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can chickens smell???

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by breezyreimers, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. breezyreimers

    breezyreimers Hatching

    Aug 14, 2013
    so I am a proud NEW chicken mom!!! 4 hens and 1 rooster, who is super handsome and fun to watch! HOWEVER, now that my girls are of laying age, he is becoming more aggressive to my small children and husband only. He never has approached me or my daughter in a mean way but has jumped at my husband and chased my son. So my question is can chickens smell testosterone??? Why does my rooster "attack" the other male members of my family???


    Mr MKK FARMS Crowing Premium Member

    Sep 27, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! Glad you joined us! [​IMG]
  3. write2caroline

    write2caroline Songster

    Jun 21, 2009


    I have had two aggressive roos. Get rid of your aggressive roosters. I have had 9 or so roosters all together and only two were aggressive. I don't know about smell but posturing for sure. You have to mentally project that you are the biggest meanest most dominant roo out there with an aggressive roo. Really they are not safe and will attack when they think they can. When your guard is down. I tried to rehabilitate my mean roosters. I tried the picking them up method and the stand your ground. I used to wear cowboy boots into the run so if I was attacked I could stand up to the attacks until they were too tired to continue. The one rooster I have who is aggressive has not attacked me in a very long time. I think I have convinced him I am the ALPHA roo but he nailed me good and he had spurs and I had an infected puncture wood that took forever to heal. Nasty. right on my ankle. He no longer attacks me or anyone else but I have to always know where he is so that he can't have another chance to attack. If I could catch him I would get rid of him. He now sleeps in a tree over the run.

    I have had wonderful sweet roosters too. I had a glorious Black Maran that actually would come say hello and let me pick him up. he was never once aggressive. I lost him recently but he was such a sweetie pie. There is just no great reason to keep a mean rooster when you can have just as good of one that is passive towards you or your family. I say look at some cucko vin recipes for your rooster.

  4. ChickenLittlez

    ChickenLittlez Hatching

    Aug 14, 2013
    First some questions:
    What kind of Rooster and hens do you have?
    Is your son very young?
    Does your husband interact with the chickens on a regular basis?

    Roosters will attack for MANY different reasons.

    For example: Bright yellow mud boots that happened to be around when something loud and scary may have startled them (like a falling shovel, coop door being slammed shut by the wind, scary bag of feed that fell over as you were filling a bucket etc...) so they may now associate the loud scary memory with the bright yellow boots that they saw. Thus causing them to have an aggressive, protecting attitude whenever you might wear yellow boots. This can happen for many different articles of clothing, a baggy sweatshirt, bright pajama bottoms, raincoats, scarves, etc...

    It may also depend on the body language you give off. Roosters may feel you are trying to hurt "their ladies" if you move a certain way. For example if you move too fast, and startle the hens he may react negatively to you. If it appears you might be stalking the hens, same thing. Even if you are just trying to catch a hen to hold, it may appear threatening. As always it helps to be very cognisant of what you are wearing and how you are interacting with your chickens. This will help you better understand why they may behave the way they do.

    It may be that he is just aggressive. Sometimes that just happens. :/
    We, as a whole, have been breeding for high laying ability in hens for MANY years, not really taking in consideration what might happen to the genetics of the roosters, and how it might affect their behavior. This is a very uneven way of breeding. By aiming for one trait you sometimes breed out other traits: like gentleness in males, or motherly instincts in females. Without even realizing, you may be creating a problem for yourself.

    A good book I recommend reading is Animals in Translation by Temple Grandin: http://www.amazon.com/Animals-Translation-Mysteries-Behavior-Harvest/dp/0156031442/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1376508900&sr=1-1&keywords=animals+in+translation
    She has a nice section on Roosters and their behavior :) You can probably find it at your local library if you do not feel the need to purchase it.

    As far as smelling testosterone, I honestly don't know. Haha animals are amazing in what they can sense. We do give off pheromones and who knows, he may be able to smell/taste it.
    If anything I think he may just associate your husband and son as a threat. But I am still learning and I wouldn't rule out being able to smell testosterone.

    I don't know if my post was very helpful, but I hope you can find something in here that might be of use to your current dilemma.

    GOOD LUCK!! :)

    Happy "chickenhood"
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    [​IMG] I don't think birds have a sense of smell- your rooster knows you give them food etc. so you are semi ok for now. Your husband and kids, I would guess do not feed them so they are strangers and a roosters brain probably thinks that spells attack mode. There are so many good roosters available free or low cost because people can't keep roosters where they live.

    It's ridiculous to have to worry about what the roo is planning behind your back. They can cause horrific injuries especially to children because they are shorter and easier to attack.
  6. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
  7. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Howdy from Kansas and [​IMG]! Pleased you joined us!!

  8. locoguru

    locoguru Chirping

    Mar 28, 2013
    Welcome to BYC from Menifee, Ca!
  9. liz9910

    liz9910 Crowing

    Apr 8, 2012
    Northern California
    Welcome to BYC! I'd rehome the rooster and get another one. Good luck to you.

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