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Rooster in a huff!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jam, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. jam

    jam New Egg

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    Apr 26, 2007
    Ireland
    Hi everybody - I'm new here. We have 2 marans hens, a brahma hen, and a brahma rooster. They're about 8 months old now, and the hens have been laying for a few months now. For the second time in under a week our rooster Bernie has attacked me! He's really full on and in a flap, chasing me around the yard, puffing up, and pecking at me! I'm assuming this is normal protective rooster behavior -- but is there anything I can do about it? The Brahma hen has been semi -broody (is this possible?). One day, she'll refuse to come out of the hen house, but the next, she'll come out freely. The first attack came after I was trying to get the hen out of the hen house, and the second time he attacked me when I was holding the eggs. Any feedback is well appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Julie
     
  2. Sunshine Hen

    Sunshine Hen Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 26, 2007
    Stamford, CT
    Welcome!!

    I would suggest holding your rooster upside-down by his feet. That will let him know that you're the one in charge. He's probably just worried about your hen, but he will learn that you can take care of her.
     
  3. Corey NC

    Corey NC Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2007
    North Carolina
    It is also a good idea to hold him regularly even if he struggles. I have always been "top roo" because of this and I regularly give him a pat on the bum to remind him who the hens really belong to.
     
  4. Critter Crazy

    Critter Crazy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2007
    Binghamton, NY
    You musnt run away, you must stand your ground, or it will get worse. Like other suggested, hold him as much as possible.
     
  5. Hotwings

    Hotwings Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2007
    southwestern Michigan
    Welcome Jam to the wonderful world of roosters! I am assuming your rooster is the same age as your hens, so he is sexualy mature now. I have read all kinds of ways to handle roosters and it can be exhausting. I have come to the conclusion that roosters are the Jack Russels of the the chicken world. Pound for pound you won't find a more gutsier animal lol. Roosters can be overprotective of their hens. I have seen people stand up to them and give them what for and they will still come at you. I don't know about the carrying around a rooster. Jack weighs about 8 pounds with some wicked spurs, I don't know if I would want to carry him. I have not to date come with any answers, only to watch him and always be on your guard or the stewpot. Ornery as rooosters are they do serve a very important role in flock behavior.
     
  6. jam

    jam New Egg

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    Apr 26, 2007
    Ireland
    Thanks everybody! I have to admit, I've been chicken today! I've been putting off going out there to let them out... I'm gonna have to do it! It's funny you mention holding them - I think I've developed a relatively close bond with all of them, raising them from little babies. I have to tell you that Rooster Bernie really changed his tune with regard to me holding him - I used to really enjoy holding him, then one day, he'd just run from me -- and I wondered how good it was for him to have me chasing him around the yard so I could hold him. I did manage to get him a few weeks ago - and it ended in tears -- mine! He bit me on the arm. We did have an unfortunate incident with a dog. Bernie was physically unscathed (minus a few lost feathers), but I did have to actually pull him out of the dog's mouth. I think that's when his aloofness started. He became very skittish. I suppose I don't blame him. Well, I'm going to arm myself with treats and head out to the scary chicken house -- wish me luck! Thanks again for all the advice -
    Julie
     
  7. jam

    jam New Egg

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    Apr 26, 2007
    Ireland
    I'm unscathed:)
    I was very nervous, especially because Brahma Hen Bucklebee refused to come out of her nesting area. I decided to err on the side of caution under the circumstances, and didn't go near her. Yes, Bernie is certainly in charge at the moment. I will work on our new relationship when my husband's home -- my rooster! Thanks again -
     
  8. eggchel

    eggchel Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Dec 26, 2006
    Both Coasts
    If he keeps it up, you may have to cull him. Even if you show him that you are top rooster, he will always be watching for a chance to attack you when your back is turned. You shouldnt have to be afraid to go into the hen yard. There are lots of roosters that are calm and gentle, although most of them will at least be agitated when they think that you are threatening one of the hens.

    Here's my test.... if the rooster only threatens me or charges me when I am chasing or catching a squawking hen and the rest of the time he is calm and behaves well, then he gets a pass.
    But, if he charges me or attacks me at any other time, or if I find myself having to look over my shoulder for him because I know that he is gonna come at me while Im trying to fill the feeder or something, then he's toast. You especially cant risk having a mean rooster go spurs first at the face of a child.

    If you need to keep him for breeding them keep him in a breeder pen and have the appropriate hens visit him there.

    This is a pic that I took yesterday of my new silkie cockerel. I have never had a silkie cockerel be at all aggressive before. And, Ive never had a silkie cockerel as big as him either, he really cuts up my feet and ankles. Before I pen him separately, I will try wearing different shoes just in case he is having a problem with my shoes. He does have poor vision due to his big crest. Because he is from Eddy Travers stock, I will give him another chance, and then put him in a breeder cage rather than cull him.
    [​IMG]

    chel
     

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