Is my rooster aggressive

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ldelorto, Nov 4, 2015.

  1. ldelorto

    ldelorto Out Of The Brooder

    May 4, 2013
    Auburn Massachusetts
    This is my first rooster. I'm just trying to get an idea of what is normal, and what might be a big problem later on.
    We have a 6 month old SLW rooster. We got him with 5 girls as chicks to add to our flock of 3.
    Recently our older 3 hens started egg eating, so they are separated. They have their own small coop, very small run, and the 6 others are in a very large run and coop. They have only been separated for a few weeks.
    Because the 3 older girls are in a small space they free range for a good part of the day. My Collie does a good job on watching over them and we trust her. We like to let the "chicks" free range with them but the roosters behavior has me a little worried and I'm looking for ideas and feedback.
    The rooster is very protective of the 5 girls. He mates with the older 3 when they free range but is not protective over them like he is for his 5 girls he shares his coop with. One of the 3 older girls (RIR) pecked one of his girls (glw) and he went crazy. He ran over and was just chasing her around the yard. She doesn't let him mate with her very easily so it's hard to tell if that's what he was trying to do at first but really he was just chasing and attacking her. He eventually stopped when she ran on the porch, he wouldn't let her off the porch to join the others after that. Her comb was also bleeding a little in 2 spots. Is this normal? Was he just putting her in her place or should they not be in the yard together? He doesn't have Spurs yet, so I'm not too worried, but I'm not sure if things will be more dangerous then. He also has charged at my dog but hasn't actually attacked her. He did kind of kick his legs up at her but from a few feet away. My dog just tries to stay away from him but not sure if I should stop letting them free range. I don't want my dog to get hurt. Does this seem like a problem aggressive rooster or just a good rooster doing his job.
    Looking for thoughts and advice. Sorry it's so long.
  2. ChickenGoesRuff

    ChickenGoesRuff Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 8, 2015
    Try separating him from hens for a few days(kennel in the coop, maybe?) It will let the pecking order even out as his adolescent hormones level out. My roos were all like that until i separated them for a bit (they had separate coop/ free ranged while hens had enclosed run. Best part was my silkie tried to court the ladies through the fence.) I put them in the same run now and they are fitting in fine acting mellow. Don't freak out if the combs have a few marks, but if it gets to be too much separate again and try again. Best of luck!
  3. ksguy

    ksguy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2015
    Based on my limited experience, I'd opine that things are going to go downhill quickly. We had a rooster that hatched on June 6, so he was just under 5 months old, start acting aggressively toward people this last Saturday. It started with a quick face-off with my wife, who was saying hi to our favorite hen (the youngest Buff Orpington). As she was leaving the coop, he chased her and bit the back of her leg. Then on Sunday, the very next day, my little girl (3) was holding that same hen, and he went NUTS. Reared up and attacked her with both feet, clawing and biting, and by the time I got to her, he'd done it again. Her legs were scratched up and she was bawling, so I took her in to my wife for first aid, grabbed the hatchet from the workshop, and put an end to those shenanigans - no questions asked and no remorse. He had probably 3 minutes of life between attacking my little girl and turning in to dog food.

    For comparison, here was our situation. We got him as a chick with some other birds, only 4 of whom remain - all 4 being pullets. Then a month or so ago, we introduced 3 older pullets (8 weeks older) after they were through with quarantine. He mated the 3 older pullets, and primarily hung out with them, but was still protective of the 4 younger birds - although he'd peck at them from time to time as if to reinforce their pecking order position beneath the birds he mated with. Again, it didn't seem like aggression.

    We also have a dog who is super chill and just wanders around the yard with them when they free range. He'd stand up to my dog a little bit if she got too close for his liking, but nothing we thought of as aggressive, just protective. It's like one day he just snapped.

    Everything I've read around here says that once a rooster decides that he needs to be aggressive to a non-chicken (people, pets, etc.), it's over. No rehabilitation. No turning back. It just gets worse, and if you try to stand up to him, he feels challenged and ups his game. Sadly, in my case, I ignored his first attack on my wife (minimal though it may have been), thinking it a fluke - and less than 24 hours later it cost me.
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Shazam Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    He does seem to have a lot of spunk, usually a dominant rooster would put him in his place, since you don't have one it's up to you, and you are supposed to be dominant over any roosters anyways. I would separate him out as well in a pen where he can still be seen, and I would plan on keeping him in there for a few months, letting him out every so often and see if he's improving, than put him back until you are happy with his behavior. All the chasing and rounding him up will make you dominant rooster.

