I have 18 beautiful Black Australorp 9 month-old chickens, 17 hens and 1 gorgeous roo. The rooster has become aggressive in the past month or so; it seems that his aggression corresponds to the time I started letting them free range in the larger chicken/goat yard. Before that, I kept them in an enclosed and covered with wire run with a little door into the coop. They could come and go in and out of the coop, but I began feeling bad about keeping them so confined. So, around the first of October I began letting them out of a morning into the very nice-sized 'yard' that always served as my grandmother's and my mother's chicken yard. For years it has been a yard for the 3 pet goats, though we have moved them to another area. Anyway.... I never noticed him being aggressive when I would be inside the coop cleaning or filling the water and feeder and he was in there. Just was never an issue. But I'm wondering if now that they are out in the "world" he has become more protective. I want him to be protective and I understand that he is just doing his job. But I CANNOT have him come at and attack my 85 yr-old mother. Or other people. She went to let them out one morning when I wasn't home from work yet, and he jumped her 3 times; fortunately there was a man working at the house on some carpenter work, and she had to yell at him for help. We decided that she wouldn't ever go out there again except to close them up at night when I'm not there. (They're all on the roost at that time.) I have been managing him well, I thought, by not confronting him, not crowding him, carrying a stick just in case, taking treats with me and giving him treats specifically; but just now I thought I was going to have to kill him or knock him out to get out of the chicken yard. He came at me--after I had taken some old bread and thrown it around, making sure to drop some in front of him--and I've never seen him so fluffed up. I don't know what was different. I had to use the stick on him, which I hate. And he kept coming again and again. I don't exactly "love" my chickens, I consider them livestock, but I was brought up to love animals and completely believe that we are to treat livestock gently, kindly, and take very good care of them. My "pets" are my dogs. (They are part of the family.) Sorry this is such a long story, but I don't know what to do now with this rooster, but I don't like the idea of having any creature on the place that myself or my family can't go around without being attacked. I fear that I know what needs to be done, but just thought I'd ask again if anyone has any comments, advice, or suggestions. I had thought that the Australorps would be more docile, and the hens are great. I hate the idea of taking their protector away from them. Though, the way he goes after them they might not mind. Thanks for any comments or suggestions.