Dealing with Rooster attitude

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by NellaBean, May 18, 2009.

  1. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

    Mar 4, 2009
    Broodyland, TN
    My Coop
    I have 12 chickens that are 8-9 weeks old all together.

    2 white leghorn
    2 buttercups
    1 australorp

    6 cochins I am unsure of sex
    1 australorp cockerel

    The Australorp is HUGE....and pretty mellow. He just does his own thing. Hasn't caused any big problems......I catch him every day, morning and night and he doesn't peck or fight or anything.

    Today I was catching everyone to put them away (they spend the day in a pen outside and the night in the shed in the garage until their coop is ready) and one of the pullets was throwing a fit when I grabbed her....just squawking and carrying on....

    And Mr Australorp cockerel came up behind me and grabbed me by the arm with his beak. Left a big bruised welt on my arm. Ouch!

    Now, on one hand, he is usually nice and was just trying to protect one of his "ladies". On the other hand, I am the boss. I ended up whacking him with my arm and then stomped around after him...picked him up and held him for a while (he was not bothered by the holding at all) then made him "stay away" while I finished catching all the girls up. I always catch him last.

    He is actually the most mellow and easy to deal with of the whole bunch......and has showed no aggression up until now. I understand why he did that but am not sure how "aggressive" to go after him for doing something like that? I like that he is protective of his girls, but I assume as the "head rooster" he should defer to me doing whatever I want to the girls, right?

    I also have two RIRx that are about 11-12 weeks old that are kept separately, 1 pullet, 1 cockerel. That cockerel has been mr attitude from day one and has grabbed me by the hand already and postured at me, made crazy rooster growls at me and threatened to come after me (and then crowed, the little jerk). I whack him if he comes at me....he gets caught morning and night as well, but I have to catch his pullet first.....and then he freaks out and tries to get to her and I can grab him. I'm pretty sure he will live up to his name (crockpot).

    I know I need to be "the boss" of the roosters......but not sure how "aggressively" to respond to the nice ones that are just protecting their girls?
  2. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    As one who has spent a great deal of time with gamefowl, I can tell you the proper way to handle your birds is to catch the rooster first. He`s doing his job when the ladies squak by defending them. I know you said you understand this and that`s very commendable, but he is just doing what nature tells him. If you have trouble catching him, by all means invest in a catch net from a sporting goods store. Walmart and Kmart usually have them for around $10 and it`s money well spent. If he continues to progress in his attacks, then a little discipline is in order. I`ve spent my whole life thinking that you can`t discipline a chicken. In the last few months a post was made on another forum that makes perfect sinse to me. Here it is. You can try it or not, it`s up to you, but if you really like your rooster, he may be worth saving. Just be sure to play by the rules and catch him first before passing judgement. A rooster that won`t defend his hens is not worth his salt.

    The RIR with an attitude may be headed for the pot as you said. His attitude seems to be a little too premature and aggressive. He may or may not be worth saving. Your call........Pop

    I thought I had the link, but I just made this note. " This is advice from a 72 YO farmer who seems to know what he`s talking about. If it doesn`t work for you just say so. I hate to pass along bad advice. Prior to this info, I figured the only cure was an ax. Maybe there is hope after allÂ….

    Hold the offending rooster by the legs and dip his head in a bucket of water. When you see a few bubbles, put him on the ground and let him alone. His attitude should now be a lot different. Sometimes they need a second lesson, but not often."
  3. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    My page on roo behavior might be of some help, the link is in my sig line.
  4. ThePamperedPullet

    ThePamperedPullet Chillin' With My Peeps

    From personal experience... The meaner the rooster, the better they taste!
    We have a young Buff Brahma Bantam that just went through that faze. He was always really sweet and wanted to be held. Then he hit his teens and came down with a bad case of attitude. He kept wanting to bite and so we would smack him pretty hard and he would go and pout for a while and then do it again. We learned that if he tried to bite then we would grab him and hold him in a cuddle until he quit struggling and then we would pet him reassuradly. After a few times of doing this he has now quit the biting and will once again jump into our laps to be held and petted. But no rooster will want you to go after his hens so agreeing with Lollypop, try to put the rooster away first and that might make it a bit easier.
    Last edited: May 18, 2009
  5. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

    Mar 4, 2009
    Broodyland, TN
    My Coop
    Lollipop thank you for the information.

    I always thought that I should catch the Rooster last.....more to teach him to be put away last than anything else. I want him to "put the girls to bed" once their coop is ready and connected to the run. He is easy to catch, he is usually the first one at the door or gate looking for a treat. He is usually quite nice and had not really reacted to any of the girls squawking prior to today.

    I can pick him up and hold him and he just hangs out. He really is the easiest to deal with, even of all the girls. It is the other rooster (RIR crockpot) that is hard to catch.

    I bought Crockpot and his girl when they were about a week old. From day one, he stood between her and me (although not aggressively), and has never been friendly. He does not try to attack me or anything outright, but if I try to grab him, he will respond aggressively sometimes.

    I am mostly waiting to see if there is any improvement once he is moved to the big pen with the other ones. But my neighbors must think I am totally crazy since I am always yelling CROCKPOT! I WILL EAT YOU! [​IMG] Crazy chickens.

    I like the australorp cockerel and am pretty sure I will have multiple cochin cockerels to choose from......just want to make sure I am "raising them right". Eventually I will have to wittle it down to 1 or 2 (or none if they are all mean).

    I will try putting him away first to see if that makes any difference.

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