My Roo is Getting a Little Too Big For His Britches

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by birdwrangler057, May 22, 2017.

  1. birdwrangler057

    birdwrangler057 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi everyone!
    So I have a 1 1/2 year old rooster who has been the sweetest thing up until recently. He has be attacking the back of my legs when I pick the hens up, and tries to pick a fight with me whenever I walk by. I don't want to kill him (because he's super pretty, and is a great protector). How can I knock some sense into him without locking him up?
     
  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    A friend with roosters uses one of those "pool noodles" the type kids use to float on - at signs of aggression, gives the guy a pop with the noodle. She says only a few and he sees her as #1 and settles down.
     
  3. birdwrangler057

    birdwrangler057 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Huh, I have one, so I'll have to try. I wonder if roosters see male humans a more of a threat?
     
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  4. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    My friend is a lady :)

    It does seem roos respect males better, but maybe because the human males react differently then us ladies to the roosters.
     
  5. spiritbrook

    spiritbrook Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I usually pick them up and hold them upside down by their legs then when they quit flapping then gently lay them down on their back and give them a tummy rub while I "scold" them with my voice quiet. They don't like to be "controlled" and shown that I am bigger than them. When they are lying there quietly I remove my hand. I don't do anything mean to them, just keep the legs (and spurs) in hand by holding them by their legs. I regularly pick them up and inspect them when they are not being aggressive. I pick up all my chickens, ducks, geese on at least a weekly basis so they know that I can and will hold them and all have learned just to relax while I'm checking feathers and looking for parasites or skin problems. It gets tricky if you have more than one rooster, as some roosters will want to help "beat up" the one you are holding. When I've had several roosters I often just go through and pick them all up gently one by one so no one has left out of being held. I also hand feed treats or at least offer them in a small container so that they have to be close to me if they want a goody (and the silly roos nearly always cluck about it and let the hens have the treats anyway)
     
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  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Here's a post copied from Bee Kissed:

    I'm going to give you a clue on "rooster speak"....holding him down doesn't mean anything to him. If you'll watch how roosters interact between dominant ones and subordinate ones, there is rarely any, if ever, holding a bird down for a long time when there is an altercation. There is very quick flogging, gripping by the back of the head and flinging him away or getting him down and giving some savage pecking to the back of the head or neck. No holding him down and nothing else. That's a rooster on a hen maneuver, not rooster on rooster.

    Because your rooster is attacking you, you are the subordinate in this picture. You are getting dominated by your bird simply because you are walking where a subordinate isn't supposed to be walking when a dominant is in the area. What you never see is a dominant rooster getting attacked by a subordinate rooster unless there is going to be a definite shift in power, at which time the sub will challenge the dom and win...or lose. So far you are losing and not even challenging.

    If you want to win this battle, you must go on the offensive, not the defensive. He who attacks first, and is still claiming the area when the other guy leaves it, is the winner. Some people never have to go on the offensive because their movements in the coop are so decisive that they move and act like a dominant and a 2 ft. rooster is smart enough to recognize a dominant attitude and behavior...which is likely why he's never attacked your husband. Most men move more decisively than do women and children and they rarely step around a bird, but walk through them.

    Carrying him around also doesn't mean anything to him...it just doesn't translate at all. His environment is that coop and run floor and that's where you need to speak to him, in a language he understands. Because they are quick on their feet and can evade you, you need a training tool like a long, limber, supple rod of some kind...cutting a nice switch from a shrub or tree that will lengthen your reach by 5 ft. really helps in this. Don't use a rake or broom because they are too clumsy and stiff and can put the hurts on the guy when you don't really mean to.

    When you enter your coop, walk with decisive movements and walk directly towards your rooster. Move him away from the feeder and the rest of the flock and keep a slow, determined pressure on him until he leaves the coop. The stick will help you guide him. Then...wait patiently while he gets his bird mind around what just happened. He will try to come back in the coop...let him. When he gets a good bit into that coop, take your switch and give him a good smack on the fluffy feathers under his tail if you can aim it well. If you cannot, just smack the floor near him very hard and fast until he hops and runs and keep at it until he leaves the coop once again. Repeat this process until he is too wary to come back in the coop.

    Feed your hens. When he tries to come to the feeder, you "attack" him with the switch...smack the wall by the pop door just as he tries to enter. If he makes it inside, pursue him with the stick either smacking the floor or tapping him on the back or the head until he leaves in a hurry. Make him stay outside while you sit there and enjoy watching your hens eat. Use the stick to keep him from the flock..just him. Don't worry about the hens running and getting excited when this is happening...they will get over it. This is for the future of your flock and your management of it.

    When the hens have had a good tucker....leave the coop and let him come back in. Go out later and walk through that flock and use your legs to scatter birds if they get in your way...top roosters do not step to one side for any other bird in the flock. You shouldn't either. Take your stick and startle him with a smack on the floor next to him when he is least expecting it...make that bird jump and RUN. Make him so nervous around you that he is always looking over his shoulder and trying to get out of your way. THAT'S how he needs to be from now on in your lives together. Forget about pets or cuddles...this is a language and behavior he understands. You can hand feed him and such later...right now you need to establish that when you move, he moves...away. When you turn your back, he doesn't move towards you...ever.

