My rooster hates my little girl. HELP!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by gumpsgirl, Oct 6, 2008.

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  1. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Rhodey, my RIR roo, has always been a pretty calm natured rooster for the most part until recently. He is a true gentleman with all of the hens and does an A-1 job standing guard and protecting all the girls. My problem that I am starting to have with him now is that he keeps going after my 4 year-old and attacking her. His spurs are just now starting to grow, so they haven't been an issue be he keeps getting her with his beak and his spurs will be an issue before long. Now if I'm out in the yard and he sees me watching him, he won't touch her, but as soon as my back is turned he goes after her. A few weeks ago my DD was throwing some sand at the hens and that was the first time Rhodey got her, but I didn't grab him up and discipline him because he was protecting his hens and my DD was wrong and learned a lesson from it. But now any time she walks past the chickens or through the yard, he goes after her for no reason. I'm at my wits end with him. He's been such a big part of my family and flock, that I hate to get rid of him but if he is going to hurt my little angel all of the time, he's going to have to go. I realize that the sand throwing incident probably left an imprint on him, but is there some way to reverse that and reprogram this boy? Something has to change, or Rhodey has to go.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2008
  2. sdshoars

    sdshoars Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i know you probably dont want to hear this, but if i had a rooster go after a child, much less my own child, he would make friends with some dumplings verrrry quickly. the only other thing i can suggest is to have her chase him, and beat him up a little bit, and maybe, just maybe, he will understand she is more dominant than him. but at my house, he would be dinner.
     
  3. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Quote:Yeah, well that's really along the lines that I've been thinking but I hate to give my girls guardian up. If it comes to that, then so be it, but I am really looking for someone to chime in to see if there is a way to reprogram this boy before he ends up in the stew pot. If not, then it is stew pot for the 'ole boy.
     
  4. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member

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    I think it's absolutely unfair to punish the bird by getting rid of him based on something your child did. That's like shooting a dog that bit a kid after the kid pulled its tail and beat it with a stick. Of course the rooster is going to respond aggressively to your daughter; he perceives her as a threat.

    Unless you work with your daughter to help her learn the way humans should interact with animals, I don't doubt that the same problems will resurface even if you rehome this rooster and get another one. Your daughter may continue to do things like throw sand at the flock and the new rooster, starting the issues all over again.

    Instead of getting rid of your rooster, I would take the time to slowly reintroduce your daughter and the rooster to each other. You may want to have them together only during these supervised times. Have her feed him his favorite treats, and hold him gently so that she can pet him and speak nicely to him. Also, have her take the time to do the same with the hens so that she learns the right way to interact with chickens. If the rooster becomes aggressive, tell her to tell him, "No!" in a firm manner (or some other dominant behavior that is easy for her to remember) while you provide some form of discipline for the bird (see Rooster Red's suggestions about training mean roosters).

    Good luck with this situation! Kids can cause all sorts of interesting problems sometimes.
     
  5. lauralou

    lauralou Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Stacey,

    I'm so sorry that you are having this problem. Your daughter is pretty young, if I remember correctly. As her mother, I know that you are concerned with her safety, first and foremost.

    I don't have any real good advice for you. I can tell you that I had an aggressive rooster, and nothing that I tried worked with him.

    And then, finally, he really hurt me. Brought tears to my eyes, and I'm a big, grown up girl. And, well, he was delicious.

    I'd just hate to think that he might kick your daughter in the face, or who knows what... It's their nature. So just keep your eye on him at all times, until you decide what to do.

    I truly hope that you can turn him around, and a good place to start is Rooster Red's rooster page. There's a link to the page in his signature.

    Good luck, and keep us posted.
     
  6. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

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    My first question is how old is your Roo? If he's just coming into maturity then it's highly unlikely that he will become a nice boy again. If he's been mature for months and this is his first transgression then 'maybe' he can be retrained. But your daughter has to be able to be top rooster and that is next to impossible for a young child to do.

    Now, I've been there and done that with my own Rooster. Yup, he was a sweetie to everyone until he reached maturity. He was the best protector and provider for his flock and I loved watching him and listening to him crow. Then... maturity hit and he became aggressive toward my children. He tried it with me once and I quickly put him in his place, he never attempted to mess with me again (although he'd cock his head and eye me, thinking about it) but his attacks on my children became more serious over a couple weeks time. (My kids didn't do anything to provoke those attacks... he was just being a very protective rooster.)

