I have 5 hens and only one roaster thank god.This guy is a real basturd.Cute when he was a chick,but when he grew older,I had to decide his fate fast.He would for no apparent reason attack me while running loose in the yard.I never treated him harsh.He all of a sudden started coming after me.After several brawls in the yard,I let him attack me and led him into a isolation pen where he has been ever since.Six months in isolation.I have tried everything mentioned on this thread except hanging him upside down by the feet.It sometimes comes down to isolate,give up for adoption or the stew pot.
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I took the hens away a few weeks ago from my roosters. They are always separate from the girls since the roosters were over-mating. The roos seem to like being in their own little bro club. They don't have to compete for a girl's attention or watch out for her. They just kind of wander around in a small group.. 2 silkies and 2 polish. Only one crows unless I put them in separate spaces. Mr. King is no longer a free ranger but I think in a way he is happier. He lets me pick him up now.. gently. He doesn't have much choice because he doesn't have a lot of room to run. Still though, he doesn't have that fear anymore. The past few days he's been eating treats out of my hands. He is sick, though. My whole flock is. I've lost one hen and others are probably about to follow. I did give him a shot earlier. I was terrified when I stuck the needle in, but he didn't even flinch until I turned him back over. He was crowing his head off last time I saw him so he's not going down without a fight. He'll probably be the only one that survives this viral plague.
I've only been involved with chickens for 50-plus years, but I never heard of any of those things working to stop an aggressive rooster. It's genetic, so reputable breeders try not to breed from "fighters," but some breeds are more prone than others.
I'm assuming you're not talking about the normal aggressiveness of breeds like Old English Games, but the occasional roosters in "docile" breeds that might literally attack you? Knocking a rooster off the hen naturally makes him see you as a rival, since that's what other more dominant roosters would do, but I can't imagine it turning him into a fighter -- never experienced it, anyway. I had a couple of roosters who thought they were just supposed to sit there and rest when they got through, while the poor hen was gasping for air, so I have sometimes flicked my hand at them to persuade them to go do something constructive.
In all my years, I can only remember one incorrigible case -- a Buff Laced Polish, large fowl. He was a pretty guy, but after a couple of years, we were all ready for him to move along. I don't remember who we gave him to, but we probably lost a friend there!
This roaster(Rhode Island red) would actually wait behind a tree or my truck for me to get out of my car and sneak up behind me and attack.I've only pushed him off one of my hens twice because of his aggression toward her.He attacks even when I feed him.If he escapes his make shift pen,you better wait until dark to recapture him cause he will be waiting for you.Don't get fingers near the wire cage cause he will draw blood.My parents had Rhode Island reds.They have never seen this type of behavior from a roaster.I Should send him to fight ISIS.
Don King would run at me full speed, jump in the air, and peg the back of my legs nearly knocking me down on at least 10 occasions. Only once did he leave a mark and that was when I had shorts on. The thing is, I was bringing him in at night so I was still picking him up and carrying him most days. He never pecked at my face or tried to harm me. He is polish and you can see when his anxiety starts. His head starts popping around. Then I started pinning the feathers on his head back with painter's tape. That did help to calm him a bit. But then... he got his foot stuck in it one day trying to pull it off so I just gave him a shorter haircut. The attacks were always from the back and I usually either had food in my hand or I was carrying one of his favorite hens.
I did have some mean roosters when I first started. Those little white frizzled cochin BANTAMS.. little things. I was scared to go check on them. Sold one, but the other I worked with. They were mean when they were only a week old. New to all of this.. I didn't have any idea what to do with them.
This Roaster I call Roaster Cogburn,won't dare let you touch him.When he was a chick,he stood out from the rest in that he was timid.He is wild now.He too attacked from the rear the back of my legs.Then he changed tactics to frontal assault.He always waits to attack when your hands are full of food and supplies for him and the hens.He's a great looking bird which is why I still have him.This is my first chicken experience since wading through them as a kid.
