#1 04-13-2008 09:04:11

Rooster-Red
Silver Member
From: West GA
Registered: 02-02-2008
Posts: 456

Rooster behavior and dealing with aggressive roosters

The purpose of this thread is to help you help yourself when faced with an aggressive rooster problem and help you deciede if you want to keep a rooster in your flock.
First of all let's identify rooster behaviors. Knowing what motivates their behavior is key to understanding why they do certain things that we, as humans, might mistakenly take as just being mean.

A rooster is born preprogrammed to do his rooster duties. At a certain age (around 4-6 months) he matures and his instincts take over, and their drive is very strong to do what nature has intended for them to do.

(1) Protect the flock from all threats at all costs including fighting to the death. A threat to a rooster may be quite different than what we perceive as a threat. We need to understand and respect this instinct. A small child could be perceived as a threat in a rooster's eyes even if you and I know the child never intends to harm anything. By placing a child in this situation you are provoking the rooster to attack, and you would only have yourself to blame if something were to go wrong. I highly recommend that if you have small children you wish to let interact with your flock, lock the rooster away in a pen before the child /children are allowed to enter the area because if the rooster percieves them as a threat, the child might be attacked.

Your kitten/puppy/cat/dog could also be perceived as a threat, and while some roosters are quite docile and will sit in your lap, please remember that being a cuddly lap baby is not in his programming, so don't expect it from him.

Also don't expect him to get along with other roosters, that is also not in the programming. Very few roosters will get along without fighting and tearing each other up, even to the point of killing each other.

I personally own 3 roosters, 2 of which get along together with very little fighting, while the other one would kill the other 2 given half a chance, therefore I have to seperate him from the others.

Given the choice between an aggressive rooster and a very docile lap baby rooster, I'll take the aggressive one everytime to watch over my flock, because he is doing what roosters are made to do and will be the better protector for the flock.He just has to be taught that attacking humans is not acceptable

(2) To insure proliferation of the species by frequently mating with the hens to provide fertile eggs to be hatched out. This is self-explanatory.

To insure that the hens are not overmated and possibly scratched or injured in the process, you'll want to provide enough hens. Generally, a ratio of 10 hens to 1 rooster is sufficent.

(3) To provide a place in the flock for future generations by sacrificing himself if need be in protection of the flock.

This is a continuation of #1, and is another reason why he would be motivated to fight to the death with any preditor.

    Dealing with aggressive roosters

                                 

One of the first things to ask yourself when faced with an aggressive rooster is "Am I overly afraid of my rooster?"

If the answer is yes, go no further, rehome your rooster.

If you are not overly afraid of roosters, and don't mind giving your rooster a chance by spending a little time with him, then the following may help you acheive your goal of modifying his behavior to a level you both can live with.

First of all, roosters have a kind of pecking order. The dominate or king or head rooster is reffered to as the Alpha.

When a rooster acts aggressively toward you, he thinks of you as either a predator or an underling rooster.

This is the behavior you want to modify, to establish you as the Alpha.

To modify behavior you must be consistent each and every time he shows the slightest bit of aggression towards you or any human.

There are 3 ways to deal with an aggressive rooster that I personally know for a fact work:

If you are concerned about being scratched, prepare by wearing long sleeves and gloves.

(1) At the first sign of aggression grab your rooster up and hold him no matter how much he kicks, screams and protests. DO NOT PUT HIM DOWN!

Walk around with him, do chores while holding him or whatever, let him calm down and stay that way for 15-30 minutes until he has settled. Then at your descretion you can put him down. If he kicks, screams or squawks while you are releasing him, pick him up and repeat this cycle until he submits to you, and will walk off peacefully when you let him down.

Do this every time he shows aggression, repeat as needed.

If after 3 weeks of doing this every day his behavior is still the same, proceed to the next level.

(2) At the first sign of aggression grab your rooster up, hold him upside down by the legs, and let him flap, scream or whatever until he just hangs there without moving, showing his submission to you.

After he submits, let him go and repeat as necessary.

WARNING: This procedure is dangerous to the rooster as his lungs are located close to his backbone and can collapse, causing suffication. If he has food in his mouth when you turn him upside down, he can choke.

