Mean Rooster?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Fluffychicky, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. Fluffychicky

    Fluffychicky Chirping

    Mar 26, 2013
    Sophia, NC
    I have a beautiful 10 weeks old Dorking rooster (Napoleon). And he's getting kind of rude, when I give treats he steals food from the girls and right out of my hand, he's also started grabbing on to their back feathers and nipping them (not drawing blood but making them squawk). Is this normal rooster behavior, will he be nicer to the girls in the future? He has never attacked me but he does eyeball me a lot and I reached down to pick him up today and he pecked me, it didn't hurt but it was definitely a don't touch me kind of peck. I'm afraid he's going to be a stinker but I don't want to get rough with him. He does alert the flock but so far that's the only good rooster thing I've seen him do. Did I get a dud or will he grow into his role? And how can I assert my dominance without hurting him before he gets the bright idea to attack me...because I've got this nagging feeling he will and I don't want to exile my little Napoleon to the stew pot.
  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Okay, to begin with, this is perfectly normal young rooster behavior. At 10 weeks old, his hormone levels are likely ramping up, and he will be starting to act like an adult rooster. When he gets older (seven months or so), he should mellow out.

    Stealing food from pullets should not be a problem; he should eventually grow out of that behavior and star acting more mature. As for grabbing back feathers, he is likely just showing his dominance over them. As long as he doesn't get more aggressive (yanking feathers out, attacking the pullets constantly, etc), and there's no blood, you should let things be. They'll work things out in the end.

    There are several things you can try to gain dominance over your rooster. While doing chores (feeding, watering, etc), pick him up and carry him around with you. This lets him know that you can do anything you want with him. When giving your chickens treats, give the pullets treats first. Don't allow him to hand the treats over to the pullets himself; if he does, this means that he thinks that they are his pullets, not yours.
    Whenever he pecks you, tap him back. You don't have to be mean about it. All you have to do is make him back away a few steps and rethink what he just did.

    If he starts all-out attacking you, you could try some more things. When he attacks, speed-walk after him, making him get out of the way. If he's on a perch, knock him off; this is what a dominant rooster would do to a subordinate one. You could also try holding him down on the ground for a few minutes, as a dominant rooster would do something similar.

    Good luck!
  3. Fluffychicky

    Fluffychicky Chirping

    Mar 26, 2013
    Sophia, NC
    That makes me feel quite a bit better, I was worried he was just going to be a wife beater, as for carrying him around I have no problem doing that, I already grab him every chance I get, so hopefully me and him will co-exist peacefully when he's full grown and a little more dangerous.
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Don't let him eat treats from your hand anymore. Make him move away from you, don't let him approach you on his terms, it has to be on your terms. I'm not a fan of handling roosters at all, but if you're determined to, if he goes to peck you push him down firmly and make him stay there. Or, move toward him strongly and make him move away from you. I'd advise doing that every time you're around him, just make him yield to you. It's exactly what a mature rooster would do to keep a youngster subordinate.
    1 person likes this.
  5. RWise

    RWise Songster

    Dec 25, 2012
    Oakhurst Oklahoma
    He's a teenager he'll grow out of it!
  6. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
  7. Fluffychicky

    Fluffychicky Chirping

    Mar 26, 2013
    Sophia, NC
    OK so I got this new hen and had to clip her wings, so i grabbed her and she flapped really hard and sqwuaked and mister big shot got cranky. He puffed up (not fully flared but pretty fluffed) and took some steps toward me. I moved to him very quickly he kind of backed away a little and turned to go but I reached down and held him in place. He pecked me (not hard but quick) I "pecked" him in the head and he stopped moving I then picked him up and carried him around. This is kind of a mix match of things I've heard people say to do, was that ok or should I be more aggressive next time, like pinning him to the ground or chasing him?

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