Kill them with kindness?


12 Years
Sep 2, 2007
When I first got chickens and was learning and reading what I could about them most recommendations for dealing with an aggressive rooster was to dominate them and never let them win.

I worked at this and tried hard, but nothing ever seem to change the temperament of the rooster. It always seemed they were either or nice or born aggressive. Mean ones stayed mean and nice ones stayed nice.

I have an aggressive one right now. He’s just short of a year old and he attacks me anytime I go in to tend to the hens. I’ve been letting him have it for attacking me but like all those times before it’s not getting any better. Obviously I need to do something different.

It might be too late now because he sees me as a threat but has anyone ever won over an aggressive rooster by arriving at the coop with treats? I wonder if he could learn to see me as something positive instead of a threatIf every time he saw me I was tossing berries and breadcrumbs. Does anyone have any thoughts?


9 Years
Jul 18, 2013
Kalispell MT
I isolated my aggressive rooster in a small coop. Fed and watered him twice a day, hoping he would finally see me as the bringer of good things. Did that for 6 weeks. Let him out. Next day he was back to attacking people. Personally I don't think it's worth the time and bother to attempt to calm down an aggressive rooster. Won't ever put up with one again. Have 2 really calm roosters now.

Redhead Rae

Chickens, chickens everywhere!
5 Years
Jan 4, 2017
Braxton County, WV
I personally select for docility. Any rooster that attacks goes to freezer camp. I have a son who is 20 months old. I can't keep actively dangerous animals around and I don't have time or engergy to "school" them. I will only breed naturally docile birds going forward.

However, some people do take the time to train their roosters.

@KikisGirls can you post a link to that awesome write-up?


9 Years
Jun 19, 2013
Central Florida
This was posted by Beekissed quite awhile ago. I've used it for years, adapting to my own situation at times, and it works. Many others on here will tell you it works too. Try it. BTW, don't breed an aggressive rooster.

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 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 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 act like it. Carrying is for have a full grown rooster on your hands, not a baby.


9 Years
Jun 19, 2013
Central Florida
Most of the time when people complain about a rooster, it's due to age, and hormones. When that's the cause, they usually settle down within a few months, like Holly said.


Aug 16, 2017
i think roosters are complex animals with deep thoughts but aren't particularly bright. my pet rooster never responded well to any negativity. definitely not the same as training a dog. if anything, getting mad at him only makes him act out more. took a lot of hugs and telling him he's a good boy more than anything

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