Decoding rooster behavior (got long)

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by joneus, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. joneus

    joneus Chillin' With My Peeps

    344
    4
    116
    Apr 2, 2011
    Ballston Spa
    I am literally surrounded by roosters. Not including my boy, Puddy, I can make out 4 distinct crows throughout the day on all sides of my neighborhood. The closest one belongs to my back-door neighbor whose property runs perpendicularly to several houses on my street, including mine. There is a fence that runs along this property line, but judging by how often I see his chickens in my next door (to the right) neighbors yard, I'm guessing the fence isnt in great shape in some sections.

    Lately, his flock (who I'm fairly certain free ranges 24/7) has been hanging out in the 15' wide wooded space between my yard and the immediate right hand next door neighbors. They cant get into my back yard (I've got a fence- mostly to keep mine IN), but yesterday I had to chase them out of my front yard & driveway- in full view of my chickens who were hanging out nearby.

    Have I mentioned that I have my own, young and just getting hormonal, cockerel? Suffice it to say, Puddy is none too pleased when the other flock comes around. He usually takes my girls to the other side of the yard and ignores the intruders in the woods. Yesterday, tho, (before I got the others out of my yard), Puddy was standing against the fence, puffing up and growling at them. (I dont blame him & I didnt correct him- maybe I should have?)

    Now- normally in the morning, Puddy is happily sitting on the roost crowing his little brains out at the other roosters when I go to the coop and open their door. He usually sits there for another 10-15mins before leading the girls outside where he continues to crow off and on for the next 20 mins or so.

    THIS morning, however, when I opened the top half of the people door- he was on the floor puffed up, growling for all he was worth & doing this little aggressive wing-dance thing up to the door. I'd already had a problem with a previous roo doing something similar to me (I gave him away 2 weeks ago), so without stopping to analyze anything, I just reached down, smacked him & told him to knock it off like I did with the last one. He flipped out for a second, jumped up on the feed bucket like he was going to attack me.... and then stopped & looked at me for a few seconds, hopped down & retreated to the far corner. I may be humanizing his action, but it seemed to me like he needed a second to realize who I was and what he was doing- like he was expecting someone/something else other than the Alpha-Roo-Food-Person. This was the FIRST time I'd ever seen him off the roost in the morning.

    He has never shown me any aggression, tho he once tried to start a power play with me (with the side wing shuffle & growl)- which I promptly ended with a kick and a chase off. He is normally very polite to me & keeps a respectful distance.

    So- now I'm wondering: is this a symptom of impending aggression (which I'm paranoid about), a challenge to my Alpha-ness (which I can handle), or is it possible he thought the neighbors roo was outside his door & was ready for a fight before I even got there? He was definitely growling before I opened the door- I remember wondering if something was wrong when I approached the coop.

    The people-door of the coop is facing the fence and about 5' from it... and that IS the area where that other flock likes to hang out. So, if it was a case of Puddy defending his turf against the neighbors rooster- I'm not sure what to do. On one hand, I dont want Puddy fighting with his rooster- not even just through the fence. On the other, its not really *my* place to complain about the condition of the fence in my right-hand neighbors yard- tho I DID plant those seeds when he (the right hand neighbor) brought me some eggs (along with an attitude!) that he'd found in his shed that he thought were mine. Luckily, my EE girls had *just* started laying (so, wrong size & color) and I was able to point out the fence I'd put up between our properties & explained that the other neighbors' chickens are always in his yard.
     
  2. stcroixusvi

    stcroixusvi Chillin' With My Peeps

    782
    13
    133
    May 5, 2011
    Western NC
    My Coop
    Rather than smacking him, try picking him up. I carry ours around a bit in the run every opportunity I get. He rarely puffs up at me. When he does, i think he forgets who I am. But once I pick him up and put him back down, he's ok.
     
  3. Achickenwrangler#1

    Achickenwrangler#1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,431
    66
    183
    Aug 7, 2011
    west virginia
    no doubt the mere presence of other roosters is getting yours roiled up. They are going to act like that and fight any chance they get, just wait till spring! You didnt mention how many hens you have.
    I usually am vocal when opening the door to let the chickens out, lets em know its me breaking in to the fortress...then, clearly he can't mistake you for another rooster and needs to mind his manners. Either way you are right..he needs to keep his distance and take out his frustrations on some thing else.
    I found myself getting alittle paranoid about all the stories I've read about man killing roosters, then I had to laugh at myself. Goodness, it's just a little rooster after all that, so what if it has spurs, its not going to kill me like a bull could, or break my femur like a ram, heck, try surviving a goose attack for that matter! I got a pair of boots that'll send him into orbit, fear, respect, it's the same thing as far as I'm concerned.
    I'm curious though, when the guy handed you the eggs did you keep them anyway???Man I sure hope you did...haha
     
  4. joneus

    joneus Chillin' With My Peeps

    344
    4
    116
    Apr 2, 2011
    Ballston Spa
    Quote:IF I can get ahold of him, I do carry him around. Typically, he's not easy to catch unless I've got food in my hand. This morning it was a knee-jerk reaction to the behavior he was displaying towards me- I had barely grazed him when he freaked out & jumped away.
     
  5. joneus

    joneus Chillin' With My Peeps

    344
    4
    116
    Apr 2, 2011
    Ballston Spa
    Achickenwrangler#1 :

    no doubt the mere presence of other roosters is getting yours roiled up. They are going to act like that and fight any chance they get, just wait till spring! You didnt mention how many hens you have.

    Thats what I'm hoping the issue was. I guess I'll see how tomorrow works out. Oh & I've got 5 hens.

    Achickenwrangler#1 :

    I usually am vocal when opening the door to let the chickens out, lets em know its me breaking in to the fortress...then, clearly he can't mistake you for another rooster and needs to mind his manners.

    Thats a really good idea. I normally say "good morning chickens!" when I'm digging in the food barrel, but Puddy carries on so, they probably dont hear me, LOL!

    Achickenwrangler#1 :

    Either way you are right..he needs to keep his distance and take out his frustrations on some thing else.
    I found myself getting alittle paranoid about all the stories I've read about man killing roosters, then I had to laugh at myself. Goodness, it's just a little rooster after all that, so what if it has spurs, its not going to kill me like a bull could, or break my femur like a ram, heck, try surviving a goose attack for that matter! I got a pair of boots that'll send him into orbit, fear, respect, it's the same thing as far as I'm concerned.

    My main concern is that I have a 5yo son and there are kids in the neighborhood that come over to play, even when the chickens are out. I'd like to think that I can handle pretty much anything Puddy can dish out, but I dont want the kids to get hurt by a disrespectful rooster.

    Achickenwrangler#1 :

    I'm curious though, when the guy handed you the eggs did you keep them anyway???Man I sure hope you did...haha

    With the attitude he was copping? Of course I did!​
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by