My otherwise friendly rooster attacked me and is now wary of me after I hit him with a bucket

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by throwaway123, Jun 16, 2016.

  1. throwaway123

    throwaway123 New Egg

    Aug 5, 2015
    I have an easter-egg Ameraucana rooster who is under 1 years old but is starting to grow spurs. He is very friendly to me, I raised him since he was a chick, I give him treats everyday and he is spoilt rotten. However he has attacked me on three occasions, though the first two are explainable. The first time he kicked me was when I was holding one of the hens, the second time I was wearing red wellie boots. He really hates the colour red. And the third time he took me by surprise. I gave all the chickens seeds as treats but he suddenly spurred me from behind. I had to hit him with a bucket to stop him and eventually I chased him till he took off.

    After this incident, he has kept his distance from me. Usually he would come running up to the fence when he sees me but now he keeps away about a metre away, he doesn't come when I call for him, he clucks less around me and gives me that 'eye'. Maybe I'm over analysing things but I think I have destroyed our relationship.

    I would like advice on how can I make him friendly and comfortable around me? I read you should pick up and hold the rooster everyday till he submits but my rooster hates being touched and I fear this would aggravate and annoy him further.
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    1 person likes this.
  3. Jucodeo

    Jucodeo The Sky is Falling!

    I am very sorry to hear about your rooster and your relationship drifting. The best thing would be to hold him as much as possible, but as you said that may not work. I think your best bet would be to take your time. It seems your rooster has changed into a scared chick. It is like restarting. You have to treat him like he just arrived at your flock. Hitting him with a bucket definitely was not a good idea, but I could see may of us doing the same. It is very prominent that you keep giving him treats. Sometimes even if he doesn't want to be held you still need to. Even if he resists you should try to handle him a few times a day to reduce stress on him. All the best! To find out more about why your chicken is acting up you should visit our Chicken Behavior forum
    Justin [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2016
  4. I never treat my Roosters/Cockerels as pets.
    He needs to learn to keep his distance from you ASAP.
    To the Rooster you are a threat too his hens. If he is attacking you now, the attacks will only get worse.
    Never turn your back to him. Lock him in the coop if you need to pick up a hen.
    A Rooster will die defending his hens and that would be horrid if your the one on the receiving end of his attack.
  5. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    A cockerel running up to you is usually a sign of aggression. It certainly is not the behavior of a rooster that respects you. I'm guessing this is your first time owning a cockerel. A good cockerel is one that keeps his distance. Too many first time owners misinterpret warning signs as 'cute' or 'friendly', when the behaviors are actually indicators of aggression and dominance.
    Take off the rose colored glasses and try to see him for what he is; not as you would like him to be. He is a hormone fueled male. His hormones have taken over, and you are now something to challenge and dominate.
    He may only escalate. No matter what you do. Bottom line, no matter how friendly or tolerant a rooster or cockerel may seem, never turn your back to one. Ever.
    3 people like this.
  6. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2013
    Lower Alabama
    While he's wary go wave a frying pan at him as a warning of things to come if he doesn't straighten up.
    Seriously, roosters are a dime a dozen so I cull agressive ones, they're not worth the hassle to me.
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    You did destroy your relationship.

    Your relationship before was: He was the boss. He called the shots,he was the boss of you. He showed that quite clearly. The first attacks were not excusable, they were attacks. He was establishing his dominance over you.

    You changed that when you went after him. Now, you're the boss, and that's as it should be. He's treating you as he would another dominant bird. Maintaining his distance is a sign of respect. Folks who treat their animals as livestock expect them to keep a certain distance, and enforce that distance. The challenge is when folks want to make livestock into pets. Dogs and cats have had thousands of generations of being pets, chickens not so much. They're not especially wired for it, roosters especially. They're intact male livestock and really should be treated as such.

    So, just change your expectations of your relationship with him. You're the boss now, and he seems okay with that. I would just continue with what you're doing, and don't try to handle or cuddle him. Let him be a rooster. Hens are better for holding and being pets.
    5 people like this.
  8. Jucodeo

    Jucodeo The Sky is Falling!

    That does make more since. You showed him that you are in charge not him. As long as he respects you you should have a good relationship but don't suck up to him because then he will just boss you around again.
  9. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    He may be reformed, or not. He might be fine with you, but I'd watch him at all times. He may also challenge every other human who comes around, and he might be worse by next year. Good work, though, and I do hope he has really reformed. Mary
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I stop handling the cockerels near as much as soon as I know they are cockerels at about 5-6 weeks.
    I still handle them occasionally so they get used to it.......and I continue to handle the pullets and the cockerel must not object.

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