Relentlessly aggresive rooster; help?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lanimilbus, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. lanimilbus

    lanimilbus Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 3, 2008
    Central Maine
    I have a two-year-old golden lakenvelder rooster that is relentlessly aggressive. I hatched him from an egg in Fall of 2006, raised him as a chick and introduced him to the other chickens in the coop once he was big enough. This was okay at first, but the bigger he got, the more aggressive he became to the other chickens, and in summer 07 it got to be too much to handle; every morning there would be blood spattered on the windows of the hen house from where he had attacked the hens, and many of them were showing noticeable signs of his attacks. He was also very aggressive towards me and other humans; every time I'd go into the coop he'd attack me, to the point where I'd have to bring in a metal trash can lid as a shield every time I entered the chicken coop to feed them. This got to be a huge hassle and still didn't prevent him from attacking me from behind every time I leaned forward to get the eggs.

    I still didn't want to get rid of him, however, so I built an entirely separate coop for him, with four 10-foot-high walls of chicken wire and a roof of hard plastic as well as a dog house for him to go inside for warmth. This was fine until winter came along; around this time last year it became bitter cold (I live in Maine) and was reaching ten below at night with windchill. The hens were all fine in their coop which was closed off and which they could huddle together in, but the rooster was all alone in his coop and refused to go inside the dog house, instead perching himself on top of it, exposed to the wind and snow. I put up pieces of cardboard and insulation all around the wire walls of the coop so that the wind would be blocked and installed a heat lamp above the top of the dog house which was on 24/7 so he would always have heat, but snow still managed to get in there and at one point last winter the majority of his comb became black with frostbite and fell off.

    He survived the winter, but barely. He was fine living in that coop for the rest of this year, but once it started getting bitter cold again last month I decided that I couldn't let him go through another winter in that coop by himself...this time he probably wouldn't be so lucky and wouldn't make it. So I re-introduced him to the hens after a year apart to see if he could get along with them now, and surprisingly he could. Maybe it was just the time of year or his age, but he wasn't aggressive at all towards them and they got along great with no fights or anything. So I figured that problem was solved and that he could live with them in their warm coop through the winter, but now comes the problem.

    He's still relentlessly aggressive towards me. He's fine with the hens, but every time I go in there to feed them he'll attack, scratching and biting at my legs and any part of me he can reach. I wear high boots when I go in there so he just hits them when he attacks, but recently he flew up and slashed open my exposed wrist when I was collecting eggs, causing a very nasty cut which is definitely going to leave a permanent scar there. I've tried everything, using the garbage can lid as a shield, wearing heavy gloves and boots, but he still manages to find a way to get me. He's very happy in there with the hens, and the hens don't seem to mind him either, but I simply can't go in there to feed them, give them fresh water or collect the eggs without the rooster viciously attacking me.

    So what do I do? I still don't want to get rid of him, and even if I did, I doubt I'd be able to find anyone who would take him without turning him into thanksgiving dinner. Is there any way I can calm him so that he doesn't attack? Right now it looks like my only options are going on a daily suicide mission into that coop to be attacked by him or putting him in the separate coop again over the winter, something I know will not suit him well.
    Any and all suggestions/advice would be hugely welcomed.
  2. kingbee

    kingbee Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 20, 2008
    Wetumpka, Alabama
    It seems like he is showing you who is dominant and who is boss of the coop.Maybe you should crow and attack him, not enough to hurt but enough to make him wonder what the
    I have a young RIR that's just started to crow and everytime I go in the pen with them or mess with any of the hens he goes mad ,some times he even ruffs his feathers and goes into fight stance but after a firm stomp on the ground or maybe a short chase from me he gives up..

    Good luck!!
  3. mikeybuff

    mikeybuff New Egg

    Nov 12, 2008
    hi sorry u are having so much trouble i have got several cds on rasing chickens there is not much u can do.but have him for dinner.ore when he starts to attack grab him bothleggs and startpetting him every time u go in it said in cd.thatconfused him try this it couldnt hurt if u relly want to keep him:D
  4. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    Check out my page on roo behavior, the link is in my sig line.
  5. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 13, 2008
    Sun City, California
    Roosters like that normally are completely incurable. Aggression is genetic and sure sounds like he got a full dose of the aggressive genetics. Attacking the hens(at first) wow that is very bad and also showing exttremely strong intent to land a blow on you "no matter what" are all extremely bad signs.

