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Aggressive rooster

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by morganrgoff, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. morganrgoff

    morganrgoff In the Brooder

    Mar 22, 2017
    Hi! We have three hens and a rooster and they free range at our horse barn. The rooster is SO aggressive and I've done some research in different ways to manage him by nothing seems to work. You can't chase him around because he doesn't run from you, he turns to fight you. You can spray him with water or swat him with a broom and he doesn't budge just comes back harder. I'm at loss with what to do we need him to protect the hens since they free range but I'm so tired of having to watch my back while I'm there doing chores. Any advise would be so appreciated.

  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    You don't need him to protect the hens. You need to eat him. Then, if you still want a rooster, get a nice one.
    2 people like this.
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Free Ranging Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.

    First of all, you don't NEED a rooster to protect your hens. He may be helpful, but a dominant hen is is just as capable of sounding an alarm as your rooster would be.

    If you choose to keep him, you have some options. You can keep on with things as they are. You can try the picking him up and carrying him around thing. You can put on some heavy clothes and let him keep attacking you until he realizes it won't do any good and gives up. Personally, I'd put him in the freezer and look for another one if you feel you NEED a rooster. Here is one method recommended by forum member Beekissed:

    "I'm going to give you a clue on "rooster speak"....holding him down doesn't mean anything to him. If you'll watch how roosters interact between dominant ones and subordinate ones, there is rarely any, if ever, holding a bird down for a long time when there is an altercation. There is very quick flogging, gripping by the back of the head and flinging him away or getting him down and giving some savage pecking to the back of the head or neck. No holding him down and nothing else. That's a rooster on a hen maneuver, not rooster on rooster.

    Because your rooster is attacking you, you are the subordinate in this picture. You are getting dominated by your bird simply because you are walking where a subordinate isn't supposed to be walking when a dominant is in the area. What you never see is a dominant rooster getting attacked by a subordinate rooster unless there is going to be a definite shift in power, at which time the sub will challenge the dom and win...or lose. So far you are losing and not even challenging.

    If you want to win this battle, you must go on the offensive, not the defensive. He who attacks first, and is still claiming the area when the other guy leaves it, is the winner. Some people never have to go on the offensive because their movements in the coop are so decisive that they move and act like a dominant and a 2 ft. rooster is smart enough to recognize a dominant attitude and behavior...which is likely why he's never attacked your husband. Most men move more decisively than do women and children and they rarely step around a bird, but walk through them.

    Carrying him around also doesn't mean anything to him...it just doesn't translate at all. His environment is that coop and run floor and that's where you need to speak to him, in a language he understands. Because they are quick on their feet and can evade you, you need a training tool like a long, limber, supple rod of some kind...cutting a nice switch from a shrub or tree that will lengthen your reach by 5 ft. really helps in this. Don't use a rake or broom because they are too clumsy and stiff and can put the hurts on the guy when you don't really mean to.

    When you enter your coop, walk with decisive movements and walk directly towards your rooster. Move him away from the feeder and the rest of the flock and keep a slow, determined pressure on him until he leaves the coop. The stick will help you guide him. Then...wait patiently while he gets his bird mind around what just happened. He will try to come back in the coop...let him. When he gets a good bit into that coop, take your switch and give him a good smack on the fluffy feathers under his tail if you can aim it well. If you cannot, just smack the floor near him very hard and fast until he hops and runs and keep at it until he leaves the coop once again. Repeat this process until he is too wary to come back in the coop.

    Feed your hens. When he tries to come to the feeder, you "attack" him with the switch...smack the wall by the pop door just as he tries to enter. If he makes it inside, pursue him with the stick either smacking the floor or tapping him on the back or the head until he leaves in a hurry. Make him stay outside while you sit there and enjoy watching your hens eat. Use the stick to keep him from the flock..just him. Don't worry about the hens running and getting excited when this is happening...they will get over it. This is for the future of your flock and your management of it.

    When the hens have had a good tucker....leave the coop and let him come back in. Go out later and walk through that flock and use your legs to scatter birds if they get in your way...top roosters do not step to one side for any other bird in the flock. You shouldn't either. Take your stick and startle him with a smack on the floor next to him when he is least expecting it...make that bird jump and RUN. Make him so nervous around you that he is always looking over his shoulder and trying to get out of your way. THAT'S how he needs to be from now on in your lives together. Forget about pets or cuddles...this is a language and behavior he understands. You can hand feed him and such later...right now you need to establish that when you move, he moves...away. When you turn your back, he doesn't move towards you...ever.

    Then test him...take your stick along, move around in the coop, bend over with your back turned to him, feed, water, etc....but keep one eye on that rooster. If he even makes one tiny step in your direction or in your "zone", go on the attack and run him clear on out of the coop. Then keep him out while everyone else is eating.

    THAT'S how a dominant rooster treats a subordinate. They don't let them crow, mate or even eat in their space. If the subordinate knows his place and watches over his shoulder a lot, he may get to come and eat while the other rooster is at the feeder...but he doesn't ever relax if he knows what is good for him. At any given time the dominant will run him off of that feed and he knows it, so he eats with one eye toward the door. If he feels the need to crow, it's not usually where the dom can reach him...maybe across the yard.

    If your rooster crows while you are there, move towards him and keep on the pressure until he stops. He doesn't get to crow while you are there. He can crow later...not while you are there.

    It all sounds time consuming but it really isn't...shouldn't take more than minutes for each lesson and you can learn a lot as you go along. And it can be fun if you venture into it with the right attitude....this is rooster training that really works if you do it correctly. This can work on strange roosters, multiple roosters and even old roosters...they can all learn. You rule the coop...now act like it. Carrying is for babies...you have a full grown rooster on your hands, not a baby."
  4. Kyanite

    Kyanite Loving Life!

    May 27, 2016
    SE Idaho
    I'll tell you this from my experience with our aggressive rooster. We did everything bobbi-j is describing and it would work for a day or two, but if you slack AT ALL, he will take over again. Eat him. We ate our aggressive rooster and the hens are SO MUCH CALMER for it. He was so hyper vigilant that he'd get them riled up at every little noise. He'd attack the pop-door on the coop when we opened or closed it. He'd attack us THROUGH the nest boxes flying feet first when we gathered eggs and often plowing over a hen to do it. He picked his favorite girls and over breed them while neglecting others (we had 13 hens, his affections we're sure resulted in the death of one and then his beheading the next day) and he was so preoccupied trying to dominate us, that he wasn't being a flock protector. His favorite hens had ripped combs, rubbed up backs, and no feathers on their neck and heads. He was a bad bad rooster.

    Think about this logically. Does the rooster need to protect the flock from you? No. Has anything you've done given him this impression? Not likely. Should the rooster be dominant above you? No. His constant attempts to dominate mean that he's not willing to accept his place, and any other aggressive animal that can't be retrained wouldn't be tolerated so why should he? As other's have said, a rooster isn't required to protect hens. Mine are doing just fine without theirs. They all ran for cover when the hawk came circling today and my outgoing curious Wyandotte gave chase to my recently adopted 10 month old kittens who are learning about chickens. Now that was funny!
    3 people like this.
  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Free Ranging Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Glad you ate him. Some of them just don't learn, and there is no reason to keep them around.
  6. Weehopper

    Weehopper Songster

    Feb 26, 2015
    Stew pot for this rooster.

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