Bad Mr. Roo is pecking at me every day!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by LestersFlat, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. LestersFlat

    LestersFlat Songster 7 Years

    May 17, 2011
    Schuyler Lake NY
    We added a young rooster to our seven-hen flock several months ago. He was about a month younger than the girls, and they picked on him non-stop. Just in the past 2 months or so, he has worked his way up in the pecking order. He is now much larger than my large hens, and clumsily starting to have his way with them. I posted on here before because he was so clumsy that he injured one of my hens.

    Just in the past week or so he has started pecking at me every time I come in the coop to check on food and water. The first few times were quick little pokes, which I scolded him for, but lately he has gotten more brazen and started poking hard at my legs or ankles. Yesterday he jumped up and kicked my ankle with both feet (I thinkĀ—I couldn't really see as he snuck up behind me).

    Is there any way to train him to calm down? I took a snow brush in yesterday to fend him off, and I think just the sight of it kept him away, but I don't think that will last.

    I seriously thought about sending him to the auction when he injured my hen, but they all seem to have calmed down and are getting along. The girls don't pick on him anymore, they just kind of accept him.

    I know how to train a dog, and even a cat, but am clueless about how to work with a roo!

  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Well, You might need to show him who's boss. Carry something in there with you that you can whack him with. I use a rolled up magazine that I taped with duct tape so it stays rolled up. I've had a few roosters who have done that, and I just go right after them and whack them with the newspaper until they show they're backing down. It might take you a few times.....

    Some never do learn though, and then they become soup!
  3. CarolJ

    CarolJ Dogwood Trace Farm

    Jun 3, 2011
    Middle Tennessee
    Quote:X2. Show him that you're at the top of the pecking order and intend to stay there.
  4. Clay Mudd

    Clay Mudd Songster

    Mar 28, 2011
    South MS swamps

  5. LestersFlat

    LestersFlat Songster 7 Years

    May 17, 2011
    Schuyler Lake NY
    Quote:I am trying to be patient, because this is my first time having chickens, but Coq au Vin is sounding pretty yummy on this chilly day! Watch out Mr. Roo!

    I'll keep coming in armed with my snow brush until I see him back down. If he doesn't, I have a cast iron kettle plenty big for some French cooking.

    Thanks, folks.

    This photo is from before he got so fresh, but he's still looking a bit guilty to me! If he weren't so darn handsome, he would have been soup already.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2011
  6. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Crowing

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    If he bit me, I'd bite him back. In some chicken and dumplings or a shredded chicken taco.
  7. Chooker

    Chooker Hatching

    Dec 13, 2011
    There's hope!! While I haven't had much experience with roosters, I HAVE had one put the sneak on me and draw blood before I was saved by a Jack Russell. Roosters that haven't been taught manners are doomed - especially if children are part of the scene. I have it on good authority by a breeder in Central Oregon - who currently has over 15 WELL-mannered roosters - that they ARE teachable.

    Her advice is to establish yourself as the alpha Rooster. The LAST thing you ever want to do is fight back or meet a rooster's aggression with your own - smacks, whacks, kicks - this only provokes more aggression - even if delayed to a later date.

    Instead, you have to play a head-game: at the first inkling of a challenge (or signs of sneakiness), reach down and capture both legs in your hand. Flip the bird upside down and walk around with it for several minutes - doing your chores...or smelling the flowers. This is terribly undignified for Mr. Roo, blood rushing to his head and all, but he will eventually submit to your superiority. Lay him quietly on the ground and walk away. The smarter roosters don't have to get flipped very often before they quietly and respectfully accept the rank of Second-in-Command-When-Humans-Are-Present.

    Hope that works for you!

  8. ChickenLittle74

    ChickenLittle74 In the Brooder

    Jun 25, 2011
    Quote:I've done this... and it works. My Roo, Wilford Brimley, likes (tolerates) me but hates my fiance. He'll let me pick him up, and I make it a practice to tuck him under my arm and do a few chores. It's all about the dominance thing!!!
  9. mistymeadowchicks

    mistymeadowchicks Chirping

    Nov 19, 2010
    I have two roosters that at various stages in their lives decided to flog & spur me. A couple friends, who have had chickens for decades, suggested a spray bottle w/ water. If either of these roosters showed any sign of a possible challenge, they got numerous squirts in the face/ head. The younger (dumber) one I actually chased around the yard for about 5 minutes spraying. I carried & used the bottle 2 - 3 days while doing chores, haven't needed it in months. I can walk within inches of either roo now & they lower their heads & peck the ground (which I assume is a sign of submission). I do agree you need to establish your dominance; the only concern I have with grabbing them by the legs is that won't be easy while being assaulted & might subject you to a peck in the face.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by