    If you attempt rooster red's advice after several times and he still does this, he probably never can be broken of it. Or he may mellow enough not to attack every time, but still will have a go at you when he feels like it- especially as you are walking away.

    It is your choice, putting him down or giving him for someone else's dinner is a valid response for this rooster, IMO.

    If you insist on keeping him, but his attacks are getting too much, rebuild that other coop so the shelter is at the highest point.. like remove the dog house but attach a mostly enclosed 'mini coop' on the outside so he has no choice but to fly into this coop part to roost.

    Since he has lost his comb, there is a possibility he will weather the cold better than before- it is a practice by some to dub roosters so they will not suffer from frost bites. I don't live in a cold winter area, so I don't how 'effective' this helps with roosters in tolerating the cold.

    In all honesty.. expect the rooster to continue this behavior, permanently, no matter what is done.. he certainly sounds like just about the worst case of aggression.
  6. bmchickens

    bmchickens Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 14, 2008
    I believe that you could make some progress with this fellow if you put your mind to be[ng more intelligent than he.So far,if you'll pardon my being frank,it sounds like you've played the nice guy,which only feeds his arrogance. We have a Black Giant roo that wants to be aggressive,when he charged me recently,through the fence,I had some luke-warm coffee in a plastic mug,and as he launched,I let him have some,right on top of his head.It was'nt nearly hot enough to burn him,I wouldn't do that,but without being cruel,it sure threw a wrench in his gears,for a few moments.I would also recommend one of those Super Soaker Squirt guns,once he learns he's going to get a soaking, he'll probably start to back off judiciously when he sees that in your hand.Remember how smart this guy is,and that they learn,VERY quickly! You might also want to try something as simple as a blown-up paper lunch bag,and Bang!! right as he launches.Once he starts to figure out that this isn't fun anymore,for you or,especially for him,he may just change a little. The coffee mug thing wasn't planned,but was effective enough that you may want to try it.The reaction I got was absolutely Priceless!! He really thought he had my number,but,boy,what a shock!! Best of luck dealing wih him, Your friends, Bruce & Missy [​IMG]
  7. Omran

    Omran Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2008
    Bagdad KY
    I know it might sounds not cool, butif you don,t want to eat him then put him for good home for free, because he might attack you bad one time and then it will be so late.
    I got red of two roosters in 4 months and now I got a new one and if he behaves he will stay if not then I will eat him too.
  8. Momma_Cluck

    Momma_Cluck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 11, 2008
    N. West Michigan
    A broom and squirt bottle---- he needs to know you are boss....

    also-- if you do not have one, get or make a crook to catch him-- then have a burlap bag ready with a hole in in just big enough for his head to stick out....

    this WILL take 2 people!!

    Once he is in the bag... hold him under your arm with his head low enough that he can't get at your face (wear a heavy coat & Gloves, or you'll get pinched)

    Carry him around this way talking sweet & nice while you do chores-- feed him a special tidbit every so often (Use a spoon!) after 30 minutes or so-- turn him loose. (Have the broom & spray ready--and an extra person to help)

    After a couple days of the "You get sprayed and flayed if you attack--- and get treated special while held" routine,
    He'll either figure it out and get spoiled--
    or not respond.... in which case I'd find a new home for him and get a new Roo!!!

    Good Luck!
  9. rufus

    rufus Overrun With Chickens

    May 17, 2007
    Eat the sucker!

  10. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    If you're determined to keep this guy, you could direct your efforts towards remodeling your coop so that you can collect the eggs and reach the food & water containers from the outside of the coop. That way you're not exposed to his attacks. Or design a little enclosed space and get him to go into it & latch him in before you enter the coop. Sort of like the way zookeepers lure the lions into a little cage so they can go in & clean their den.

    However, unless this roo were laying golden turds, I would not keep such an aggressive bird around. Really, there are so very many mannerly roosters around I don't waste my time with feisty ones like this. It's such a pleasure being able to go out and interact with my chickens without any fear of being spurred or pecked by a roo. Such security knowing my children can join me in the yard & around the coops. But an aggressive roo can do significant damage even to an adult, injure an eye or inflict a nasty cut, why take that risk?

    He's had a good two years, I'd launch him into a new career as a tasty soup or fertilizer where he could do more good than harm. If you cannot bear to do the deed, find someone who can do it skillfully & humanely. Don't try to rehome such an aggressive bird, you'd feel worse if he went on to hurt someone else.

    So sorry for your dilemma, you've been more kind to this bird than most folks ever would!

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