Rooster Aggression Questions

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Gilbird, Mar 20, 2018.

  1. Gilbird

    Gilbird Chirping

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    Nearly a year ago we inherited a group of chickens; they were about 6 weeks old. One of the Delawares ended up being a rooster, and we decided to keep him. Up to this point he has been pretty low key. He recently has been hard on his favorite hens, which made us consider culling him, but we we had not yet decided.

    This morning he jumped me from behind and then charged at me again before submitting and walking away. We have a toddler that likes to be outside just as much as our chickens :), so there is no way that he is allowed to stay now.

    This all made me wonder about rooster aggression. I’ve read plenty of good stuff on here about nice roosters, so I know they exist. But can people that know rooster behavior tell me:
    -How long does it take for aggression to show? Does it usually take a year? Less, more, or just whenever?
    -Does the aggression ebb and flow with hormones? Are there hormonal cycles for roosters?
    -Our guy used to mate with the whole flock—well, except for one who was savvy and could out maneuver him. Now he’s down to just 4-5 poor girls. Is this typical?
    -I am guessing on this, but does aggression have nothing to do with capability to protect the hens? He sucked at it—hawks could be circling his head and he was clueless.
    -Are roosters not always at the top of the pecking order? We have a couple of old ladies that I think rule the roost. He pretty much avoids them.
    -Are there breeds that are more likely to be aggressive? He’s a Delaware and we also have a 4 week old Marans male in our brooder that I’m wondering about now.
    -Are aggressive traits genetic? Just this past weekend we hatched some eggs that he fertilized.

    Also, can someone share what to do if a rooster attacks? I acted instinctively and roared at him and jumped toward him and he backed down. I just didn’t know if if was better to flee or fight.

    And just so you can match a face with the crime, here is the offender. I have to say, I won’t really miss him
    E42B3C52-DA74-4F22-9A17-78FDDBFDD5CB.jpeg
     
    penny1960 likes this.
  2. BantyChooks

    BantyChooks Pullarius

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    https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/is-it-worth-it.1217178/page-13#post-19443949
    Here's a link on my experiences with aggressive roosters.

    I find 7--12 months is generally the 'challenge time'. They're usually safe by two years.

    Spring rush can spark more aggression. They feel high on their own fumes, they're finally getting out of the coop, and warm weather and longer lighting stimulate breeding... so yes, in a sense.

    I think that's more of a bird to bird thing. Some very good flock protector roosters are man fighters, and then again, some useless birds are man fighters too.

    No, not always. It's more typical to have them be top bird but cockerels are often scared of a few older or scrappy hens.

    Production reds have some repute as being nasty. I can't think of any others off the top of my head. Honestly, I have never noted a difference between any of the hatchery birds I have tried.

    Yes, there is a genetic component. While not 100%, it's definitely there. Cull his offspring carefully for temperament.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2018
    Gilbird likes this.
  3. Cheers2Ya

    Cheers2Ya Songster

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    That's too bad! I have one of those and he is pretty mellow, never attacked, and is good with the girls. I also have a Cochin rooster who is very unchivalrous, but is also not aggressive. I don't have any real words of wisdom tho!
     
  4. Gilbird

    Gilbird Chirping

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    @BantyChooks Thank you so much—that helps a lot. I will check out that link. I really appreciate it!
     
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  5. BantyChooks

    BantyChooks Pullarius

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    Hopefully you have better luck with your next boys. :fl
     
    Gilbird likes this.
  6. BantyChooks

    BantyChooks Pullarius

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    Your instincts were right! Running away is the worst thing possible, IMO.
     
    Gilbird likes this.
  7. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Crowing

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    I have an article all about roosters here
     
  8. Gilbird

    Gilbird Chirping

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    @TheTwoRoos Thank you! I will read that and hope that it helps with our next males!
     
  9. Gilbird

    Gilbird Chirping

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    Good, I’m glad to know that. My poor kids are scared to death of him now. I hate that there is fear surrounding the chickens. I am ready to start with a clean slate. Your post that you linked was amazing—thank you! I just sent the link to my husband so he can read it too and we can hopefully have a good roo this time.
     
    Folly's place and BantyChooks like this.

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