Merle the Rooster Suddenly HATES me!

sunnyvista50

In the Brooder
7 Years
Dec 29, 2012
25
0
24
I am beside myself. After nursing Merle back to health in December and setting him up in his own little kingdom he has started attacking me when I enter their large pen. Im trying to figure out what I might have done to cause him to do this. I had noticed when I brought their treats in thathe wouldnt eat right awaywith the girls. Since he was so sick with the swollen eyes infection I thought maybe he was having trouble seeing and started showing him the treats first and offering some to him. He never took any. Only afer this did I read how protective roosters are of their hens and how the hens eat first. Right about that time he started going for me. I was away this weekend and my husbandtook care of them. He said Merle looked him over but never went for him. I got back this evening and when I entered the coop he lunged at me to the point that I have a nice knot on my that Im sure will bruise. Im afraid of what will happen when I clean the coop his weekend, What if Im on all four cleaning out the shavings and he goes for my head? Myhusband cant be with me all the time and I dont want him to be. I dont want t be afraid of my "relaxing hobby" and I love Merle. He's not more than 6 months old. What's going on??
 

sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
May 3, 2009
117,819
331,536
1,957
New Jersey
The tetosterone is raging and he is becoming the flock boss. Nip it in the bud or it will escalate. It is not a result of anything that you have done. He is simply maturing and expressing his dominance. Get a short handled fish net and scoop him up when he comes at you. Carry him around in the net as you do your chores. They hate the subordination that the net causes, and will generally learn to leave you alone when you carry it. Do not put yourself in any position where he can fly at your face. A rooster's toenails or spurs can readily put out an eye. Please, deal with him very carefully.
 

Clackclack

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 20, 2013
118
8
71
Even the nicest roosters can turn sour on you as they grow up, and that's what you are seeing. People suggest various methods and of different degree of violence, but I have my doubts that this instinctual behaviour can be overcome easily and without resorting to treating the rooster very poorly. I sometimes use a water pistol and squirt the rooster in question, but that doesn't really resolve the problem, just keeps him away. See what happens and then decide whether you can live with it or not.
 

sunnyvista50

In the Brooder
7 Years
Dec 29, 2012
25
0
24
Thank you all for the input. It's comforting to know he is just doing his job. I think after reading your comments ill try corralling him into a dog cage we have when i clean and stop trying to raise him with the expectation that he will behave like a dog instead of a rooster.
 

Reurra

Crowing
9 Years
Apr 11, 2012
2,142
926
317
Nova Scotia
Go into the pen after dark when Merle and his ladies are sound asleep and KIDNAP poor Merle. Put him in a small coop, pen, box or cage until the cleaning the next day is completed then release him.

This can work sometimes. Giving them a Time Out where they can see but not touch the ladies can sometimes change their attitudes.

One trick I learned with a rooster was a trick i learned right here on BYC.

When your rooster comes at you, dont dodge or flinch, just nab him, right there. Dont hesitate. The minute he lunges and gets in rage, grab hold of him and push him down so his head is on the ground in front of him. make sure his legs are under him and you are on top, like he does with his girls. Use one hand to hold his head to the ground by his comb. This is what a dominant roo will do to a subordinate roo. Now that you ahve him down, draw your hand away from his head, if he brings his head up, use your forefinger to tap it down firmly, like a roo would peck a subordinate down. Keep him like this for about 60 seconds, then draw your hands away slowly, dont let him get up on his own until you tap him or push him up. You are giving him permission.

Dont turn your back on him ever. And if he goes to mount a hen while in your presence, stop him right away. he is showing you and his girls, that he is boss by mating in your presence. He is telling you, he owns the flock and you.

Another method i have used and worked was to carry the roo under my arms while i worked. I made sure his head was down too, he was not allowed to bring his head up above his shoulders while i carried him.

Always be gentle, but be firm and unwavering. Never abuse, but make sure they know you are bigger and badder and smarter than they are.

I did these techniques the minute I saw a problem, I never let it get to the point of outright attacks. The one bird that did attack me became dinner.

You have to draw a hard line with roosters. They give no quarter, and neither should you.
 
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sunnyvista50

In the Brooder
7 Years
Dec 29, 2012
25
0
24
Planned to clean the pen before work this morning and asked my 6' 240 lb husband to come with me for protection. I overheard him in the pen having a talk w/ Merle that made me laugh but had an impact. He said something like mommy is going to bring you treats and clean your house. You can't be mean to Mommy. Mommy is my hen just like these hens are yours so if you hurt Mommy I'll kick your a&$ just like you would for your girls" all in a firm yet pleasant voice. We had NO problems at all. I'm seeing a light at the end of this tunnel.
 

sunnyvista50

In the Brooder
7 Years
Dec 29, 2012
25
0
24
Holy cow Merle went for me in front of my husband this evening. It startled Billy to the point he jumped in and nudged Merle with his foot. Merle reared up and went for him a few times. My husband had to kick him to get him back away from us. It didnt hurt Merle jyst startked him. Merle a bit more subdued after that and now Bilky feels bad. Hope this settles down soon. Maybe it's puberty and he'll calm down?
 

Glory Bee

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 21, 2013
24
0
24
This can work sometimes. Giving them a Time Out where they can see but not touch the ladies can sometimes change their attitudes.

One trick I learned with a rooster was a trick i learned right here on BYC.

When your rooster comes at you, dont dodge or flinch, just nab him, right there. Dont hesitate. The minute he lunges and gets in rage, grab hold of him and push him down so his head is on the ground in front of him. make sure his legs are under him and you are on top, like he does with his girls. Use one hand to hold his head to the ground by his comb. This is what a dominant roo will do to a subordinate roo. Now that you ahve him down, draw your hand away from his head, if he brings his head up, use your forefinger to tap it down firmly, like a roo would peck a subordinate down. Keep him like this for about 60 seconds, then draw your hands away slowly, dont let him get up on his own until you tap him or push him up. You are giving him permission.

Dont turn your back on him ever. And if he goes to mount a hen while in your presence, stop him right away. he is showing you and his girls, that he is boss by mating in your presence. He is telling you, he owns the flock and you.

Another method i have used and worked was to carry the roo under my arms while i worked. I made sure his head was down too, he was not allowed to bring his head up above his shoulders while i carried him.

Always be gentle, but be firm and unwavering. Never abuse, but make sure they know you are bigger and badder and smarter than they are.

I did these techniques the minute I saw a problem, I never let it get to the point of outright attacks. The one bird that did attack me became dinner.

You have to draw a hard line with roosters. They give no quarter, and neither should you.

This sounds like excellent advice. I also agree with the previous poster that permanent damage could be inflicted , and so, I believe I would consider wearing eye protection at the least.
 

sunnyvista50

In the Brooder
7 Years
Dec 29, 2012
25
0
24
That's such an informative post with great tips. My husband felt so bad for Merle afterwards he brought treats out to the pen. He even threw a big piece of sod grass in for them. I don't think I'll do any bending over or squatting work before Billy either corrals Merle and moves him elsewhere while I'm busy or at least has a keen eye on the little buzzard. Who would think one little bird could cause such commotion?? We do love him tho.
 

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