Rooster keeps attacking horse

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by HalleBirdy, Dec 27, 2016.

  1. HalleBirdy

    HalleBirdy New Egg

    Dec 27, 2016
    I have an interesting situation. I have a rooster that attacks my horses, but only when they're being ridden. It started when I was riding my horse in a round pen. The rooster began following us around and rushing across the pen, attempting to cut my horse off. After a few minutes of this, he rushed at my horse's legs and attacked. Since then, any time he sees anyone on a horse, he begins to chase and sometimes flies up and attacks. Interestingly enough, he is comfortable around the horses when they're not being ridden; he walks around and under them all the time. He's a bit sketchy and territorial around strangers, but he's never been aggressive. Any ideas on why he does this? Thanks :)
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    A rooster that attacks anyone or anything is aggressive and defending his territory because he feels threatened or he feels the flock is being endangered.

    I would be very concerned that he would spook a horse that is being ridden and a very serious accident could happen. At the very least, the rooster should not be trusted around people. One incident can send someone to the ER. I've seen some very nasty scars on people who've been cut deeply by rooster spurs during a flogging event. It's a serious issue to have an aggressive rooster around, not a laughing matter.

    You have three choices. Do nothing and risk the consequences at some future date, discipline and train this rooster to control his behavior, or rehome him. Oh, there's a fourth option - have him for dinner.
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    How old is this guy? He's an idiot, and very dangerous, and likely to escalate this behavior. Too bad your horses haven't taken care of him already, but someone needs to 'cure' this before a person or horse is injured. Mary
    1 person likes this.
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

    Nov 7, 2012
    A rooster attacking someone on a horse is far more dangerous IMO than a rooster that merely attacks a person who is not on a horse. Both circumstances IMO are cause to cull the rooster. But the first scenario presents far more risk of serious injury. Law suits and medical bills are expensive.
  5. HalleBirdy

    HalleBirdy New Egg

    Dec 27, 2016
    He's about 9 months old. And the only injury that has happened is to the rooster. The horse stepped on his foot the first time he attacked.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2016
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    And that didn't cure the cockerel?
    'Stupid' cockerel indeed.

    What an odd situation.
    Must be he thinks of people as part of his flock thus the attacking horses only when a human is aboard.

    Curious how the horse(s) react to this?

    9 months old is a prime time for cockerels to 'go bad'.
    I'd seriously consider getting rid of this bird,
    or maybe keep him confined until older if there is a truly compelling reason you want to keep him.
    Males can be a valuable asset to a flock.....or the 'wrench in the machinery'.

    Oh, BTW, Welcome to BYC!

    BTWW.....semantics, but can be important communication terms when discussing chicken behavior.
    Female chickens are called pullets until one year of age, then they are called hens.
    Male chickens are called cockerels until one year of age, then they are called cocks(or cockbirds or roosters).
  7. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    I was so taken by visions of this cockerel attacking a HORSE AND RIDER that I forgot to welcome you, so sorry. WELCOME!!! Mary
  8. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    The older he gets, the longer the spurs. Spurs can leave deep puncture wounds in very critical areas of a horse's legs. You don't want to have your horse's leg injured by a spur. That could mean putting your horse down. Since the rooster didn't learn his lesson by getting stepped on, I doubt that anything will change his mind. Best to cull the big idiot, before something serious happens.
  9. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    He is only being a Cockerel/Rooster........I have Horses also......Lock him up when you ride.....When the horses are relaxed, they are not a threat...Being ridden the energy is up.....

  10. HalleBirdy

    HalleBirdy New Egg

    Dec 27, 2016
    So far, neither of my horses have kicked or spooked, though one of them started pinning his ears. They're used to the whole flock hanging out with them in the pasture. Funny thing, if you catch the cockrel in the act (turn the horse to face him or just yell "hey!"), he'll stop. Other than that one bad habit, he's pretty good; he lets me touch him and doesn't attack people who get close to his flock. And thanks for the clarification. I knew the terms, I just didn't know the ages.

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