Rooster Starting to Attack!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Lokibinian, Jun 9, 2017.

  1. Cull it. Safety is number one concern, especially with my family.

    17 vote(s)
  2. Keep it. I'll try to fix its behavior.

    5 vote(s)
  3. Give it away. No use keeping an aggressive rooster.

    5 vote(s)
  1. Lokibinian

    Lokibinian Chirping

    Hello, everybody! I have nineteen chickens in the run, and two of them are roosters. One's a barred rock, another's breed is not identified yet. They're about six months old, and the barred rock rooster is the sweetest thing a rooster could be. It comes near me, lets me pet it, and hand feed it without pecking me or ripping my skin off.

    The other rooster is terrible. At first, it seemed like a rooster who wandered around without bothering the humans. I didn't really hand feed that one or pet it, because 1. I didn't trust it, and 2. It was pretty hard with its pecks.

    Today, I was about to dump some water into the bucket they drink from, but it came at me, ruffled feathers, and its talons were about to connect with my skin when I reacted and kicked it, albeit very gently, away from me. I had researched chickens very thoroughly before purchasing my first ten unsexed chicks, and I knew that roosters were prone to get aggressive, and I had my suspicions about this rooster. I had always kept an eye on him whenever I went to feed them some grains or scraps.

    It kept coming at me, and I kept kicking it away gently, and it managed to get a sharp peck on my ankle, tearing the skin. :barnie I kicked it away harder after that, and it fell on the ground, getting up again to attack me once more. Finally, it stopped, eyeing me, then wandered away. I carefully left the run, staring at him to make sure he didn't run at me again, then limped away to put something on my torn skin.

    I know I should have grabbed him and pinned him to the ground, but my hands were full of water containers, and I couldn't exactly grab him.

    Luckily, his spurs are not grown yet, otherwise my leg would be bleeding right now. There's plenty of room, plenty of food, and plenty of water. I didn't provoke him, he just came after me with murder in his eyes.

    Can anybody tell me why this rooster is so aggressive, and how to deal with it? Answering the poll would help too. I really would appreciate hearing about all your experiences. Thanks!
  2. FlyWheel

    FlyWheel Crowing

    Mar 19, 2016
    35.111165 -81.226586
    My Coop
    Get rid of it, before the good rooster starts picking up his bad habits. I've made this mistake enough times to know.
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Got my Puppy

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    He's a young male coming into puberty with raging hormones. He was trying to dominate you. You can try to put him in his place, but I personally would be rid of any rooster who came at me like that.
  4. RoostersAreAwesome

    RoostersAreAwesome Free Ranging

    May 21, 2017
    So heres how I deal with my aggressive rooster Griffin:
    Anytime he looks like he's challenging me, I chase him and hold him down on the ground. When I feed my rooster flock I chase him away from the food, and only after I leave can he have any. If I see him try to mate with a hen I chase him off. If he crows in my sight I chase him. I try to corner him and make him fly to get away. Once, he actually raised his neck feathers at me, but I just stood there and stared him down. Then, after he lowered his neck feathers I chased him for a while, and then I held him down to the ground until he submitted.

    Good luck! :)
  5. Lokibinian

    Lokibinian Chirping

    Thank you for your answers!
    Thanks for the advice!
  6. Pork Pie

    Pork Pie Flockwit

    Jan 30, 2015
    Great advice above. I'd only add that you should keep an eye on your currently friendly cock bird. This could change, assuming you get rid of the aggressive bird.
    Frazzemrat1 likes this.
  7. Kiawaki

    Kiawaki In the Brooder

    Mar 15, 2016
    With the first aggressive rooster we had, we tried to "show dominance" because we read about it online. That didn't fix the problem, just made it worse. We also had a construction worker who was afraid of that rooster and avoided him :oops:, which only gave the rooster wings (sorry ;) ). We finally culled that rooster when he jumped on a neighbor's back. :eek:

    Next I read that an aggressive rooster should be approached slowly and calmly, hopefully with some food in your hand so that he comes to conclusion that you are not a threat. Our current rooster is not aggressive, so I didn't yet have a chance to test that approach. I didn't know until this thread that other roosters could pick up the habit.

    We generally avoid killing our birds, but I don't want to sell them or give them to unsuspecting people without warning. So if they are fine with an aggressive rooster, good, but that most likely means they'll eat him. I see it as my duty to warn people, one way or the other.
  8. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    I'll never tolerate an ill behaved bird again. Not in the least. Have curbed dominant behavior before but those birds could not be near the kids only I was untouched when tending them. It's a hassle and you're always keeping an eye on the cock bird every time your in the run. Not a good place to be and once you get well behaved birds you'll not tolerate it in the least ever again. The most aggressive my current line gets is this spring, or maybe it was last year, one cock had a thought of stand off in peak breeding season when first let out of coop in morning. Not that he stood up to me but saw the start of it then hesitation then it backed away from me and called his hens out. y four year old is out with the birds a lot and when younger would run right through a cock's harem and they'd only eye him. I just keep a short leash on my boy during the peak of spring rut.

    Great birds are out there. Lines from breeders typically produce well behaved birds as human aggression has been bred out. Or local free cock bird (over 1 year old) with proven track record of behavior can be had from craigslist.
    Frazzemrat1 and StarCreekFarm like this.
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I have trained most back out of the aggression. It takes time. Instances I dealt with the birds are not genetically hard wired to be a problem, with some hatchery sourced and even some game strains there maybe a strong genetic component. A couple instances also involved spur management before training completed. I have small kids that do not like to be kicked as they say it. Some roosters have been culled in past for the aggression when I did not have time or other resources needed to deal with it. I have never given such a bird away since most people do not know how to or won's to work with such handful's.
  10. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.

    Yep, a change in the pecking order could give him more confidence which could result in aggression.

    Me too!

    You have three basic options. 1. You can keep going as you are, having a human aggressive rooster on your hands. 2. You can try "rooster rehab" if you really feel you want to keep him. 3. You can cull him. ("Cull" does not necessarily mean to "kill". It simply means to remove from the flock. In this situation, he'd be going into my crock pot. I would not give away or sell a bird this aggressive without full disclosure.)

    If you decide he's worth giving a chance, I would suggest you read the post below by Beekissed. I haven't tried rehabbing a cockerel this way, because it's how I treat them from the beginning. I haven't had to deal with an aggressive rooster (or cockerel) in a very long time, and I feel it's because of how I act around them from day one.

    If you decide he's not worth the risk, there is nothing wrong with that, either. There are plenty of nice roosters (or cockerels) around that could use a good home. You may even find you don't want to keep a rooster around at all.

    Here's Bee's post:

    "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."

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