rooster versus feed bucket

littlechicky579

Hatching
5 Years
Mar 18, 2014
8
0
9
Florida
Hi guys,

I'm wondering if I can get some help with my rooster....

A little history: barred rock 7 moth old rooster housed with 12 hens (3 barred rock, 3 rhode island red, 3 Ameracauna, 3 golden comet). Handled daily from very small chicks. I realized quickly he was a roo and not a hen and made sure to hold him everyday.

Now at maturity he became a little aggressive, he would randomly give me a hard peck (usually didn't draw blood) on my leg from behind and run away when I turned around. Since that started happening I've tried handling him more and hand feeding him. I've also spent a lot of time outside with them while they free range offering seeds and talking to them. So the pecking of my leg stopped. I've noticed when he shows signs of being threatened if I just stand perfectly still and talk to him in a calm voice he relaxes (usually only takes a min or two). I also had a bad habit of standing with my hands on my hips which I believe he interpreted as a challenge.

My issue now is in order to get everyone back into the coop before the evil predators of night can get to them I bring a bucket of their food and call everyone home (they all come running including Mr. big bad roo himself, it's pretty cute). The problem is he has decided that the feed bucket I carry is a threat and will jump up and peck it once hard, then back off. Its enough to scare the hens though and now it's hard for me to fill their food and get them in the coop without everyone getting upset.

Things I've tried

Different colored buckets: blue, red, orange, a woven basket

Different size buckets: 5 gal, and a couple quarts.

He really doesn't full on attack I know there is a big difference and it's always precisely located at the bucket. I'm not blocking myself with the bucket while he attacks me. I've never hit him with a bucket or anything like that. I do know that it's violent enough for all the hens to fly out of the coop screeching and flailing
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Anyone have a similar experience or can suggest anything would greatly be appreciated

Thanks!
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Howlet

Chirping
5 Years
Jul 31, 2014
317
14
83
Maryland
My Coop
My Coop
id try bringing the hens in 1 by 1 or 2 by 2 for a bit. in the meantime try what i do with horses- desensitize them to it till its not a threat. Take him into your garage or a spare room or just sit in the coop with him alone with the bucket until he relaxes around it. hope this helps!
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Mrs. K

Free Ranging
11 Years
Nov 12, 2009
8,900
11,176
636
western South Dakota
I am thinking that this might be a no go with the rooster. I did have a rooster that really did not like a red bucket, but you have tried several different colors.

If you reread your post, you will see some very negative behaviors that you have already dealt with, and I think this is another. I think he will be back to attacking you, or someone else fairly soon. If you have younger children, they need to be kept away from him. He could really hurt a small child.

Personally, I would cull the rooster. I do understand if you want to wait, and he will either get a lot better or a lot worse. I think that you have done a lot of training, and standing with your hands on your hips is not an issue. I think that it is hard to raise a good rooster in a group of flock mates. They often get bigger than the hens quickly, and become bullies. I think a rooster raised by older hens and a rooster, does learn a bit more respect, and gets through the difficult teen age better.

There is a theory often presented on this forum, that roosters handled frequently loose their fear and respect of humans, and often becomes human aggressive. It seems counter intuitive, that if you are nice to the rooster, he will attack you, but in chicken rules, the nice guy is submissive to the aggressive. I like a rooster that always moves away from me.

Mrs K
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,373
17,727
856
Holts Summit, Missouri
Rooster has learned that going after feed bucket gets him more feed quicker. Avoid feeding him immediately after attack on bucket.

To facilitate training to coop. First poor feed into coop area, then attract birds to general location with empty bucket. Owing to your past efforts, simply banging on bucket will get them running in.
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,373
17,727
856
Holts Summit, Missouri
I am thinking that this might be a no go with the rooster. I did have a rooster that really did not like a red bucket, but you have tried several different colors.

If you reread your post, you will see some very negative behaviors that you have already dealt with, and I think this is another. I think he will be back to attacking you, or someone else fairly soon. If you have younger children, they need to be kept away from him. He could really hurt a small child.

Personally, I would cull the rooster. I do understand if you want to wait, and he will either get a lot better or a lot worse. I think that you have done a lot of training, and standing with your hands on your hips is not an issue. I think that it is hard to raise a good rooster in a group of flock mates. They often get bigger than the hens quickly, and become bullies. I think a rooster raised by older hens and a rooster, does learn a bit more respect, and gets through the difficult teen age better.

There is a theory often presented on this forum, that roosters handled frequently loose their fear and respect of humans, and often becomes human aggressive. It seems counter intuitive, that if you are nice to the rooster, he will attack you, but in chicken rules, the nice guy is submissive to the aggressive.  I like a rooster that always moves away from me.

Mrs K


NO!!!!!!
 

littlechicky579

Hatching
5 Years
Mar 18, 2014
8
0
9
Florida
Thanks for all your input guys! The problem is I usually have to move past them in the open with the full bucket because of the distance between where I keep the food and their coop. I will try moving their food closer to their coop so I don't walk the whole acre with them trailing anxious for the food.

I'm beginning to think it's more along the lines of what centrarchid said. They all associate me with snacks and food and he is just trying to get to it quicker than I am offering it. Whenever I have table scraps in my hand the girls jump up and try to take it from me (I'm only 4ft 11! not that hard for them to reach lol) so he may even be mimicking them.

He is such a wonderful defender of his flock I would hate to have to give him away. There is NO way I would free range at ALL without him to watch over the hens so it would be sad for them too. I have only tried brightly colored buckets so I may try to get a brown or black one.

I also may try to wait a little later to get them in the coop I may be putting them in too early. I'm just super worried about predators so I like them in before dusk, don't think they want to be in then though.
 

MANNA-PRO

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