Dealing With Roosters Roo Behavior

A guide to understanding and dealing with roosters and their behaviour
By rooster-red · Jan 11, 2012 · Updated Aug 1, 2012 · ·
  1. rooster-red
    Dealing with Roosters

    The purpose of this page is to help you help yourself when faced with an aggressive rooster problem and help you decide if you want to keep a rooster in your flock.
    First of all let's identify rooster behaviors. Knowing what motivates their behavior is key to understanding why they do certain things that we, as humans, might mistakenly take as just being mean.

    A rooster is born preprogrammed to do his rooster duties. At a certain age (around 4-6 months) he matures and his
    instincts take over, and their drive is very strong to do what nature has intended for them to do.

    (1) Protect the flock from all threats at all costs including fighting to the death. A threat to a rooster may be quite different than what we perceive as a threat. We need to understand and respect this instinct. A small child could be perceived as a threat in a rooster's eyes even if you and I know the child never intends to harm anything. By placing a child in this situation you are provoking the rooster to attack, and you would only have yourself to blame if something were to go wrong. I highly recommend that if you have small children you wish to let interact with your flock, lock the rooster away in a pen before the child /children are allowed to enter the area because if the rooster perceives them as a threat, the child might be attacked.
    Your kitten/puppy/cat/dog could also be perceived as a threat, and while some roosters are quite docile and will sit in your lap, please remember that being a cuddly lap baby is not in his programming, so don't expect it from him.
    Also don't expect him to get along with other roosters, that is also not in the programming. Very few roosters will get along without fighting and tearing each other up, even to the point of killing each other. I personally own 3 roosters, 2 of which get along together with very little fighting, while the other one would kill the other 2 given half a chance, therefore I have to separate him from the others.

    Given the choice between an aggressive rooster and a very docile lap baby rooster, I'll take the aggressive one every time to watch over my flock, because he is doing what roosters are made to do and will be the better protector for the flock. He just has to be taught that attacking humans is not acceptable.

    (2) To insure proliferation of the species by frequently mating with the hens to provide fertile eggs to be hatched out. This is self-explanatory. To insure that the hens are not overmated and possibly scratched or injured in the process, you'll want to provide enough hens. Generally, a ratio of 10 hens to 1 rooster is sufficient.

    (3) To provide a place in the flock for future generations by sacrificing himself if need be in protection of the flock.
    This is a continuation of #1, and is another reason why he would be motivated to fight to the death with any predator.

    Dealing with aggressive roosters

    One of the first things to ask yourself when faced with an aggressive rooster is "Am I overly afraid of my rooster?"
    If the answer is yes, go no further, rehome your rooster. If you are not overly afraid of roosters, and don't mind giving your rooster a chance by spending a little time with him, then the following may help you achieve your goal of modifying his behavior to a level you both can live with.

    First of all, roosters have a kind of pecking order. The dominant or king or head rooster is referred to as the Alpha.
    When a rooster acts aggressively toward you, he thinks of you as either a predator or an underling rooster.
    This is the behavior you want to modify, to establish you as the Alpha.
    To modify behavior you must be consistent each and every time he shows the slightest bit of aggression towards you or any human.

    There are 3 ways to deal with an aggressive rooster that I personally know for a fact work:
    If you are concerned about being scratched, prepare by wearing long sleeves and gloves.

    (1) At the first sign of aggression grab your rooster up and hold him no matter how much he kicks, screams and protests. DO NOT PUT HIM DOWN! Walk around with him, do chores while holding him or whatever, let him calm down and stay that way for 15-30 minutes until he has settled. Then at your discretion you can put him down. If he kicks, screams or squawks while you are releasing him, pick him up and repeat this cycle until he submits to you, and will walk off peacefully when you let him down. Do this every time he shows aggression, repeat as needed. If after 3 weeks of doing this every day his behavior is still the same, proceed to the next level.

    (2) At the first sign of aggression grab your rooster up, hold him upside down by the legs, and let him flap, scream or whatever until he just hangs there without moving, showing his submission to you. After he submits, let him go and repeat as necessary.
    WARNING: This procedure is dangerous to the rooster as his lungs are located close to his backbone and can collapse, causing suffocation. If he has food in his mouth when you turn him upside down, he can choke.
    This procedure should be used as a last resort before culling or rehoming.

    Some will tell you not to let a rooster mate while in your presence, but I can only tell you from my experience that interrupting mating seems to have no effect in relation to aggression toward humans. I let mine mate at will and still hold that Alpha position in their eyes.

    Sometimes a rooster will bite, usually when you pick up a hen who squawks, sometimes unprovoked. I deal with this simply by grabbing him up and grabbing his beak and holding it for several seconds. A couple of times doing this will usually convince him not to do it again. A refresher course may be needed now and again.

    Now go out and take your place as Alpha Roo, and enjoy your chickens.

