Rooster psychology anyone? What's up with my two roosters?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by elizabet253, Mar 2, 2015.

  1. elizabet253

    elizabet253 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I raised two roosters from birth, one black australorp, and one easter egger. Here's the story, I brought over 4 cougar hens, the black rooster starting becoming aggresive after being introduced to these older hens at around 6 months of age, the other rooster and other few hens are the same age. He used to let me slightly pet him, but after the day he attacked me for turning my back, he wouldnt let me go near him. He would get into fights with my large dog for no good reason, and attacked my senior chihuahua for no reason, along with attacking me a few times. The thing is, my mom worked outside doing gardening and such around the chickens using shovels and such, this rooster never attacked her once. He almost killed the other rooster when he tried to get with one of the cougar hens. I had to slaughter him. I let the easter egger out (he wouldnt come out into the yard because he was afraid of the rooster, this black rooster would also sleep with the cougar hens at night, there's two seperate flocks and they sleep in different areas).

    So, the easter egger, he is my favorite chicken just because he lets me pet him and pick him up with no problem. He even talks to me. He doesn't attack my dogs (except he did today but it was my own dog's fault, so I was proud of the rooster for protecting the girls), so the weird thing is, while my mom was working outside, he tried to attack her twice, in front of her, he didn't wait for her to turn around and then attack. One time he kind of kept jumping on her so I had to restrain him! lol, what is up with these roosters? This easter egger rooster also courted my large dog a few times.
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    What is "up" is hormones. Right around age six months, especially if it's early spring, which it is, hormones begin surging in both hens and young cockerels. It can make formerly docile young cockerels aggressive, and they feel they need to be protective and fight off any and all imagined or real threats, including harmless little dogs and moms who are digging in the dirt.

    This period lasts well into the cockerel's second year, after which he generally will settle down. Most aggressive roos don't last that long, as you've already demonstrated.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Remove one cockerel out of sight and sound of the rest of the birds and peace should be restored, probably immediately.
     
  4. elizabet253

    elizabet253 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So should I be worried he may turn on me? I've only seen him attack once and that was my dog, but my dog snapped at the hens so I was proud of the rooster for sticking up for the hens. And I think maybe he attacked my mom for no reason because of me. He only attacked her those two times when I was near her and him. Maybe he got jealous of me?! LOL
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    If he's attacked others, he may attack you, too. The way we each behave around our roosters directly affects their behavior. If you move quickly, especially near the chickens, it could set him off. If you encounter him in your path and quickly step around him, it could cue him to come up behind you when you start to do something and fling himself at your back.

    The best way to assure a rooster doesn't attack you is to establish dominance over him. To demonstrate it to him that you're the boss of the flock, you need to keep your eye on him at all times, never turn your back, never walk around him, making him move instead, in fact, take a couple steps in his direction as he moves out of your way.

    Without abusing him, you need to play the role of playground bully. It might be good to handle him, especially if he doesn't especially like it. Never release him while he's struggling. Make him endure until he calms down and is submissive.

    I usually train my young cockerels to accept being handled just prior to maturity. Then when the hormones begin popping, I step it up, daily handling them until they readily settle down as I hold them. If they try any aggressive moves, they get snatched up in a confining hold or pushed to the ground with their beak in the dirt until they submit. Usually trouble can be headed off by doing these things.

    But then you have to be concerned with other members of the family interacting with the rooster and causing bad behavior. They need to do the same things when around him in order to discourage bad behavior.

    The first year after a cockerel comes into his hormones can be exhausting. The alternative is to do what you did with the other one or re-home him.
     
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  6. elizabet253

    elizabet253 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, the other day me and my dog were playing together wildly around the chickens, the rooster didn't care. My dog runs around crazy around the chickens, rooster didn't care either. He only attacked my dog once and that was when my dog snapped at the chickens. He only attacked a few times for no reason to my mom when she was near me, we boththink it's jealousy since he never attacked her when she was alone. I don't think he dislikes me handled. I can pick him up with ease, but I don't think he likes being held long, I wouldn't be surprised anyways since I didn't hold him daily growing up, so he's not used to it. Also I have another question, so roosters do this dance to court chickens by sticking one of their wings out, does it only mean he wants to mate with them? My rooster did this one to my dog, and today when I was at his level petting him and talking to him, he did this wing dance for me.... It was akward, lol I kindly told him no and pushed him away.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Mating and Domination behavior, often happens before an attack.
     
  8. elizabet253

    elizabet253 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So he was trying to dominate me and my dog with sticking his wing out and dancing? Weird since he has never once been mean to me, even when I was mean to the chickens and made them freak out.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    It's hard to say if he will turn truly human aggressive or not...depends on his personality, flock dynamics and how the people around him react to his behaviors.
     

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