My eight-month old Buff Brahma cockerel Penrod, weighing close to ten pounds, has been turning into an awful tyrant. On three occasions he liberated chunks of flesh from my hand and leg, though biting has been the only aggressiveness he's displayed so far. I got so fed up with this behavior right around Christmas that I took out a contract on him. I offered him as Christmas dinner to anyone who was willing to butcher and pluck him. Lucky for him, I had no takers. So today I decided if he is to stick around, I needed to commence with some kind of training program to civilize his behavior. Since he's rarely done the side-step-head-down challenge, and he's never flogged me, boxing with him isn't really called for. Penrod's big problem is he's a biter. However, I noticed that if I slowly approach him from the side, putting my hand gently on his back, he calmly accepts it, and it's easy to pick him up. Today I decided to try something. After I slowly walked my hand down his back, I began to gently massage him and he seemed to like it. I then took both hands and massaged his shoulders. He dropped his head way down, almost touching the ground, and it appeared he was in ecstasy. When I stopped, he raised his head and just calmly walked off, shaking out his feathers. I repeated this several times all afternoon, and a few times he came up to me and it seemed he was inviting me to give him another massage, which I obliged. The only time he came close to biting me was if I approached him from the front with my hand. It seems that's just an automatic challenge to him. This just might be the secret to his ornery little heart. I have a hunch that what the back massage means to Penrod is similar to what a hen experiences when mounted by a rooster. I wouldn't be surprised if he does feel some pleasure and comfort getting his back and shoulders massaged, and then the big payoff is that he then accepts my dominance over him. This certainly seems like a rather novel approach to rooster-taming, and I'll be anxious to see if this might be a way to short-circuit his nasty behavior.