Rooster attacked 2-year old

aardllama

Hatching
7 Years
May 16, 2012
2
2
9
1 year old Barred rock, raised free-range with a family teeming with kids and a dog, out of the blue pounced on and mauled my 2.5 year-old, absent obvious provocation (aside from being rooster-height and near the coop).

Collecting eggs from coop, son was nearby, usual egg procedure. He was wearing blue, Rooster went for the face, 5-10 seconds before I could separate them, and after 10 hours at a children's hospital, he looks like he went through a windshield.

My first thought for the bird was FREEZER CAMP or perhaps VULTURE GROVE. Overnight in the hospital tempered my fury, and in the interest of teaching first mercy, but also an understanding of ANIMAL behavior, I explained the attack to the older kids and decided to spare the vicious, swift and frighteningly dangerous little bird his life. He's off to a nearby farm without kids.

The point is, even if you have a tame and friendly rooster (carry him or hug him or whatever else people recommend to keep the birds from being fearful or agressive), of tame and gentle breed, they will attack if they perceive a threat and will not discriminate. Little kids (and I'd assume small pets such as little yappy dogs) can be perceived as threats and are not tall or fast enough to fend them off. The bird is protecting his flock without regard to race, creed or gender. Even my booted foot would not deter this bird once he started attacking, and only a blow with a handy stick (which stunned the bird) put him off long enough to collect the poor child.

If you have a rooster and he's not aggressive toward you or others, do NOT assume that he'll be OK with a child or other small creature. They are great at protecting a flock of hens because they will fight bitterly and are remarkably well-armed. I hope that this tragedy for my family might be instructive for others.
 

Achickenwrangler#1

Songster
8 Years
Aug 7, 2011
2,431
120
183
west virginia
Poor kid. Sorry for him. We had free range geese while I was growing up. I learned how to run very fast. Recently I too had a rouge roo, he never attacked me actually but he did go for my boots one day in the coup, those old memories came back, along with a very sore knee. He WAS a big bird and made the mistake of going after my husband the third time. He was actually holding a big stick a chunk of firewood, so long old roo. We can't have roo attacks out of the clear blue, especially with grandkids running around. Now we have nice, pretty roos, that are very Leary of people..hubby said all the chickens watched what happened..I can only hope they tuck it deep into their tiny little brains cause kid attack equals dead critter in my book.
 

speckledhen

Intentional Solitude
Premium Feather Member
14 Years
Feb 3, 2007
79,319
14,106
1,236
Blue Ridge Mtns. of North Georgia
People need to realize that small children make roosters nervous because, by the nature of kids, they make jerky, sudden movements and can be loud, etc. My rooster is a lovebug, both of them are, but even the sounds of loud, raucous kids playing 300 ft away at a neighbor's when they visit their grandmother makes one of them visibly nervous. I don't know what he would do if a child was running among his hens and I will not find out because I never allow kids around my roosters.

A rooster is like a stallion or bull, just in a smaller package, and just the right height to take out a child's eyes with one flog.

Thank you for posting your experience and I hope your son heals up with no bad scars. This needs to be a wake-up call for people who think roosters will react the same with young kids as they do with adults.
 

Mavrik

Songster
8 Years
Jun 15, 2011
263
19
111
Every Barred Rock I've ever had, has been mean, aggressive and feather pluckers. I only have hens and can't imagine a BR roo.
 

peepmommy

Songster
7 Years
Feb 15, 2012
280
2
126
I can sympathize. My son was just attacked this past weekend (he is 2). Fortunately for us, it was very minimal. I have tried to home him, but it looks like I am going to have to cull the roo. I have found that you can have roosters and children, but not all roosters are not fit for your family. If you need one, find an older rooster that knows how to be a good roo without being as possessive. I hope your son will heal quickly and without any scarring. Good luck with everything...
 

RedDrgn

Anachronistic Anomaly
9 Years
May 11, 2011
1,318
90
211
West Virginia
My Coop
My Coop
I applaud your efforts and your willingness to understand the animal you're dealing with. I also hope that your son will fully recover from the encounter and that it will not be a recurring issue.

You're absolutely right in your observations, though. Even the best and most calm rooster is still a rooster. They have a purpose in every flock and they take their jobs seriously.

They absolutely have the mental capacity to recognize individual people and birds and they can get extremely nervous (which means more likely to go on the offensive) over strangers or anything that they perceive as a threat or rival to themselves or their flock(s).

My DH and I have no fear whatsoever of approaching or turning our backs on our roo, because he knows us and does not perceive us as a problem. But, he almost castrated my sister-in-laws husband last weekend (which was his fault, not the roo's: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/664772/come-at-me-bro). He also jumped me last night when I took advantage of our BA standing right next to me and scooped her up. He was standing right there, too and he didn't care at all that I picked her up. She didn't mind either, but she would not let me inspect her feet (she's recovering from bumblefoot) while holding her right side up; kept pulling her feet out of my hand. So, like an idiot, I and flipped her upside down right there and then. She squawked and flapped (like they all do for about 5 seconds when doing this) and in 3 seconds I had the roo attached to my leg. I shook him off, but it was too late, he was ****** and his growling had the BA going nuts, which made him even more upset. He was so intent on my feet (which I didn't move because it just provokes him) he didn't see my DH coming from behind. So he was scooped up by him and I made my way to the garage to check her feet. Had my DH not been there, I wouldn't have been able to go anywhere without releasing her or kicking him all of the way to the garage.
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So under certain conditions, it doesn't matter who you are or who your roo is. They think you're out to get anyone and they go right into instinctual defense mode.
 
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locke2121

In the Brooder
7 Years
Apr 20, 2012
63
13
31
I still remember a rooster spurring me in the leg as a kid at my grandma's house. Grandma's solution was roast chicken!
 

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