Is this normal rooster behavior?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by NorthChicken, Aug 22, 2014.

  1. I am fairly new to chickens, got some last fall that are now about a year old, and have seven 19 week olds as well that I got this spring. One turned out to be a rooster, and for the time being I am letting him stay.

    I have never been around roosters and don't know if this is normal or not. I can't say I like it, but not sure if it just comes with the territory of having a rooster.

    Whenever I try to pet or pick up one of the girls, he comes rushing towards me. He stops and stares, but hasn't really tried much other than the sideways dance thing and stomping his feet at me. If they start getting a bit annoyed at being handled and bawk a few times, he puts up his neck feathers and challenges me. I had to grab him and carry him around for a few minutes tonight to try and take him down a notch, but I came out an hour later and he was back to striding up to me with chest out and did his sideways challenge move again. I have walked at him to get him to move out of my way, gently booted him when he got a bit too fresh with me, and held him to the ground for a minute, then pecked him with my fingers like a beak. Doesn't seem to deter him.

    If I open the coop door, he is just about level with my face (I have a raised coop), and frankly that makes me a bit nervous!!

    He is also 19 weeks old, so I imagine his attitude will only get more aggressive? Or is this just what roosters do? I can't say I enjoy having to walk on eggshells (no pun intended!!) around the girls without him running over to make sure I'm not touching any of them. Is this just something you have to learn to deal with when you own a rooster?
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2014
  2. Stiggy

    Stiggy Songster

    Apr 29, 2014
    New Zealand
    His behavior shows that he is challenging you, the mating dance etc , he has no respect for you being the top of the order. I suggest either culling/ removing him or keep a close eye on him, kinda like the 3 strike policy.that being said personally I would cull him
    1 person likes this.
  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    ^^^ post x 2
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Dinner! He's dinner! This is not a cockrel that will ever be safe with people, IMO. Mary
  5. 20eas12

    20eas12 In the Brooder

    Jun 9, 2014
    I'd cull him. We had one that was kinda testing us. He would run right at us and chase my kids (who raised them) so we kept him locked in the run for a while. When we let him out he attacked my father in law twice while he was holding my son. My father in law kept kicking him so that he wouldn't get my 1yr old but the roo kept coming back. As much as I liked that roo he was in my freezer two days later. Its not worth the risk.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2014
  6. LittleGecko

    LittleGecko Chirping

    Jul 5, 2014
    I have two roosters and neither of them behave in this way, one is mostly interested in food and attention and the other in food. They are not aggressive towards me or any other person.
    Sounds like you have an aggressive one and being only 19 weeks old he is probably going to get worse. Someone I used to know had to feed their chickens armed with a dustbin lid to fend off a problem rooster.
    Might be a good idea to fatten him up for the table, there are plenty of good natured breeds if you want to keep a rooster, Brahmas are really sweet natured and docile, my Brahma roo loves to sit on the sofa with us in the evening and dozes off after treats and cuddles from my daughter!
  7. Thanks for the help! I guess I will cull him, I just didn't want to cull him if his behavior was normal for a rooster and it wouldn't escalate. But I have a 5 year old son that loves to help with the chickens, and I can't risk him (or me!) getting hurt.
  8. Stiggy

    Stiggy Songster

    Apr 29, 2014
    New Zealand
    Fair enough, Although I love my chickens I do my best to not get attached to the roosters as I replace them every breeding season or so. I only have one who has a forever home here ( rescued faverolles mix), sadly the rest are more so disposable. I would wait till your girls are a little older and introduce a calm older rooster/ rooster who is calm and gentle. sometimes it takes a few roosters of bad temperament before you get a good one. I know what you mean, as a disabled person I cannot be dealing with aggressive hens or roosters, and I certainly don't want any children who come to visit to be scared of them. Some say that a human scared roo works best since he will be to frightened to come close, but its a personal choice. both of my roosters are human friendly, will eat out of my hand, but cannot be picked up to cuddle, which is how I prefer it.
  9. mightymax

    mightymax Songster

    Oct 8, 2013
    Central Coast, CA
    YES!!! The answer to your question is 'yes' (Is this normal rooster behavior) and I don't believe anyone on this thread bothered to mention that. Why is it that 'rooster' has become such a dirty word anymore? Now, I'm not going to sit here and argue that every roo. with a personality deficit can be 'rehabilitated', because not all of them can be. But many can be turned around and many more can actually be re-trained to accept 'you' as the dominant flock leader. It just takes a little work and a little time, and I mean very little of either of those. I currently have 9 chickens...2 one month old chicks, 3 pullets and 4 roosters. And not all of my roos were perfect gentlemen from the get go. No way! A couple of them got the softer side of one of my Hush Puppies and a few even got the harder side of the boot I was wearing one day. Yet all of them now live a harmonious life together free ranging on my property, seemingly without a care in the world. I don't think that the word 'cull' and 'rooster' should be used in the same sentence as often as it is around here and they surely shouldn't be considered synonymous.
    Just my 2 cents!
  10. Stiggy

    Stiggy Songster

    Apr 29, 2014
    New Zealand
    While I respect your opinion, and the others on here. I would like to point out that not everyone has a huge amount of time or energy to rehabilitate a rooster(s) . I have nothing against roosters, I've had and been around my fair share of them, I used to live on a farm with over 1000 hens and many roosters so I've seen the good and bad. Like I said its a personal thing, I don't believe that you should have to 'enforce' with violence or a mid shove etc and I have enough up and coming roosters that I can take my pick of who I deem acceptable to both personality and breed standard, so any extras or ones that I have no time to be rehabilitating go down old curry road... as I don't have the time or physical capacity to be dealing with aggressive, menacing hens or roosters ( I'm not gender picky when it comes to this) And I certainly don't want any aggressiveness or problematic behaviour in my flock or in the offspring.

    I agree that not all of them are gentlemen from the get go, it can take time and practice for them to get the nack, some have it, some will get it and others will never have it

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