Rooster Quiz

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Boomchickaboomboomboom, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. Boomchickaboomboomboom

    Boomchickaboomboomboom Out Of The Brooder

    May 25, 2011
    I am making myself crazy. This is our first flock. We had twelve roosters, and have culled to the one who I thought is the most calm with me. We named him 'Friend'. Friend would come when I call him. He is very protective of the girls (8 hens different breeds, he is a RIR) One day while I was opening acorns to feed them, the tool I was usuing fell apart, and a large spring fell to the ground. I grabbed the hen who grabbed it in order to get it back. Afterward my "Friend" jumped up at me, toward my chest. I know this is a good thing, that he wanted to protect her, but I can't have him showing aggressive behaviour toward me. They are all only 6 months old, and so he does not have spurs as of yet.

    So I read this article that said I should 'take charge', and not let him mate a hen in my presence, and knock him off her. Or to periodically 'let him know who's boss' by touching his tailfeathers when he doesn't expect it. All this is suppose to be rooster-speak for "I am the alpha male - not you". I've only done this two days, and I hate it, he hates it, and we're both acting psycho.

    I don't want my friend to have to change his named to culled. I don't want him to hate me, but I don't want him to think I'm weak, and that he can attack me either.

    Please help me on what I should do. Should I continue down this path of being alpha male, or go back to the way it's always been so that we can be friends again. By the way, he is now doing a lot more crowing and wing flapping since I've gone crazy on him.

    Thank you for your time.
  2. ramirezframing

    ramirezframing Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 2, 2011
    Knee Deep
    RIR can be very mean. You can try it, i'ts worked some for me but sometimes it doesn't work.
  3. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer Premium Member

    May 11, 2010
    Roosters are stallions of poultry and need to be treated as such. If they display inappropriate behavior toward you take immediate action. Either boot him across the coop, or pin him on the ground, or snatch him up by the legs give him a good shake and put him down. If he still wants to fight you don't back down. Make him get out of your way.

    Remember, flock dynamics do change on a daily basis-sometimes hourly in young flocks. And remember flock members spend 24 hour around each other while you visit on a daily basis so your position among the flock will have to be reaffirmed with the resident rooster. Move confidently and if you notice the rooster giving you the eye move boldly toward him. If he challenges you take action. If he backs off leave him alone.

    You rooster is possessive of his flock. That is what a rooster is for. This is how nature makes sure only the best survive to breed. You can separate your rooster if you plan to handle the gals. Some roosters are more tolerant than others but never forget a rooster is a rooster.

    Good luck and be safe!
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    In the animal world there are no friends. There are dominants and subordinates. Once everyone knows their place, everyone gets along. I don't allow my roosters to "protect" the hens from me. I am dominant to him, I'm allowed to do whatever I want to whoever I want. I do let my roosters mate when I'm around cause I'm not interested in mating the hens, plus I'd never get anything done if I had to run around knocking roosters off hens. I do sometimes just stomp at them or walk toward them and make them yield to me, generally just the act of them getting out of my way is enough to reinforce my position. I've not had to go out of my way to assert my dominance but wouldn't hesitate to boot any bird that came at me thinking it can challenge me.
  5. corgiscatsandchickens

    corgiscatsandchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 3, 2011
    You are the boss. He is the.boss when you are not around. You may have to go Jackie Chan on him. This is normal. Do it the moment he acts up. He will respect you, and neither of you will be psycho. Remember, chickens aren't people, no matter how much we love them. Speak HIS language, don't expect him to speak yours.

    Life will be good after you've won a boxing match or two!
  6. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

  7. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Well, my chickens are pets, so I probably have a more lax attitude toward my little roo than some might have. That being said, just as my dog would be immediately corrected if he/she growled at me for taking something away, my little roo would be disciplined if he made an aggressive move toward me (which he never has so far). I would either hold him down or pick him up and carry him around with me like a football. It would take a lot for me to kick one (I would need to be afraid and defending myself - if I had to kick a bird he wouldn't live here any longer). Your bird is young and trainable, so maybe you should "practice" grabbing at your hens a bit with him around...just a thought.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2011
  8. Pinky

    Pinky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2008
    South GA
    Your bird is young and trainable, so maybe you should "practice" grabbing at your hens a bit with him around...just a thought

    If you really want to keep the bird, now is the time to work with him. A nice RIR can be a great rooster to have around, as long as he understands he is not #1.
    My RIR rooster died this year. He was 6 yrs old and one of the best roosters I've ever owned. He even slept by my window a few times. He was the only one who wasn't afraid to protect his flock, and we still had a close understanding friendship.​
  9. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 27, 2010
    my chickens are pets also, but I have drop kicked my alpha for coming up behind my little boy....I have no qualms in booting his butt when he does this...he has done it one time...true he came back at me twice, but I can kick harder than he can flap his wings!

    He has not done it since and gives me plenty of room when I come around now...He does crow when I leave, to remind the girls he is the one in charge again!
    Funny, he is quiet when I am around...!

    He is doing his job, and that is what I 2nd in command roo, allows me to touch him...even though he is bigger, he knows his place also.

    My alpha roo....part EE/ part Old English Game I believe

    My 2nd in command, part EE/ part Gold Duckwing
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Everyone has their own opinion on the subject. I personally don't worry about a rooster mating in front of me or doing his other jobs. I did have one go human aggressive on me. I taught him to not mess with me, but he would attack other people, so he went.

    If I am going to be working with the flock, I take reasonable steps to not antagonize him. Usually, if I am checking them for lice or mites, or maybe banding them, I take the rooster first and put him out of the coop into the run where he cannot see what I am doing to his hens. That way he does not have to get aggressive to defend them. If I am going somewhere and he is in the way, I go somewhere. He moves. If he starts to look aggressive, I move directly toward him but slowly, giving him time to back down without forcing the issue or making sudden moves. If he flares his hackle feathers at me, I move toward him and give him every opportunity to back down.

    If he does not back down or if he charges, I am not above kicking him, but my kicking is not trying to put him through the run fencing. It is solidly lifting him with the instep of my foot so he can easily tell that he is not the stronger. I am not trying to break any bones or crush his internal organs, just firmly show that he doesn't have a chance.

    Occasionally, I also pick him up and carry him around a bit, but I seldom go out of my way to demonstrate I am the alpha. I generally just go about my business.

    Interestingly, the one that did go human agressive was a bit older. There were a bunch of adolescent roosters hitting the age where they were trying to mess with his hens. They were driving him crazy with their antics. I really think that contributed to him changing his attitude toward people.

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