My docile roo has gone off the deep end! Updated, making progress!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by fivestring, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. fivestring

    fivestring Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2008
    Nashville Georgia
    Sorry about the long post. I just want to make sure all the info is here so I can get some help....

    I have a Buff Orp roo that has been a sweetheart for several months now. A gentleman with the ladies and a provider and protector for the whole flock. I could be in the coop or run and not even worry about where he is.

    Today was the first day I have let my flock out of the run to free range for the whole day. Everything was fine until my wife walked out into the yard. She called to me to tell me all the chickens were following her around, making her a little anxious. Then the BO roo, who is the alpha roo, charged her. Before I could tell her to stand still and not back up, she took a step backward and the roo flogged her lower legs. No harm done but then the battle was on! He would not stop. I told her to stand still and DON'T back down! She would kick out her leg every time he charged but the roo would not give up. Finally she gave him a good swift boot, not with her foot but her leg, hard enough to tumble him about 5 feet. He then finally seemed to stop, for a while. As soon as she went to walk away, he charged again. I stepped in between them and he stopped immediately.

    A friend and his wife stopped by. The roo went straight to the friend's wife and attacked her the same way. She is not a familiar person to the roo, but my wife is.

    Later, my 14yr old DD came home from school. SAME THING! And she works with the chickens every day! What the HECK?!

    The roo never attacked me, my 12 yr old son, or my male friend.

    I have read Rooster Red's page several times. I had my DD catch and hold the roo for 15 minutes. Soon after, he would run at her again. She caught him again and carried him around upside down for a few minutes. We went through this all evening. He still runs at her as soon as she tries to walk away. She has bruises all over her calves from the experience. She understands he is not 'just mean'.

    What am I to do? I really do not want to eat him or get rid of him. What happened to his mindset when he was let out of the run??
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2009
  2. #1California Chick

    #1California Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 5, 2008
    SF Bay Area
    Maybe having to be COMPLETELY in charge was too much stress for him!! Especially if he was RESPONSIBLE for the whole day free ranging!! Maybe you just need to let him out with the girls for a few hours and then increase the time.

    I would have your DD and DW continue to follow Rooster-Red's advice.

    I think that he will eventually get over himself!!

    Good Luck!!

  3. CovenantCreek

    CovenantCreek Chicks Rule!

    Oct 19, 2007
    Franklin, TN
    My first thought is that he was overwhelmed by the additional responsibility of trying to protect his girls in this new environment. If he wasn't sure about someone (for whatever reason he only picked women), they had to go. My roo tends to be drawn more to attacking women, as well. Maybe there are pheromones in the air that make them think women should be more subservient members of the flock. Or maybe thousands of years of chicken history has implanted it into their little brains that women carry the hatchet...... [​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2009
  4. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    How old is this rooster?
  5. fivestring

    fivestring Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2008
    Nashville Georgia
    I bought him fully grown. I was told he was 1 -1.5 yrs old.
  6. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    It does sound like he was major league stressed with what he considers a solemn responsibility to protect the ladies out in the big bad world. Hours and hours of this is a lot of work for a roo that takes his job very seriously! Try having these outings be short in duration at first (close to bed time) and offer treats for good behavior. Poor fellow may need a bit of Rescue Remedy in his water so he can safely calm down.
  7. fivestring

    fivestring Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2008
    Nashville Georgia

    Things have gone from bad to terrible. Now the roo charges everyone except me, even if he is in the run and the human is outside it. I haven't allowed free range since Saturday. Just in the run for now.

    It seems strange to me that this has taken place at the same time two of my hens started laying eggs.

    Also, consider this. The alpha hen was playing mother to my 7 adolescent birds who are nearly 3 months old. She would pass all the treats to them and call them over when she found something good to eat. Suddenly, about 2 weeks ago, she began pecking them when they came close. Soon after, she started laying for the first time since I have owned her. She continues to chase all the young ones away any time they get close to her. Sometimes she just goes to them and chases and pecks at them.

    So this has all taken place simultaneously. Before this, it was a very peaceful group. What is going on and what should I do? My poor wife is now afraid to go near the run.

    Any help is greatly appreciated.
  8. DDRanch

    DDRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2008
    Oh, I am so sorry you are having such troubles. I don't have a rooster so I cannot offer any advice there, but my little flock several weeks ago experienced a lot of anxiety and nervouseness for no apparent reason that I could see. They even displayed some aggression towards each other and were stand-offish with me. Usually they are sweet, gentle, get along well, and jockey for who gets picked up first.

    Well, the other day I discovered a red fox stalking them while they were locked up in the run. My point is that perhaps yours are being frightened or harassed by something unknown to you.

    I hope your troubles end soon.
  9. Pinky

    Pinky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2008
    South GA
    All of my hens who have hatched out chicks would chase their chicks away from them when the chicks were old enough to fend for themselves.I think it's the mother hen's way of introducing them into the pecking order and the rest of the flock.Also my hens usually do this when they start laying eggs again.My mother hens stop pecking after a while.
    It does sound like your rooster was stressed to me.Maybe if yu give him some extra time to cool down he will be less aggresive.
    ps:cute avatar [​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2009
  10. PQ

    PQ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2009
    Platina, Ca.
    Dont worry about the "mama" hen. This is normal this is something all hens do to there young when they are ready for them to "grow up" It also meens she is ready to sit again be happy you may have a good sitter on your hands! Good Luck.
    You may need to completly separate your rooster for awhile. Bring him in, in a crate, baby him when he goes back out he will be the low man on the pole and maybe will be less prone to attack the ones whom spoiled him. Cant say as I've ever tried this, we have never had any of our roosters attack anythink but owls and hawks. This is just what I think I would do with mine if this happened. I really love the roosters we have now the ones we didnt like went in pot or to swap. Blessings and keep those pant legs long [​IMG]

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