mean rooster only attacks ME!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Chickiemama1010, Jan 16, 2010.

  1. Chickiemama1010

    Chickiemama1010 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 16, 2010
    Sullivan
    I have a GC rooster, and 3 GC hens. The hens are sweet as pie. The rooster however is wicked. He is a great "leader" and the hens seem to enjoy his company and trust his direction.

    I am the one that feeds, waters, and cares for them the majority of the time. My husband occasionally will do the "chicken job." I realize the best place for a mean roo is the soup pot. But the prob is that he is only mean to ME! He is almost friends with my husband and allowed my 4yr old son to pick him up over the Summer, although I will not allow my child near him now that hes developed a bad attitude. This roo sneaks up behind me, spurs me, floggs me and chases me. I will not go to the coop anymore without a broom to swat him. Hubby had the idea that its not me but the broom he wants to attack. So, against my better judgement I went out today (with hubby) and no broom. The rooster chased me across the yard and whooped me, with no mercy or letting up even after he got a boot to the face. He spurred me and tore my pants and even broke the skin on my leg. So lovely husband came to my rescue, and picked the roo right up and carried him back to the coop. the rooster jumped up onto his shoulder like a parrot and sat down! He greets my husband and even strangers like hes trying to make friends. But at the first glimpse of me, he puffs up and gets...cocky...no pun intended...and starts slamming into the run like he wants to kill me.So....

    1. has anyone else had issues with a mean roo that only hates one person? Is it because Im a woman/hormones? or because he can sense my apprehension?
    2. is there anything I can do to change this (Im guessing no, just slaughter him or get rid of him)
    3. We were going to hatch chicks in the spring, and I said I'd let him live long enough to procreate, but I dont want to breed a "replacement roo" thats just as mean. I would just as soon buy a batch of chicks and hope for a gentle roo in the mix.

    Also, someone told me that ALL roosters get aggressive at some point, and its best to only keep 1 roo at a time, for no more than 6-8 months and then slaughter him and get another roo. I cant believe thats true, b/c I have heard of ppl having a "pet" roo that is several years old, and nice as can be. A friend of mine from childhood had a 12-yr-old roo named Mr. Jing-a-ling and I remember him chasing and retrieving a ball we would throw as kids. He wound up dying of old age and the family was saddened by his loss.
     
  2. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    So your husband and child pick him up, but you do not?

    I'm thinking that he sees you as the competition. Like another rooster. You care for the flock and feed them, like he does, you're probably his main competition for hen's "attention" so to say.

    The fact that you run away or smack him when he attacks you probably confirms his belief. The fact that your husband will just reach down and snatch him up despite his attacks puts your husband at a higher rank than you (and the roo).
    My hubby is the same way as you are. He won't go in the yard with my rooster.
    When Mr Rooster comes up to me and even thinks about puffing his hackle feathers up for a challenge I get an attitude right back "WHAT do you think you are doing!?!? " I yank on his neck feathers and shove him away from me until he runs, then I say stuff like "How do you like that? Who's the boss now? " Not so much that the words matter, but the attitude that goes along with them.
    My roo attacked my dog one day and I grabbed him up by one leg while he was jumping about. I'm not afraid of his antics, and he knows it. YOU are afraid of your roo, and he knows it.

    Maybe you'll have better luck with a different rooster, but I suggest you read up a bit on how to become the boss of the flock. I know I'd have a hard time keeping one that was inflicting actual damage to me, so I think it might be easiest to make some dumplings and start over with a youngster who wasn't set in his ways.

    Maybe these links will help you
    http://shilala.homestead.com/roosters.html
    and
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=284090
     
  3. iheartchkns

    iheartchkns Out Of The Brooder

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    I think the words "Never let 'em see you sweat" work here. Yes, he senses you are nervous around him and takes full advantage of it. I'm a woman and I have a rooster who was doing the same thing to me, his loving caregiver. I have to say, I gave him a swift kick in the chest when he got me with his talons. That and carrying a stick with me when I went out to let him out of his coop seems to have gotten him to stop. I also, like an earlier poster, gave him attitude to show him I was boss.