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Recent User Reviews

  1. Trevorusn
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Aug 19, 2019
    IMO, a very much needed article to show another way to handle a "problem" rooster besides eating or rehoming him. A nice, short, to the point article with good info.
  2. Allie❤️Chickens
    "Wonderful advice!"
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Feb 7, 2019
    My mother is scared to death of my roos and when she helps take care of them they take advantage of that fear. This is going to help our problem so much
  3. Chickens are cool
    "Found this so helpful"
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Jan 7, 2019


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  1. chickenlady25XD
    I had a rooster that would chase me and my siblings, Why is that? (P.S He is died now we killed him we were to mad at him for chasing us!)
  2. petspoiler
    I shot mine with water. I guess I did wrong... o.o
      cpchampion and chickenlady25XD like this.
  3. Barry42001
    Had a speckled Sussex rooster that was such a moron and treated everybody so poorly that when the Black Austrolorp roo got of age he beat this rooster up so badly that the rooster had to perch up in the corner farthest away from everybody including the food he wasn't even allowed to eat so we took them out so that he can live. He wasn't happy being fed separately he wanted the food that everybody inside the enclosure had not what we put out for him. One day I was walking into the shed to get feed for the hens he ran up alongside of me looking to see what I might be carrying when he realized it was nothing he ran up from behind and it from behind and spurred me in the back of the leg. There was no flaring of the feathers nothing like that he just ran up from behind and spurred me. When I turn the look at him he still didn't clear his feathers out and puffed out his chest so I dropped kicked him over the fence and he ran around the yard for a while staying away from me I figured the lesson was learned. Nope 2 days later he spurred me again so of course I drop kick him again and you weren't squawking and was okay for 3 or 4 days and then he started chasing my lady around well she didn't take kindly to that and she smacked him with a lunch pail chase them around the yard for a while he seemed to straighten up again for another 2 or 3 days and then he spurred her in the back of her legs as she was going into the house shortly thereafter he became skillet therapy prior to that when he was small we used to hold him bring them into the house sitting on our lap he seemed totally cool then the testosterone kicked in and he lost his mind
  4. Barry42001
    Had a speckled Sussex rooster that was such a moron and treated everybody so poorly that when the Black Austrolorp roo got of age he beat this rooster up so badly that the rooster had to perch up in the corner farthest away from everybody including the food he wasn't even allowed to eat so we took them out so that he can live. He wasn't happy being fed separately he wanted the food that everybody inside the enclosure had not what we put out for him. One day I was walking into the shed to get feed for the hens he ran up alongside of me looking to see what I might be carrying when he realized it was nothing he ran up from behind and it from behind and spurred me in the back of the leg. There was no flaring of the feathers nothing like that he just ran up from behind and spurred me. When I turn the look at him he still didn't clear his feathers out and puffed out his chest so I dropped kicked him over the fence and he ran around the yard for a while staying away from me I figured the lesson was learned. Nope 2 days later he spurred me again so of course I drop kick him again and you weren't squawking and was okay for 3 or 4 days and then he started chasing my lady around well she didn't take kindly to that and she smacked him with a lunch pail chase them around the yard for a while he seemed to straighten up again for another 2 or 3 days and then he spurred her in the back of her legs as she was going into the house shortly thereafter he became skillet therapy prior to that when he was small we used to hold him bring them into the house sitting on our lap he seemed totally cool then the testosterone kicked in and he lost his mind
      chickenlady25XD likes this.
  5. Barry42001
    What are the rooster that as you're walking past them runs up from behind and Spurs in the back of the leg with no flare up no particular warning just decided that this would be a good thing to do
      chickenlady25XD likes this.
  6. ElenaB
    I have a young rooster who is not aggressive to me and appears to be in good manner with the hens! (All 3 months old) but in the morning it was noticed that one hens eye was closed and swollen along with her neck looking pecked/bitten...I have a black silver sex link that has been aggressive towards the other young hens...could this be from her or the rooster?!
      chickenlady25XD likes this.
  7. libbie
    Looking for advice...
    Point number 1 in the article states:
    “A small child could be perceived as a threat in a rooster's eyes even if you and I know the child never intends to harm anything. By placing a child in this situation you are provoking the rooster to attack, and you would only have yourself to blame if something were to go wrong.”
    I have two young children ages 5 and 8. My flock free ranges all day and my children play in the yard not far from the coop. What’s stated above makes me feel like a rooster just isn’t a good idea until the kids get a little bigger. I hatched a bunch of Cream Legbar chicks this year and am considering keeping one of the cockerels for breeding. Keeping him confined to a 2nd coop/run won’t work since I don’t have one and my husband won’t be happy about another coop. I had a mean rooster attack me in the past so am aware of making them get out of my way when I walk through and picking them up while young, but a threat to my kids just isn’t worth it.