    With him locked up for a bit I would work on getting all your hens together and addressing the egg eating, most of the time it's from a lack of protein or calcium, switch them to a higher protein feed and make sure there's a dish of oyster shells always available. You can also give them things like cottage cheese, canned fish, meal worms, and other things higher in protein.
  5. cicknmama

    cicknmama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 23, 2014
    Hardin, Montana
    I have a question about my Roo. He is 6 months old now and I brought him home with 3 pullets the same age. I integrated him into the flock with 5 pullets a few weeks older and 5 hens of various ages. He is a good rooster and has never been aggressive toward me. He allows me to pick him up when I need to and hold any of the hens but is watchful. Just recently my daughter went out to put them away for the night and give them their evening snack and she noticed that he put up his hackles and jumped at one of my older hens. She ran away and hid in the bushes and wouldn't come out. I had also noticed that he chases the older hens away from food bowls and only allows the younger hens to eat. Its like they are two separate flocks. He doesn't mate with or protect the older hens and chases them away at feeding time. The older hens are molting now, but seem a bit skinny. Don't know if this is the molt or are they stressed and not eating? Is this normal pecking order or what?
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2015
  6. BlessedCountry6

    BlessedCountry6 Chillin' With My Peeps

    This is what I do with my roosters. I have learned on here don't hold them or pet them. On my own, applying animal logic either I am the leader or they are. I have 4 kids so I have to lead. I had a couple roosters walk toward me dragging their winds my direction ready to battle. Game on. I walk toward them and push them with my foot. (Don't kick but push them back enough to push them out of their spot). This rooster made the same motions and I did it again and again until it ran away. I do this everyone.

    Once we they were old enough to to know they were roosters we did not hold them and pushed them away when they got to close even if they weren't being aggressive, to show them to respect our space. I have done the same thing if they are too rough with the hens.
    One rooster was taken by an Eagle and the other 2 we culled. We r left with one rooster who is a calm man now that he is the only rooster. With more than one rooster they seemed to egg each other on and were rough with the girls. I guess they were trying to mate after each other so it would be their chick. It was just too much on the hens and we had 35 at the time.

    I prefer a skittish rooster who want nothing to do with people but who will protect my girls.
    Also when you have an aggressive rooster BYC member let me know if you hatch chicks from those roosters you are breeding aggression into your flock. I keep that it mind. Do I want this roosters behavior to come out in my chicks? If I don't then they are stew.

    I am thankful for those roosters and the food they provide for my family but I don't want an aggressive flock with my young kids.
  7. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi, for a mature roo, no its not normal behaviour - he should be mating with all the girls and protect them, not chase them away from feed. However, since he is only 6 months old, he probably has not quite worked out how to treat all his girls. Personally i have given up owning roos - too much hassle. If i want to breed in the future i would just get fertile eggs and set them under a broody.
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
  9. cicknmama

    cicknmama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 23, 2014
    Hardin, Montana
    My oldest hen is around 5 or older. I inherited her and don't know exact age. She was with a Roo when I got her. The other ladies are 2 and 3. All have been with a Roo so know how to submitt. I think this is a case of young Rooster. I was with them this morning for quite sometime, and he seems fine. He did chase one of my older hens, but she was the one doing the pecking on a younger hen. Maybe he was keeping order? He really is a very nice guy. He has been aggressive with my husband and 18 year old daughter but I think they were treating him like a baby. I have corrected their behavior toward him and he seems to have responded well. I will see how the winter goes and keep an eye on him and how he interacts with the older ladies. Maybe he just hasn't earned their respect yet? Thanks for the response.
  10. cicknmama

    cicknmama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 23, 2014
    Hardin, Montana
    Thanks for the insight. I don't want to breed aggression either. I will monitor him closely. We'll see how he does over the winter. Thanks

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