Can I *prevent* aggression in a rooster?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by gale65, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. gale65

    gale65 Songster

    Our boy is only 9 weeks old. He is not aggressive but will "chase" the dog (he is in the run and she is outside it) and I'd like to prevent people aggression rather than have to deal with it later when it's harder. I have had an aggressive roo and at the time (20 yrs ago) didn't know what to do and ended up rehoming him where he became dinner. That one was a RIR and I know they can be more prone to aggression and Cosmo is an EE and I have no idea how they are (I've only had girl EEs before-that was back when they were all called auracanas). The only thing I've done is crowding him (just walking toward him) when I'm in the run. He always backs off or goes the other way. Is this ok to do? Should I continue and should I encourage the kids to do the same?

  2. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member 10 Years

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    Hi. Both ee roos I have had were nice, but didn't want to snuggle. I don't think being aggressive to the dog is bad. And it doesn't mean to you. It's a little early to tell. When they hit those hormonal months, and they test you, that's when you put him in your place. Always show him that you can make him move. Never back away-you lose. Being alpha generally means that you can make him do whatever you want. Prevent him from eating or drinking by blocking, make him move away from you all over the yard, etc. He needs to see you as the alpha roo. And not with a broom or a kick, in that way he sees a challenge. You will probably end up with a nice roo that way. Attacking the dog is preventing danger to the hens-in his eyes.
  3. janinepeters

    janinepeters Songster

    Jun 9, 2009
    This has been debated many times before. Some people swear that showing him who is boss makes him tame, while others swear that doing that fuels his aggression. The most aggressive roo I have had, fell into the latter category: he just got increasingly aggressive with my attempts to put him in his place.

    Another idea is to pick him up, pet him, and carry him around often. For one, this shows him you are not a chicken, and it also shows him you have incredible powers, without wanting to engage him in battle.

    If you have one that has not yet shown any aggression towards people, I would definitely not be aggressive towards him: don't chase, kick, etc., or you may bring out his aggression. I once had a roo that was never aggressive towards people, but became so, after my son's friend chased him around, terrorizing him.
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member 11 Years

    You can only make his true nature show itself when his hormones kick in. If you pet him and baby him, he will be super confident around you, then when his hormones rage around mating age, he may see you as an equal and decide to challenge you, if that is what his nature is like anyway. If his nature is calm and even-tempered, handling him won't change that. He is what he is.

    Temperament is largely heritable. If a rooster is highly human-aggressive, most of his sons will be, too. I think it's a function of intelligence, to a degree. The stupid ones are most likely to be human aggressive, IMO. The more intelligent ones won't attack the hand that feeds them. I keep only non-human-aggressive roosters here--and, contrary to what some folks will tell you, that does not mean that they won't rise to the occasion to protect the hens when they need to do so. Just ask Cetawin about her Lancelot-he's battled coyotes and foxes and is still her buddy. Here is one story about him:

  5. DAFox

    DAFox Songster

    Nov 7, 2009
    SW MO in Vernon Co
    I agree with Speckledhen. I like to be able to pet and pick up my hens. I treat my roos like livestock. I move slowly around my rooster pens as to not create a situation in which they feel threatened. I've only had a few human aggressive roosters. In those situations I acted like an alpha roo. Only one roo did not get the message and he went to the freezer. I have 10 mature roosters, currently.
  6. janinepeters

    janinepeters Songster

    Jun 9, 2009
    If you pet him and baby him, he will be super confident around you,

    I disagree with this, if the petting and babying are coupled with picking him up and walking around with him. By picking him up, you show him you are as powerful as any predator. By petting him you show him you are not picking a fight. While I agree that temperament is largely heritable, I also think that if you are rough with a roo and behave like a threatening predator, you can force him to see you as a threat and fuel his aggression. This I have seen.​
  7. 1320

    1320 In the Brooder

    Mar 23, 2011
    I'm a Rooster advocate but as of a couple weeks ago, the Rooster stays penned when my children are home.......


  8. heather112588

    heather112588 Songster

    Nov 12, 2010
    Baltimore, MD
    If you pet him and baby him, he will be super confident around you,

    agreed up to a point- i admit that i babied my 3 roos at first. At 3 months, they started getting fidgety so i backed off to let them be roos but still picked them up everday. At 6 months, one tried to wing dance me to which i chased and scooped him up (he never has again). Every one of my roos (1 1/2 yr old), has turned out pretty mellow (never flogged anyone). I can feed them by hand, pet them and pick them up ( they dont like it but accept that im dominant). I have never had to watch my back (even in the hormonal 10 months stage). Everyone says RIR are prone to aggression the end, i guess that they were breed well.

    "temperament is largely heritable, I also think that if you are rough with a roo and behave like a threatening predator, you can force him to see you as a threat and fuel his aggression"...agreed 100%
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2011
  9. rungirl

    rungirl Songster

    Apr 7, 2010
    Columbus, Ohio
    I agree with the livestock comment. I treat my hens lovingly and let my children pet and name them, but when it comes to the roosters, I don't have a "relationship" with them. They aren't threatened or bullied, but I don't pet or tame them either. They keep their distance and don't challenge me ever. The only time I've had an aggression problem was when we first got chickens and my kids made pets out of them. Once the hormones kicked in, they had no fear of us and would challenge us. We don't do that anymore. Roosters must know their place. Sorry, it's nothing personal, just business. Save your affection for your hens, especially if you have kids.


  10. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member 11 Years

    Some of the friendliest cockerels (one we called Mr. Friendly, brother to my Delaware rooster, Isaac) turn into the most aggressive. They love to be picked up, jump into your lap, always your buddy, then BAM!, then the hormones hit, they attack. I've had plenty of experience with that.

    Handling does not change a rooster's personality/temperament in the least; it only brings it to the surface sooner. I handle all my roosters when they are young so I can find out who is aggressive sooner rather than later. I don't baby them, but I won't keep a rooster that I can't pick up when I need to tend to him.

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