Game rooster behavior and fighting

Nashv755

Songster
Apr 10, 2020
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My first ever aggressive game cockerels are coming of age. They started crowing a month or so ago. All are freerange with all of the room you can ask for. I stopped a fight between one and another breed rooster. 30 seconds later that same game cockerel was attacking another rooster. If it was simply establishing the pecking order I would have just let it play out but he was repeatedly running them down and jumping on them as they were running away forcing them to fight and run over and over. I've got him separated at the moment. My question is, do game roosters mellow out with age? I can understand fighting like that if they were locked in an enclose together but they have about 15 acres with woods and 2 ponds to roam.

The 2yo from the same breed, different breeder wasn't like that and treated other roo's like one of the guy's as long as they know he's top dog.
The other 2 cockerels I have from the problem child batch haven't acted as aggressive as the one "yet". Only pecking order behavior so far.
 

Nashv755

Songster
Apr 10, 2020
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I am not an expert with game birds but each strain is different, some are more mellow then others. But keep in mind game rooster were bred to fight, so expecting them to rollover is probably not going to happen.
I'm not expecting them to roll over as you put it. My whole point of getting them was for flock protection from smaller predators. I wasn't expecting them to unrelentingly chase down and jump on another roo despite the other roo trying to get away. Maybe that one is an outlier on the aggressive side. He's also the biggest and most aggressive looking one of the bunch
 

Nashv755

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Apr 10, 2020
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A good game rooster will fight to the death. That is what they are bred to do.
I've just never seen one keep attacking after the fight is over. Literally as soon as I stepped between them he went full sprint to the next one on sight like THIS IS SPARTAAAAA

like settle down dude every hen on the yard has bigger spur buds than you....
 

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Tankueray

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A good game rooster will fight to the death. That is what they are bred to do.
They are bred for strength and stamina, it is not ingrained in their DNA to kill at all costs, that is trained. Just like pit bulls, it's not the animal. There are some aggressive outliers with any breed of chicken, and yes, they usually have to be culled.

@Nashv755 Is the 2 year old, "top dog" rooster you mentioned no longer around? Remember they're full of hormones and pent up frustration right now. Even non-game cockerels will do this. I have probably 20 cockerels in the yard right now, all alpha roosters have passed away in the last two months, as well as my alpha hens, and there's a power vacuum. I have two giant brothers that are EE/Barred Rock mix that do and take what they want, but have no need to go after anyone, because they're the biggest. Most of the other cockerels are fine staying out of the way, but I have one group of 5 Spitzhauben cockerels that are doing this with each other. One has decided that since he can't win with his brothers, my dog is his target. My dog poops bigger than him. The Spitz boys have gotten into a couple of good scuffles, as did my previous 3 alpha roosters, but they eventually worked it all out once the girls started willingly pairing up with them. If it's normal teenage angst, your cockerel should be chasing around the girls relentlessly too, just watch for the other boys to join in the chase, because they all help each other out when it comes to being little crapheads like that.

There are a couple of options:

If there's not a strong enough alpha rooster in his mind in your flock, he wants that job, and he's making sure everyone else knows it and submits, regardless of their seniority or breed. If he has nasty spurs, trim/dull them and monitor his hostile takeover for a few days and see if once he's made the rounds a few times, he settles down. If you have fragile breed roosters, get them out of there for a few days.

You could put him in rooster jail for a few days (a wire dog crate in the run with everyone else able to stand around). I've never had to for more than a few hours, but even my wildtype breeds are closer to jungle fowl than gamefowl in their heritage. Monitor them, if he's fighting with anyone through the bars, decide whether it's just him and he'll either calm down or becomes dinner, or put another one in another jail if there seems to be an instigator you weren't aware of.

If that fails, you may have to separate him from the flock entirely while another rooster becomes alpha. Then you can try to reintegrate him (sneak him in at night) and see if Alpha will give him a place in the group.

Make sure you're asserting yourself as the ultimate Alpha at all times. He should get out of your way when you walk through, don't let him make you move; he should be easy for you to handle (catching is a different story!); watch for him being a creeper and spin and face him if he's more than just curious.

All that said, if he becomes aggressive toward you or another human - send him to be judged by the Queen of Hearts. Even gamefowl breeders cull manfighters without prejudice. You can chose to give him the time to mature and prove that he's not one, or you can make the call to stop the problem at the first sign, just don't ignore the responsibility to dispatch him if you have to.

If you choose to get rid of him, you know who will answer the ad first. If you don't want that to happen, I suggest reaching out to the local humane society or asking at the local feed store for some assistance with finding a suitable home. There are plenty of legitimate, responsible, and respectable gamefowl owners out there that may be interested.
I've just never seen one keep attacking after the fight is over. Literally as soon as I stepped between them he went full sprint to the next one on sight like THIS IS SPARTAAAAA
Remember high school? You stepped in like the Principal and the other guy laughed at him. Hormones, teenagers, different species, same song and dance.

I just heard the Spitz boys outside the window causing some trouble for the fine folk of Hazzard County, I'd better go investigate. 😉 (I know they're up to no good when there's constant crowing, then some commotion, then silence, then ducks. The ducks are snitches.)
 

Wyorp Rock

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My question is, do game roosters mellow out with age? I can understand fighting like that if they were locked in an enclose together but they have about 15 acres with woods and 2 ponds to roam.

The 2yo from the same breed, different breeder wasn't like that and treated other roo's like one of the guy's as long as they know he's top dog.
The other 2 cockerels I have from the problem child batch haven't acted as aggressive as the one "yet". Only pecking order behavior so far.
No. They do not mellow with age. Choose one to keep and get rid of the rest or pen your males.
They are bred for strength and stamina, it is not ingrained in their DNA to kill at all costs, that is trained.
I 100% absolutely wholeheartedly disagree!
They do not have to be trained.
They will fight to death and keep on.

Do you have Gamefowl?
 

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