Rooster Behavior Question

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by tharlock, Oct 14, 2014.

  1. A couple of points and then a question for the masses here. I have 6 black australorps that have reached maturity and 3 have begun producing eggs,this is my second flock. Of course one of the six happened to be a Roo. He is a beautiful Roo and takes care of the hens extremely well, and so we decided to keep him with the assistance of a rooster collar (works wonders btw). After only a few spats between me and him, there are no other problems, but he started some strange behavior over the past 2 weeks, that doesn't seem to be aggressive but is, for a lack of better words, strange. Whenever I bring someone near the run, or I just stand there observing him, he runs around rapidly picking up sticks and breaking them and dropping them on the ground. Its a frantic dive around the run picking up things breaking them or tossing them about. I think to myself when he does it, "hey don't mind me, just doing chicken stuff over here, nothing out of the ordinarily, now move long". Do you think he is showing off for people? Anyone else seen this behavior? As always thanks for everyone's help here, we wouldn't have gotten this far without it.
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

    18,872
    6,267
    526
    Nov 7, 2012
    CENTRAL MAINE
    When he engages in this behavior, is he vocalizing? Is he calling the girls? What do the girls do when he behaves like this? The only thought I have is that he may perceive you to be a threat to his manhood! He may think you're a challenge to his place as the leader of the harem, so he's showing the girls what a stud muffin he is, by being a good provider of treats, even if they are not exactly edible.
     
  3. I had the neighbor come over with me to look at him and pay closer attention after reading that. That might just be what he is doing. The two "higher up" hens come running to him and peck at whatever he drops, but lose attention after the first few things they realize aren't edible. After that they all just kind of stand there staring at him. He is still kind of a young rooster, and has also just begun to start enforcing what appears to be a feeding order, where he lets 2 of them eat before the others. Usually when I bring someone over, I throw in a treat to get their attention, perhaps he is just trying to show he's "better" than me. Having a rooster in this flock, has changed a lot about the way they act, and its been a bit of a learning experience. Only time he gets aggressive with me, is if I forget to grab him and lock him away before catching the hens to inspect them. Roo first, hen second, or I get a smack to the back of the head.
     
  4. Toddrick

    Toddrick Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,251
    89
    138
    Sep 28, 2014
    Indiana
    Roosters do that to lure hens to food so they can mate them, but they pick up fake food to draw the enemy closer so they can attack. It is threatening behavior. Basically, your rooster is confused and thinks people are other roosters. Holding him a few times will probably help. Make sure your friends have a broom handy if the coop is opened :).
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2014
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,707
    2,335
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Behavior and context consistent with signal of aggression. Most people do not understand signaling produced by their birds and react inappropriately.
     
  6. Toddrick

    Toddrick Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,251
    89
    138
    Sep 28, 2014
    Indiana
    My rooster was a real bear the first few months I had him. He attacked everyone in my family multiple times (my wife still refuses to go outside alone when he's out lol--I know, I know, it's not funny...but it is). After I picked him up and held him for a while he pretty much stopped attacking me, but sometimes still attacked others. Now we have been feeding them tons of treats to fatten them up for the winter, which seems to have bought us some loyalty. Now he sees us more as food sources, not a threat. But you can't take your eyes off a rooster like him for too long. He's exactly what the ladies need for free ranging though. He still gets angry if he isn't let out of the coop enough, or runs out of feed. But any time he acts aggressive, I just act like I'm going to pick him up and he runs away for some reason! I just need to train everyone else not to act afraid, to face him, and then reach for him when he gets agressive, but it's counter intuitive to approach a threat with open arms.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2014
  7. LanceTN

    LanceTN Chillin' With My Peeps

    189
    13
    68
    Aug 31, 2014
    Feed your rooster.

    He's convinced you're a rooster and he's in competition with you. So do him a favor and offer him food when he acts like this.

    It's something a rooster will never do for another rooster and will help snap him out of this mindset.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by