    He is a nervous cockerel about 10 weeks old. I’ve attributed that to his breed, but am wondering if it’s a sign he could become aggressive. Is there a way to tell what kind of rooster he’ll be before waiting to see if he becomes aggressive?
      chickenlady25XD likes this.
  8. James54
    I make it a point to pick up my roo regularly. I make sure feet and and wings are tucked in. I will hold him for several minutes stroking his comb and wattles and talking to him. This shows him that he can be overpowered but that i am not a threat. It seems to work
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  9. SA&P
    As I’m very new to chickens I think I need a bit of reassurance that it’s ok (or not) to keep a cockerel with my two hens.
    They are Silkies and hatched on 28th June last year. Out of the seven hatched, five were roosters so I gave four of them back to the ‘egg donor’ last week.
    Reading up a little on their behaviour and my remaining cockerel is not really bullying his’s just that he hogs the mealworms I put out in the morning.
    They are free range chickens but as it’s winter and need a bit of meat, and not any bugs around, I read that a few mealworms would help.
    Isn’t the cockerel supposed to ‘provide’ for his girls? He actually stands up to them until they back away. Is he a bully?
    Maybe a stupid question but I don’t want my hens stressed out.
    Is the ratio of hens to rooster off whack?
      chickenlady25XD likes this.
    1. petspoiler
      Silkies are really sweet and docile, so you may be ok. For a long time, I was also down to two hens and one roo, all Ameraucana/Barred Rock crosses. They seemed to get along fine. In fact, if anyone was bullying anyone, it was my larger hen bullying the roo. He tried to mate with her one day, and she turned around and socked the crap out of him!
      Roos are pigs. Mine wants to hog the food as well. You can put out your mealworms in two piles far apart. He can't defend two spots at once. :)
      chickenlady25XD likes this.
  10. allbuffs
    I have 14 hens to my 1 rooster. They are all 5 mo old. All of a sudden my rooster is crazy. I know it's because he's ready and the girls aren't. What can I do to keep him from chasing them and constantly trying to mount them. They try to hide but I have them in a large run with a coop and really can't hide too much. I separated them today for a few hours, what else can I do?
      chickenlady25XD likes this.
    1. Chullicken
      Well look at him as a teenager discovering girls for the first time. His hormones at this stage are overwhelming, obnoxious and can be completely irritating to us. However, a decent rooster will calm down quite noticeably as he ages a few more months to a level maturity plateau. Some go this route, some just turn into complete, hen bashing, people hating bastardy things. It's true, some roosters are just better than others. It really becomes your responsibility if you retain his services or not once he matures. A few signs of a 'bad for the flock' rooster is one that constantly crows, this is a sign he is more interested in his dominance than other things. Does he find and provide food for his girls and call to them or does he do the 'out for myself' routine? Does he follow and keep an eye on you when you're around the hens? Does he do most of his mating in the morning or does he constantly mount them? One or more of these signs doesn't necessarily mean he's not a good rooster, it's when they all seem to be his behavior which can be the decider. Almost like a point system, 3 point rooster doesn't make him bad. Nine points you may want to rethink his situation for the health of your flock. Hope some of this helped!
  11. kimthom66
    Is there a difference in Roo behavior of a young roo vs an older roo? Mine has tried to come after me a few times but other than those few times he is very nice? Is it because he is young and trying to establish he is boss and will grow out of it?
      chickenlady25XD and Chullicken like this.
    1. Chullicken
      Yes Kim there is. You have Cockerals and you have Roosters to start out with, the Cockeral referring to a non mature rooster. When you and hitting that teenage stage which is a few months old, they start to do their first crows (One of my favorite things about them), they get more aggressive with each other and start noticing hens exist. As they mature and become a 'rooster', the hormones start to balance out and a 'good' rooster should start to settle down and do the things we desire most. Some go that path, some just remain bastardy and some don't seem very guardian of the flock types. Six to seven months in you should notice a behavior change in short.
      chickenlady25XD likes this.
  12. TJordan
    Thanks so much for these tips... My 19 week old rooster has started biting... And with young children I need him to see ME as the boss....
      chickenlady25XD and ShellyLynnW like this.
  13. chart
    She sounds like a kick! I have a small Sicilian Buttercup that often takes his aggression out on me. I built a 'net' out of a metal hoop and part of an old trampoline net. I have caught him, carried him around, shoved him back with my foot, and trapped him under the net. Sometimes he'll leave me alone for a while, but he seems to need a heck of a lot of reminders! He is a nervous nit and is constantly trying to round up the hens. They act like he's not even there. The dude runs on nervous energy. I don't know how he keeps it up! I have tried to give him away and begged people I know to shoot him, to no avail! I don't have the guts. There have been times when I was so angry and couldn't catch him, that I would have shot him, But I live right on the edge of city limits and for sure I'd get reported! He's a year old. Is he too old to eat? I also have a giant sized Bar/Buff Cochin, 5 mos., non aggressive. Any takers around in the Prescott, Az. area? They are lookers. HaHa!
      chickenlady25XD likes this.
  14. BellChell123
    My grandma once got so fed up with a roo's behavior, that the next time he attacked her, she scooped him up, stuck him in his water dish, and used him to scrub it out. When she was done, she grabbed him by his legs, and threw him across the coop. That old roo never went near her again.
  15. Min27
    I got a bantam cochin roo for Christmas and I never had these issues. Granted, he's the only rooster in the flock, and he did bite me for the first few weeks when I tried to pick up his girls, but now he's a sweetheart. He doesn't bit me at all and actually lets me pick him up and cuddle him.