This procedure should be used as a last resort before culling or rehoming.

Now go out and take your place as Alpha Roo, and enjoy your chickens.


"Yeah... Here come the Rooster...Ah yeah"
"We have seen the enemy... and he is us" -Pogo Possum

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#2 04-15-2008 07:12:50

Buster
Gold Member
Registered: 02-05-2008
Posts: 631

Re: Rooster behavior and dealing with aggressive roosters

This is a great article rooster-red.  Thank you so much for posting this here.


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#3 04-15-2008 07:44:23

kindacrochety
Gold Member
Registered: 03-16-2008
Posts: 567

Re: Rooster behavior and dealing with aggressive roosters

Been away from the farm for many years, thought I still knew a lot. You guys are showing me that I still have MUCH more to learn! Thanks for the great article!


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#4 04-15-2008 08:44:02

RepoBob
Gold Member
From: Illinois
Registered: 02-02-2008
Posts: 583

Re: Rooster behavior and dealing with aggressive roosters

Great info RoosterRed. It is especially useful to me at the present time. Thanks clap


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#5 04-15-2008 09:15:52

Frozen Feathers
Gold Member
Registered: 03-07-2008
Posts: 784

Re: Rooster behavior and dealing with aggressive roosters

Great info Rooster Red! clap


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#6 04-16-2008 05:12:57

Seminolewind
Platinum Member
From: spring hill, Florida
Registered: 02-10-2008
Posts: 1613

Re: Rooster behavior and dealing with aggressive roosters

Thanks, I do the holding thing, one has changed his ways, the other is almost there.  Now I know what the next step would be.


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#7 04-16-2008 06:36:22

DoctorGoose
Silver Member
Registered: 12-11-2007
Posts: 302

Re: Rooster behavior and dealing with aggressive roosters

Nice one, Rooster. A friend of mine was in 4H as a small child with chickens, and they taught her to hang the chicken upside-down whenever she picks it up. My chickens always freak out when she picks them up (I don't blame them!).

I did have an incident with our silkie roo--he thought I wasn't alpha chicken, apparently. Whenever I see him, I do try to pick him up (and threaten him with bows in his feathers and painting his nails when he runs away). On this occasion, he attacked my legs, and I kicked him into the fence (it was an accident, I wasn't aiming for the fence. Anyhow, since then, he's been quite docile towards me.


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#8 04-17-2008 06:31:41

Rooster-Red
Silver Member
From: West GA
Registered: 02-02-2008
Posts: 456

Re: Rooster behavior and dealing with aggressive roosters

DoctorGoose wrote:

Nice one, Rooster. A friend of mine was in 4H as a small child with chickens, and they taught her to hang the chicken upside-down whenever she picks it up. My chickens always freak out when she picks them up (I don't blame them!).

I did have an incident with our silkie roo--he thought I wasn't alpha chicken, apparently. Whenever I see him, I do try to pick him up (and threaten him with bows in his feathers and painting his nails when he runs away). On this occasion, he attacked my legs, and I kicked him into the fence (it was an accident, I wasn't aiming for the fence. Anyhow, since then, he's been quite docile towards me.

A humans most basic instinct when attacked is to respond in kind, and it is very hard to remember that if you respond with a counter attack that the rooster will usually double his efforts. It was hard for me to overcome instinct (probably because I'm a little more animal than most people) but it can be done and it works much better for both the human and the animal.


"Yeah... Here come the Rooster...Ah yeah"
"We have seen the enemy... and he is us" -Pogo Possum

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#9 04-17-2008 06:37:12

Buster
Gold Member
Registered: 02-05-2008
Posts: 631

Re: Rooster behavior and dealing with aggressive roosters

Thanks for this post rooster-red.  I just posted about an incident with mine today.  http://www.chickencrossing.org/forum/vi … hp?id=1774


Hiatt Acres Poultry
No Farms No Food
If it's not a Heeler, it's just a dog

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#10 04-17-2008 06:39:42

paganfish
The Ancient Chicken Sage
From: Fleming, Colorado
Registered: 02-02-2008
Posts: 10120

Re: Rooster behavior and dealing with aggressive roosters

joy Thanks RR...I will have to keep this in mind! joy


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