I have a barred Plymouth rock cockerel (named Spike) who is 6 months old and who recently has become selectively aggressive. The first time he was aggressive with me was when I was giving my hens an inspection just to ensure they were all healthy and sound. I have a mixed flock and he didn't seem to care when I was handling the Buff Orpingtons, took a little interest when I was handling the Black Australorps and flogged me when I picked up one of the Barred Plymouth Rock girls. I didn't fault him too much for this behavior because I figured he was doing his cockerel job of protecting his pullets.
Fast forward a few days and he has taken to charging me when I'm doing various activities in the coop. Today he charged me as I was bringing food to the coop. I've noticed that he seems to only do it when my legs are bare or when I'm wearing my "summer crocs," the ubiquitous ones with the holes in them. I can easily wear pants and boots when doing my chicken-related chores but would rather wear clothing appropriate to the season.
My chickens are for eggs and are pets. I don't want a mean, ornery rooster but at the same time I'm not really keen on culling him. It's just me and my husband here so there are no kids to consider. I do most of the chicken caretaking though my husband only tends to them when I am away or otherwise unable.
In your expert opinions, can a cockerel really be trained out of this aggressive behavior? What is the best way to teach him I'm at the very top of the pecking order? I have tried carrying him around the yard and this seems to calm him down for the day, but it doesn't carry over to the following day. Will he potentially grow out of his aggressive tendencies? He is basically a chicken teenager... What's a girl to do?