Evil roosters - sick of getting attacked - suggestions?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by gallatea, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. gallatea

    gallatea In the Brooder

    Mar 31, 2010
    So I have a flock of 15 chickens - All but 3 are only a few months old (they are huge) and my now integrated flock plus 2 ducks get along fantastically (very lucky with so many breeds). I have 3 adults - a silkie/2 frizzles.

    I have one rooster from my original 3 - about a year old - I've tried everything and he continues to attack me when I come into the yard to do chicken duties. I've sprayed him with water - and generally that staves him off for the care session, but he forgets the next day and we're back to attack mode. Water is the only thing that works, but in winter, I will not have a hose readily avail...I wear pants but he is so strong now he can bruise me through even jeans. My legs have scabs all up and down them from his sneak attacks (always the shins), and I'm just about at my wit's end.

    Of course, no behaviors like this are addressed when you get chickens, and all my chicken books don't talk about how to deal with or how nasty roos can get. I don't have any friends with them either. So a naive mistake on my part. But I'm willing to take care of the problem & responsibility for him myself, and this doesn't mean dump him at a shelter.

    So outside of chopping his head off - and craigs list (no one wants a nasty roo and trust me craigs list is full of posts for "free rooster")...any suggestions for behavior modification?

    ...outside his sneak attacks, he's actually a beautiful bird, I can pet him if he's roosted high on a fence post, and he's a character (3 faces of eve I guess) - the main reason I keep him is that he's "out there"...incredibly visible - comes over my 5 ft. fence to forage in the yard, roosts high - bottom line - he will be the first one eaten if a predator comes along, he will also warn the hens - he's a great watch dog for ongoings. We live on 20 acres so the wandering outside the fence isn't an issue. He goes back in when he's had his fill (into the fenced area). He's a frizzle. And I don't want to spend 500 dollars on fencing to keep him separate.

    What have others done in this situation? And it's ok if you say, 'cut his head off...'...as I'm really angry at him right now.

  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Frankly, at this stage, his behavior is pretty much set. You can make him fear you, but he will become more sneaky. Roosters who attack the humans who feed and water are the less intelligent ones and they will pass on their aggressive tendencies and their lack of brain cells to their offspring. Life is too short to put up with a human aggressive rooster--it just is not necessary!

    Some have "techniques" they use to "fix" a rooster, but after a rooster is mature, they rarely work. He's just not smart enough to allow them to work if he's attacking his caretakers. I have several roosters that won't bite, certainly won't flog, but are fabulous protective roosters. I can pick up any one of their screaming, struggling girls and I know that I will not be attacked. They are allowed to act concerned, to check out what's happening, but never, ever to bite or flog, and they don't. They are smart enough to know that we will not hurt them or the hens. Those are the genes I want to pass down.
  3. gallatea

    gallatea In the Brooder

    Mar 31, 2010
    Thanks for that advice. He has already shown me how creative he can be. I used to gently lift him up and away from me with my tennis shoe - he'd flutter to the side - and that angered him into an even more aggressive attack. I suppose that could be part of the problem. But he's been attacking me unprovoked (sometimes I go in, and he's quietly calm, only to find him up on me when I'm doing something not even near him)......"Motion" seems to set him off. If I stop in my tracks, he won't flog me. So am I supposed to be a statue...No. I have one mature 'roo that is wonderfully sweet, he's just not "out there." But perhaps if if the nasty roo were out of the picture, he'd be taking his place and be better at watching out for the hens.

    As for my maturing ones - French marans are my concern of the moment. I hatched eggs this spring - and I do indeed have 3 roos (out of 4, I have awful luck!!!). One is sort of looming around me last few days and I'm getting flashbacks now -- PTSS!!...is it going to happen to him too, I wonder.

    The other two French roos, are happy to eat eat eat. Just the one is "hovering." Soon to be dance & flog, I'm anticipating. Can you prevent them from turning into monsters, or is it just a situation of "they are what they are" and you get what you get, when they mature...and eliminate the ones that go nutty. And I say nutty in the kindest of ways - I realize, they are acting on instinct/normal behaviors, and they are derived from jungle fowl after all. All of my birds were hand-raised too, tons of room, free range, plus a deluxe chicken house. Obviously, roo #1 isn't appreciating his lifestyle.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2011
  4. BlackBrookPoultry

    BlackBrookPoultry Crowing

    Jun 15, 2010
    Western Wisconsin
    I recently had one of my cockerels who would flog me. I ignored it when he was little, but now he's more than half grown and I decided to punish him the last time he got me. I grabbed his legs and walked around for about 10 minutes with him hanging upside down. I even brought him in the house and let the kids poke at him a little bit. That was over a month ago and he hasn't done it since.
  5. gallatea

    gallatea In the Brooder

    Mar 31, 2010
    Sometimes my Cayuga drake (duck) will come in and save me (quite literally, he's probably competing for a mate) - I wish we could train them (ducks) to be more consistent. He won't mess with a gigantic green duck. Thank god ducks have round beaks and can't flog - it'd be like a scene from that 60's movie, "The birds"... That flogging is quite something - It's like being punched in the foot. I don't know how they can do it so fast ..he's a tiny thing.
  6. muslw4

    muslw4 Songster

    May 7, 2011
    Northern Illinois
    We had a mean rooster once. I think he was a dominique. He would always go after me. I had to use a garbage can lid as a shild when I went into the chicken house. My dad would go in and if the roo went after him, dad would punt him like a football. the Roo would bounce off the wall and run out the door. Wouldn't attack dad for months. Still would go after me, guess I'm not a good football player. We finally got rid of him. When kids come visit the farm they love going into the chicken house and collecting eggs or feeding nice chickens. We just couldn't have a mean roo around. My mom now has an Americana and he's the biggest wuss bet at least he doesn't attack anyone.
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    If it starts before the hormones begin flowing, usually it's just a kid testing boundaries and can be stopped. Usually, that entails biting more than anything else, but once he's mating the pullets, at around 15-20 weeks, the hormones are in play and it's a different story.

  8. klmclain1

    klmclain1 Songster

    Mar 14, 2011
    Freezer camp...
  9. Dchicken207

    Dchicken207 Chirping

    Jun 15, 2011
    what about a water pistol?
  10. storeman

    storeman In the Brooder

    Apr 21, 2011
    Chicken and dumplings

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