Young Cockerel Behavior Question About Being Very Aggressive!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BeccaSmith, Jun 3, 2012.

  1. BeccaSmith

    BeccaSmith Songster

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    Hi! Hubby and I are on our second year of keeping chickens. We only bough hens last year, but a neighbors rooster would make it's way over here and there and the hens always seemed very happy them around....they didn't always stay long. So this year we decided to get a cockerel with our chicks we bought this year. There wasn't much of a selection at the time and hubby picked out a RIR Cockerel. I later read they are very aggressive. Anyways, our cockerel ended up having a leg deformity but it didn't really show until about 10 weeks so we were contimplating on putting him down but have been trying to see how things pan out with it. He seems to get around pretty well, goes out to the pasture with the girls, and is able to get to food and water. He is also very very agressive! Not sure if he is trying to compensate for his deformity, but he is just plane nasty and that is another reason we are thinking of putting him down. I have been hoping it is just his hormones adjusting and maybe he will mellow out? He will just latch on the the pullets and hens and not let go for no reason, I am really surprised he has not drawn any blood from them yet, maybe he has, I have also seen him pull feathers as well from them. He is also attacking my husband and I. If we put our hands anywhere near him he thinks it is game on, and even if we are just walking into the coop he will run to attack us, and he has even drawn blood on us. We can easily get away from him with his deformity, but it just isn't cool and we are more concerned for our girls. Plus I can't even stand with my back to the chickens in the coop and not be constantly watching over my shoulder if I here movement. So I thought I would ask for some advice, is this normal for a young cockerel? Will he mellow out? We hate to put him down after all we have been through with him, but he just is not nice!
     
  2. BullChick

    BullChick Enslaved by a Duckling

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    I once knew a one legged rooster. He was nasty as can be. He was kept for the sasme reason a lot of people keep a nasty rooster. Too many of us think that is "just a rooster behavior". I too have seen that RIR roos are the most likely to have an attitude.
    Now to answer your question. EAT HIM! The leg probably has nothing to do with the price of eggs (pun intended). You will see a lot of people, especially the "old timers" say time and time again to "never put up with a mean rooster. Never, for any reason". I agree. Attacking you is bad enough. His job is to mate with, and PROTECT your hens. If he were your husband, would you just let it continue? No. You would take his head off.
    Personally, I would let him live another month. More meat.
    BTW, if you are not into eating your flock, please disregard the eating part. Also, there are a lot of nice roosters looking for a home. A lot are free. Don't forget the local animal shelter.
     
  3. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    How old is he? If you're at 6+ months, he should be on the tail end of his hormonal phase. However, it sounds like he's a little worse than just an angsty teen roo if he's constantly after you and your DH and giving the hens a beating.

    Although, he may seem to be beating on your hens simply because of his foot. Chickens "in the act" is quite a display of balance and posture even between chickens in their physical prime, so his buggered limb may be resulting in the excess feather pulling (he's doing all that he can to actually catch them and hang on....that's not always so easy!).

    As for jumping you, he may be compensating and overly defensive...or he may be a full-blooded jerk. If he hasn't caused you any harm and there's no potential for him to get a hold of any children, I'd probably give him another month and take the time to try and chill him out. By that, I mean make a concerted effort to prove to the guy that you and your husband aren't rival roos nor threats to his girls. Always approach with his favorites treats and offer them first thing every time. Don't walk right up to him, lean over him, or shove hands/limbs in his face; instead, always stop several feat away, crouch down, and offer treats. If he comes at you, DO NOT engage him. Wear sturdy shoes and pants around him always and if he comes at you, freeze and let him do whatever he please so long as he can't actually harm you (if you're inappropriately attired, back away slowly and do what you can to get away, obviously). Be very consistent and predictable about your behavior and see if he responds better for you. If not, get rid of him.

    We've got a New Hampshire (also known to be aggressive) and while he definitely does have an aggressive streak in him, it's no longer directed at my DH or I. He's even made peace with one of our neighbors now, but lord help anyone else that sets foot on our property and he's not in the run (though he will start crowing and keep going until they leave). [​IMG]
     
  4. BeccaSmith

    BeccaSmith Songster

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    Thanks for the great advice! Yes he has gotten us several times, and when he get's ya, he latches on and doesn't want to let go. He is only 3.5 months old. He will never be able to mate due to his leg deformity. I don't think his feather pulling is due a result of him trying to mate, it isn't just the back feathers he goes for, wings, fluffy butts, you name it. I have also tried approaching him with his favorite treats, but he is not very good with his aim and pecks at it very hard...sometimes he will go from eating his treat out of a cup while holding it it to pecking and latching on to your hand. I am starting to think maybe more then just his legs didn't develop correctly. Poor guy I feel bad for him! But hubby and I have decided to cull him this evening. We feel it is best for the girls and our safety!
     
  5. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    Wow, so young and still so aggressive. You may be right, he may have more than a leg problem and if he's that rough now, just wait until he gets bigger. It's probably for the best and sorry you had such a rough start with roos. [​IMG]
     
  6. BeccaSmith

    BeccaSmith Songster

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    Rough starts are life learning lessons!
     

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