Rooster attacks when I'm not around...?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kuhnse51, Jan 8, 2015.

  1. kuhnse51

    kuhnse51 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My buff orpington roo is the sweetest little thing and great to his girls. He even enjoys cuddling with me once in a while. I always announce my self before I enter the coop so they aren't surprised and I've never had a problem with him attacking me (his brooder mates on the other hand did like to attack and they went to freezer camp). I've brought my younger sister and niece in the coop with me and he has never gone after them. One day my mother, who rarely ever goes into the coop, went into the coop. She didn't announce herself in any manner and I think the BO was caught off guard and attacked. I went in to catch him and he did go after me but he was also caught up in the moment I think because he has never gone after me before or after that moment. I picked him up and walked around with him to discipline him. Now my sister who has gone in the coop with me with no problem with the BO attacking her has gone in to check on them a couple times by herslef and says that he goes after her when she is alone. My question is why is this and how can I correct it? Is it because he doesn't see them as dominant like he see's me? Besides this, he is the perfect rooster for me [​IMG]
     
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Sounds like a normal pattern of a chook becoming dangerous unfortunately. It's pretty much always seemingly out of the blue and often irregular to begin with, and there's always many potential reasons you can think of but the underlying mentality of the chook is what's at fault, not the humans, so there's no behaviors you can adopt (short of carrying weapons around) that tends to 'work'. A safe rooster doesn't attack no matter what, unsafe ones attack no matter what, as a general rule.

    They often pick those they think are easy targets to start with but I think it's a safe bet you are on the hit list (all humans are) and it's only a matter of time before he goes after you too. Attempting to correct it seems almost always a pointless exercise, but good luck with whatever you try.

    I would suggest getting another rooster and letting them at least see one another for a week with mesh walls between them, and maybe even introducing them after that. Possibly having some new hens in with that new rooster too, i.e. get another small flock, to divert his attention. Yes, obviously if you introduce them all then there is likely to be some degree of a fight, and you may need to intervene, but some males of whatever species will always choose to attack humans or females of their own kind if they don't have a male of their species to focus this behavior on. Some males just need to attack others, so do some females, and it tends to run in families. I cull such mentalities because they're dangerous but keeping other males around is a useful precaution for many things.

    If the clutchmates of his that attacked you were related to him there's a very strong chance it's familial aggression, very heritable. If you don't want this problem to recur for generations, even perpetually for the duration of your ownership of this family line, you may want to nip this in the bud and get a male whose temperament actually lives up to breed standard. It's only by breeding vicious chickens that docile, friendly, nonaggressive breeds become the exact opposite of what they were known for.

    Best wishes.
     
  3. kuhnse51

    kuhnse51 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    His clutch mates were unrelated and were breeds that are known to be a little more aggressive. He currently lives with other males, though they are younger than him at almost 17 weeks. I've never seen him go after them even when I first introduced them to each other back when they were about 9 or 10 weeks and he was 18 weeks. I've never really seen him be aggressive at all minus that one time with my mom who he is unfamiliar with and I wasn't in the coop with her. I'll have to wait and see how he turns out as he ages I guess :/
     
  4. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Alright, fair enough. I'd question the breeder though, I'd bet they're the cause of this, by keeping and breeding aggressive birds. You get aggressive and non-aggressive birds in every breed regardless of what the reviews state.

    Good luck with him.
     
  5. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    It is strange he would focus his aggression on just humans despite having his natural opponents present, that's certainly not a normal mentality. Some roosters just have it in for humans. :/
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2015
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    The pet treatment is part of why he and others of brood treated humans differently. Species boundaries blurred. My approach with "pet-kept" birds is to adjust behavior of parties being attacked. Prevention with next bird is less labor intensive but you have a bird in hand you like so time to invest. Could you post a video of the rooster in question with you and when it goes after other people? Have other parties dressed properly for being flogged.
     
  7. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    ^ that's another school of thought regarding this matter.

    Personally, having culled against human-aggressive chickens and those showing bullying or neurotic mentalities, I've subsequently never found human-directed aggression in roosters I've bred, whether treated as pets or not treated as pets, handfed or not handfed, handled regularly or not handled regularly, and regardless of the behavior and attire of the humans. Heritability in my experience is that strong a factor in it that culling against it is problem solved. I have a strict zero tolerance policy on it, and it's worked for me, but what works for one doesn't work for all, particularly those dealing with hard to get purebreds and rare or valuable genetic lines.

    Obviously I personally do not believe handling is not the root cause of aggression to humans since it's never been shown to be so in my males, but that's just another school of thought, plenty of people believe differently.

    As centrarchid said, you have a bird you like and since you want to treat it, time to invest.

    There's always an exception to the rule so good luck with whatever methods you try.

    Best wishes.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. kuhnse51

    kuhnse51 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes I'm okay with investing time to fix this problem. Something that may have had an effect on his behavior that day also was that a couple of my hens just started laying for the first time a day or two before and one was in the nest box at the time when my mother entered the coop and another was right by her in the coop. This could be totally unrelated to his behavior but I'm just trying to think of all possible variables that may have contributed seeing as it was a one time thing. But, he's never tried anything with me even if the girls were laying when I came in the coop. I've informed anyone that goes in the coop by themselves to be aware and if he does go after them just pick him up and hold him for 10 minutes or so to show who the dominant one is. We'll see how this works for the time being. I'm not sure if I would be able to get a video posted, but I could try to get one.
     
  9. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    I agree with chooks4life on this; same as my experience, 20+ year's worth. mary
     
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I have only 40+ with a few more roosters. Just forty though.
     

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