Rooster attacks... any hope?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by thappy, Nov 1, 2013.

  1. thappy

    thappy Hatching

    Jul 17, 2013
    I have a small flock of three hens and one rooster ....or I HAD. A couple nights ago something got into our coop and one hen completely disappeared. Very, very, very sad. :(

    Anyways, it seems my rooster has turned super aggressive over night. I'm not sure if it is because of the loss of one of his hens, or if he is just maturing. He has pecked at my legs and jumped at me a few times over the past week, but ever since we lost the hen he is now very intent on chasing me away every time I come near him. He jumps and thrusts both of his feet at me. It really hurts even with jeans on!!

    I used to pet him every day and now I'm afraid to go outside! I literally open the back door and throw food to them. I have even had to tell the kids they can't play in the backyard.

    Has anyone had experience with a rooster gone mean and is there any chance I can "make him nice" again? I tried to win him over with apples and corn cobs, but he ignored both and did his rooster drop kick on my shins. :( I can't help but think the predator experience freaked him out, but truth be told he had done it a few times over the past week.

    Should I even have a rooster with just two hens?

    Owning chickens gets easier with experience right? We've only had them for about six months and it seems we are continually messing up. :(

    thanks for any advice...

  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Sorry about the loss of your hen. Most people seem to recommend a ratio of around 8-10 hens per rooster, so you really don't have enough hens at this point if you want to keep a roo. Mean roosters generally become dinner asap. If you have children around I would say definitely so they are dangerous to kids. There are dozens of threads on BYC about trying to rehabilitate people aggressive roos and it very very seldom works.
  3. EquestrianGirl

    EquestrianGirl In the Brooder

    Oct 27, 2013
    My rooster has a mean streak as well, and I raised him from a baby. Most roosters have that protective streak, but they know how to learn their manners. He only attacked me once when he was young and arrogant, and was trying out his new-found knowledge of protecting his flock. I guess having a empty bucket thrown at him taught him to think twice about attacking me, and he's never done it again. But he still constantly attacked my parents, and my grand-parents. He quickly learned what the mini-rake was. You can buy them just about anywhere. It's just one of those little kid's rakes. He'd come at my mom, and she'd give him a good whack on the chest with it. Not enough to hurt him, but enough to scare him half to death. So now all they have to do is pick up that little mini-rake, and he steers clear of people.

    If he was just a small rooster, I'd be less concerned about him attacking people. But something had to be done, as he is knee-height to me, and his spurs are four inches long.....
  4. PrairieChickens

    PrairieChickens Songster

    Jun 29, 2012
    Don't feel too bad about your errors--everyone has to start somewhere, and no one comes into any new endeavor as an expert.

    I think it far less likely that his aggression is a response to the disappearance of your hen as it is just the fact that he's growing up. I've had a couple of very sweet, gentle boys turn into terrors once puberty struck, and unfortunately, there's just nothing you can really do to change that. With experience, you can teach them to respect YOU (most of the time), but that tendency to be aggressive towards people will always be there. Should guests come over or your rooster get loose into a neighbor's yard, trouble can--and probably will--ensue. It's up to you what you want to do with him, but in every case where this has happened to me, we either ate the problem rooster ourselves or sold him to someone who a.) needed an aggressive rooster to protect their flock or b.) had a mind to eat him themselves.

    Don't worry too much about the rooster-to-hen ratio. I had one rooster with 16 hens, and he still plucked the poor girls bald with his attentions, whereas I have a little rooster/hen duo who have formed their own separate flock, just the two of them, and the hen is just fine. If your rooster is a gentleman with his ladies, you can have one rooster with only a couple hens. If he's more brutish and clumsy, you might have to keep him separate or get rid of him altogether. It's something you really have to judge on a personal basis.
    1 person likes this.
  5. bantygirl

    bantygirl In the Brooder

    Feb 6, 2010
    I have a aggressive roo, had a lot of response on BYC, what worked for me was to rough him up abit more than once, show him who is boss Now he gives me space and walks away from me, one person on here gave that advice and it worked, I did not hurt him ( but he hurt me) now he respects my space, I was sad I might have to get rid of him I would never cull him that's not my style, every time u go out sneak up on him and startle him , make him uncomfortable, hope that works for u, good luck:)

  6. PrairieChickens

    PrairieChickens Songster

    Jun 29, 2012
    Yeah, I had an aggressive roo in my last batch, and I had pretty good success teaching him to respect me. The crucial detail seems to be that the FIRST time they really challenge you, you put them in their place and you put them there HARD. The first time Mr. Carson charged me, I grabbed him and checked him right into the dirt. It wasn't hard enough to injure him, but it sent a pretty clear message that I was much bigger and stronger than him and not someone he wanted to challenge. Unfortunately, with our first two mean roos, we didn't take their challenges seriously and laughed them off. By the time we realized the aggression was a problem and started trying to do something about it, they had already become confident that they could fight us, and there was no way to break them of the habit. (And believe me, I tried every trick I could dredge up.) They ended up being rehomed to families with big freezers.

    All that being said, even though Carson stopped attacking me after our encounter, he still would test the waters with other people, and as soon as we sold him to another family (Who fortunately only intended him for meat anyway), he went back to trying to attack and dominate. I was able to teach him to respect me, but I couldn't erase his instinct to be people-aggressive.
  7. boyswillbeboys

    boyswillbeboys Songster

    Apr 19, 2013
    I had one of my roosters try to charge me, he met my foot as I came up to step in the coop, which knocked him back, one of the other boys took offense, and went towards him, he turned and ran smack into my leg, he's been pretty good since.
  8. appps

    appps Crowing

    Aug 29, 2012
    Think you need to decide how tough you and the kids can be. While I was having success teaching our rooster to leave me alone because the kids were young enough to be afraid nothing I did helped how he was with them. If anything the more he went down the pecking order with me the worse he was with my daughter especially as he knew she was scared of him so below him on the pecking order.

    If your kids are not old enough to also stand their ground with him you really have to have a good think about other options. They can do serious damage especially to a child whose face is closer to their height. If you can't keep him safely locked away from the kids you may have few other options.

    My SIL in her 40's still has a huge scar on her leg from where a rooster attacked her when she was 3. It took a lot of stitches to repair the damage. Kids first. Rooster second I'm afraid.
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    You will never be able to trust him around your children. I think it's ridiculous to have kids held hostage on their own property because of a mean animal. Get rid of him. If you're determined to get another rooster (I'd say don't, just stay with the hens), be prepared to treat him like livestock, not a pet. Roosters aren't wired to be pets, they're naturally aggressive and respond to perceived threats like small children with aggression.

  10. coffeychicks

    coffeychicks Songster

    Apr 7, 2013
    moncks corner s
    Don't think of mistakes as bad just learning. I am on my 3rd flock first one I didn't know babies needed heat. Lost 12. Felt terrible 2nd flock I got full grown chickens lost all but 1 to a dog attack. 3rd flock is my current one. (2years of chicken keeping). I have 2 sets of babies I raised up 2 roosters and 28 hens. And still learning everyday however byc is an amazing source of info and wonderful people

    About rooster. Do not tolerate him to be mean. I have had 2 aggressive Roos. They made tasty chicken n dumplings.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2013

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