BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance › newbie with rooster issues, and questions
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

newbie with rooster issues, and questions

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hey all! First, since this is my initial post, let me tell you a bit about us. We live in Austin, TX and got 6 2 day old chicks in October. It's now almost April and we are still just getting 2-3 eggs per day. Oh, we got 2 each of 3 breeds: 2 Plymouth bar rocks, 2 Astroloropes, and 2 Easter eggers.

OK, first problem is with one of the Astrolorpe "hens" that is now a HUGE, very loud and vocal rooster: Festus. He's always been fairly friendly and easy to deal with, even after we discovered he was not a hen but in fact a rooster.

I've been trying to do occasional pest checks on the hens, without much problem, except that no one involved likes it! About 3 weeks ago, I was in the run and sat on the stoop, attempting to check the female Astrolorpe. Suddenly, the rooster came at me, talons first with a wing spread out at least 3 feet. He caught me off guard, but I managed to shove him back with my right arm while I held the female in my left. She was calm, but he came back 2 more times. I quickly rapped up my inspection, let her go and began to 'chase' Festus around the run. He ran, of course, he's a chicken, and I had no more problems until today. We've had drizzly type rain for the past 2 days. I normally go out there daily at leasts 2 times, spending time with them, either in the run or sitting outside of it, talking with them.

Today, after giving them some broccoli stems, I was throwing some scratch around when Festus, who was following me, pecked me on the back on my leg. Again, surprised, I just threw the small amount of remaining scratch at him, yelling.

Is this going to be an on-going issue in which I need to cull him, or can we somehow work together? He regularly threatens my husband, but he doesn't spend much time with the chickens. 

I would like to keep Festus--he is beautiful, regal!-- but do not want to feel afraid every time I go into the run. Any ideas or help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

LMVB

post #2 of 7

Welcome to BYC.  It is his instinct to protect his hens, but he has to know that you are the boss.  If he comes at you , grab him and firmly force him to the ground.  If he is too large to handle, try scooping him up in a short handled fish net.   It is all about subordinating him.  Chasing works, but hitting or kicking at only seems to feed the desire to flog.  If you can assure him that you are BOSS, you may be able to peacefully coexist, but don't trust him.  Good luck.

Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
Reply
Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
Reply
post #3 of 7
Some people on this site have had luck squirting water right square in their rooster's face. Use a squirt bottle that can shoot a stream a good 6 feet. They are confused by the water!
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

This rooster is HUGE...he comes up well over my knees. Well, I am a wee short: 5'3". But he is not only tall but thick. I'm not sure I could subdue him. IF I can, what do I do once I get him down on the ground? I can't inspect the hens anymore. The hens are sweet, friendly and readily come up to me. Even turd head will eat out of my hand, but if one of the hens get too close, he starts making this warning sound, and doing a little sideways dance towards me. After the initial attack, when he'd do that, I'd just look at him and say in a calm voice, "Festus, what are you doing?" and he'd just amble away like nothing occurred. I thought I'd made my stance after the first encounter, but today he was sneaking up behind me! Thanks for your advice. This is the approach I'd like to take-establish my dominance- but he's pretty formidable. He may be chicken and dumplings! Tho I say that now, I doubt I could actually kill him myself. I don't even know how to go about that! Thanks again!

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Doesn't the water make them even madder? And practically, both my hands are usually full or doing something. It does seem like a viable approach, it works for cats, but wonder if I wouldn't just irritate him more? Thanks so much for responding!

post #6 of 7
He will be focused on you, not the water bottle. The stream of water will shock/startle him. He will forget about attacking you. Meanwhile, you blast him 3 or 4 more times. Carry the bottle for a few days, after blasting him any time he invaded your space, he will stay away.
post #7 of 7

When my rooster started to get a bit aggressive I would use the hose.  Every time he even came near me he got a shot of water.  Did that for a week.  After that he behaved.  Fast forward to this spring.  The house sitter says the rooster's hormones are racing with the warmer weather.  So, in 2 weeks when I get home I'll start with the hose if it's warm enough to have a hose hooked up or get a squirt gun.  He learns to behave or he's history.  I can not be bothered with a rooster if I have to keep my eye on him the whole time I'm outside. 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance › newbie with rooster issues, and questions