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Aggressive rooster

Riki McCoy


Joined: Jan 19, 2011
Posts: 27
Location: Central Croatia
Everything was fine until a few weeks ago.  Now my rooster is constantly in my space and challenging me.  He will crow and shake his head and then run from across the garden towards me.  I have to make sure I have a stick in my hand to fend him off!  It's quite scary and slows down everything I do in the garden.  I even walk the long way around to avoid him.  How do I take back control?
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 5862
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
  88
You need to understand his nature, which is to dominate his harem.  Since you are not a part of his harem, he considers you to be a challenge.  If you fight him, you have started a never ending feud.  You whack him with your stick, and he has lost face with his lady friends.  You are a human, he is a chicken.  You need to fight this battle as a human, NOT at his level as a chicken.  Get rid of the stick, as that is lowering you to his level, and the battle CANNOT be won at that level.

Get a little plastic bowl (oleo tub), and fill it with feed & maybe some treats.  As he charges, rattle the feed in the tub, and sprinkle it on the ground between you.  It will reinforce in him the understanding that you are his benefactor, not his challenger.

If you try to play the game at the chicken level, it will be an escalating battle that can only end with chicken soup.
Leila Rich
steward

Joined: May 24, 2010
Posts: 3473
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
    
  63
John's right: I've met some scary roosters and hitting them just makes them scarier!
Try the food suggestion, but I'm sorry to say, I've never seen a vicious rooster calm down.
The bashing probably didn't help though...
Jami McBride
volunteer

Joined: Aug 29, 2009
Posts: 1760
    
    3
Yes, do try the food trick and post back what happens.

I had the same thing happen when a young chicken surprised us and turned out to be a rooster.  Before I could make plans for his departure he began attacking my daughter as she is in charge of the chickens and would offer them treats and food.

We used a hose set on jet - it worked.  I also had her release the chickens before dong her work in their area.  Being blasted with water is not a natural state for chickens so I guess this made the rooster think twice.  Also the blasting was done from a distance so it wasn't like hand to hand combat, more like an act of God 
Walter Jeffries


Joined: Nov 21, 2010
Posts: 893
    
  17
Stew. Only allow the tame ones to live. Breed for niceness.
Terri Matthews


Joined: Nov 21, 2010
Posts: 382
Location: Eastern Kansas
    
    3
I threw empty pop cans at one of mine, That cooled him nicely for about a year, then he relapsed and I had to get rid of him.

I LIKE the rattle the feed can idea, chickens ADORE treats. A little dry grain might have distracted mine. Chickens are not terribly smart.
Kathleen Sanderson


Joined: Feb 28, 2009
Posts: 943
Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
I have to agree with Walter -- nasty roosters go in the freezer at our house.  They can be extremely annoying to an adult, and actually dangerous to a small child.  A bad rooster spurred my oldest daughter in the (bare) chest when she was about eight years old, hard enough to draw blood.  If she'd been a three-year-old, he would have put her eyes out. 

The three roosters that I have right now are really the first nice roosters that I've ever had -- one black Silkie, one Silkie X Ameraucana (Easter Egger), and a Mille Fleur Leghorn.  I don't NEED three roosters at the moment, and have no intention of letting the black Silkie rooster breed again, but hate to get rid of any of them just because they all have good temperament.  I didn't do anything different raising these guys than I've done in the past, it's just different breeds.

Kathleen
Mike E


Joined: Mar 07, 2011
Posts: 177
Location: California
pubwvj wrote:
Stew. Only allow the tame ones to live. Breed for niceness.


< likes this. I'm not in the business of trying to tame aggressive roosters; if he's big enough to challenge me then he's big enough to fry.
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 5862
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
  88
But if you live in hawk country, you need an aggressive one, not a "cute pet".  The nice ones will beat the hens to safety when danger lurks.  If you are not breeding, protection is the only reason to keep a rooster.
Riki McCoy


Joined: Jan 19, 2011
Posts: 27
Location: Central Croatia
I will try the treats idea, I can easily keep a few bits of bread in my pocket.  I do need the rooster as he's the only one left to protect the hens and he does a good job of it.  I don't actually hit him with the stick, it's just used as a barrier to stop his charge. 