    Only problems I'm having now is him fighting with other bigger chickens. I get worried he might get hurt when he takes on chickens twice his size. We have a flock of australorps that are kept in a separate run, and we let all the chickens out together in the afternoon. Recently he's decided he wants dominance over these chickens too.
      chickenlady25XD likes this.
    1. Chullicken
      You will constantly have this issue with him being so much smaller. Typically bantams and regular fowl are maintained in separate type situations as chickens of all makes and breeds will always go after something that is smaller than they are. I see it a lot, usually the top hen in the group will cut the bantam rooster down to size and put him in his 'place'. Good luck with everything!
      chickenlady25XD likes this.
  16. Phoenixxx
    My "pet" roo has taken to attacking me on occasion; not sure if he's just practicing using me because he doesn't want to upset the balance by fighting the head roo? Anyway, I just hold the feed pan in front and block his attacks on the days he does this while telling him "no, NOT ME!" Now, my neighbour that has only hens has suffered predators and his chickens are fully enclosed; mine are not, birds can get out and predators can get in 24/7. So, that being said, I think my roosters - even the pet one that attacks sometimes (another roo attacks as well, but his attack was towards my husband's new snowmobile, rofl!) are doing an excellent job protecting the flock. I don't have young children (my son is almost 19) but if I did, I would keep the roo and advise the children to be wary, perhaps tell them to carry a shield of sorts (baking tin, garbage lid) when they go near just in case. Btw, Greybeard, despite rare intermittent attacks, still allows me to pick him up and handle him at will. This is why I think he's just using me for practice, or maybe to show the ladies how manly he is
      chickenlady25XD and ShellyLynnW like this.
  17. Alm8807
    I have a Black Giant who was born last March so almost a year old. He is an awesome protector and overall fine to have around. About a month ago he started showing aggression towards me. He will throw himself into me. My chickens are free range, but during winter they aren't out as much and so it's been very difficult for me to do my chores and collect eggs now. I have to rush around him and either lock him outside of coop while I am doing chores or inside. I have 3 small children and am not sure what to do. I want to be able to relax when we are outside.... Do you think pinning him down will stop him from coming after my 4, 2, and soon to be 1 year old. He has yet to go after them because I keep a very close eye but I am always nervous. We have had roosters in the past (Rhode Island Reds) that were too aggressive and had to get rid of them. I would hate to get rid of him because he is truly a beautiful bird, but I will not risk my children being hurt. ....any advice would be greatly appreciated. !!!
  18. Phoenixxx
    Queenofkings: I haven't been a chicken owner for long and the few years I had them growing up we never had roo issues. BUT what I do know for sure is that they all have different personalities and, in many ways, are like raising human children (an area that I'm VERY experienced in!). Just like kids, chickens will respond differently to certain punishments depending on their personality. I'm guessing, from what you wrote, that you have the insolent, cocky personality in your roos, meaning they took your yelling and smacking as a challenge and are now challenging you back. Obviously this isn't the solution for your boys so try killing them with sweetness Make "friends" by offering treats, and try to get them to come to you and take them from your hand after a while. My first roo (since having my own flock now) was not a people person AT ALL, especially since the day I got him he had to endure a lengthy chase and tackle by me when I got him, followed by a lengthy chase and tackle by my hubby when I got him home. He always kept his distance and attacked my husband once; now, my hubby tortured him on a regular basis by grabbing up a hen periodically and saying, "whatcha gonna do, huh?" so that attack was definitely called for, lol! But I insisted on petting him each night in the coop and he nipped me - not hard at all - only once (but he fussed and complained EVERY TIME!) Now I have new roos, BIG ones (I swear, they're the size of small turkeys!) that I've raised since chicks. Despite daily handling since 4 weeks, they still hate being picked up! You mention that picking up your boys isn't practical for you... What about doing so at night when they're roosting and you go to lock them up? Or in the morning while their faces are buried in feed and they're not paying attention? Try that, and hold them, scratch them, talk to them gently until their fussing stops (they'll be looking you in the eye when they're done) and gently put them back down again. Bread crusts are good to toss out for treats (tear small pieces off so everyone has a chance of getting some) along with other scraps. Good luck!
  19. QueenofKings
    Would you happen to have any advice for dealing with large roosters? I have Jersey Giants, and it's a bit of hassle to constantly try to pick them up. I have two roos currently, with only 4 pullets (can't add anymore since I have to renovate the coop and add more land space.) These roos are huge, and they are both fighters, I've taken to yelling back and giving them a smack on the side whenever the try to pick a fight but now they're teaming up on me and trying to take me out when I'm cleaning their coop!
      chickenlady25XD and Chullicken like this.
    1. Chullicken
      I have to say with your current set up, you may want to consider finding them both homes. As you know, your ratio is not even close to 'minimum' for rooster to hen. They will double mate your hens until your coop and run are nothing but feathers. Given chickens don't grow these back until they'll have a scary looking bunch to look at. BJG's are my favorite of all time and I love the roosters in my life, but I also have to realize (Quite a bit!) some situation are not good for my flock, or me. Can also try putting them in a bachelor pad since they grew up together.
      chickenlady25XD and ShellyLynnW like this.
  20. jstlitlome
    I didn't want a rooster, but I love my little silkie rooster, David Bowie, even if he hates me. lol