    He is now the bodyguard to my two hens, and we have a good, though cautious, relationship. He hasn't tried to attack me a in long time, but I'm always watching him when I'm around him, because I just never know if he's gonna try again.

    Kim
     
  4. Chickiemama1010

    Chickiemama1010 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sullivan
    Well, I am not "afraid" of him per se, but I admit he makes me a tad nervous, and he prob. senses that. I never know when he is going to turn on me. I dont run from him, but as I am leaving the back portion of our yard where the coop is, he will sneak up behind me and when he is confident he is close enough to make a move, he charges at me. I do yell at him and wave my arms above my head at him, boot him, poured H2O on him, sprayed him with the hose, hit him with the broom, and he keeps coming back for more. It was suggested to me by a 4H person that I pick him up and handle him daily, but he has made my hand bleed more than once in an attempt to nab him, and once got me in the ear as I bent down to grab the waterer to clean it. It was out of aggression. not thirst. not shiny earrings either. Hes never even as much as given a mean look to my husband, and has been known to even jump into his lap and sit down for a rest. Then I walk out the back door, and he comes at me full force. Maybe he thinks I am the competition and hubby is like another hen he needs to love? IDK, maybe thats stupid.

    I think part of the issue is my adrenaline gets pumping when I know I am heading that way. More so for the fight I know will ensue than out of fear. His does too. Another prob was that he was given to me along with the rest of my flock, at 3 months old, give or take, and had never been touched by his former keepers since leaving the brooder. They were caged at their first home, and I let them free-range all day at my home. After some raccoon? issue, and a ton of poo, we built a run, and most days they are let out to poke around the yard. There were 4 GC hens, 3 roos, and 2 bantam hens a friend "donated" to me, because of his neighbor calling the police DAILY because of the "noise" (the roos still peeped when I got em. Didnt crow for several weeks after they came here.) I was unfamilliar with raising poultry, and not really set up to do so, but had always wanted to just maybe not w/o notice. So thats what happened. We lost 1 roo and 1 hen to predators, and another roo to the highway. this one left is a jerk. The lost highway roo was soooo sweet, and I wish I still had him. The bantys live in the barn together, they are 7+ yrs old and done laying I suspect, but are so small and get ruthlessly picked on by the larger birds.

    Well, now I am rambling. But i suspect this mean roo will be soup. It'll have to wait till spring tho. he is full of fluffy down and I will off him after he molts his winter fluff, he'll be easier to pluck. I am not cruel, but I think I will get a bit of satisfaction out of cooking him. A little twisted, I know.

    So one last thing....should I let him father the chicks we plan to hatch? or should I look for a calmer, more docile roo to do the job? I have read some of the other "mean roo" threads and there seems to be a belief that its not necessarily the breed, or sometimes even the handling, but the nature and personality of the bird itself, and that mean roos father more mean roos.

    PS thank-you Tala. I think the info is helpful about the "pecking order" and how to dominate. I had no idea it was this complex. I have always had dogs and have had to do the alpha-dog thing with puppies. I guess I can relate it to that. You show a puppy whos boss as a pup. If you try it when they are a year old, its a million times harder to get a "good dog."

    I'll let you know how the soup is. Or dumplings. Maybe pot pie....
     
  5. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    I would keep this roo and modify your behavior...he seems like a good roo in all other aspects. Your fear makes you like a lesser roo, not a hen.

    For starters, you can start thinking like a roo. Go to your chicken yard, not with apprehension, but with confident aggression. Take a lightweight stick with you....like a walking stick or old hoe handle.

    Stride quickly into the area, head straight for him and whack him on the bum with your stick. I'm not talking about breaking bones here, but a good whack that will send him running is a good start. Then chase him as he runs....don't let him come back. Lay in wait for him around a corner and surprise him with other unsolicited attacks when he least expects it....in other words, act like the boss roo. Don't let him eat when you are there, don't let him breed a hen within your reach, don't even let him relax when you are there.....swing that stick and connect with that feathery butt!

