Can a rooster that has turned mean be redeemed?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by HHandbasket, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. HHandbasket

    HHandbasket The Chickeneer

    We have this gorgeous mottled java rooster that has been a great flock protector, great alarm clock, and is just real pretty eye candy. He's very sweet to his hens. But lately, he has become aggressive with me in particular, and I cannot go into the yard wearing shorts or a skirt because he attacks my lilly white legs... I laughed that he must feel threatened by my ghostly-white flabbishness, because he doesn't come after me or posture at me if I am in the yard in jeans. However, this time of year, I wear shorts and skirts... unless we have another cold snap, you won't see me in a pair of jeans again for at least several months.

    At any rate, he has started becoming mean and attacking the bantams. He still doesn't mess with the large hens or any of the chickens his own size, but he has in the last 10 days attacked Roy, our splash bantam cochin roo, all 4 of our silkies, both of our porcelain d'uccles. This morning, I caught him with my little white silkie in his beak and tossing her across the yard! I ran out to stop him, and he postured at me and came after me, but I surprised him with a surprise taste of the sole of my shoe. Half an hour later, he attacked Carl's Jr., our 2-month-old EE/Delaware cross baby cockerel and broke his neck. We had to take our poor Carl's Jr. out back and put him down.

    Up until now, we have REALLY loved Rico. I mean, he's been so sweet before all this. And he's still good to "his hens"... just mean to the banties and the youngsters. They have all lived together happily until now, but some of the banty cockerels are starting to want to crow & I think Rico's gigantic self feels threatened by them somehow??

    We put him in a really small coop/run by himself. He's a huge roo, is about 8 months old and easily weighs a good 8 to 10 pounds, if not more. The coop he's in is really made for much smaller fowl & we usually use it for a grow-out pen until they are "tweenagers" for a while.

    If we sequester him for a few days, do you think he'll chill out? He seems very contrite and is doing his "I'm sorry" dance whenever I come out near the coop where he is now. He bows his head and pecks at the ground and coos softly, the way he does when he is being sweet. If there's a way to make him stop this, I would prefer that. Otherwise, I do believe Farmer Lew and I will be making chicken enchiladas out of him in the near future.

    This is our first experience with a bad rooster & not quite sure what to do. Any advice, other than making soup out of him?? (We have no problem doing that if it comes down to it, but I want to try everything possible before it comes to that.)
  2. emptynester

    emptynester Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2011
    Beaufort, SC
    Aside from enchiladas, you could always give him and his ladies their own pen. However, since he is now challenging you, chances are he will continue to do so and would be better off in freezer camp [​IMG]
  3. SunnyCalifornia

    SunnyCalifornia Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2010
    Escondido CA
    No NO NO!! Read this first!! Rooster Reform by BYC member "gritsar"
  4. HHandbasket

    HHandbasket The Chickeneer

    I have thought about at least putting the bantams in a pen by themselves. That would be easier, as my large fowl are also my laying flock & they completely free range our entire section of the property (we rent a mother-in-law quarters and large yadr on acreage in the Sierras). I want my large fowl to free range.

    The plan right now is to send Rico to freezer camp, but while Farmer Lew is taking an afternoon nap, I'm trying to hatch out some kind of backup plan to save a rooster I've really loved up until now.

    All in all, I may end up loving him more with sour cream and molè sauce.
  5. ThePolishPrincess

    ThePolishPrincess Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have raised an owned a LOT of roosters, though for only 4 years. But I can honestly say that I have never been able to successfully reform any of my boys. If I could not handle them and felt they were not doing anything for me, they left. If they had qualities about them that I could not part with, they stayed. I learned to use fast reflexes, and make sure I always leave right after getting the last laugh.

    That being said, my Penciled Rock boy is in charge of my layer flock and he is an absoulte LOVE. [​IMG] My Silkie, on the other hand, is a beast. But he has proven that his only motive is to protect his hens. That is something I need and treasure, so for his services, I trade my respect. If I need him out of the way for something, I just remove him and put him back when I'm done. I admit I am a soft-hearted individual, and never enjoy getting rid of birds. I go the distance and do everything in my power to try and change behavior before I make that final decision.

    Good luck.
  6. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    We've had several (different breeds) through the years that just had to be culled because they were mean as the devil. I have a small child to take into consideration and she wasn't big enough to kick the mess out them so off they went. Good luck you better get the stove ready.
  7. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
  8. wsmoak

    wsmoak Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:My Buff Orpington roo is generally fine with me, but has started challenging DH. He gets a pass for a week or so, however... I heard the Rooster Alarm and went out to find him facing down a coyote! He was a little twitchy after that and even pecked *my* foot, which he has never done before.

    So... I'll put up with a little attitude because he takes such good care of the hens, but I'd draw the line at hurting any of the other animals.

  9. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    Reforming a rooster is probably possible but I wouldn't reform this guy simply because he broke that chick's neck. But that's me I guess.


    Jun 16, 2011
    Sorry But Mean Is Mean. The Older He Gets The Worse He'll Get. In Most Cases. Take The Water Hose Water To Him If That Dont Work ....well Theres Always Mgf
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by