Harold the Rooster

AMKuska

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I made pupcakes for the dogs today, and brought Harold one. I thought he would like a pumpkin cupcake, but apparently it's not as appetizing as corn.
HaroldCupcake.JPG

Here's Harold with some Cream Cheese Frosting on his face.

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Brighty: Let me get that off for you!

After the cupcake, I brought out the target. Sylvia got it this time! Now Sylvia and Brighty can peck the target reliably. Harold did not peck the target per se, but grandly paraded up to me and graciously allowed me to place the target on his beak.

He then just as grandly received his reward. We did this 5-6 times, after which he attempted to make himself comfortable perched on my arm. He's such a mama's boy.

Next time I won't help him get the reward, he'll have to peck the target himself if he wants a snack!
 

AMKuska

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Every time I think I understand Harold, he does something so entirely weird I wonder if I've broken his brain by trying to train him.

Today I brought him some watermelon, and held out the slice for him to take a nibble on. He fluffed out every single one of his feathers, going from hamster size to almost a guinea pig size, and jumped right on top of that watermelon!!

He stabbed it hard and violently with his beak several times. If it was a snake or another small enemy species, it would most certainly be dead.

After several violent pecks that sunk all the way down into the rind, he realized that this was, in fact, a watermelon. No idea what he thought it actually was. He paused for a minute letting the taste sink into his beak, and then called the girls over for a snack.

The day was spent bringing him several of the kid's "finished" watermelon slices to help desensitize him to watermelon but he still checked each one thoroughly before letting the girls near it.

So if you're ever worried about watermelon getting into the coop and killing all your hens, you need a chicken like Harold...
 

AMKuska

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Big news for Harold!! He has been entered in his first competition officially today. He is competing for his novice trick dog title. We received permission to compete today, and submitted our first trick on their accepted trick list, "bobbing for popcorn." This is 1/15 tricks he needs to show.

I'll be posting a trick a day until we receive our title, and if the judges approved it.
haroldpopcorn.png

haroldpopcorn3.png


Sorry the pictures are all lousy, I took them on my phone. I'll be retaking all the shots with my big camera for a 'cinematic' version later.
 
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AMKuska

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Harold bit me today! Hardly had I sat down with my treats and my clicker did he rush over and bite the top of my hand so hard it left a beak print.

He found himself upside down being held like a baby to discuss the matter, but it was hard to discuss things with him because as soon as he was upside down both hens started trying to beat the tar out of him. I had to shield his eyes to keep them from pecking his eyes out.

I let him go and he tried it again, he got a sharp no and a second pin. I don't mind him puffing up or stomping grandly about, but I'm not going to be bit. Youchies!

Apparently this suitably embarrassed him, because he was back to his sweet and well mannered self after this. I suppose it is to be expected, as he's about teenager age now, but I do hope he goes back to being my sweet Harold soon.

Also, I'm a bit baffled why both hens were so gleefully, "Yes, let's kill him!" as soon as I had him down. I don't see him ever treating the girls poorly except for treat tantrums, but I'm not watching 24/7 either.
 

AMKuska

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I think @flowerbug may be onto something about color and Harold. Ever since I started working with him on pecking the target, he's been exhibiting odd behaviors. The ball at the end of the target is orange. He also reacted really strongly to the red watermelon.

I'm going to do some color experiments and see if he stops acting out if the target is..say...blue instead of orange. Despite biting me today, he was completely ordinary when I went out there to give him some veggie scraps. I was able to get 2/15 "Come when called" and 3/15 "Speak" for the title.

I'm not sure if speak really counts though. He barely has to be encouraged to crow :rolleyes:
 

Branching Out

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Harold bit me today! Hardly had I sat down with my treats and my clicker did he rush over and bite the top of my hand so hard it left a beak print.

Also, I'm a bit baffled why both hens were so gleefully, "Yes, let's kill him!" as soon as I had him down. I don't see him ever treating the girls poorly except for treat tantrums, but I'm not watching 24/7 either.
In does not take long for things to turn in to Lord of the Flies. Good thing Harold has you, looking out for his best interests. 🐓
 
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