    He is a great rooster with the ladies, watches intently for predators, gathers them up when they are lost and makes sure they go in their coop.He also says please and thank you with his "duties" and they seem to like him. He will attack my legs if they start to follow me instead of him, but so far, its not more than a chest bump. His spurs are growing in so I will keep an eye out for him.

    I find that If I put him on his side on the ground and just hold him there, the ladies will go up to him and give him a couple of pecks. Very humiliating. That seems to put him in his place, at least for the day. :)

    Great article! Thank you!
    1. petspoiler
      A silke roo named David Bowie! Ha that is GOLD! XD
      chickenlady25XD likes this.
  21. MamaDoodle
    Thank you! I am so glad to see a post about dealing with an aggressive rooster. I have 3, two getting along and one who attacks us and the dogs. The others outrun my hens to escape everything, thus, they are not the ones in the backyard with my hens. I got roosters for flock protection, yet anytime I've mentioned my agressive one here, especially as I have a toddler, I've been told to rehome or cull him. Nope. I just try to keep him away from her and love his extremely protective nature. I seem to be making progress with him...nowadays, he follows me around the property, through gates, and from house to barn in the passenger seat of my car. When in the barn he sits on a stall door until I'm done with the horses and then goes back to the car with me. Of course, he still dances at me, but I'm working on that...
    1. Chullicken
      I'm curious, is he posturing at you or dropping his wing down and doing a little tap dance?
      chickenlady25XD and petspoiler like this.
    2. petspoiler
      Yeah, if he's dropping his wing and dancing around you, he thinks you're HAWT! ;D
  22. Phoenixxx
    I have 6 roos and I want to make chicken dinner out of the dominant because he's the biggest and also the most obnoxious. If I knock him off, will any of the lower ones step up to the plate? I do have predators here and I don't want to eat the dom if it means making the flock more vulnerable. Advice? Thanks!
      ShellyLynnW and Chullicken like this.
    1. Chullicken
      Sure will, they will battle for that position and it will work itself out fairly quickly. There is always an Alpha in a flock.
      ShellyLynnW likes this.
  23. jak2002003
    I must be lucky I have never had an aggressive rooster. I currently have 6 roosters and they all live together with the hens with not fighting. They just have a pecking order same as the hens. The crow and mate with the hens in front of me, they don't mind me picking them up. All then hens are in perfect feather condition and are not harassed by all the roosters. Only the top 2 roosters are allowed to mate with the hens normally. I think the breed of chicken has a lot to do with how aggressive they are. Perhaps that is something potential chicken owners need to think about before they choose their breed. Mine are Japanese Bantams.
      ShellyLynnW and Chullicken like this.
  24. packer fan
    This is very good advice. I've been doing this with my roos since they were young. I've had four roos at one time but had to thin the out so I rehomed two.
    The first was a RR that was very aggressive to other chickens and roos. He would stalk the White Crested Polish rooster to the point the Polish was deathly afraid and would hide under things, but the RR was never aggressive to any human even an 18 month old child. She would hand feed him.
    Then the other RR I gave away was the lost on roo's pecking order. He was a good roo but he need a good flock of his own so I rehomed him.
    The other two roos I still have. One is an Austrolorp and the other is the Polish (pictured). The Polish attacked me twice. The first time it was just a little flutter on the back of my leg and I wasn't even sure if he had attacked me. The second time I felt the attack on the back of my legs and out of instinct turned and kicked him (not hard) then chased him for a few minutes around the yard. My kids still pick him up but he is now so afraid of me that he doesn't come within arms reach. My Black Austrolorp enjoys being the alpha male of the flock. He has tried to do his dance with me but picking him up and holding him does work. Even my kids pick him up. I tolerate a little biting if they are just picking him up for fun but not if he is showing any signs of unprovoked aggression. Cores, with all my roos my children and I have handled them since chicks.
    I've never had to hold any of my roos upside down but then again I've never had to go past the first step.
    My roos each have their hens and they breed at will. I've even seen the two roos help each other breed a hen.
      ShellyLynnW likes this.
  25. Flock Leader
