I need to tame my rooster

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jjwattrocks, Mar 22, 2017.

  1. jjwattrocks

    jjwattrocks New Egg

    Mar 20, 2017
    My buff orpington rooster is going to be put in the fair this year, except he is to aggresive. He even attacks me. I'm not sure what to do help me.
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs I Wanna Be A Cowboy Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Dominating an aggressive rooster usually means you teach him to keep his distance.

    With your situation I would use a fishing net to catch him daily, than carry and handle him, than release him. He should begin to respect you and your net while getting used to being handled.

    The act of chasing a chicken down is similar to how chickens dominate each other. If you are concerned about the net messing his feathers up, than using something else like a piece of cardboard to block and herd him into a corner, than pick him up. Be careful, but don't be afraid.

    If he's more aggressive than you can handle than I would find a better rooster.
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Here is another take on how to "tame" a rooster (I think "teach a rooster to respect you" is a more accurate term) from Beekissed:

    "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 and behavior...which is likely why he's never attacked your husband. Most men move more decisively than do women and children and they rarely step around a bird, but walk through them.

    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."

  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri

    I keep lots of roosters, and some are used for show like you plan, and some are used for educational purposes. Judges do not like getting bitten or flogged. Aggressive birds around kids you are trying to teach is a bad situation as well. Several of my free-range roosters are in close proximity to rather small kids so aggression not good there either. So lets get past my motivation for not wanting aggression.

    My philosophy is that aggression of the sort you are seeing is now a way rooster is challenging you or trying to keep you out of his space. He does it because he either gets what he wants from you by a change in your behavior (you retreat) or he gets some sort of release by attacking you. Either way, there is an aggression component. The approach I use is to make every effort prevent him from thinking I am part of the pecking order or something he can repel by attacking. First, no fighting with him which means no punishment or doing something he might perceive as an attack on him. Secondly, no retreating from his attacks.

    Since he already is up to fighting with you, we need to get him to realize you are not a threat and not something he can whip. Each day, go out and pick him up by the body in a smooth direct manner. If he attacks, pick him up anyway. Hold him cradled in your arm and carry him about for about 15 minutes. Wear a heavy shirt if he is a biter during the carrying about. I do not as skin thick. Then sit with him still in your arms to let him calm down and a bit give him of grain or a tasty bug. Then release him in a pen not unlike you use for holding at a show and stay near him but otherwise ignore him. After a bit, in a smooth motion again, pull him out and take him for a short walk cradled in arms. Take him back to where keep him and release him gently into pen and slowly move away closing door.

    At no point do you recoil if he attacks. Experience with this helps a lot.

    I strongly suggest you talk to parties well versed in showing chickens. Mindset required for that differs markedly from that associated with simply keeping a rooster with a flock of hens.

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