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#108421 - 02/10/13 03:40 PM game fowl courage display
SDWGame Offline
Bantam

Registered: 01/19/13
Posts: 59
Loc: Greenville, SC USA
I have a group of 7 hens and 1 gamecock of silver color. Something happened last week in my brood pen run that I found interesting and I wonder if others would find it interesting also. I was some distance from my brood pen when my wife called me to come quickly because it sounded like the hens were being attacked. I had left the chicken door connecting the hen house from the run dropped closed so that I could service the hen house as is my custom. As a result they were unable to run inside which would have been their impulse upon seeing an immenent threat. As I approached I saw a large hawk sitting in a small tree approximately 4 feet from the chain link fenced run. Upon my approach, the hawk flew to another nearby tree a bit further away. I proceeded to the hen house personnel entry door and pulled the cord to raise the chicken door connecting the house and run. The hens began rushing into the hen house and as they did I closed the personnel entry door (leaving the chicken door open of couse) and took a couple of steps over where I was able to see inside the run. I could not believe what I saw. My broodcock was standing on the ground at the base of the ramp leading up to the chicken door with his back to the ramp facing the direction of the hawk.

Now I know he comes from a long line of game fowl that are "dead game" and would never quit a fight in the pit unless dying and unable to lift his head but I never imagined that gameness was related to the kind of courage he was displaying. I clapped my hands and shouted at the hawk and he flew away. I turned back and as I did, the cock turned and walked up the ramp to join his hens in the hen house.

Has anyone here seen that kind of courage display? Naturally I wondered what might have happened under circumstances where the hawk was not kept at bay by a chain link fence and had been able to actually approach him directly. As anyone who has ever seen a cockfight knows, a gamecock can put up an impressive display of aggression. If a gamecock flew 5-6 feet into the air and met a hawk with that kind of aggression, is it possible the hawk would decide to retreat and look for an easier meal elsewhere? Given the number of gamecocks on "cord walks" with little place to run, they certainly must have met many times. I wonder if the hawk always has chicken dinner.

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#108445 - 02/11/13 04:21 PM Re: game fowl courage display [Re: SDWGame]
Wieslaw Offline
Moderator
Classroom Professor

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 3770
Loc: Denmark
I have sometimes observed that when a hen is screaming in horror, some hens will come with help trying to charge the attacker in the same manner as a broody hen defending her chicks.
Not all hawk attaks end up with succes. Try to observe those videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KE_4QpSC1hY

Here with a sparrowhawk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOB24oweSC8

Here is an unbelievable fight between a falcon and a much bigger canada goose(the goose losing eventually)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkW7r-rgeBQ

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#108495 - 02/15/13 08:44 AM Re: game fowl courage display [Re: Wieslaw]
Fowled Out Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 227
Loc: Arkansas
I had an easter egger cock that was the meanest sob that every walked. I couldn't turn my back on him and had to walk the yard with a stick in my hand. My birds free ranged. One day I went outside to find all my flock disappeared. After much searching I found them scattered and hiding in different areas. After much calling I got them all together again except for the cock. He showed up about ten minutes later and looked like he had just been in a tussle. Doesn't surprise me a bit. He didn't want anything messing with his hens!

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#108828 - 03/08/13 12:05 PM Re: game fowl courage display [Re: Fowled Out]
Appyjumpindaze Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 01/23/13
Posts: 285
Loc: MO
A good rooster will face a predator to protect the hens. I am not sure how many people get to see it happening, but I know people who loose roosters since they will charge the predator and attack it, which saves the hens (the rooster usually dies)

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#110220 - 07/27/13 06:01 AM Re: game fowl courage display [Re: Appyjumpindaze]
KazJaps Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 08/30/02
Posts: 2807
Loc: Australia
I have an Australian Pit Game bantam hen, & when free-ranging with a brood of chicks, she managed to corner an attacking hawk against a chain-link fence (above was dense foliage -couldn't fly up). She was beating the c*** out of that hawk, would have killed it, so I had to rescue the hawk from her (couldn't leave the hawk, the attack was brutal to see).

That was about her 4th setting. With the first setting, she nearly lost sight in one eye after a previous battle with a hawk. Seems she had a grudge, never forgot smile

A more experienced Pit Game breeder when visiting one day said never catch the hens in a pen, when the Pit Game rooster is in the pen too (catch him first). But I've found my Pit boys to be very placid to me, unlike their brothers to each other.

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#110222 - 07/28/13 03:12 AM Re: game fowl courage display [Re: KazJaps]
Wieslaw Offline
Moderator
Classroom Professor

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 3770
Loc: Denmark
Here is a video with a Dominique hen protecting her chicks from a hawk(short, but dramatic)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbsbLjZBdr8

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#110302 - 08/11/13 07:00 PM Re: game fowl courage display [Re: Wieslaw]
Jimbo Offline
Feather

Registered: 08/09/13
Posts: 44
Loc: Missouri
I have seen such with my free-range games, especially when chicks involved. On more than one occasion when a Coopers Hawk flew towards a hen with chicks, the chicks would run up under hen and she prepared for battle. Rooster would quickly run over placing himself between hawk and hen with chicks. I have also seen same without hen where cock defended juveniles that where about 10 weeks old. Cock would fluff up like a ticked off hen but also approach threat. The Coopers Hawks were always after chicks and juveniles. Only cocks and bullstags do this for me and they don't do it when in full blown molt.


Edited by Jimbo (08/11/13 07:01 PM)

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#110438 - 08/23/13 05:09 AM Re: game fowl courage display [Re: Jimbo]
Wieslaw Offline
Moderator
Classroom Professor

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 3770
Loc: Denmark
Here is an interesting video with a hawk killing a barred rock hen while "everybody" is watching. Compare the allertness of the white leghorn hen compared to the rocks. Immediate respons to movement.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pd4eHNvTsE0

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#110442 - 08/23/13 07:48 PM Re: game fowl courage display [Re: Wieslaw]
Jimbo Offline
Feather

Registered: 08/09/13
Posts: 44
Loc: Missouri
The on the ground business is where a rooster would have tipped scales for hens escape. Hawk engaged with talons on one is extremely vulnerable to another free moving bird and knows. Coopers hawks are the ones my cocks and bullstags romp on if given chance.

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