    Perhaps this is due to the fact that our roosters were hatched in an incubator and frequently handled by us when they were young, but we haven't had any problem whatsoever with them. As you said there's one leader and one who accepts the leader's authority and they get along. My little girls (5 and 3 years old) walk over to the roosters, pet them, pick them up, and generally handle them a lot. The more you handle them as chicks, and the more they are used to your presence, the smoother it will all flow. Once we got a rooster reared by somebody else and he was horrible, we had to re-home him very soon. So I firmly believe it has a lot to do with the roo's "upbringing". Raising him as a good (not necessarily tame) bird is easier and more effective than breaking negative behaviors later on.
      ShellyLynnW and Chullicken like this.
  26. chicken farmer
    Today my easter egger attacked me like always and his spur came off and hes bleeding now I was suprised cause I never heard of a spur coming off that easy,If you want to see the picture go to my thread ''My rooster attacked me and his spur came off''
      ShellyLynnW likes this.
  27. Brandi Leigh
    Recently had to replace an aggressive rooster. Hopefully his two replacements shape up better.
      ShellyLynnW likes this.
  28. TaraBellaBirds
    Glad to know we are doing it right! We have had some birds (hatchery RIR's and JGiants) that even these steps won't help. I do have a different idea that proposed in the article about young ones and roos though. My kids are not going to be afraid of our flock, if a roo continues to show aggression after "training" they they get rehomed to the freezer! Right now our flock has one adult roo, a gorgeous LBrahma, that is the perfect bird. He is protective of the girls but ignores my kids since his humiliating experience of becoming a "lovey" (he was subdued in my arms while the kids petted and adored him (he didn't find this as funny as we did))!!!
      ShellyLynnW likes this.
  29. miquwid
    My rooster isn't the nicest but that is fine by me I want him to do his duties as a male and nothing more, he is not a pet. I don't let small children near any of my birds as some of the hens can even be quite nasty towards people and will attack like a rooster. He can be quite aggressive but my girls are super happy laying me lots of eggs and he lets the babies lay on top of him is very gentle to my silkies and basically mended my broken flock and has made things much easier for my son and I to take care of everyone. So his aggression is actually a plus in our household. It's like a have a bodyguard/babysitter.
  30. Katt66
    I will agree if you've got a whole bunch of roosters to deal with it's kinda unrealistic to think you're going to be able to deal with them all in a slow working manner like picking them up and holding them, etc. You do need immediate results. And nothing is more immediate than putting them in their place they way they would do to each other. You can do it firmly and quickly without being unnecessarily cruel. Just thinking back on our own interactions with our one rooster though I realize we've been training him to be sub dominant from early on. We've always caught him and held him and messed with him whenever we felt like it. He also has a crossed beak so that requires weekly handling to keep him trimmed into shape. All of this gave him the message from the start that WE are the boss. He can have all the hens and anything he wants that we allow. But in the end WE all have the final say and outrank him, no questions asked and not open for discussion. It's not cruel, any more than training your dog to obey and acknowledge your place as pack leader. It's how you keep a healthy harmonious flock and a happy rooster.
      ShellyLynnW likes this.
  31. roostersandhens
    I have noticed that my roosters hate it when you are stressed! They will bite, peck or attack you if you approach them stressed. I have 2 3 month old roosters, and I am making sure every time I handle them I am super calm! So far it's working! Like the article!
      ShellyLynnW likes this.
    I think this would work. Tho only problem is that I cannot catch my Rooster,let alone hold him. Got any advice for that?
      ShellyLynnW likes this.
  33. outdoorsii
    I now have 2 full grown roos together in the same pen, its a big pen with 16 large fowl chickens total, 8 golden laced wyandottes, 2 yr old daddy roo, 10month old son rooster, the son obviously gives way to the daddy so usually no confrontations occur b/c younger one runs off & hides, but the son usually only jumps about 4 hens (the ones he grew up with) & Pinky, the daddy has like 10 to himself so he's happy. Pinky totally respects me now, I had to do the whole PICK HIM UP thing a few times & he was really tame from hatch & even then I still had to make him respect my authorita!! :p His son Joey hasn't ever tried anything w/me, he's a little more scared of me, so still submissive. Pinky respects me, but not my brother - he hates him - he growls at him and he half-azz kinda attacks his feet if my brother turns his back - its hilarious actually. I think my brother just likes making him growl, it is funny. He's my favorite big rooster. I also used to have 2 serama roos that grew up together, makes it SO much easier, they let each other mate and take turns and watch lol & everything, it was kinda freaky but it worked, but Ruger one of them died a while back, but I have another young roo in there and a growing 5 month old Salmon Faverolle roo so we'll see how that goes!

