Help! Aggressive Rooster

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kcristin2001, Mar 25, 2017.

  1. kcristin2001

    kcristin2001 New Egg

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    I am new to owning chickens. I was given 2 right before Christmas and just recently found out that they are both roosters. Everything was fine until up about a week or 2 ago. One of the roosters has grown some serious aggression towards me and me only (and I have a husband and 4 kids). He doesn't bother anyone but me. He has bitten me once and attacked my ankle the other morning when I was walking away. I find that he tries to sneak attack me as well when I am tending to the 2 small hens or the coop. He is a frizzle - not sure if his breed matters. My other rooster is a brahma and I do not have issues with him. I just want to make sure I nip this is the bud quickly. I also wasn't sure if the approach I take will differ since I have 2 roosters. Any help would be appreciated!
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017
  2. peeper89

    peeper89 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    eat him
     
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  3. 0wen

    0wen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    x2
     
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome! X3. Move him on, immediately, either to your freezer, or to someone else with full disclosure. You have another cockerel who's behaving well, at least so far, and he's the one to keep, if you actually need a rooster. With only two hens, even one boy may be too many. It can be possible to rehab a young cockerel, when he first thinks bad thoughts, but this guy has gone past that, and is a liability, and needs to be gone. Mary
     
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  5. brucifer

    brucifer Chillin' With My Peeps

    If you want to keep the aggressive rooster, then you need to change the pecking order. Right now that aggressive rooster has it in his mind that you are lower than him in the order. It's not fun, but if you really want to keep him, then you're will need to become the aggressor. First, equip yourself with a thin stick (like one of those green cane tomato stakes) EVERY time you enter the coop/run. Then be assertive and immediately get between the rooster and the hens and the rooster and the food. Keep him at bay, and do not let him approach either the food or the hens. He needs to learn that you are the top rooster. Chase him and swat him with the stick when he tries to approach the hens or the food. Chase him and swat him with the stick if he approaches you. Make him run from you. You want that mean rooster to respect you EVERY time you enter the pen/run. Don't worry about the other chickens getting stressed or upset with you. They deal with this behavior every day with other chickens, so they will get over it.

    Roosters simply think this way. It's all about the pecking order, and it's all about being in control or being controlled by other roosters. What you are dealing with is exactly how they treat other roosters who are lower than them in the pecking order, and that is exactly how they are treated by roosters who are higher than them in the pecking order. Within a short period of time, that rooster will back down in your presence. That's what you want.

    Personally, I don't like keeping roosters together. It's fine when they're cockerels, but as their testosterone kicks in, they often change. A once-sweet cockerel that you could cuddle and pet can turn in to an aggressive, protective rooster that will come at you with both spurs. In one sense, a rooster should protect his hens; however, you need to be the top roo. I have an all-girls pen for pullets and hens, and individual breeding pens where I will keep one rooster and ideally three hens in each pen.

    If all you have is a single pen or coop, you may want to consider keeping either one rooster or none at all. If you free range your hens, then having a rooster is often a good idea, but more than one rooster in the same pen/coop can lead to needless trouble. The again, sometimes they get along.

    Anyway, I hope you get the issue resolved to your satisfaction. As the old saying goes, "If it has tires or testicles, it's going to give you trouble." Best of luck.
     
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  6. kcristin2001

    kcristin2001 New Egg

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    Thanks! If I keep one rooster what is the ideal number of hens I should have?
     
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    First, why do you want to keep a rooster? Do you intend to hatch chicks every spring? If so, what will you do with the approximately 60% roosters that will pop out of those eggs? If you don't want to be culling cockrels every year, don't keep any roos. Otherwise, IMO, 10 is a good STARTING number of hens to keep a roo busy. My roo would easily manage 25 hens, with good fertility, and still be looking for new harem acquisitions.
     
  8. Junglefowlboss

    Junglefowlboss Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not all roosters think like that. Hes aghressibe because he considers you as part of the flock and as Brucifer said earlier, your lower in the pecking order than him. Ive never had an aggressive rooster but thats because I dont unintentionally act like Im part of the flock. My rooster is really nice and he is a game. He follows me like a dog and will eat out of my hand. Its best to not treat them like your in their flock. Thats how they actually are.
     
  9. kcristin2001

    kcristin2001 New Egg

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    How would I be treating them like I'm part of the flock?
     
  10. brucifer

    brucifer Chillin' With My Peeps

    I wish I could honestly give you an exact number. For example, ask ten people who are experienced with raising chickens, and between them you will probably get seven or eight different answers.

    All of my LF roosters are kept for breeding purposes in my breeding pens, and I limit each rooster to two or three hens per pen, so I work with a 1:2 or a 1:3 ratio, but that's just my preference. My all-girls pen of course has no roosters at all. Some people like to have a 1:8 or 1:10 ratio. For some folks, rooster-to-hen ratio doesn't matter at all.

    If you decide to keep one rooster, try him out with a few hens and monitor the situation. You may get lucky and strike a perfect balance right off the bat. However, if he's over-breeding them, their backs will become bare of feathers, and that can be bad for their health. Sometimes, even if you add more hens, roosters will still over-breed their favorite hens. If you decide that you still want to keep that rooster with his hens, then you can either buy or make saddles for his favorite hens in order to protect their backs.

    You may be dealing with some slippery variables in trying to solve your rooster-to-hen ratio equation, so be prepared to make adjustments. Ultimately, you will have to get a feel what works for you. The bottom line is to make sure you and your family are enjoying your chickens. That's the all-important barometer IMHO.
     

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