rooster attacking children

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by eastman5, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. eastman5

    eastman5 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 2, 2012
    I have a 6 month old buff orpington rooster that until today has been a family pet. He would eat out of my children's hands and let them pet him. We slaughtered our heritage meat chickens recently, so he is now the only rooster on the property. My children (3 & 6 years old) were having races on the lawn and he came flying up and chased them. The six year old got away, but he landed on the younger one and scratched him before I could get over and knock him off. He continued to try to go after them even with me standing there, I had to send my boys inside. They were not running near any chickens (they were on the other side of the house) or even really loud, so he was not protecting his girls. I like letting him free range, but want my kids to be able to play. What should I do to try to get him to stop? Is it likely he will continue this behavior?
  2. RoostersCrow HensDeliver!

    RoostersCrow HensDeliver! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2011
    SE Michigan
    I don't want to sound cruel, but you pretty much have to kick the crap out of him the knext time he attacks. I'd rather have him be terrified of me than to have to worry about watching my back every time I went into the coop. I've heard of people "embarrassing " them in front of the hens, but that didn't work for my EE boy. He's only ever tried to attack me twice. I put a stop to that immidiately. I'm NOT going to tolerate that behavior, not to mention its plain dangerous with little kids running around. Good luck with your roo. Maybe someone else can give you some less aggressive advice.
  3. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

    May 11, 2011
    West Virginia
    My Coop
    Roosters and chickens are not a good mix. Kids are fast, erratic, and loud...everything a rooster is bred to be cautious and aggressive towards for the sake of protecting his flock. If he's already had a few runs at your kids, get rid of him. Eat him or find a flock for him with no children about. Kicking him around is simply animal abuse and will teach him to stay away from you, not your kids. Picking him up and trying to retrain is all well and good so long as you can keep him completely separate from the kids at all times, otherwise, you're always going to be wondering when he'll have another go at them and they can scratch a face or an eye before you can blink...especially once those spurs come in.
  4. sandie44

    sandie44 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 20, 2012
    I had 6 roosters, culled 5. I thought I was keeping my friendliest hand raised, but when the rest were gone he got aggressive. He attacked me one day and that is the last time I have turned my back on him. He attacks again and he'll be in the stew pot too.
  5. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    A lot of roosters are friendly while they are young, then they hit around 6 mo. old and the green eyed monster in them comes out! Hormones are a big part of it, so are a roosters natural tendencies. WIth children that age I would only have two possible suggestions: Keep him penned up or get rid of him. A lot of people are able to manage roo's and train them to be decent and respectful enough of people. However children that young are not capable of "reading" a rooster and predicting his behavior, I would never consider them safe around any rooster.
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    In this case young rooster likely considers kid attacked as somebody that he can dominate. Several options can be used for this. Dispatch / rehome rooster, pen him or kid up, or have kid himself put rooster in its place. You doing will not be as effective as kid. Problem is most kids not rowdy enough to defend interest against a rooster because getting flogged does smart a bit and he will likely have to do the putting in place when the rooster is on the attack. Have your son actually handle offending bird to build his confidence up. Expect to get bitten but have son pack bird about. If bird attacks when released, pick it up and hold it some more. Watch your eyes. With next bird avoid the overly personal interactions between birds and people, especially with the hatchery sourced birds.
    1 person likes this.
  7. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 8, 2008
    Amen. I agree with this whole-heartedly. My kids are not allowed in our chicken pasture alone, even though our roosters have never been aggressive towards anyone. And only the six year old is allowed to gather eggs, to the two year old's sorrow. And I do worry about him in the hen house, even when the roosters are outside. I've seen some pretty nasty scars caused by rooster attacks, and our head roo must weigh 15 pounds.

    Also, it does seem that many of the safest roosters were not raised to be friendly to people. No petting, cuddles, etc. That way they have a natural fear of people and don't try to put them in their place.
  8. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    A roosters job is to protect the flock. Children making erratic movements, running, making loud noises, etc can trigger the roosters nature to defend his flock. My kids are not allowed in either run (our outside when they are out of the run) without me, even though our roosters have not attacked anyone. I have been attacked by a prior rooster (he never went after the kids, just me) and it happens lightening fast. This rooster also hit me at my hip level and I'm 5'8" - that's face level for a child.

    It's just not worth it. Keep the rooster penned while the kids are out or get rid of the rooster.
    5 people like this.
  9. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 8, 2008
    If there were a like button for posts here, I would have pressed it for this one!
    1 person likes this.
  10. leadwolf1

    leadwolf1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2011
    There is, it is the little green thumbs up.

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