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Do roo's "learn" to be aggressive towards people as they mature??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by KCNC06, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. KCNC06

    KCNC06 Songster

    Sep 19, 2009
    Central NC
    I went a little chick crazy this spring and ended up buying 22 chicks. 7 of the chicks were for my sister's friend, and we lost one. Out of the 14 we ended up keeping I have 3 roo's. We've had them all since they were just a couple days old, their brooder was in our spare bedroom so they were all around us and the dogs pretty much all the time until they were about 7 weeks old and moved to the garage.

    Anyway. I expected the roosters to be somewhat aggressive towards us or visitors to the house. They're 3-4 months old now and run away from us whenever we go near the pen, or near them in the yard. They've been doing this since we moved them out to the chicken pen about a month ago. So, my question is, will they "learn" to become aggressive as they get older or do they see us as alpha chickens or something?

    One of the roosters (the youngest of the 3, a little splash cochin bantam) started crowing on Friday. He doesn't crow until we let them out in the morning and only crows for a few minutes, and didn't crow at all on Saturday or Sunday. This morning when I saw him crowing he seemed to be trying really hard not to crow...it was pretty funny.
  2. TennesseeTruly

    TennesseeTruly Songster

    Mar 5, 2009
    Church Hill, TN
    I had no problems with aggressive roosters until one of my Mottled Cochins was injured by my guineas this past winter. They almost ripped his comb off. I brought him to the main house and tended to his wounds and kept him in the house caring for him for several days.

    I babied him during his recuperation period. Well now he has lost all respect for me. He's teeny tiny and the second he either sees me or hears me, he comes running at me and will do what I call "Kung Fu Chicken" on me. I don't want to dispose of him because I really do adore him. So I'm trying different methods of diversion with him.

    Today though, he did go after another BYC'r that came to visit. So now I have to rethink my plans for him. Up until today, I'm the only one who he's ever gone after.

    I think that if you assert your position in the flock, as you being the Top Boss, you won't have any problems with your roos.

    I need to reassert that position with Pesky.

    Good luck.

  3. jen5680

    jen5680 Southside Silkie Shack

    Jun 18, 2009
    SW Ohio
    I wish I new what made them be aggressive! I had a very sweet boy and then he also turned into kung fu roo!! Not just towards me but anyone that goes in his pen. I have tried different things with him to show him I am boss but he just doesn't get it!!
    If he doesn't sweeten up he might just be headed for the pot!! LOL!!
  4. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    Apparently it is the handling and "loving on" that makes them aggressive. The ones that I have handled a lot have always ended up mean. The ones I didn't have much to do with are scared of me and are great roosters. You want to be alpha roo and you cannot handle them affectionately.
  5. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    I think a rooster's temperment is part nature & part nurture. Some behaviors they bring out of the egg with them, others are learned through their life experiences. Some also will get uppity when their grown-up hormones kick in.

    I think it's easier to make a mild-mannered roo aggressive out of fear through rough handling than to gentle one who is already aggressive by nature. I don't go for all those chicken mind games, trying to make a rooster think you're the alpha dog, not allowing him to mate or eat or take personal phone calls in your presence. I guess it works for some folks, but I just don't have the time nor the energy. I just try to get my roos to know they can trust me, can depend on consistent kind treatment from all the humans around them, that they do not need to fear us. It seems to work in our flock, I have 4 standard and 5 bantam roosters that mind their own business very well and never stalk or attack us. Some are more wary and do not allow themselves to be handled, others let even my youngest boy pick them up and carry them around.
  6. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    I have never had an aggressive roo so I don't know. I have always handled them from the moment I got them (always chicks) and they have turned out sweet and loving. Of course, I don't let my roos get away with stuff ever. I smack them if they nip at me (especially when they are young), I give them a talking to [​IMG] and I never back down from them. In my coop, I'm THE rooster and I make sure they know it from Day 1. With that said though, I never knock them off hens when I'm around or stop their rooster behavior, I just don't let them be in charge ever.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2010
  7. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka 8 Years

