Aggressive rooster

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Boneheadeb, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. Boneheadeb

    Boneheadeb Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 31, 2013
    Cedarhome, Washington
    I had 12 chickens - 10 hens and 2 roosters. They are almost 5 months old and a few of the hens have started laying, waiting for the rest to catch up. I am the person who feeds and cares for the chickens. They all run up to the fence when I approach (expecting and usually getting treats of some sort). I went into the yard the other day and the dominant rooster acted a bit aggressive toward me - pecking my feet (could have been my toe polish) and kind of jumping and fluffing his feathers at me. Last night I gave away the spare rooster and am hoping this aggressiveness may have been related to their personal competition. I plan to enter the chicken yard daily and just see if the remaining rooster settles down or if he needs some discipline. I have been told to pick him up, tuck him under my arm, and push his head down as a sign of dominance. I don't pick up or otherwise touch the chickens except on an as-needed basis, so none of them are humanized. I'd rather not go through rooster training unless I have to. The rooster is a good watch-dog, first in/out of the coop, herds the hens under the coop when eagles or hawks fly over, etc. I'm hoping his aggressive behavior will simply go away by my daily presence in his domain, coupled with treats. Any other ideas?

    The rooster is a Welsummer.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2013
  2. DavidKerk

    DavidKerk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You just need to make him view you as the dominant rooster. Whenever he comes at you aggressively, give him a nice kick. Don't yield to him but instead confidently right past him. Also, don't let him mate with the hens when you are around just swat him if he tries. These things should help. I hope you resolve your issue!
     
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  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I also don't handle my birds, so I'm with you on the not wanting to pick them up. I've never done that with my roosters and have only had 2 need to be culled for human aggression in 20 years chicken keeping.

    In the animal world, you're either dominant or submissive. A submissive animal always moves out of the way of a dominant animal, and does not approach the dominant one unless invited. Watch your flock or any two animals interact and you'll see this play out. So, every time you enter the yard, make that rooster move away from you. Start out walking very purposefully toward him and make him yield to you. He may challenge you and you may need to make contact with your foot. I hesitate to use the word kick, as you can easily use your foot to strongly push him away without really kicking him. But if you need to, trust me you're not going to hurt him. Do not let him approach you or eat treats for a while. Just chase him off. Walk strongly toward him, or stomp in his direction and yell, something like that. These are things an older rooster would do to a younger bird. Sometimes my older rooster just takes off and chases the young guns for no reason whatsoever, just to prove he can.

    Any sign of aggression toward you, as you described with the jumping and fluffing, IMMEDIATELY chase him away. Do not let him get close enough to peck you. Never acceptable to let them peck you, that means they think they're dominant to you. It will take vigilance on your part, but once he accepts you and gets over this horrible hormonal stage (up to 4 more months, sorry!) he may be quite the nice rooster. Plus, Welsummers are just so handsome, and I'm a sucker for rooster eye candy!
     
  4. Teperjesi

    Teperjesi New Egg

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    Same thing happens to me, my rooster tends to try and intimidate me, and he succeeds! I always have to be on the lookout for him I'm the enclosure, finally re homed him, not worth it.
     
  5. Boneheadeb

    Boneheadeb Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 31, 2013
    Cedarhome, Washington
    Thanks all. I will plan to (a) go into the yard daily, (b) wear shoes (I'm usually barefoot), and (b) act aggressively toward the rooster before he can do so to me. I'm hoping since he is young and recently had a male competitor, I can get this under control before it gets any worse. Crossing fingers. And, yes, he is a really pretty rooster - the other was a Russian Orloff and rather homely (to me, no offense intended to anyone who favors that breed).

    P.S. I interpreted the 'kick' advice as either a definitive boot-out or strong shove rather than a vicious wallop.

    P.P.S. Ol' Roto-Rooster is really feeling his oats. This morning when I let the chickens out and entered the yard to open their side window, he kept the hens inside while side-step stomping me. I yelled, threw my arms around, and stomped him back - we had a bit of a stand-off, but I was bare-legged and didn't fancy getting too close to him. Tomorrow it's canvas pants and boots.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2013
  6. Boneheadeb

    Boneheadeb Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 31, 2013
    Cedarhome, Washington
    This morning I went into the chicken yard with long pants and boots on. Roto again rushed me, but I loudly yelled at him, stomped my feet, and swept him aside with an old broom. He put up a bit of a tussle, then strutted away in a snit. I continued my chores (opening their side window, freshening water) then matter-of-factly turned and left the yard. He ignored me after our first confrontation. Hoping this was Lesson 1.
     
  7. DavidKerk

    DavidKerk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just keep on keepin' on and he'll get it! I hope he learns who's dominant soon!
     
  8. Boneheadeb

    Boneheadeb Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 31, 2013
    Cedarhome, Washington
    He seems to be coming around. He still eyeballs me through the fence rather fiercely, but when I go into the yard with my trusty broom, he high tails it to the far corner. Not sure if I'd trust him with my back turned, though. Ha ha.
     

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