Rooster bit me...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ScotianChick, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. ScotianChick

    ScotianChick Songster

    418
    2
    111
    Dec 27, 2010
    I've always gotten along with Bill with no issue. My chickens have refused to go out of their coop for days due to snow so I've been bringing them food... but the coop is quite small and not really meant to live in, it's for sleeping and laying eggs. Bill and one of my RIR hens B.B. ran out this morning when I opened the door, so I was pleased. I fed and watered them and decided to shoo the others out so they could see it was nice out and that snow won't kill them. I mean this is Nova Scotia, they can't just hide every time it snows. They're lucky, this is one of the warmer more humid parts of the country. We've barely had snow. Anyway when I shooed them out one of them started screeching... she's just a noisy chicken in general, she gets her feathers ruffled easy. Bill ran into the coop, jumped at me and bit my hand. It bruised and tore skin right through my glove.

    When he did that I swatted him which knocked him sideways and he ran outside. He started looking at me all cockeyed and made those angry noises I recognize from DH's old leghorn so I swatted him and chased him over to our shed. I then paced around him not allowing him to go anywhere. Afterwards I left him and the two hens that followed him alone. I thawed out their waterer and then came back out and shoveled in front of the coop, then shoveled a path to the shed. The three of them flipped out and are now sitting in the snow because apparently the path I made is evil. The chickens who were in the coop laying eggs, didn't see any of this so they are by the shed, enjoying the cleared out spot, chowing down on food while those three sit in the snow from the supposed danger of the evil path.

    Did I do the right thing with Bill? Should I have ignored what he did because maybe he thought I was being mean to Go-Go. I actually didn't even touch the girls, I just shooed them out the door where the food was. Is this probably a one time thing... or should I consider replacing him if I get roo with my batch of chicks on the 15th? He's a RIR by the way. Normally they are pretty aggressive but I've never had an issue until now. I never tried to establish myself as head rooster because we never clashed. I came out, fed them, gave treats, gave water and watched them quietly. We had an understanding I would say...
     

  2. terrilhb

    terrilhb Songster

    Dec 11, 2010
    Georgia
    I think he did it cause 1 of his girls was hollering. And he thought he was protecting her. I have 3 roo's and they never bother me. But if I go to pick up one of the hens and they scream and yell. The roo's get very upset with me. I think you did the right thing. He has to learn. Don't give up wait and see what happens. Good luck
     
  3. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    5,516
    76
    308
    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Much of this may be because of the cramped quarters and not going outside. Something has changed in old Bill, as you note, and that could likely be it.

    Above all, don't worry about it. 'Chicken psychology' is beyond most of us to fathom. Some will suggest it doesn't even exist - they are chickens, ergo, there isn't a lot of psychology going on. Certainly not enough to bother over.

    The end point is this: You've both come out unscathed and he's learned a valuable lesson, i.e., "Get too close to you and the beatings ensue."

    This bodes well for the future
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2011
  4. Mak

    Mak Songster

    738
    5
    131
    Dec 12, 2009
    Londonderry, NH
    It was probably because the hen yelled and he thought you were hurting her. Mine will come at me no end if I touch one of the hens or pick her up. The hens fuss and he goes into "must protect" mode. It's part of his job, really. You did the right thing. He needs to know you won't put up with him coming at you for any reason. I just wish I could convince the hens not to fuss when I touch them. That would make life a whole lot easier! [​IMG]
     
  5. terrilhb

    terrilhb Songster

    Dec 11, 2010
    Georgia
    Mak if you figure it out please let me know how. LOL
     
  6. tinychicky

    tinychicky Songster

    2,623
    42
    181
    Mar 24, 2010
    Hollis, New Hampshire
    every time you go to the coop from now on, pick him up and cup you hand over his head so he has to put his head down. it should help if you do it every time.
     
  7. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    5,516
    76
    308
    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    "I've always gotten along with Bill, with no issue...."

    I do think this tidbit, right here, offers an interesting glimpse into the mind of at least one of the participants.

    I'm reminded of a coupe of guys at their Monday bridge club...
    "Yeah, 'ol Bill is a decent enough guy - I've always gotten on with him. But now, this..."

    I wonder if "Bill" has ever been as concerned with "getting along" as you?

    If my time with chickens is anything to go by, I'd be inclined to doubt it. Fascinating.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2011

  8. Chicken.Lytle

    Chicken.Lytle Songster

    1,318
    11
    141
    Oct 19, 2010
    Montgomery County, TX
    My rooster runs up to defend his girls if they pitch a fit. He is careful about it though since I keep him in the #2 roo role.

    Recently I collected eggs while a hen was on the nest. She took offense and made a racket as she left the nest and huffed her way toward the pop door. The rooster ran up the ladder and looked in the pop door at me, making sure I was not torturing his poor defenseless girl. I gave him the eye, thanked him for looking out for her, and waved him off.

    I think your flock is stressed by the close quarters and your rooster was just trying to do his job. He needs to learn a better way to do it. Have you been hazing your rooster daily to assert your role as #1 roo?

    Personally, I prefer a little intimidation every time I get close rather than risk an occasional physical confrontation.
     
  9. Chicken.Lytle

    Chicken.Lytle Songster

    1,318
    11
    141
    Oct 19, 2010
    Montgomery County, TX
    Quote:I touch my birds as little as possible. I am very allergic to chickens.
     
  10. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    34,025
    478
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    You don't have to touch him, but you probably do need to continue to make it clear you are #1 roo, which is just what you did. Don't allow mating right up next to you (your shoe, gently of course, will take care of this, just push him off), give him the stink eye, back him down if he approaches, etc.

    Oh, my, that's an interesting challenge, to be allergic to them. Kudos!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by