    My children are far more important and valuable than any animal will ever be. I am a huge animal lover, so don't take me wrong; but children/people always come first.

    I didn't want to eat my Rooster (although my daughter, who loved him - he was her rooster - suggested that we do eat him after he drew blood on her), so we were able to find him a wonderful home (on Craigslist) with a new flock of hens that needed a rooster and there were no children in the home. I've seen pictures of him in his new home and he is strutting his stuff and very happy.
     
  7. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Quote:First off, thank you Chicken Lady for your thoughts. Second, I also don't think it is fair to get rid of my rooster because of his instincts that is why I posted this and asked for help. Like I posted, he was only protecting his hens. Third, I DO teach my daughter how to interact with animals and she is also taught to respect them. She is only 4! She thought it was funny to see the birds scatter, like any normal 4 year old would, after I had told her to not throw the sand. She did it again when my back was turned and suffered the consequences from it. She not only was attacked by the rooster, might I add, but was also sent to her room time out. I also stated that she did learn her lesson and won't be doing something of this nature again. She most generally is very gentle with the animals and as a matter of fact, has a coop of her own. She was just being 4!

    Instead of getting rid of your rooster, I would take the time to slowly reintroduce your daughter and the rooster to each other. You may want to have them together only during these supervised times. Have her feed him his favorite treats, and hold him gently so that she can pet him and speak nicely to him. Also, have her take the time to do the same with the hens so that she learns the right way to interact with chickens. If the rooster becomes aggressive, tell her to tell him, "No!" in a firm manner (or some other dominant behavior that is easy for her to remember) while you provide some form of discipline for the bird (see Rooster Red's suggestions about training mean roosters).

    Good luck with this situation! Kids can cause all sorts of interesting problems sometimes.

    This is exactly why I posted this issue in the first place. I do not want to get rid of Rhodey. He is a very big part of our family, as I stated. I think that trying to reintroduce my little girl and Rhodey is a very good idea and I appreciate that idea. I will sit with them (me holding Rhodey) starting tomorrow several times a day and hopefully Rhodey will not see my little girl as a threat any longer. Thank you for that idea.​
     
  8. wyliefarms

    wyliefarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2008
    Fowlerville,MI
    Just a word of caution:

    If your rooster attacks your daughter to where injuries require an ER or doctors visit, they are required by law to report you to Social Services. A report is filed, home interviews, and your daughters best interest decided. You are then in the "system".

    As a mother I would never put any of my 5 children in a situation where they could be injuried by one of our animals. It isn't worth it.
    Children are suppose to be able to be outdoors. Enjoying the fresh air and running around; not scared that the "mean rooster" might attack them if they venture too close to the coops.

    Good luck and hopefully things will work out, for your daughters sake.
     
  9. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

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    hi gumpsgirl...i dont have have any advice to give you....as i really have no clue about these things yet...this is my first flock..and the oldest are only about 22 weeks old...and the only roo i have (well i think he's a roo, cause he crows...[​IMG]..)..is a big sissy!..i swear he thinks he's a hen!...(my RIR hen is REALLY the roo, and protecter of the flock.[​IMG]..lol...)..but i just wanted to say KUDOS to you!.....[​IMG]...i am SO glad to see someone that is really teaching her child the rights and wrongs of how to treat an animal!..so many people dont do it!..OR they say.."well... she dosent know any better.."...[​IMG].....at least you are teaching her these morals now!..by letting her get a natural consequence(from the roo) and giving her a time out..she probably really got the message!...it really is the only way they learn. I cant tell you how sick it makes me to go to someones house and see their children being rough and etc.., with animals,..and the parent just laughs it off..with the "ooh..kids will be kids" mantra!..ahh!...[​IMG].....so, i thank you for this!!...[​IMG].. best of luck with the whole situation!..Wendy
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2008
  10. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

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    hi wyliefarms...just a question...are you sure the E.R. would HAVE to call the state?..i thought they ONLY had to call in suspected neglect or abuse cases?...which would be a 51A case..(which i dont believe this would be at all)...i am a foster parent.(work with the state)..and have never heard that the state HAD to be called for every instance/injury that a child is brought into the E.R., but i may be wrong..please let me know, thanks so much, Wendy

    EDITED to add:..honestly not trying to start a fight here..i am actually curious about this..thanks
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2008
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