I think most of his problem is that my hubby has been away for a few weeks and he usually feeds the chickens.  He's fine with me if I'm feeding or collecting eggs, it's just the rest of the garden.  Maybe I am getting too far away for him to 'protect' me so he moves closer?  Or maybe he just loves wherever I'm digging and thinks I'm getting all the good grubs!
Chefmom Hatfield


Joined: Mar 28, 2011
Posts: 62
Location: Western Pennsylvania
I have found a broom works better than a stick, it's more surface area to "sweep" them away from you.  However, with the MANY roosters I have dealt with over the years, I have never tamed a truly aggressive one.  I have brought them up knowing I am boss.  From 3 or 4 weeks of age I flatten them with one hand on their back and the other hand grabs the feathers at the back of their head and flattens that to the ground.  I then hold them in that position for a good minute before letting them go.  If you watch chickens this is how a rooster mounts a hen BUT it is also how another hen will show her superior place in the pecking order.  So in chicken speak this means that I am boss.

However I only do this with roosters that aren't highly aggressive.  After trying many different ways to get along with them I have found eating them to be the best.  As soon as they show aggression they are gone.  Also, one aggressive rooster can teach it to others.  It just isn't worth the hassle.  If you are keeping him just to sound the alarm you will be surprised, because after he is gone the hens will keep an eye out for themselves.   

Tami


Always put your eggs in one basket.........why would you carry two?
Jami McBride
volunteer

Joined: Aug 29, 2009
Posts: 1760
    
    3
Tami - I just have to say that everything you wrote applies perfectly to ducks as well. 

Our ducks are free-yard ducks and a drake with an attitude can be a real problem.  Those we've had raised can be adjusted by dominating should they get a bad attitude and try to take us on.  However, those who were not hand raised never seem to learn, and we are forever having to administer domination - so to the pot they go. 
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree

Joined: Apr 03, 2010
Posts: 3960
Location: Portugal Zone 9 Mediterranean Climate
    
130
One of our roosters drew blood on my other half yesterday.  He'd already had a go at my and my son.  He's stewing in the pot as I type... 

What is a Mother Tree ?
T. Pierce


Joined: Mar 13, 2011
Posts: 254
Location: Virginia
ive dealt with a rooster or two in my time.  an aggressive one can be made worse by fighting back.  or you can break him, and he will be a squalling dunghill.  run away hollaring everytime you approach.  most are incurrigable best thing to do with them is get rid of them. 

if you arent breeding a rooster is not necessary.  they are a liability and costly to feed.  and they arent necessary for protecting hens.  the rare rooster that will stand to protect a hen is few and far between.  hens can and will be observant enuff to warn of airiel threats.
gary gregory


Joined: Apr 09, 2009
Posts: 395
Location: northern california, 50 miles inland from Mendocino, zone 7
I can't stand it!   I am compelled to point out that the thread "aggressive rooster had a post from "dead rabbit"! 

No offense intended Dead Rabbit but in scanning through the forums it really caught my attention.


Gary
T. Pierce


Joined: Mar 13, 2011
Posts: 254
Location: Virginia
gary gregory wrote:
I can't stand it!   I am compelled to point out that the thread "aggressive rooster had a post from "dead rabbit"! 

No offense intended Dead Rabbit but in scanning through the forums it really caught my attention.


ummmm.....i dont get it.

nevertheless.  no offense is taken.  im no fragile flower.
Tabatha Mic


Joined: Feb 02, 2011
Posts: 26
Location: North Central Mississippi
I was given the advice to "embarrass" the rooster. Not fighting him, but simply grabbing him, holding his legs together gently, his wings to his sides & carrying him around tucked under your arm like a baby for about half an hour. Then give him food. They don't know how to deal with it plus they get the added idea that you=yummies. Worked like a charm.

That being said, unless he was the only rooster or the best protector, I'd eat him too.
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 5862
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
  88
That will work also.  You are fighting him at a human level, not stooping to his level.  If you stoop to his level, it is a winless battle that can only end with chicken soup.

I worked on an egg ranch, and we needed roosters to maintain the flock.  They come in all shades of nice/mean.  The owners favored the mean ones, ate/sold the nice ones.  I wondered about their choice until I saw 4 roos go over the fence and attack an eagle swooping into the layer's yard.  When your livelihood depends on raising and protecting a laying flock, good roos are worth their weight in gold.  For a backyard flock, they're probably more of a nuisance than benefit.
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree

Joined: Apr 03, 2010
Posts: 3960
Location: Portugal Zone 9 Mediterranean Climate
    
130
John Polk wrote:
When your livelihood depends on raising and protecting a laying flock, good roos are worth their weight in gold.  For a backyard flock, they're probably more of a nuisance than benefit.