    A couple of sessions like this and a smart roo will always walk a wide berth around you. Always keep him on his toes....HE is the lesser roo and he needs to know it. If he isn't smart, eliminate him from your flock genetics. No one needs a chicken that is even dumber than the average bird! [​IMG]
     
  6. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    see boot see rooster, see boot make connection with rooster butt, no problem

    Or like my husband does, run around like a crazy man chasing said rooster. Now rooster takes cover when ever hubby comes out the door.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2010
  7. Chickiemama1010

    Chickiemama1010 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sullivan
    Well, this is all very good advise. He is good at being a roo. He is very kind to his ladies, and usually even tolerates or ignores to the bantams. Its the other hens that beat on those little bantams, and "lady chicken" the banty hen is smaller than a nerf football. She can sit in one hand, tiny little thing. Hes a great protector and in the mornings, when the pop door is opened, hens wont venture out till he comes out, and then sounds the signal that its ok for them to come out too, so they look for him to lead, I think they need him and would be lost w/o him, at least for a bit. I know chickens dont love, they dont have feelings, but instincts, and in this case, their instinct tells them he is the leader and the strong protector. when we were having issues with predators, i thought they all were lost, b/c I found 2 carcasses, and no sign of the rest of the GC flock. (those banties can fly fairly well and flew up to the roof of the barn...no coyote or raccoon can get them there) 2days later I heard a crow on my front porch, and much to my surprise, roo came back with 3 hens in tow, so he took them off somewhere to hide out till the coast was clear. In all these instances, he is a good roo, and his harem are loyal followers to him.

    I suppose since I said hes too fluffy to pluck in winter anyway, I will try to do my part to modify my behavior and see if that knocks him down a peg or 2. But come spring, I'll have to make a decision. I cannot allow him to draw blood on me, and I worry he will come after my son. Its one thing for this roo to fly at me and hit me in the thighs. My little boy is only 4 and if he flew at him he'd get hit in the face. There is no 2nd chance for him when it comes to my child.
     
  8. Dread Pirate Roberts

    Dread Pirate Roberts Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 20, 2009
    NorCal
    This will rectify the situation...

    [​IMG]
     
  9. highcountrychickens

    highcountrychickens Head Rooster Jouster

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    [​IMG]

    Well... hate to tell you this, but it's likely a done deal. Birds have incredible memories, and once a Roo decides something about you in particular, generally it's decided for the long haul - it's part of their programming as part of their job. Yes most of it is body language, dominance, etc... but honestly who knows what goes on in the minds of roosters. There is a BYCer who outlined a rooster behavior remodification concept - I heard that folks have followed it with some degree of success. I'm not sure how to search for it... perhaps starting a thread. I remember that it was on his BYC page.

    Otherwise, I hate to tell you that it will cause stress for you every single time you have to do your "chicken job", but think it's probably true. We had a Wyandotte Roo that I raised literally in my lap in my office who was absolutely the dearest pet. He looked after his girls as an adult, and was friendly enough to us. Then we had to go out of town for a week, and my Mother took over the duties to his chagrin. She was there when the first egg arrived, and when she took it out of the nest box, she got pummeled by the Roo - We thought she was kidding. From then on, he throttled everybody, including me who raised him from a pup. Despite all methods to counter it, he took his job seriously, and eventually went after my neice - We wanted a farm where everyone can feel comfortable participating, especially children, and we had a feather picking problem that was off the charts. We ended up having to start over... It broke my heart, but it's a sad reality.
    (Another case like yours was with a beautiful little Dutch Brown Bantam roo we had who decided that I was the Devil, and my Hubby was his best pal - he didn't flog as badly as the Wyandotte, but he was certainly not pleasant - it was a behavior that endured as long as we had him)

    I hope you have luck reprogramming him!
     
  10. highcountrychickens

    highcountrychickens Head Rooster Jouster

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    Quote:[​IMG]
     

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