When/Do Rooster Hormones "Level Out"?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ajay18, Sep 26, 2015.

  1. ajay18

    ajay18 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 23, 2014
    So I love that my roosters look out for the flock, especially because of all the hawks we have flying around. But today I had to literally run away from them and their nastiness- namely, one, our biggest. They are just now at the 4-5 month mark. The golden age. The crowing. The testosterone. Joy. To be fair, he didn't chase me down right out of the gate, (it was pecking at first, then it escalated when I walked past the his lady birds on my way to the mailbox) but his behavior was behavior that cannot fly with guests and small children. He has just started this. He used to be tense, maybe a little wary, but he was no trouble to interact with and a pet favorite. Is this it? The new normal? My fluffy white roo a newly crowned menace? Or will the blast of hormones eventually taper off into something more manageable?

    Ty :)
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2015
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    There is absolutely no reason why you need to keep a human aggressive rooster. It's something that generally gets worse, as they get older. They don't out grow it. A good rooster is watchful and protective, but realizes that the person that cleans up after them and feeds them is not a threat.
  3. Jesusfreak101

    Jesusfreak101 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 2, 2015
    My Coop
    I know your feelings i recently had to have my husband cull our one and only rooster. We were both bery attached. One day(6months old) i went to catch a hen i suppected as a roo and he attacked me. After speaking with several others on here the conclusion was he was reacting to her calls and he was being a rooster. He attacked me six or more times that day one right after the other. And before he attacked me my two year old daughter had run over to me crying saying ow chicken and pointed to him. I known her to run from hens for walking towards her saying ow i assumed it was the same until he attacked me. About a week or so later we were out side again (been keep extremely close to my daughter and watching him) she was right in front of me walking away from the hens she posed no threat to them or anything else and he walks up behind her and attackes her. He tried to floger her twice (he had no spurs as of yet THANK GOD) i saw wounds created by a roo that spured his owner its not pretty went straight to her bone three times. Anyways after that attacked i chased his *** and if i would have caught him i not sure if i would have broken his neck or i would have let my dogs have at him i was ****** to say the least. My daighter received one scratch to many that day and the following monday he was put in the freezer. I can assure you until that first attack he showed no agressive behavior to any human or any animal. We have cats that guard our hens and he was a very happy boy with 17 hens we just added six more to that. He was well loved and taken care of we were no threat we held the hens often and him on occasion. My daughter and him played in a kiddy pool together along with the mud and a sprinkler system she doesnt chase the chickens. She helps feed and water them and gives them treats he had no reason to see us as a threat. After the first time i made it clear i was the alpha he wasnt but that didnt change his reaction to us. At first i thought it was a fluke i now know it wasnt. If yours is showing signs i going to say it mostly likely as much as you wish it is not a fluke and he needs to go sadly. For not only kids safety but yours one he devolopes spurs he be even more dangerous and can do serious damage. The woman had to go to the er for her wounds and they were on her ankle for a child it could be much worse. Please be careful and try to think of what could happen to yourself or some one else i know you love him but humans (expecially children) safety must come first!
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    If you're inexperienced with animals to the point where you're running away from a rooster, you need to get rid of them and keep a flock of only hens for a while. Get some experience and some confidence, and try a rooster in a year or two. This is not going to have a happy ending.

    One of the hens will start keeping an eye out for predators and warn the others. If you've got hawks, be sure your birds have plenty of shelter to hide under.
    2 people like this.
  5. ajay18

    ajay18 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 23, 2014
    Donrae I take umbrage to that. "Get some experience." What do you think I'm doing?
  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    Roosters are a crap shoot. They do not have a large brain, and so they really do not train well, their personality is largely genetic. Aggressive attacking roosters tend to produce chicks that are also going to be aggressive.

    In my experience, roosters raised with flock mates and no older birds in the flock, are more likely to become aggressive for these reasons of chicken society. In chicken society, fear equals respect. Birds routinely peck in order to make a lower ranking bird to move out of their space. The lower bird does move away, accepting the dominance of the other bird. In a multi- generational flock, older birds are more dominant, and will thump manners into young juvenile roosters. People, even people that spend a lot of time with their flock, do not live with them, therefore when they are gone, the rooster chick is the bully. If in a multi generational flock, those older birds do live with them, and don't let them get away with it.

    In a new flock of chicks raised together, the rooster chicks rapidly outgrow the pullets, they are the biggest in the flock, naturally more brave. They are the most fun for people because they do come forward to be petted as the darling, often times brave enough to sit on your lap. Then 4-5 months comes, hormones explode, they have no fear of you, and that means they have no respect for you. They are the bullies in the flock, dominating all of the pullets easily, and usually making their lives hell. They want to dominate you too, usually they will attack children first, then women, then anyone that gets near them. At this point, people write on here, horrified that their darling, who had been treated well, is now attacking them. People want solutions so that the relationship can go back the way it was, but the reality is that it really can't. Even if you get them to not attack you, they will try it on anybody else.

    When one raises puppies or kittens, if the human is kind, these animals loose their fear of humans and respond with friendship. They have larger brains. This does not work in the chicken world.

    Chickens are not mean, but they are very status conscious.

    If you want a rooster in the flock, this is my advice, get rid of the rooster you have now. Either cook him, or bury him and plant a rose bush. Wait until your pullets are laying. Next spring, ask other established chicken people in your area if they have an extra rooster. Very often, people will keep an extra rooster that is just so darn nice, that they hesitate to cull him. That is the rooster that you want. You want a rooster that is close to a year old. Your pullets will fall in love with him in 24 hours. Contact the county extension agent for a poultry club, or ask at your feed store for other people that raise chickens.

    Do not make a pet of a rooster. Always walk toward them forcefully so that they move out of your way. Even when you have a nice one, be aware, again a rooster is largely controlled by hormones and genetics, with a small brain, they are not going to reason well. Intact male animals can be dangerous. Be aware, especially if strange people are going down to the coop.

    Mrs K
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2015
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Well, if your first cockerels are 4-5 months old you are just starting your experience with this aspect of male chickens.
    I'm sure donrae meant no offense.

    You mentioned 'roosters' plural...sometimes they can be rowdier with multiple males in the group...it's a competition thing.
    Get rid of(or isolate out of sight) all but the favorite and he may calm down.
  8. Free Feather

    Free Feather Chillin' With My Peeps

    How many roosters do you have? How many girls are there? Do they free range? Are there any older birds around? Have you had them since they were babies? What breeds are they? Are you the only person they are exposed to? How do you carry yourself around them?

    I do not think that you have to get rid of anyone. All roosters are different. Their main drive in life is to protect their family, and to dominate. Not always, but usually. They are not stupid, they do not need trained, and they do not need killed for acting like nature meant for them to.
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I simply meant is sounds as though you need more personal experience with animals in general before tackling intact male livestock. Some things you can't learn from the internet.
  10. perrypogue

    perrypogue Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 17, 2015
    Haskell TX
    I suppose I need to learn from your combined experiences and save my grandchildren from a rooster attack.

    They just visited me this weekend and I witnessed my 18 week old RIR rooster posture for an attack on her. She was swinging on a rope swing and he was trying to eat something beneath her ... so as she would swing over him he took that as aggression from her. And he did the pose for attack ... but I suppose he is too young to have spurs.

    I have a large pen. I see no reason why I couldn't always manage even a mean rooster by just not entering the coop until he's in the pen. But he was just hired on for his musical charm so he's on a short leash.

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