When he runs at you, do you back off at all? I think someone on here talked about not side stepping or ducking. Keep going in the same path and make him move out of the way. I have sometimes turned to walk toward him until he moves way out of the way. But ya.. same thing.. he waits for that perfect moment. I was trying to keep my guard up all the time. Sneaky fellow. He did, though, try to attack that bengal cat that got in the yard. He's smart, which is one of the reasons why I keep him around. Today, he was so still when I gave him a shot of antibiotics. Didn't move a muscle. Total trust. He did crow at me in the face a few times after, but ya.. Don King.
Also, I had trouble catching him for the longest time. Nothing like seeing a middle aged woman running around the yard chasing chickens. I think some nights he would only sit still once both of us were too tired to move. I ended up building this little boxed in area in the corner of the yard. It was just a couple of buckets with a 3' by 4' plywood sitting on top. I would run him under there. If you have a tshirt or something that waves or makes a sound in one hand then you can scare him to run the other direction. Once under there, he would let me pick him up... once his full head was against the wall. It wasn't that he hates being held... he doesn't like the act of me bending down to pick him up. Now that I'm able to gently pick him up from the coop.. he's at the same level as me.. he just lets me pick him up most of the time. I have another rooster.. Hank.. a blue silkie. He hates it when I bend down to pick him up too. His system now is that when he knows it's his turn, he jumps up on a log or a bench so he is as tall as me. Then he just sits still until I pick him up. Anytime before that, he runs and runs and runs. He's a smarter runner though. He waits until I'm close and then just moves only as far as my fingertips. ((sorry, i had to stop typing for a second to bang my head on the desk)). It's so irritating, but I do laugh because it's almost comedic in nature. I call it our slow chicken chase.
They will most definitely create bare spots. My flock is finally molting away the damage from last fall's "love fest." The result was several bare backs, necks and wing joints as well as a rooster in a new home and a rooster in a pot.
Did your rooster grow up with your hens? Are there any older generations in the flock? I'm guessing they're all less than a year old. Keep an eye out for human aggression, that could start anytime while his hormones are raging and he's thinking no one can challenge him. Roosters will mature faster than the hens and try to mate them before they are ready if no mature hen is around. They also grow bigger and faster than the hens and will bully them into submission. Depending on your rooster to hen ratio, this can be quite traumatizing for the girls and even more so for you. Separating is a good start. With all the anecdotal stories on this site as well as my own experience, my recommendation would be re-home your rooster to a mature flock (more than 1 year old) and adopt a 2 or 3 year old rooster after all your hens are laying.
It seems like a lot of people assume that game breeds are the root of aggression, since they are bred for aggression. Nothing farther from the truth. Most of the old timers that raised games agreed that a rooster that attacked people was usually a coward. This trait was usually culled for immediately. Most rooster attacks are out of fear, or mental deficiencies in the rooster. The game breeds make some of the friendliest, non-aggressive pets that you could imagine, and can be very "gentlemanly" around hens. Modern production breeds are usually selected for color and conformation more than anything, and roosters are chosen long before they would be old enough to turn bad, all their brothers have long been in the freezer, so they are stuck as the main breeder. In contrast, the old game breeders had many males to choose from and usually didn't pick one to breed until it was two or three. Many of the oriental game breeders would spend considerable time with their roosters, bathing, hand feeding and exercising. Any bird with man fighting tendencies would most likely out himself under this scenario. Some production chickens could be horrible man fighters passing their genes freely, and because of how they are kept, no one will ever know. If they are not handled, have a bunch of hens, get some food poured in the feeder and not much human contact, as in breeding pens at a hatchery, most of the bad ones would never show themselves. Especially if they are rotated out before they hit two years old.
If someone wanted to raise chickens that didn't regularly turn out human aggressive roosters, there is a lot to be learned from some of the historical aspects of chicken keeping. This includes a hen selection. No point going through exhaustive vetting practices on your roosters if you are going to put them in a pen full of hens that half of them might be siring human aggressive roosters.