Aggressive Roo

honeynajar

Songster
May 19, 2011
157
6
134
Hello all.... I have a flock of 19 which include 3 roo's - 1 Americana and 2 Frizzle. All the crew were purchased around the same time and grew up together. Everything has been just fine and dandy until recently when the small black frizzle roo decided he didn't like me. At first I thought it was my red pajama pants because that seemed to set him off. He would jump at me and I would be able to shush him off. This morning that was NOT the case. I took them some treats and left them out of the coop and this roo decided I didn't need in the run any more. He charged me repeatedly trying to spur me. I didn't have red on this morning and he was extremely aggressive. I've never done anything too him. My crew are my pets. I had to return to the run to put more water out and he was waiting for me. I had to back into the coop and shut the doors because he was rushing me. WTH. Any thoughts??? I've NEVER had any issues with aggressive roos so this is a new one for me. The other 2 roos I can pick up. He's always been a bit standoffish so I've left him be. TIA
 

FortCluck

Hatch-a-Long Queen
Sep 9, 2019
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I would say at this point that he is going to continue this behavior and get worse. Male chickens are either amazing or not.

you can always get gloves on and make sure you have a sweatshirt jeans and everything... grab him and hold him. It basically embarrasses him in front of the flock and puts him in his place. Hold him for a long time and see if he calms down. Walk around with him and just show him you are the boss

if he continues this behavior, you can always isolate him for a few days away from the flock to change his status in the pecking order. Then re-introduce them after a few days.

If all else fails rehome him

It sounds like he is becoming hormonal (my roosters are breeding with my girls again it’s that time of year) and protective over the flock.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
28,048
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907
Southeast Louisiana
Out of curiosity how old are they? While you've obviously had chickens a while it sounds like they are juveniles, maybe going through puberty. That can cause changes in behavior as they mature. And it sounds like these may be isolated from the rest of your flock. Just trying to understand your situation though I don't think this will change what I have to say.

I have changed a cockerel's behavior like that when that behavior was directed toward me. But that did not change his behaviors toward my wife or other people. I considered him a risk to them, not me, and especially to children. I did not keep him for that reason.

You mention that your chickens are your pets. That may make it hard to let him go. So what are some of those options? You can try isolating him from the flock for a while (maybe a week) and then see what happens when you put him back with the flock. That can alter behaviors but you can't be sure in which ways. Some may not be exactly what you want but maybe it helps.

You are correct that certain items of clothing can sometimes cause them to attack. It doesn't have to be colors, it might be a skirt instead of pants, or maybe a different pair of shoes or boots. You could experiment with that. Not that I'd necessarily trust him with other people but it might let you know what the problem is.

Another option is to house him forever away from the flock, either by himself or in a bachelor pad. If there are no girls to protect he may change his behavior toward you. If he is a cockerel you might separate him until he matures. He may settle down when those hormones stop controlling him.

The only other option I see is to remove him from your flock permanently. For me that would be to eat him but since yours are pets that's probably not an option. So that means to sell him or give him away. Since he is human aggressive I'd disclose that, you would not want someone to get him as a pet for a kid. Once you let him go you have given up control. There is a reasonable chance he will be eaten by someone else, not you.
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
25,346
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Do you have dogs? If you've ever trained and disciplined a dog, you know that when a dog has definite boundaries established, they are happier and much calmer, but they need reinforcing occasionally with discipline.

The same goes for cockerels and roosters. Your cockerel, and I'm assuming he's just now coming into his hormones, is confused by the new awareness he's having of his relationship with you and the hens. So he's acting out. Now is the time to firmly set boundaries for him. But you need to be self confident and consistent. Your cockerel will pick up on any nervousness you feel.

The next time he flings himself at you, you need to catch him like a grounder hit to right field. Hold him on the ground with his head pinned between the ground and your hand. Don't let him loose until after he quits struggling. You can also carry him around like a football under your arm with his head facing backwards.

These disciplinary actions will usually work by humiliating the cockerel. He should make a point of avoiding you after this. He should also quickly remove himself from your path as your walk toward him. If he doesn't, walk right into him, forcing him to move.

After he's learned this new respect for you, ignore him. The only time you will pay any attention to him is if he needs discipline because he's forgotten his place or you need to examine him for health reasons.
 

Matilda Belle

Crowing
May 16, 2018
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I have an aggressive rooster as well (my first one). He spurs me and bites me if I touch his hens. As long as I respect his flock, he respects me. Unfortunately sometimes I have to handle the hens and he gets pretty irate. I try to handle him as much as I can but his behavior doesn’t seem to change. Some would send him to freezer camp but that’s out of the question for me. He is the most beautiful rooster ive ever seen and in my opinion worth keeping so long as he doesn’t seriously injure somebody. He is simply doing his job protecting the flock and needs to learn that I’m not a threat. I’m not sure that’ll ever happen but I hold out hope someday it will.
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
25,346
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I have an aggressive rooster as well (my first one). He spurs me and bites me if I touch his hens. As long as I respect his flock, he respects me. Unfortunately sometimes I have to handle the hens and he gets pretty irate. I try to handle him as much as I can but his behavior doesn’t seem to change. Some would send him to freezer camp but that’s out of the question for me. He is the most beautiful rooster ive ever seen and in my opinion worth keeping so long as he doesn’t seriously injure somebody. He is simply doing his job protecting the flock and needs to learn that I’m not a threat. I’m not sure that’ll ever happen but I hold out hope someday it will.
You could substitute abusive boyfriend for aggressive roo and your post would still read the same. He's so good looking, I'll just keep him around even though he's going to hurt me really bad one of these days.

It may not be you he hurts. Bad roosters are as dangerous as an aggressive dog and they can send you to the ER to get similar wounds stitched up.

You really need to face the decision to do something about him or get rid of him. It's only a matter of time and opportunity and there will be a serious injury.
 

sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 3, 2009
127,695
402,604
2,027
New Jersey
I have an aggressive rooster as well (my first one). He spurs me and bites me if I touch his hens. As long as I respect his flock, he respects me. Unfortunately sometimes I have to handle the hens and he gets pretty irate. I try to handle him as much as I can but his behavior doesn’t seem to change. Some would send him to freezer camp but that’s out of the question for me. He is the most beautiful rooster ive ever seen and in my opinion worth keeping so long as he doesn’t seriously injure somebody. He is simply doing his job protecting the flock and needs to learn that I’m not a threat. I’m not sure that’ll ever happen but I hold out hope someday it will.

If he's only aggressive when you handle his hens, why not handle them at night when birds are roosting? Simply take them from the roost in the dark and observe them in another area.
 
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Matilda Belle

Crowing
May 16, 2018
2,016
3,037
346
SE Minnesota
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You could substitute abusive boyfriend for aggressive roo and your post would still read the same. He's so good looking, I'll just keep him around even though he's going to hurt me really bad one of these days.

It may not be you he hurts. Bad roosters are as dangerous as an aggressive dog and they can send you to the ER to get similar wounds stitched up.

You really need to face the decision to do something about him or get rid of him. It's only a matter of time and opportunity and there will be a serious injury.

Thanks for your advice. I know what most people would do but I just can’t. If it gets any worse, my decision to keep him could change. I just have a soft spot for him. I don’t know anything about his history other than I’m his fourth home (first red flag). I purchased him back in March from a breeder in Florida who didn’t know much about him either since she got him from someone else (who got him from someone else). I really want to give him some time and work with him since I haven’t even had him for a year. The hens love him and he’s great with baby chicks. I just can’t give up on him quite yet.
 

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