Good rooster turned bad

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Jandsloch, Aug 24, 2019.

  1. Jandsloch

    Jandsloch Songster

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    Hello my boy is a buff Orpington. New to chickens this year. He has never been mean except when my son or husband goes in there. He has tried to “dance” with me just about every morning and I just stand and stare at him...and he goes away. Usually he greets me and my daughter during the day. It’s getting bad with my son. He walks in the yard and my boy runs and either jumps on his legs or last night he grabbed him at the arm. He knew my son was there...it was food time. They all see the blue cups and come running including him. So why is he acting like this towards him. He jumped my husband once however my husband never goes out there so I assume that’s why
     
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  2. Jandsloch

    Jandsloch Songster

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    I should add I don’t like stare directly in his eyes or anything I just look at him when he does his dance. It’s usually like a couple seconds it lasts lol they way I worded it made it sound like it was a stare down hahaha
     
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  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    How old is this bird..and how old are your children??
     
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  4. getaclue

    getaclue Enabler

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    There comes a time, usually when they're transforming from cockerel to rooster, that they have more hormones than good sense. Usually somewhere around 9 months old, depending on the rooster, and the breed. That's when they tend to become more aggressive.

    I'm going to post something written by another member on here, named Beekissed. It's long, but well worth reading, and implementing. The parts where it says the rooster is attacking you, that includes DANCING for you. It's still dominant behavior, which needs to end immediately.

    Here it is:
    I'm going to give you a clue on "rooster speak"....holding him down doesn't mean anything to him. If you'll watch how roosters interact between dominant ones and subordinate ones, there is rarely any, if ever, holding a bird down for a long time when there is an altercation. There is very quick flogging, gripping by the back of the head and flinging him away or getting him down and giving some savage pecking to the back of the head or neck. No holding him down and nothing else. That's a rooster on a hen maneuver, not rooster on rooster.

    Because your rooster is attacking you, you are the subordinate in this picture. You are getting dominated by your bird simply because you are walking where a subordinate isn't supposed to be walking when a dominant is in the area. What you never see is a dominant rooster getting attacked by a subordinate rooster unless there is going to be a definite shift in power, at which time the sub will challenge the dom and win...or lose. So far you are losing and not even challenging.

    If you want to win this battle, you must go on the offensive, not the defensive. He who attacks first, and is still claiming the area when the other guy leaves it, is the winner. Some people never have to go on the offensive because their movements in the coop are so decisive that they move and act like a dominant and a 2 ft. rooster is smart enough to recognize a dominant attitude.

    Carrying him around also doesn't mean anything to him...it just doesn't translate at all. His environment is that coop and run floor and that's where you need to speak to him, in a language he understands. Because they are quick on their feet and can evade you, you need a training tool like a long, limber, supple rod of some kind...cutting a nice switch from a shrub or tree that will lengthen your reach by 5 ft. really helps in this. Don't use a rake or broom because they are too clumsy and stiff and can put the hurts on the guy when you don't really mean to.

    When you enter your coop, walk with decisive movements and walk directly towards your rooster. Move him away from the feeder and the rest of the flock and keep a slow, determined pressure on him until he leaves the coop. The stick will help you guide him. Then...wait patiently while he gets his bird mind around what just happened. He will try to come back in the coop...let him. When he gets a good bit into that coop, take your switch and give him a good smack on the fluffy feathers under his tail if you can aim it well. If you cannot, just smack the floor near him very hard and fast until he hops and runs and keep at it until he leaves the coop once again. Repeat this process until he is too wary to come back in the coop.

    Feed your hens. When he tries to come to the feeder, you "attack" him with the switch...smack the wall by the pop door just as he tries to enter. If he makes it inside, pursue him with the stick either smacking the floor or tapping him on the back or the head until he leaves in a hurry. Make him stay outside while you sit there and enjoy watching your hens eat. Use the stick to keep him from the flock..just him. Don't worry about the hens running and getting excited when this is happening...they will get over it. This is for the future of your flock and your management of it.

    When the hens have had a good tucker....leave the coop and let him come back in. Go out later and walk through that flock and use your legs to scatter birds if they get in your way...top roosters do not step to one side for any other bird in the flock. You shouldn't either. Take your stick and startle him with a smack on the floor next to him when he is least expecting it...make that bird jump and RUN. Make him so nervous around you that he is always looking over his shoulder and trying to get out of your way. THAT'S how he needs to be from now on in your lives together. Forget about pets or cuddles...this is a language and behavior he understands. You can hand feed him and such later...right now you need to establish that when you move, he moves...away. When you turn your back, he doesn't move towards you...ever.

    Then test him...take your stick along, move around in the coop, bend over with your back turned to him, feed, water, etc....but keep one eye on that rooster. If he even makes one tiny step in your direction or in your "zone", go on the attack and run him clear on out of the coop. Then keep him out while everyone else is eating.

    THAT'S how a dominant rooster treats a subordinate. They don't let them crow, mate or even eat in their space. If the subordinate knows his place and watches over his shoulder a lot, he may get to come and eat while the other rooster is at the feeder...but he doesn't ever relax if he knows what is good for him. At any given time the dominant will run him off of that feed and he knows it, so he eats with one eye toward the door. If he feels the need to crow, it's not usually where the dom can reach him...maybe across the yard.

    If your rooster crows while you are there, move towards him and keep on the pressure until he stops. He doesn't get to crow while you are there. He can crow later...not while you are there.