    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    Some of our roo's have never been a problem, others got bright ideas as they matured, and needed to be put in their places. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I had a red corderoy jumper that I wore frequently. I had a Bantam Cochin roo that apparently just couldn't deal with all that red, because he'd jump at me when I wore it. If he came at me head-on, I'd punt him halfway across the pen; after a couple such unscheduled flights he decided it wasn't a good idea. Instead, he'd try to sneak around and attack me from the rear. Out of the corner of my eye, I'd see him circling around trying to get behind me. I'd turn, face him, and say, "Just what do you think you are doing?" He'd be like, "Who, me? Nothing! I'm not doing anything," and go off in another direction.

    I've learned that only the dominant roo crows unchallenged. Any subordinate roos have to be careful not to do it when the big boss is near at hand, or they will get stomped on for being so audacious. Your little guy may have been worrying about those other two!
  8. KCNC06

    KCNC06 Songster

    Sep 19, 2009
    Central NC
    Quote:Our other two roo's, who are actually a bit older than Shuttle (Shuttle Cock), haven't started crowing yet. Shuttle is the youngest, but started being aggressive towards the other chicks when he was about 4-5 days old. RIRe is about a week older than Shuttle and Boba is a few days older than RIRe...if I'm remembering correctly. Anyway, Shuttle is the youngest and smallest, but apparently matured earliest. But...because we thought his crow was so funny (we've always kind of picked on Shuttle for acting "tough"), my husband and I have crowed back at him every time we heard him crow. This past Friday, the first time he crowed, we "coca-doodle-doo"ed back at him a couple times and didn't hear another peep out of him until this morning. Then this morning he crowed a couple times and we crowed back at him. Every time he crowed, he would flap his little wings a couple times and scrinch down, then look all around like he was nervous. Then he'd stand back up, stretch his neck out, "coca-doodle-doo" and scrinch down flapping his wings a bit again. [​IMG] Luckily our neighbors already know we're freaks, so I'm not all that concerned about what they think about us crowing at our roosters. Plus, they leave for work hours before we all start crowing anyway. [​IMG]

    I didn't really handle the chicks all that much, at least not all of them. I didn't really have the patience to chase the chicks that didn't like being held. There are a few that seemed to enjoy it as chicks, none of them were roo's though (mostly just my Australorp, named Ostrich Lord). I have walked aggressively towards the roo's a couple times when they were getting a bit too...cocky. This always seems to work about the same way it does with my dogs, basically it seems to break their train of thought long enough for them to stop acting like jerks. [​IMG]

    I guess I'll just keep my fingers crossed and hope that they all stay mild mannered.
  9. fishermum

    fishermum In the Brooder

    Apr 20, 2009
    U.P. of MI
    The best bird I've had to date was a banty cochin rooster. He was the family favourite. As a pp also mentioned, my 3 year old could pick him up he was so tame. He would regularly jump into the laps of guests (much to their chagrin) looking for handouts. Alas he only lived two years before an unknown predator got him. [​IMG]
    We came home after being away for the weekend and all that was left of the sweet little guy was a bunch of feathers in the coop--and trailing across our yard.

    In the past two years I've had a couple more roos--none as tame as he was, but none that would outright attack me. This year I have two new banty roos. Knock on wood that they stay somewhat civilized...
  10. KCNC06

    KCNC06 Songster

    Sep 19, 2009
    Central NC
    Fishermum - that is such a sad story! Things like that are why I am now even more disinterested in going out of town for vacations, I've never been much for traveling anyway. I'm always so nervous that something's going to get someone and I'll beat myself up over not being here to protect them. I sure hope your two new roos are good to you!

    One thing that we saw recently that made us like our roos, was how they would herd the girls into the coop at night. It was so cute! One of the girls would wander out into the yard after dusk, and little roo would come out and slowly herd her back into the coop. Over and over and over. Adorable! Right then we decided that having the roos around to help us keep an eye on the 17 girls might just be a good thing.

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