Help with rooster!!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by skeeter9, May 10, 2007.

  1. skeeter9

    skeeter9 Songster

    I have an Ameraucana rooster that is 15 months old. We love him to death, but are having trouble with his "rooster" behavior. He is constantly challenging us, which I know is normal, but even with very diligent correction the behavior doesn't seem to be diminishing much. I read everything I could find on this site about dealing with this and my whole family and I have been very consistent in putting him in his place and keeping at it until he turns and runs. He doesn't only attack us when we are approaching his ladies - he will come from clear across the pasture to attack us from behind, etc.

    To be a little more specific about how we correct him - we smack him with anything handy or kick him, etc. and we don't stop until he turns tail and runs. Most of the time we even chase him a little bit while he's running just to get the point across!!!

    I really don't want to have to get rid of him - he is aboslutely beautiful and I want to keep him for breeding. He is also very good to his hens. Does anyone have any other suggestions?

  2. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    Well...I have a RIR roo, that is now just over a year old. He tried this posture with me a few times. This is what I did....I went and got a jacket on....long sleeves...and went back out there. When he tried it again....I screamed, and " flapped my wings" at him. This took ONE, when I come in the coop....he will step aside.
    I can't say this will work on all roos....hope you can find a solution....other than hitting him. Hitting him makes him want to fight back.
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Good luck. I had an EE roo go crazy and would just not give up. If you want to keep him for breeding, just think about the genes he'd be passing to future roos!
  4. chickensforever

    chickensforever In the Brooder

    Jan 16, 2007
    Bellevue, WA
    You can try picking him up quickly and holding him upside down (like cradling him upside down while holding his body). This makes them really calm and easier to work with, at least while you are around them. Sometimes he forgets though, after I've left.
  5. skeeter9

    skeeter9 Songster

    Justusnak - I know that hitting them makes them want to fight back, but from everything I've read, that's the only way to put a really aggressive one in it's place. I really hate it, because he used to be one of our very favorite chicks - very lovng and would snuggle with you for hours. I have tried flapping my wings at him and trying to make myself look very big and forbidding, but it only seemed to enflame him. Hitting any of my animals is not my way - what we really want is a more respectful roo.

    Silkie - I certainly see what you're saying. I have resigned myself to the fact that if we can't find a way to fix this problem, we will have to get rid of the roo. I certainly don't want to pass on aggressive genes, but I also don't want to give up until we're sure we've done everything we can.

    Chickensforever - I will try holding him upside down if I can get close enough to pick him up. At this point he is so ornery when we get close to him that by bending down to pick him up, you are asking to get your face spurred!!! I'll try, though.

    Thanks so much for your suggestions, everyone. I really appreciate it. This is so frustrating because, up until recently, he has been a great roo. I guess his hormones have really kicked in now???

  6. bigzio

    bigzio Crowing

    Jan 20, 2007
    Yep, creating a large posture by spreading your arms like a eagle does wonders for showing him who is really the boss. I do that and walk slowly toward any roo with great results. Going slowly forward is key here. Really no need to say anything other than posture.

  7. Frozen Feathers

    Frozen Feathers Songster

    May 4, 2007
    Out of all the roosters I've ever had, Americaunas are the worst. I've had three of them and everyone turned nasty at about a year old. I've never had one give up and last year we had two and both went after my daughter. I've had/have Phoenix , Japs, Lakenvelders, Silkies, Barred Rocks, Campines, and an Australop roos and none of them have ever challenged me or other people except for the Americaunas. I'm wondering if it's in their nature to be aggressive? It's strange because all my girls have always been so wonderful. I don't know how to deal with an aggressive roo other then to make soup...
    Last edited by a moderator: May 11, 2007
  8. ella

    ella Songster

    It's funny but the best thing I've found is inspired by Cesar Millan (He's the Dog Whisperer on NGC). It really got me to understand what the roosters were doing.

    The only way hitting and aggression works is if the rooster is so afraid that he flees every time he see's you- which doesn't happen very often because they have a tendency to defend their flock to the death.

    If your dominance is based on absolute power it doesn't require you to hit him. It's conveyed in the way you walk and move. It's your coop and your hens. You must be thinking duh! I know they're mine! But that rooster doesn't because your whole body language is not telling him that. There are very few people who really show that kind of ownership in their body language.

    Go for a drive in your neighborhood or a town near you and look at the posture of people walking their dogs. I guarantee that 90% of them are stopped and turned toward their dogs while the dog is sniffing something. Or are being pulled by their dog with the leash wrapped around their hand. The dog is clearly the dominant one. It's funny how honestly animals communicate while we humans complicate things!

    You want the rooster to submit himself to you, you don't want to make him submit. Show him you are in charge by taking control of his body- (calmly always) pick him up, stroke him and wait (sometimes it's a looong time) for him to relax. You want to simultaneously gain his trust- that you aren't a threat to either him or his hens- and show your control of the situation.

    Practically this means being equipped with a long sleeve jacket and safety glasses! You may want to wrap him in a towel and separate him from the other chickens. Stroke his comb, wattles and feet, bond with him again. Don't let him go until he is relaxed. Put him down and pick him up repeatedly until he is comfortable with you. The object is to form a relationship with him, that you are in control.

    You may even want to separate him from the hens for a few days so he can be closer to you and your family. Some of the friendliest roosters are those that have had serious medical problems because they have been cared for by people.
    Last edited: May 12, 2007
  9. hencackle

    hencackle Songster

    Mar 25, 2007
    Telford, TN
    I had an EE rooster that was headstrong that could have easily become vicious with improper handling. He tested the waters alright, especially with my husband. One big mistake DH made was stamping his feet on the ground--he didn't realize he just challenged the rooster. I hope you aren't doing that too.

    The easiest way to start handling your rooster at this point is to wait until he's gone to roost. After he's settled, you can go in and pick him up and hold him like a football. Put his head under your arm and keep the back of his body pointing in front of you. Hold him snug. There is a spot on a chicken's back, between the wings that I press that seems to calm a chicken down. I massage that "pressure point" and if you do it right, you can feel tension ease out of the rooster.

    The important thing to do while you are massaging the pressure point is to keep yourself calm, make yourself breathe calmly. Your demeanor will transfer over to the rooster.

    Most likely you will have to do this a bunch of times before your rooster stops feeling so threatened. The next goal is to be able to carry your rooster "football style" in the yard. Walk around with him and massage that pressure point if needed.

    My roosters love it when I carry them around like this. They get so relaxed that when I set them on the ground they almost fall over.
  10. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon

    Jan 27, 2007
    There is a spot on a chicken's back, between the wings that I press that seems to calm a chicken down. I massage that "pressure point" and if you do it right, you can feel tension ease out of the rooster.

    I was wondering if I was the only one using this method! Our roo (avatar to the left) is two years old and predictable. He just can't help wanting to to test his chances. But the attacks are brief and formalized (throw out the hackles/bite the mud boot/get a push/go about his business). When he's got the hackles out and is standing in front of me I can bend over at the waist with my arm straight out - press down on his back and flip him up under my arm. He never attacks while we're sitting down (when we're able to free range `em he'll join the hens up on the back deck at the end of the day and lie down next to me while the girls preen).

    Took advice about not letting him mount hens in my presence, and not feeding him treats until the hens had had theirs, to heart, and this might have made a difference. Pressing him on the back between the wings seems to work pretty good, as well.

    However, I wouldn't want a roo that wasn't on his `toes' at all times.​

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