    I've also found a good way if u don't want to do the whole pickup thing is if he attacks you of pecks you, you instantly hold his head/neck/body down straight to the ground, like "face in the dirt" type of deal....that works VERY well, only takes a few times
      ShellyLynnW likes this.
  34. mendocinobirds
    Pecking at your pants bottom is not usually aggression, its curiousity and the forage instinct. My RIR hens all peck my shoes but are certainly not agressive and they also grab my pants bottom. Its in their range.
    I use a fishing net to catch the chickens, about 5 feet long. Roosters will test you but the smarter ones will learn not to, in my experience.
  35. katsdar
    I have tried this method of hugging my roo and it does work, he thinks about it then I stop look at him and ask him do you need a hug today? He walks off and leaves me alone. I had one that nothing would work he would sneak up on you and come out of no where just to bite me, he had to go.
      ShellyLynnW and Chullicken like this.
  36. chicknmania
    Well, we must be bucking the trend, because we have always had several roosters and they have always gotten along, we've never had them tear each other up, except one time, and that was one rooster vs one rooster. They have their pecking order, and they know it. They actually work together in a free range environment, we've seen them facing different directions while the hens forage in the middle. They also don't fight predators to the death...they will run. But they linger long enough to give the girls a chance to get away first. Most predators go after the hens anyway, not the roos. Although some predators don't care. We have had many, many, many roosters...but only one mean one. And that was a long time ago. We have re-homed 17 cockerels in the years we've had them, and can truthfully say that we have never had anyone complain to us that they got a mean one. Anyway, just saying. All roosters are different, it's totally possible to have multiple roos IF they are raised together from chicks, or if you hatch a cockerel chick into a flock that already has roosters. (you can't introduce a new adult one very well into a flock that already HAS a rooster, that's true, then they will fight hard). and I think it's possible to train or condition them to be compatible with anything, and each other.
  37. Tacampbell1973
    So Okay now that we are talking roosters I have a question about my three boys "mating dance". I think that is what it is. They point one wing at the ground and do a sideways shuffle dance all the way around a hen. It is absolutely hilarious to watch. But when I hear everyone else talk about their roosters they always say they "bow down and spread both their wings out". Are my boys just not getting the memo? Either way it is still funny to watch. BTW I don't know if it is breed specific, but they are Bantam Cochin.
      ShellyLynnW and Chullicken like this.
    1. Chullicken
      Mating dance is one wing down, head tilted and they do a completely amazing little tap dance shuffle. It doesn't last long, but I sure get a kick out of it. Lowering themselves with wings partially flattened is a 'I've had it, DO NOT come near me, I know my place' posture. Brooding hens are famous for it when other flock members get to close to the babies, its a submission position.
      ShellyLynnW likes this.
  38. chubbycat21
    I got a roo by mistake. he's cowardly and try's to act like he's in charge but the hens hate him. I want to get rid of him but I can't find anyone who would take him
  39. Banriona
    Thanks for the excellent article! This and the comments from CrystalChik have explained a lot about my newly acquired roo and what to do with him. He hasn't attacked, but now that I know what to look for - he's definitely trying to dominate. Glad I read this now rather than later on!
  40. chart
    My little Sicilian, The Mob Boss, will chase anyone for as long as they'll run. If someone kicks at him, well, he thinks it's time to spar. He's 6 mos. old, raised in the house until they were big enough (and I could handle the separation anxiety) to go out into the coop. They were 4 mos. old by then. I thought it would kill me. Two of the hens still head straight for the house when I open the coop. Is it possible for a hen to be housebroken? Little Sicily naps on the couch, watches TV and lays her eggs in her basket. I've even painted her toenails once! God forbid if Donald (The Girl; hideously beautiful Naked Neck that will beg for a pet from a total stranger) lays an egg in her basket. Sicily has a huge fit during the whole process. She then tries her best to throw the egg out. When that fails, she smashes it to pieces, then throws out all the straw. The only time she has ever pooped in the house was once when she got accidentally locked in. Getting back to the subject (just trying to paint the picture of some spoiled kids) , The Mob Boss has threatened me twice. I'm an over-bearing Wop myself and totally in love with my chickens. Well, I say kill 'em with kindness. Both times, I snatched him up and hugged him and kissed him until he was almost suicidal. Unfortunately, it worked all too well. He won't even eat out of my hand anymore. Or sleep in my lap! In fact, he stays as far away from me as he can get. I miss him, but at least he won't be going to Freezer Camp. To all you chicken lovers out there: You do the peckin'. On the cheek, that is!
    1. Kloskys Klucks
      LMAO funny!!
  41. colincrompton
    So what if he attacks me and i'm on a schedule? (I feed the birds in the morning, then I have to go to school) also what would be classified as an attack? i've been doing it when he runs up to me and kinda ruffles his feathers and flaps his wings, as well as actual fighting.
  42. mamawolfen68
    It was great to read everyone's comments! Our roo, uncreatively named "Roo" started showing agression at my 41/2 year old daughter tonight in response to her running around the chicken yard. I chased him off a couple of times. After reading these comments, I see several aggressive signs he's been showing lately :( I will watch for them and try the hold him to the ground technique. We did not raise him or the two hens that came with him but they were hand-fed. I have hopes that I won't have to whack him with a shovel.
