Rooster behavior... again

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Nugget, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. Nugget

    Nugget Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 2, 2007
    I know this has been discussed a lot but had to post about it again. That fool rooster I have! The adults were free ranging today until the hens wanted in to get some food (door closed to keep the youngsters confined). I let them in, blocking the rooster and the near adult cockerels outside. Hours later I went to the coop and tried to open the door. The blasted rooster came at me from behind and whapped me up my back. I spun around and snagged him. Following all I've read on here I scooped him up by the feet and carried him around. I laid him on his back and knelt over him. I released him and he stayed on his back acting submissive. After what I felt was an appropriate amount of time I stood and walked away (he stayed laying on his back). He rolled over and went about his business.

    He has NEVER gotten away with it. Any time he has so much as acted "big" in front of me I walk toward him until he turns away. If he contacts me he gets caught and carried and made to act submissive before letting him go. I thought today's episode was clear enough to that little beast BUT!!!

    I went out again later, planning to get them put away so we could head into town. I saw him walking briskly in my direction. The again! Up my back beating me with his wings. I snagged him in the air this time. We had to get them put away so we can leave, but i would imagine putting him in the coop after a display like that wouldn't be any kind of discouragement. I put him in a dog crate for now.

    It leaves me wondering if discipline really accomplishes what we hope it will with roosters. I keep his nails trimmed so I wasn't scratched. His spurs are not sharp yet. After the second flogging I held him by his feet and had my other hand clapsed around his head (I read something about this regarding biting). He certainly didn't enjoy any of it.

    He's a gold laced wyandotte. He must be very close to a year old now. Any comments or thoughts about today's adventure? Is this just going to get worse? In the past, he jumped me and bit me (left a swollen bruise through a winter jacket), he jumped me in the run when a hen hopped onto my lap (I slapped him aside, picked up the hen and walked him down) and then today's events.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2008
  2. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    My buddy just ate his rooster like that. He'd tried everything, including literally kicking the rooster as a last resort (in self defense) and nothing seemed to help for long.
     
  3. Nugget

    Nugget Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't like being beaten by his wings, but if I thought it would get no worse I could maybe live with him. If this could lead to more biting, spurring and clawing... well I can't even rehome my harmless little young roos. If I weren't a vegetarian I would look at some rooster stew recipes myself. I don't know anyone who would want this guy. What to do...
     
  4. mirjam

    mirjam Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi Nugget,
    Since I'm raising my first flock of 8 girls and one rooster I have been reading behavioral posts with great interest. The other day I found a great article at backyard poultry discussing roo agression. While it is critical to not a allow a rooster to get into the habit of being mean to his caretakers, it is just as important that we recognize certain behaviors on our part that may be seen from a roosters perspective as a threat to his flock. The trigger may simply be some fast movements or loud talking, or really mundane activities inside the chicken pen/run. If you can avoid those triggers while teaching the animal that aggression towards you is unacceptable you might find a way to get along.
    Best of luck!
     
  5. Nugget

    Nugget Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the thoughts Mirjam. In the past any time he's come at me was a time when I was interacting with the hens... something that I'm not willing to stop. Today was the first time I have had him physically separated from the hens and I think that was making him a bit nutty... especially that he saw me going into the coop where the girls were. I don't think that's an excuse though. I don't want to have to tiptoe around a high strung rooster.

    Strange animals, roosters. While part of me would love to get rid of him, another part would really miss him. I am starting to enjoy his obnoxious crowing, the way I feel that the hens are protected when they're out in the yard, and although he's no show-winner, his shiny fancy feathers really are pretty. I love the chivalry when he offers really good treats to the hens (and to the immature cockerels, the dummy). And the alpha hen really likes him. What is a person to do!!
     
  6. greenapple

    greenapple Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 8, 2008
    Central Florida
    My big roo is free range, he has his own part of the yard. Whenever someone wants to go through his part of the yard, we just carry a stick. If he tries to charge, we put the stick between us so he runs into it, if he tries again, we just poke him a bit lightly in the chest, we also heard him around with the stick.
     
  7. mirjam

    mirjam Out Of The Brooder

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    This is a very interesting discussion and I have a question on my own behalf:
    I'm still on a steep lerning curve (my first flock will be 9 weeks tomorrow) and I was curious if anyone can talk about at what age a male will begin become protective of the girls.
    My teenage roo is still peeping around and I think he has no clue of his gender at this point. I have spent a good many hours with the birds and he is awfully friendly and often comes for a visit on my lap. I am curious if our good relationship will help in averting any future potential for aggression towards me or other people?
     
  8. ibpboo

    ibpboo Where Chickens Ride Horses

    Jul 9, 2007
    always changing
    I'm no rooster expert. But I think at about 4 months or so is when they can start to figure out things. Once when I bought some chicks and one ended up being a rooster, I think that is how old he was. I raised him indoors, I was the mama, yet he turned very aggressive. I immediately found him a new home with tons of hens!! He was a beautiful EE. I don't think that just once doing the submissive thing with them is always successful. Some roos will constantly challenge their alpha position, thats their job. And probably a good quality. As long as they feel there is a threat, they will protect! Its an individual decision if one is willing and capable of training a roo. And, you may be able to teach them that you are the alpha, but that next innocent child that enters the territory, well thats a whole new game. Are some roos extremely gentle and calm, yes.
     
  9. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Michigan
    This article may be helpful to you - it was to me, especially in understanding their aggression:

    http://www.homestead.com/shilala/roosters.html

    I believe that if I'd have read this article when my roo was weeks old, I'd have done things differently in how I raised him. I desperately tried to make it work with my roo, tried everything I knew - ALL the ideas on BYC (including separating him and keeping him in the dark for several days on his own, which seemed awfully cruel, but I had to do everything I could to make it work), and I ended up putting him on Craigslist. A wonderful woman wanted him - he was gorgeous - and she freeranges her flock, so he's much happier with him. She hasn't had any issues with him, because she's a well-seasoned chicken keeper who had had nasty roos in the past, and she started off on the right track with him as soon as she got him. I miss him, but I'm so fortunate to have found a good home for him.

    With my current roo, I do many of the things in the article above, and so far, so good; hope I'm on the right path this time!

    BEST of luck to you!!

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Nugget

    Nugget Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's a good article Wynette, thanks for linking it. I'm not sure what the outcome is going to be, but someone just contacted me about one of my rooster ads and said he planned to come today to take 4 of my roos for breeding purposes... one of whom is my oldest rooster. I've had people bail on me at the last minute before, so until they're in his car I'm going to say 'I'll believe it when I see it'. It was a really hard thing to agree to. Despite his foolishness I do like him. And the hens like him too. Still a flock of hens strikes me with a feeling of peace that I would really appreciate [​IMG]
    We'll see if this fellow ends up as another no-show. Man it's hard to rehome roosters.
     

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