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Rooster is attacking me, new behavior, help

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Victoria-nola, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. Victoria-nola

    Victoria-nola Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have Americauna or Easter Eggers, whatever, they were sold as Ameracauna. 1 rooster, 7 hens. Rooster is now quite large and heavy, about 16 months old. There have been isolated attacks up to now that I could somewhat understand. But now, the last 2 days the hens have started flying over the tall cyclone fence to the open lot next door. I'm going to add some height this weekend and fix this, but meanwhile, when I go outside to get the hens back inside our fence, the rooster is attacking me, bad, and now his spurs are starting to really be painful. I know it's because he feels his hens are at risk and he's attacking the nearest target (me), even tho I'm trying to help. I realize it is territorial. But what can I do to alter this dynamic? I garden and so forth in the backyard, I can't have a loose rooster hurting me every time I turn my back, this is just not workable.
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    He now sees you as a threat to "his" harem. It's a problem.
     
  3. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Had one so bad I had to kill him so I started looking up suggestions. I found one and am using it on any of my roos that even act like they are going to charge me. I have only had to do it a couple times on most of them. I have a shamo that I have to do it to every few months....seems like mostly after bad rainy weather (go figure!). Anyway, I immediately advance toward him, grab him up and tuck him under my arm at my hip. I then push his head downward toward the ground and hold it a few seconds. WHen I let go and he picks it up I push it back down. You do this until he no longer picks it up. After a bit you can set him down. So far it has seemed to work. I used to have a link to the story about the lady who first demonstrated this but not sure where it is now.
    sharon
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Victoria-nola

    Victoria-nola Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you, Fred, for the support and for this suggestion, Sharon. I have felt that there had to be some kind of (nonharmful) physical communication that would tame this behavior, so I will try this. He and I have always gotten along really well. He's beautiful and really cares for his girls. I want this to be fixed, the idea of getting rid of him and starting over is not appealing.

    Yesterday I picked him up and tucked him under my arm at the hip just like you described. I then carried him to the coop and locked him in while I rounded up the girls, and let him out afterward. So, I can definitely do your suggestion.

    Thanks again, I now have hope! And it's so nice, the girls are laying again. Treasure in the backyard.
     
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Another mechanism that sometimes works is to scoop the rooster up in a short handled fishing net and carry him around while you do chores. They hate being subordinated in the net.
     
  6. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Silkie rooster attacked me today and that was my first rooster attack since keeping chickens. He would often sidestep me, but not fly at me...anyway my big rooster saved me from him...Lol. So I'm not going to do anything really except I find myself side stepping the Silkie. Every once in awhile the big roo has to reel him in. For some thing or another, and that is also what the big roo does to him. So we can fight like roosters, but I have a way bigger rooster on my side.
     
  7. Victoria-nola

    Victoria-nola Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So it would appear that my impulse to pick him up and carry him was going in the correct direction. If I need additional reinforcement after working with the neck thing I'll try the net. I have pet pigs, 2 pet pigs, and with pigs you have to do something called "Move the Pig" where you make a practice of making them move at all different times and during all different activities. The head hog does that, demonstrates his/her dominance by making the other pigs move. So when humans make the pigs move, the human is demonstrating that they are head hog in the language the pig understands and it works SUPER well to produce a harmonious relationship.

    I'm wondering how this demonstration fits into rooster behavior and interactions. I only have the one and have NO INTENTION of getting another unless we eventually move to a much larger property, so I don't really know how they interact. Anyone have any theories about why the holding-and-head-control works? I do know that when I'm trying to catch a chicken or when I'm petting one that their necks are horribly vulnerable.

    Anyway this is just idle speculation. I will definitely try this out, tomorrow.

    THANK YOU.
     
  8. Victoria-nola

    Victoria-nola Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi, here's my report:

    I went outside and did the holding/gentle neck lowering with my rooster. He responded by keeping his head down after a few tries, it took about 5 minutes max. The last time I walked with him about 35 feet. He kept it down (he raised it slightly just to get the pressure off, but kept it lowered, and it took a few tries for me to understand that he really was already keeping it as lowered as he could, so honestly it took even less time than I state, but I figure more than one time of him keeping it lowered wouldn't hurt anything). I put him back on the ground gently, and he stepped away from me and kept going, without looking like he was abused or fearful.

    The test of this was that my handyman is here today working, and this rooster has been hellaciously attacking him for weeks (notice I didn't take action until it was affecting me-- bad choice on my part, but there it is). After I worked with my rooster, Joey and I went outside together, and the rooster walked away and went to the other side of the property. I'm certain that Joey will have to do the rooster-calming for himself, but now because the rooster was calmer already, Joey feels more certain about the attempt.

    THANK YOU SO MUCH, Sharon, and the rest of you. I see other threads right now about aggressive roosters with the same tired old advice that there is essentially nothing to be done. I don't know how it is that you folks responded to me, but I am so thankful to have this new tool, renewed feelings of competence, and excitement. I tried to communicate this learning to some folks on another thread, without much success.

    I feel very blessed, thanks again.

    --Victoria
     
  9. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm glad it seems to work for you too! I have only the one that has needed repeats.....but it is not often. Keep an eye on him so he doesn't catch you by surprise.
     
  10. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have kids, and if my big rooster behaved the same as the small one, we would eat him, because he could easily cause some damage, but my Silkie doesn't even have spurs...he's like an older vicious chihuahua with no teeth...Check out the spurs on my big guy, good thing he is nice. And he is very gentle with his hens too. He actually mates with an almost bantam sized hen everyday and there are no ill effects. No cuts or abrasions on any of the hens...but here is my question...Will him mating a tiny hen require her to lay a larger egg? because her eggs have become a little larger since he noticed her. Anyway, the big rooster is also a much older bird than the silkie, and temperance comes with age. The Silkie roo is only 9 months so that is a lot of the issue...I think you just have to subdue them until they get older...or perhaps only more gentle roosters live to be an advanced age, so it seems that temperance comes with age, but perhaps only the temperate are allowed to age...I am not sure. Anyway, I am rambling.
     

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