    Then test him...take your stick along, move around in the coop, bend over with your back turned to him, feed, water, etc....but keep one eye on that rooster. If he even makes one tiny step in your direction or in your "zone", go on the attack and run him clear on out of the coop. Then keep him out while everyone else is eating.

    THAT'S how a dominant rooster treats a subordinate. They don't let them crow, mate or even eat in their space. If the subordinate knows his place and watches over his shoulder a lot, he may get to come and eat while the other rooster is at the feeder...but he doesn't ever relax if he knows what is good for him. At any given time the dominant will run him off of that feed and he knows it, so he eats with one eye toward the door. If he feels the need to crow, it's not usually where the dom can reach him...maybe across the yard.

    If your rooster crows while you are there, move towards him and keep on the pressure until he stops. He doesn't get to crow while you are there. He can crow later...not while you are there.

    It all sounds time consuming but it really isn't...shouldn't take more than minutes for each lesson and you can learn a lot as you go along. And it can be fun if you venture into it with the right attitude....this is rooster training that really works if you do it correctly. This can work on strange roosters, multiple roosters and even old roosters...they can all learn. You rule the coop...now act like it. Carrying is for babies...you have a full grown rooster on your hands, not a baby.
     
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  7. spiritbrook

    spiritbrook Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think I'm going to stop posting on BYC... When I post tried and true methods used for flocks up to 30 chickens I'm wrong. If I post the rough things I have used successfully, I'm wrong. If I post the more gentle things I have done with my current small flock, I am wrong. My past flock where I used more agressive methods (and was chided for on this website) were the full-sized chickens like Barred rocks and RIR and such. They were tough birds and took some real hands-on approach to make it so any old lady walking down the sidewalk wouldn't be attacked. With my current flock, made up of Serama and part-Serama young chickens if I reacted by swinging and hitting things the chickens would never let me near - and I have to be able to pick them up to show them. The roosters regularly have crow offs and fence battles, worse than the large chickens ever did (has anyone ever heard the term, "bantam rooster syndrome"?) They are more like small gamecocks then the giants in my life 30 years ago. I've stopped short at staking them out, but my neighbors have game cocks and wouldn't bat an eye if I did. Flock dynamics depend on a lot of things, breed of chickens, age of roosters, ratio of roosters to hens, neighbor chickens visible or heard, other poultry in yard or neighboring, predators, children, shelter, food, and so on. To categorize rooster behavior and one method of retraining verses another as right or wrong doesn't apply. For me, carrying or confining the errant rooster works well with the little guys. They are easily traumatized and fragile. These chickens are smart, even the roosters. They recognize when they are not allowed to be outside and enjoy every minute when they can be so restraining them makes an impression. So it works for my current flock and situation. I am not wrong to do it. I got criticized when I wrote down how we used to deal with the big boys years ago, and now I am criticized by posting a modified version.

    The game cock I had years ago, an escapee from a fighting operation many miles away, would never have backed down to any form of physical posturing. He would have fought to the death. He was smart and he was strong, and he learned to be gentle with all animals except roosters by out-smarting him not trying to be a bigger rooster around him. He was missed by the whole neighborhood when he died of old age at 16. I have seen the more aggressive methods work and work well with especially large flocks in open farmyards, but I have seen other methods work equally as well. Sometimes a more subtle method is needed when the chicken yard is also the backyard and occupied by plants, gardens, and other animals and there are neighbors are on the other side of the fence. Running down an errant rooster just doesn't work some surroundings and more planned methods are needed.

    As I said before, this will likely be my last post to this forum. I'm not in the mood to be told I am wrong when I'm posting methods I have used and modified for over 50 years. I came to this website for the duck advice, I don't need to be challenged any time I offer advice.
     
  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    I would not consider it a challenge simply b/c some one handles a particular situation differently. I do not consider it to be a challenge b/c you do things differently than I do. I consider it to be a discussion. I am sorry that you are offended when I post an alternate method. There are many different ways to handle a problem roo, as there are many different ways to feed a flock, house a flock, and tend to all other aspects of their care. We will all find our own way to do things. And the purpose of BYC is to share what works for us.
     
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  9. HenOnAJuneBug

    HenOnAJuneBug Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My 3 roosters are real gentlemen and never give me problems. I talk to them all of the time and treat them like intelligent beings. They just stand watching me with the most curious expressions. I do wonder why many times when I walk up on them they stretch their wings out and flap them. Some hens also do this. Anyone know what that's about?
     
  10. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    I'm not sure where you got the impression you were being told you were "wrong". As LG stated, there are many ways to manage our flocks, and this is a "discussion forum". If we all just posted the same old thing, there wouldn't be much discussion, would there?
     
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