Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Hen Solo1150, Apr 5, 2017.

  1. Hen Solo1150

    Hen Solo1150 Just Hatched

    Apr 3, 2017
    Hi, I've got a new americuana rooster that has been at our place for 11 days (We got him when he was 1 year old.) that was very friendly before, but now he has been getting SERIOUSLY worked up. He was fluffing up his neck feathers and flapping up and pecking and clawing at me! I don't know what to do. And, I really don't want to get rid of him. If you know what to do please tell me. Thanks!
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    This excellent post by my friend and mentor Bee kissed should tell you everything you need to know:

    I'm going to give you a clue on "rooster speak"....holding him down doesn't mean anything to him. If you'll watch how roosters interact between dominant ones and subordinate ones, there is rarely any, if ever, holding a bird down for a long time when there is an altercation. There is very quick flogging, gripping by the back of the head and flinging him away or getting him down and giving some savage pecking to the back of the head or neck. No holding him down and nothing else. That's a rooster on a hen maneuver, not rooster on rooster.
    Because your rooster is attacking you, you are the subordinate in this picture. You are getting dominated by your bird simply because you are walking where a subordinate isn't supposed to be walking when a dominant is in the area. What you never see is a dominant rooster getting attacked by a subordinate rooster unless there is going to be a definite shift in power, at which time the sub will challenge the dom and win...or lose. So far you are losing and not even challenging.
    If you want to win this battle, you must go on the offensive, not the defensive. He who attacks first, and is still claiming the area when the other guy leaves it, is the winner. Some people never have to go on the offensive because their movements in the coop are so decisive that they move and act like a dominant and a 2 ft. rooster is smart enough to recognize a dominant attitude and behavior...which is likely why he's never attacked your husband. Most men move more decisively than do women and children and they rarely step around a bird, but walk through them.
    Carrying him around also doesn't mean anything to just doesn't translate at all. His environment is that coop and run floor and that's where you need to speak to him, in a language he understands. Because they are quick on their feet and can evade you, you need a training tool like a long, limber, supple rod of some kind...cutting a nice switch from a shrub or tree that will lengthen your reach by 5 ft. really helps in this. Don't use a rake or broom because they are too clumsy and stiff and can put the hurts on the guy when you don't really mean to.
    When you enter your coop, walk with decisive movements and walk directly towards your rooster. Move him away from the feeder and the rest of the flock and keep a slow, determined pressure on him until he leaves the coop. The stick will help you guide him. Then...wait patiently while he gets his bird mind around what just happened. He will try to come back in the coop...let him. When he gets a good bit into that coop, take your switch and give him a good smack on the fluffy feathers under his tail if you can aim it well. If you cannot, just smack the floor near him very hard and fast until he hops and runs and keep at it until he leaves the coop once again. Repeat this process until he is too wary to come back in the coop.
    Feed your hens. When he tries to come to the feeder, you "attack" him with the switch...smack the wall by the pop door just as he tries to enter. If he makes it inside, pursue him with the stick either smacking the floor or tapping him on the back or the head until he leaves in a hurry. Make him stay outside while you sit there and enjoy watching your hens eat. Use the stick to keep him from the flock..just him. Don't worry about the hens running and getting excited when this is happening...they will get over it. This is for the future of your flock and your management of it.
    When the hens have had a good tucker....leave the coop and let him come back in. Go out later and walk through that flock and use your legs to scatter birds if they get in your roosters do not step to one side for any other bird in the flock. You shouldn't either. Take your stick and startle him with a smack on the floor next to him when he is least expecting it...make that bird jump and RUN. Make him so nervous around you that he is always looking over his shoulder and trying to get out of your way. THAT'S how he needs to be from now on in your lives together. Forget about pets or cuddles...this is a language and behavior he understands. You can hand feed him and such later...right now you need to establish that when you move, he moves...away. When you turn your back, he doesn't move towards you...ever.
    Then test him...take your stick along, move around in the coop, bend over with your back turned to him, feed, water, etc....but keep one eye on that rooster. If he even makes one tiny step in your direction or in your "zone", go on the attack and run him clear on out of the coop. Then keep him out while everyone else is eating.
    THAT'S how a dominant rooster treats a subordinate. They don't let them crow, mate or even eat in their space. If the subordinate knows his place and watches over his shoulder a lot, he may get to come and eat while the other rooster is at the feeder...but he doesn't ever relax if he knows what is good for him. At any given time the dominant will run him off of that feed and he knows it, so he eats with one eye toward the door. If he feels the need to crow, it's not usually where the dom can reach him...maybe across the yard.
    If your rooster crows while you are there, move towards him and keep on the pressure until he stops. He doesn't get to crow while you are there. He can crow later...not while you are there.
    It all sounds time consuming but it really isn't...shouldn't take more than minutes for each lesson and you can learn a lot as you go along. And it can be fun if you venture into it with the right attitude....this is rooster training that really works if you do it correctly. This can work on strange roosters, multiple roosters and even old roosters...they can all learn. You rule the act like it. Carrying is for have a full grown rooster on your hands, not a baby.
  3. Louise Waffles

    Louise Waffles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 1, 2017
    This is what I did, and it worked: I put my rooster in his own coop during the day. He had water all day, and I made sure he was watching as I put the food into his dish. I am the source of all good things. All treats come from me. We went on like this for nearly a month. He had time outside of the coop to free range while I was outside with the chickens. I put him back into his coop when I went back inside. He was put into the coop with his ladies at night.
    I've found that if I am working in the yard, as long as I am sure of myself, he is pretty much okay. If I am tentative in something I am doing, like slipping in a muddy duck yard, he starts going after my ankles. A verbal warning in my regular voice seems to work. Also, I always wear pants.
    I think either I have a bigger tolerance for f*ckery from roos, or he really wasn't that bad. But anyone who ends up here stays here, we are a forever home, and so far I haven't had an issue that couldn't be dealt with. It depends on how determined you are to make it work.
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    @lazygardener - I was looking for that very post!

    In my opinion, what you did didn't work since he still goes after you at times. But if you're willing to put up with it, that's your choice. Personally, I wouldn't but my chickens aren't pets.

    OP - I would try Bee's suggestions for a couple of weeks tops. If he doesn't learn, move him along or put him in the freezer. If you find him a new home, do so with full disclosure so a new owner doesn't find themselves in the same situation you're in. I'm suspecting this behavior may be why you were given this rooster in the first place.
  5. MonicaWA

    MonicaWA Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 1, 2016
    Great advice! I will be using it today. No more bruised legs for me!
  6. Hen Solo1150

    Hen Solo1150 Just Hatched

    Apr 3, 2017
    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I will definitely do that, lazy gardener!!

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