemed a lot more engaged and interested in actually working. The past few times the girls have been doing the work and when he's not aggressive, he's just sorta babysitting.

He was so calm, I even took a few shots of him while he begged for food. I do have a video of him jumping on the box, but I'll have to go through it later to get a still of his fine performance.
DSC08311.JPG

Also...isn't he rather handsome?!
 

AMKuska

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Harold went to a new home today. He is going to be free ranging with some hens in a much bigger pasture. We've had two incidents that make me think he would be better off somewhere else, both involving him flying into the side of the run.

He will panic at random times (I think?) and slam at full speed into the side of the fence. This last time (two days ago) he slammed into the fence so hard he cut his head open and knocked himself out. I was sure he was dead since he was just lying there on his back gasping, second eyelid closed, wings spread out and legs stuck up in the air.

I stayed with him thinking he'd take his last breath and to keep the girls from picking his eyeballs out (pretty sure they hate him) but he got right back up after a few minutes and carried on. He did not like having his head tended to as I didn't treat the cut while he was unconcious, thinking he was about to die.

His new home has a larger flock of hens and no fencing, so he can't possibly run into anything and bean his head on it. He still randomly attack stickers/pieces of paper and other odds and ends though, so hopefully they're prepared to handle that.

The girls have made it clear they are overjoyed the man of the house is gone. I'll have to find them some friends so there isn't only two.
 

flowerbug

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...The girls have made it clear they are overjoyed the man of the house is gone. I'll have to find them some friends so there isn't only two.

i have been wondering how he was doing lately. thanks for the update. :) sad when something doesn't work out as expected, but you learned a lot i'm sure!
 

AMKuska

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I think I might know why Harold was so darn flighty now. Went out to check the girls today and Brighty was dead, along with two older chicks I put in there to try and give them company. Only Sylvia survived. The deaths were characteristic of a raccoon.

I gave Sylvia a silkie hen to keep her company and wrapped the outside in super fine wire that a raccoon could not reach a little hand through. Hopefully she'll be spared. :(
 

AMKuska

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Since Sylvia is the last of the three trained chickens, I thought I'd better hurry up and finish this project if I can. I've gone out with my camera for the last 2 days with the goal of getting one of her tricks filmed each time. I'm going to put them together into a little video after I submit them for her title. She needs 15 tricks to title.

I wonder now if flock hierarchy had more to do with willingness to perform then intelligence, because even though she seldom offered any behaviors on cue with Brighty and Harold around, she can magically do everything the first try now. :idunno
 

AMKuska

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Sylvia is doing fantastic! We have filmed so far:
Fly onto target (Day 1)
Stand on a box (Day 2)
Scratch a Target (Day 3)

We've also filmed two other tricks, jumping over a pole jump and "Bounce" but I need more shots to have a really good showcase of what she can do.
 
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