Rooster + Son = Blood

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by For-The-Love-Of-Chickens, May 17, 2009.

  1. Our flock of chickens is approximately 13 weeks old. My son is 10 years old and is one of the care takers of our chickens. Most of the chickens adore him and let him pet them, pick them up, carry them around, etc. They follow him around and hop up into his lap. Our rooster used to be one of them. He has been handled every day since we brought him home from the feed store and he used to be really friendly. Lately, however, our roo has taken to biting my son when he tries to pick him up or goes near him. Biting to the point of leaving a deep scratch that bleeds. Our roo won't do this with anyone else. My hubby, 12 year old son, and I can pick him up and handle him with no problems. He isn't as friendly towards us as he used to be, but no signs of aggression towards us. I am assuming it is because my son is on the small side.

    My son is confused by his behavior and doesn't know what to do. He knows about picking him up and carrying him around with him, letting the roo know that he is dominant over him, that is what he has been doing up to the past few days. He has swatted him, but that usually only ends up with him getting another bite.

    I don't quite know what to do as the carrying around thing has always worked for any roos we have had in the past and I have never had a biter before. I am almost to the point of telling my son to just let him be as he doesn't want to be friends anymore. However, I know from having roosters in the past that this is not going to get better if we don't deal with it now. I don't want to eat our roo (we will if we have to), but I really don't want my son's hands to continue looking like they do now.

    Any suggestions?

  2. LilbitChicken

    LilbitChicken Songster

    May 5, 2009
    Hello, that is a difficult situation. [​IMG] Esp when your son is singled out.
    We are new to our chicken family, and I'm not sure how I would react.
    Have you tried putting him in his own pen for awhile? [​IMG]
  3. nzpouter

    nzpouter Songster

    Jan 19, 2009
    new zealand
    time for that next lesson in life..

    how to prepare dinner.
  4. allaboutdemchicks

    allaboutdemchicks Chapel Farms

    Sep 13, 2008
    Jemison, AL
    Oh Adrienne, I've had to deal with this unfortunate situation with my 5 year old daughter and a couple of roosters. I do think it is a size issue, and I wished I had advise. I have tryed to create a fear for the rooster toward the child, but, it always works just reverse. I just find homes that they can live at without children. It works out better for us and the rooster that way. And everyone ends up happy.


  5. saddina

    saddina Internally Deranged

    May 2, 2009
    Desert, CA
    Replace sir pecks-a-lot, too many sweet roos to put up with a sour one.
  6. meme9726

    meme9726 In the Brooder

    Apr 17, 2009
    Byers, CO
    Get rid of the roo, keep the kid [​IMG] Since there is a young child involved I would let the roo go or make soup. My daughter was attacked by a rooster years ago when her back was turned and she is still not totally over it. It took her about a year before she wanted to be around adult chickens at all. That makes it hard to do chores and enjoy your birds.
  7. crtrlovr

    crtrlovr Still chillin' with my peeps

    You could try going out with the smaller boy as "back up", and maybe get the boy some garden gloves for protection. It's easier to be brave when you're not afraid of being hurt. [​IMG] I had to get leather gloves for working with an African Gray we are trying to socialize after his having been in isolation (a back bedroom with one window to look out and no one in the room with him except to replace feed & water -- a torturous situation for a highly intelligent, social bird). Conventional wisdom says don't use gloves, but sometimes the practical outweighs the conventional wisdom... it may just been that the roo's hormones are kicking in even more now... bear that in mind, too. I hope you can resolve your issues. I love all my birds, and I especially LOVE my roos!

  8. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    As a child I was terrorized by THE ROOSTER FROM HELL. I still call it that to this day 30-something years later. I still have nightmares about that horrible, vicious animal. He was our neighbor's bird and would attack anything that moved. Awful, awful creature. The neighbors refused to get rid of him despite him attacking children, full-grown dogs, his hens, cars. He finally lost both legs to frostbite and got around on two stumps, which slowed him down enough to be able to run away from him. He disappeared one night when he was several years old. I can only imagine the epic battle that must have taken place between that rooster and whatever predator was brave/suicidal/stupid enough to tackle that miserable bird.
    I have hens, but I still refuse to have anything to do with roosters because of the experiences with that bird. Do everyone a favor and get rid of the rooster. Some birds are not worth it. Don't let your son be scarred by a nasty rooster. There are plenty of great birds out there.
    Last edited: May 18, 2009
  9. Does your younger son wear gloves (recommend leather) in the coop, as well as glasses or goggles? Until he is larger I'd suggest this. In fact I always wear them, and my hens are very friendly.[​IMG]

  10. Thank you everyone for your responses! He wears glasses all the time, and gloves most of the time, just not when he is trying to handle the chickens. We will definitely try that! [​IMG] (I don't know why I didn't think of that! [​IMG] )

    We discussed it last night and have decided that we will try the gloves and long sleeves as long as my son is comfortable with that and see if this is a passing issue. However, if it gets worse, or my son is no longer comfortable with him, our roo will be the guest of honor at dinner. [​IMG]

    Our roo just started crowing, so I am sure hormones are starting to rage! He has been near the bottom of the pecking order and is just in the past few days trying to establish himself as the leader. There have been some pretty nasty fights happening (feathers flying, rolling in the dirt, squawking, etc.). I am hoping that once things settle down that this will cease. I am also wondering if the roo doesn't see my son as a threat in his quest for leadership as the hens love him so much. Maybe he wishes the hens would follow him around like they do my son!! [​IMG]

    Thanks again everyone!!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by