Any reforming a rooster that acts like a jerk?

sarak

Chirping
6 Years
Nov 7, 2013
16
5
67
Northern Wisconsin
I have a 4 month old Barnevelder rooster. For several weeks he has been rather aggressive with our hens (mating) but I haven't been too concerned since this is rather natural and there are 14 hens and only the one rooster so he doesn't pick on any one too much. The problem is that in the last week he has started stalking and attacking me and my toddler son for no reason. He will come at us from across the yard with no provocation. Is there any hopes he will mellow out as he matures or that we can win him over with treats? Worth noting, the behavior escalated following 3 hens being taken by a bobcat. Perhaps he will relax once he realizes that is not an imminent threat anymore? Or is it hopeless and I need to get rid of him?
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
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Beekissed has some awesome advice on roosters, my knee jerk response to an aggressive rooster is stew pot or freezer camp but right now I am following some of htheir advice and dealing with a 5 month old that was headed that way and it seems to be helping

https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/beekisseds-rooster-speak.73664/reviews#review-25276
I think the toddler will have trouble trying to "act like a rooster" and is likely to end up potentially seriously injured in the process.
 

CalBickieMomma

Songster
Jul 27, 2019
791
1,504
246
San Luis Obispo County, CA
I have a 4 month old Barnevelder rooster. For several weeks he has been rather aggressive with our hens (mating) but I haven't been too concerned since this is rather natural and there are 14 hens and only the one rooster so he doesn't pick on any one too much. The problem is that in the last week he has started stalking and attacking me and my toddler son for no reason. He will come at us from across the yard with no provocation. Is there any hopes he will mellow out as he matures or that we can win him over with treats? Worth noting, the behavior escalated following 3 hens being taken by a bobcat. Perhaps he will relax once he realizes that is not an imminent threat anymore? Or is it hopeless and I need to get rid of him?

In all my years of chicken rearing, I’ve only ever had one rooster I couldn’t ‘tame down’ (where he would still peck violently while I was holding him). Before reforming him, try catching him first (this may require you to stand still and let him take a few attacks at your legs, then reach down and get a hold of him). I tried this method on a neighborhood rooster (Ameraucana/Easter Egger) who was terrorizing everyone because he was protecting his ‘hens’ (the neighborhood stray cats). I took a few hits from him but once I got a hold of him and picked him up, tucking him under my arm and even petting him, he refrained from attacking. After that, he’d run up to me as if to chase me away, but would draw up short when I didn’t run off. I just had to show him he didn’t intimidate me.

Several years back when I had my Rhode Island Red roo, he would come at me when I entered the coop, starting when he was about your roo’s age. The next day I went in and charged at him, picking him up and showing him he may be the boss of the coop, but he wasn’t the boss of me. I also made an effort to hold him more often (though he received plenty of attention from the day I got him). He turned out to be a good boy.

Some people will say this ruins the rooster or that you should just get rid of him. My method may not work for you, but if you’re willing to try handling him and petting him, it might show him you’re not a threat. It’s at least worth a try. If he doesn’t calm down after a while, maybe it’s time to re-home him. Good luck!
 

Mimi13

fuhgettaboutit
Premium Feather Member
Jan 6, 2018
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He is definitely seeing y’all as a predator now that his flock has been under attack. HOWEVER, with that being said, there is absolutely NO excuse I could come up with to tell you it’s worth a try to reform him because there isn’t one. An attack on you is one thing, but an attack on your toddler is another. No bird is worth keeping when they have shown you they are human aggressive. Yes, he’s young, but I’m of the school of thought that some things just don’t change.

Unfortunately, you need to cull him unless you want to keep him caged all the time, behind a lock. You cannot afford for him to attack your child.
 

Coykoi

Songster
Sep 6, 2016
159
384
152
My roo is almost 3 and has never calmed down. I tuck him under my arm to keep my legs safe while walking around, or lock him in the coop if I need to work in his yard. I agree with everyone else, a toddler changes everything. He needs to go before the child is hurt.
 

igorsMistress

Frank and Abbys mom.
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Apr 9, 2013
23,498
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I wouldn't get in the habit of carrying a stick around your rooster. The first time you don't carry it he will likely come after you. I wouldn't hit him either. It often can make the problem worse rather than better. Roosters fight.

I would suggest finding him a home and when you don't have little ones to be concerned about, try again later if you want a rooster. He's got hormones starting to rage and no clue about protecting anything at this age.

In my experience, hand feeding the hens and pullets and calling them to you for treats can be a huge problem if the roo sees you as competition for his girls, and that's very likely what he considers you and your little boy to be.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
23,274
38,605
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southern Michigan
There are polite cockerels and roosters, and human aggressive jerks, and any bird attacking a small child is instant chicken stew! This can't be fixed, especially for this child.
Eat him yourself, or send him off with full disclosure to someone who will, and lock him up until he's gone for safety's sake.
There are lovely roosters out there, and he's not one of them.
Next year, consider raising a few more chicks, and see if a polite cockerel comes in the group. Some breeds are more likely than others to be good with people, for example, Salmon Favorelles, and some of the game breeds.
Mary
 

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