    It all sounds time consuming but it really isn't...shouldn't take more than minutes for each lesson and you can learn a lot as you go along. And it can be fun if you venture into it with the right attitude....this is rooster training that really works if you do it correctly. This can work on strange roosters, multiple roosters and even old roosters...they can all learn. You rule the coop...now act like it. Carrying is for babies...you have a full grown rooster on your hands, not a baby.
     
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  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    I'm guessing this bird is closer to 4 months....but I know what you mean.
     
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  6. clintbwell

    clintbwell Chirping

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    loved this!, Thanks for sharing. First time rooster owner myself, two 6 month old RIR, and 15 hens, no aggression yet, but i have noticed the boys dont run from me anymore like they used to, so im sure its coming. now i know how to handle it.
     
  7. Shadrach

    Shadrach Roosterist

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    The truth is your rooster is not likely to improve his behavior given what I can gather from your current keeping arrangements.
    The article getaclue has cited isn't going to help you either. The entire article advise is based around trying to treat one rooster as if you are another rooster and of course you're not and the troublesome rooster knows this.
    I'm going to assume given you write you are new to chickens this year that you've had this
    cockerel from a chick (?).
    A cockerels behavior changes quite radically as it approaches maturity. With just you feeding and handling the chickens, if you read enough and put the time in to train this cockerel you might come to a working arrangement with him. While you have kids and perhaps others who want to participate in the chicken keeping, even if it's only collecting the eggs, this cockerel is likely to attack one of these people at some point. It's what they do. They see it as either protecting their flock from a potential competitor, or from a potential predator.
    You need to consider the safety of your family members. You can either make absolutely certain that your children have zero contact with the cockerel, or you have to re-home, or eat him.
    Any other solution takes a lot of time and effort.
    This article may explain a little of what is happening with your cockerel/rooster.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/understanding-your-rooster.75056/
     
  8. getaclue

    getaclue Enabler

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    While I agree with only one thing that Shad has said, and it's that for now, keep the kids away from the cockerel. Once under control, smaller children should only go in with an adult. The method I posted has been time tested, and works well. Has there ever been an exception? Yes. Again, they're the exception, not the general rule. For the majority that have actually used this method, it works. Does it work instantly? No. No one ever said it did. Rehoming, or the crock pot should be last resorts, not the first option.

    As to treating it from the perspective of another rooster, when was the last time you saw a chicken carrying a rooster stick? You establish yourself as Alpha. Who cares if it's from the perspective of another rooster? I don't give two hoots if my roosters regard me as head rooster, as long as they are submissive. There are too many that have used this method, gotten their rooster(s) well under control, and been able to actually enjoy them for years.

    The training phase is exactly that. Usually once mine are under control, it doesn't take very long, and most usually become friendly. Training, and a bit more maturity, when the hormonal phase passes, and you can have a good rooster, even if it started out a bit rocky.

    While some regard roosters as completely disposable, good roosters being a dime a dozen, and all, that's not the case for many of us. I raise SOP Black Australorps, which a few I've shown at times. They're not that easy to come by, and a conservancy breed, so my cockerels/roosters are important, not disposable. A full grown rooster weighs 9.5 lbs. Not a size, or weight you want constantly coming at you with attitude.

    Give this method an honest shot, being consistent for 3 weeks, and it does make a difference almost always. Again, rehoming, or the crock pot should be the last resort, not the first.
     
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  9. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

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    if from the get go, training might help. But once they go south, they really are untrustworthy. This happens frequently in a first year chicken owner.

    When you raise roosters with just flock mates, this often times happens. The rooster chick is the most outgoing, in what seems to be a friendly manner. They are just fearless. And as people most often treat them like the pets they want to be, they lose all fear of humans. In chicken society, each relationship is based on respect, which looks like fear or dominance, and called pecking order. No fear, they will attack to get dominance over you.

    A rooster raised with just flock mates, grows faster, matures earlier, long before the pullets are ready. They often become a bully to the pullets, and very aggressive, eventually they become more and more aggressive to people.

    A rooster raised in a multi-generational flock will have older and bigger birds than him, and they will thump some manners into him. Wait a year, and raise up some more chicks, and you will get a better rooster.

    Many people underestimate how violent a rooster attack can be. A rooster has ruined the whole chicken experience for a lot of children. They have a very small brain, and training after the aggression has begun, is often pretty ineffective. You might get him to quit attacking you, but the next person he is apt to think is fair game.

    " Roosters are where romance meets reality." (AArt) That is the truth, they need a lot of room, and the keeper needs a lot of experience and a sharp knife. A lot of roosters will not work in a small flock.

    Mrs K
     
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  10. Shadrach

    Shadrach Roosterist

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    The advice I've given is based on the information given by the OP. There at least two children involved. This dominant and submissive stuff is just so, well, outdated and clumsy.
    Yes you can scare a rooster into thinking twice about launching an attack. You can do this with most animals. Hopefully as we become more aware of why chickens behave the way they do such attitudes will fade away.
    I've seen dogs cowering in a corner because the owner has used similar tactics to make the dog submissive.

    If this was a single keeper the article form Beekissed may have possibilities. But this seems to be a case of family involvement and the safety of the children needs to be the priority, not the training of the cockerel. Whatever method one chooses, and there is no shortage of advice, that method takes time and consistency. In this case it reads as if time has run out and the cockerel is already tried to launch an attack on the OP's son. I just can't see family training sessions being realistic.
    I've got roosters/cockerels here; 5 atm and over the years I've lost count. I've never had to try to intimidate/dominate, beat with a stick, hang upside down, or any of the other rather unpleasant so called 'rooster' training programs.
     

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