I guess that depends on whether or not you want your backyard flock to supply meat as well as eggs. 

I like to be able to put surplus eggs in the incubator (still working on getting hens that will go broody) and turn them into a future meat and replacement layer supply.  I don't like being dependent on buying in layers as the only sort we can easily get are the hybrids who never go broody, and it seems like unless we do something about it we'll be dependent forever.  Of course, getting hold of a suitable rooster turned out to be a problem too, and the first ones we had were crosses of some hybrid layers with fighting bantam, so we ended up with with reasonable layers, scrawny meat birds, and some vicious roosters to put up with, but we've finally got our hands on a naked-neck and a young light sussex rooster, so hopefully we'll start making progress soon. 
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 5862
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
  88
Right you are!  Most of the commercial laying breeds have had broodiness bred out of them.  To an egg producer, a broody hen is costing him money.  We bred our own pullets, as there was no local supply available in the quantities we needed, plus they believed it was the only way to control the quality of the flock.  We also kept our hens for several years, which is something unheard of with US producers.  In the US, a hen's first molt earns her a trip to the pet food cannery.
Ken Peavey
steward

Joined: Dec 21, 2009
Posts: 2057
Location: FL
    
  43
Roosters are a dime a dozen.  No reason to put up with an agressive bird.  Get yourself some celery, a few carrots, some nice big potatoes.  Introduce the rooster to a slow simmer.


Seed the Mind, Harvest Ideas.
http://farmwhisperer.com
Pippi&#039;s mom


Joined: Apr 11, 2011
Posts: 2
About a year ago our rooster became aggressive.  We did not want to get rid of him because he was terrific at protecting our hens from winged and furry predators alike.  I found a great online article about keeping your rooster sane and followed the advice given.  We have not had another problem since then-- he is the perfect gentleman.   Just google "keeping rooster sane", give it a try and perhaps you might have the same success?
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4432
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    4
article on this in this mo's mother earth news


Brenda

Bloom where you are planted.
http://restfultrailsfoodforestgarden.blogspot.com/
Peter K.


Joined: Apr 19, 2011
Posts: 114
Location: South Carolina Zone 8
The best advice I can give if you want to keep the rooster is the next time he charges you (I am assuming here he is not downright attacking you spurs and all then he is stew) grab him up and hold him a while. I usually cover his head and let him know I am boss you are mine and now you could possibly be in for a world of hurt. If you show fear and avoid him he will shortly get out of control and feel you are no longer the boss. I have treated every rooster I have owned or raised this way from the time I knew they were a rooster and I have never had an aggressive rooster and the people I have given them too have said they never had a problem with any of course my older more experienced rooster helps with this raising so I must credit him as well. I have had quite a few make a bluff run at me which results in a hold em session but never one I raised aggressively attack me.  Many people confuse this bluff run as an attack which it is not an attack involves trying to grab you and spur you. You see chickens have a pecking order with a dominant bird in charge. They sort this out mostly through bluff runs and pecking at each other when one gets out of line but occasionally they resort to fighting. Roosters constantly test each other with these bluff runs and to some extent hens do the same. They will also test their human owners. By showing them you are not scared of them and you are boss in the way I describe you install yourself as leader of the flock. Now this does not mean that the rooster who is second in charge does not have and perform his duties many of which you cannot but he does them by your leave and not because he runs the joint. If you have ever had 2 or more roosters, and they must be ones raised together otherwise they will most likely fight till one dies or gives up and even the hens will pick on him, you will see how this pecking order works. I would even go so far to say they even peaceably split the hens however I think that is based more on hens selecting the rooster they like rather than the roosters making the choice.
dolmen McCoy


Joined: Apr 25, 2010
Posts: 64
everyones experience will be different, my experience of a rooster becoming agressive was down to the fact that he didn't have enough lady friends, I moved him daily to a different single female, when he started attacking me I moved him into the main flock were he had at least 12 lady friends and he never looked back!

Cheers

John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 5862
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
  88
Roosters are one of the most "Macho" oriented animals on Earth.  Their existence revolves around their "Macho" status.  If they can make you run, they have gained status within the flock...don't run.  If you stand your ground (or better yet, approach him), he will gain nothing, and eventually give up his 'game', as he realizes it is making him look silly to all of the hens.

The idea of putting him in with all of the hens is good:  that's what he wanted in the first place.  His mind thought it wasn't fair: he got one hen, and YOU got all of the others.
 
 
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