  43. TheMoncktons
    That sounds cool about 'Fussie Gussie'. We have three roosters out of a batch of 4 eggs. 2 buff sussex and 1 light sussex. They are 7months old. One appears to be into the girls, none crow as of yet. We have found homes for the 2 buff and will keep the light one... for now. We have to keep an eye on them though as when we hand feed them all, they are quick to jump and grab whatever is offered first. This isn't too much of a problem except we have a 3yo. Mostly they keep at arms reach showing no aggression. Beautiful big boys!
  44. chart
    Funny. I wonder why people get aggravated by a rooster crowing. I taught my 'kitchen chicken', Gus to crow in response to me. "Fussie Gussie, sing me a song.." He always responded and came running to sit with me. I love to hear them anytime. In fact, I always answer. Was I a chicken in an earlier life?
      Kloskys Klucks and Chullicken like this.
    1. Chullicken
      Yes! And I don't know how you got out of the coop, but I informed the site admins! P.S. Think most of us would kill a soda to see a video of you dong that!
  45. roostersandhens
    Good facts!
      Chullicken likes this.
  46. ellend
    I was locked barefoot in a henhouse by a mischevious cousin as a child, and their EXTREMELY aggressive BANTAM (low on the pecking order of standard-sized roosters) came in and attacked. He hit my leg so hard it felt like a sledgehammer! I was about 13 then, am 58 now, and can still remember the entire incident clearly. PLEASE know that roosters will NOT recognize children, especially small ones, as "human" just because YOU know they are your species! Also, they don't care...they are enforcing their status, which is necessary for them to keep it, in the chicken world. KEEP CHILDREN SAFE!!! Rooster spurs can and do BLIND children. Use common sense, and don't let any young children be near roosters without protection. Once the kids are taller and scrappier, they can be taught and prepared for how to handle the situation. Someone I know had many roos--she always used the "carry and coo" method with hers, and no aggression. Her duck would nip at her heels, probably to try to herd her away from his mate, but in fact seemed to love being carried around by her. She was a joy to watch.
      GmaClucky likes this.
  47. Chickens R Us
    There are a lot of good ideas on here and I will try them all till I find one that works for me and my roo.
  48. Paulajon
    I have a year old EE Rooster who at around 9 months old started testing me and other people by running up to us flying up and biting us in the leg, because I am only 5 ft 3 trying to grab him or tote him around wouldn't work for me all though it works for some which is awesome. after my EE Ike attacked my 34 yr old daughter and drew blood on her leg and having a two yr old grandaughter on the premise he almost became stew. As the last resort I took a plastic snow shovel so I would have a shield and walked out into the yard as usual when Ike came at me I used the snow shovel that has a curve in it to kind of scoop him up and back and I did this all around the yard not hurting him at all but exhausting him and pushing him backwards untill he was so tired he couldn't come back at me and then walked off, I had my daughter do the same thing so far he is being a good boy and not going after any humans since may ,but I still will not take a chance of any small children around him as he is still a Roo.
  49. ChickChicken
    Hum? I'll have to try this with my limping rooster. He got bite by eather by the neighbors dog or mine (Which I doubt was mine. He's scare of the chickens) but runs Fast!!!
  50. Missa Chickabee
    Question: I hope someone has the answer for this.
    I have never been able to catch my Roo once he is out in the run.. When I would try to catch him in the coop he ends up loosing more and more BCM feathers as he seriously strives to get away from my grasp. So...the only way I have been able to get him is before he descends from the roost in the morning, early. I guess he is not expecting this and....he forgets every time. ??
    Anyway, then I walk him around the yard for about 15 minutes. I have done this almost every day for about 2 plus weeks. He usually falls asleep the minute I touch his chin or his neck. I keep having to wake him he'll remember I I'm
    a. being kind to him
    b. his authority
    But he still thinks I must be a rooster and still does the challenge dance (not the mating dance), raises his wings and crows at me eveytime I go out to the run, which is two or three times a day.
    I am wondering if it's normal for him to fall asleep like that (narcoleptic rooster?)
    He is not attacking me...and never has....but he just challenges me...when I am anywhere near his girls.
    He comes into the coop quietly when I am cleaning or whatever in there (it's a walk-in coop) and just looks at me and sort of coos like a hen. Looking for treats for the girls or himself. (He lets the girls eat first)
    I got him when he was 5 mos and he is now 7 months. His spurs are 3/4 inch buds. Thoughts anyone on this roo? He is quie big for my BO's and WL's who are abut 16 to 17 weeks old.
      Chullicken likes this.
    1. Chullicken
      Ok, best time to catch a rooster/cockeral/pullet/hen is wait until they are roosting for the night. You can usually just walk up and grab prepared for death screams. Another way, much more intrusive is to use a giant fishing net. Does less damage to their feathers, I'd go with the rooster option first and foremost. Flapping and crowing when you are near is just him letting you know 'I'm here to lady....keep that in mind'. It expresses dominance, maybe just dominance within his little area. My rooster follows me every place I go inside my run and coop, watching me. That's what he is here for, to guard and protect. So he is doing amazing! That sleeping thing..I don't know. You should try it on the kids or loved one see if it works on them too!
      Kloskys Klucks likes this.

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