Aggressive rooster

johanna_h(Z5 SW MI)October 29, 2009

My 4 year old rooster, Egglebert, has recently developed aggression towards me. I believe that it's because the 8 pullets I added in the spring are now laying, and he feels for some reason that I am a threat with them.

I've been trying to counteract his attitude by picking him up and talking to him while I do my work in the coop, so far to no avail.

One of my older hens hatched two chicks at Labor Day, and I suspect that at least one of them is a boy. Is it time to dispatch Egglebert? I am a vegetarian, no cooking chicken for me, and he's been a pet up til now so I am hesitant. But I am tired of being challenged, pecked, and spurred.

The woman at the corner store told me at her house, roosters only challenge people twice. The first time might be a mistake, but after the second time they're in the pot. I guess we've gone way beyond.

Ideas and input would be helpful. Thanks.

--Johanna

Here is a link that might be useful: See the new chicks here!

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marlingardener

Johanna,
My sympathies. Cyrus, our temporary rooster, came with the chicks that started our flock. He was a pain, literally, from the time he got big enough to peck. After three months of trying to make friends with him, I took Cyrus for a ride. If you ever watched "The Godfather" you know what I mean. It was difficult, and to this day I still feel regretful, but a full grown rooster with an attitude can send an adult to the hospital!
Find someone who wants a rooster and give him away, or give him to the lady at the corner store. If he is agressive with you, he'll be hard on the hens, too.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 10:52AM
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dreamgarden(z6)

There have been a few threads about aggressive roosters.

One woman said the same things your sharing about your bird. It seemed destined for the soup pot.

One one day while she was out in the yard, she saw a hawk come down to snatch a hen. This rooster flew up and met it in midair with its claws bared and drove the thing off. No more soup pot for this brave defender of the flock!

Velvet Sparrow has an extremely informative (and humorous!) site. She addresses the issue of chicken aggression. I'm sure other knowledgable posters will chime in, but I think anyone who has chickens would enjoying reading her thoughts and suggestions about maintaining flock harmony.

You have a very nice site as well!

Velvet Sparrow's Chicken Information Page-Behavior & Psychology
jackshenhouse.com/VSChickBehavior.htm

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 12:23PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

What breed is he? Some breeds are naturally more aggresive, while others are more laid back.

You're on the right track by picking him up, I've got more roo taming techniques, plus a link to Shilala's rooster taming technique, at my chicken site, here:

http://jackshenhouse.com/VSChickRoosters.htm

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 12:24PM
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johanna_h(Z5 SW MI)

Thanks for the encouragement that we might be able to bring Egglebert around! He is a Cuckoo Marans. If you click on my blog (below), you'll see the two chicks he recently fathered, and deeper into the blog you'll see his photos.

Are they known to be aggressive?

--Johanna

Here is a link that might be useful: My blog

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 12:58PM
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nhsuzanne(z5 SW-NH)

I too am in favor of trying to tame the boy. Your CM babies are so sweet!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 4:25PM
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calliope(6)

There seems to always be one aggressive roo in my flock. I keep a fairly large one and have five roos at the moment. I baptised this one once or twice, and chased him beating on a water pail. He keeps his distance now, and leaves me alone. They'll try with a keeper what they try in the pen, to establish dominance. I handle my flock a lot, and will intercept and turn any fowl over and dangle them by their legs if they try that nonsense. It renders them totally at your mercy, and doesn't hurt them. I hold them until they settle, and set them down on their back. It seems to totally embarrass them.

Do not ever get your face down to an aggressive bird. They will go for eyes.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 10:03PM
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gardengalrn(5KS)

I think I would get rid of him, whichever way makes you more comfortable. I got a bad batch of chicks this year and ended up with 4 extra roos plus one that I hatched out. My older roo, Rocky, is smallish and never has been aggressive. These other birds quickly outgrew Rocky and became huge. Out of these, the biggest was a barred rock who tried to flog me twice. If my husband had been here I would have put them all in the freezer but I didn't have the guts by myself. Some friends of my neighbor's came and got all 4 and I think they will be going into their fall freezer with some of their older hens they are culling. Lori

    Bookmark   November 1, 2009 at 6:16PM
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luke_oh(zone 5 NE Ohio)

Jo, Are you wearing a different pair of shoes or boots? I remember that I had a rooster that suddenly became agressive with me and realized he didn't recognize me with my new boots. When I wore the old boots all was well. I guess that from a chickens perspective they usually only see you from the knees down.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2009 at 7:36AM
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msmitoagain

One of my roos jumped up and spurred me. Well after his "chicken whoopin", he hasn't done that again. Now he runs around squawking and running into the fence to keep away from me.

Here is a link that might be useful: MY BLOG

    Bookmark   November 2, 2009 at 12:34PM
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johanna_h(Z5 SW MI)

Egglebert hasn't gotten me in a few days. Is it because I'm being more vigilant, or because he's backing down? I'd say too soon to tell! But I'm delighted not to have any new pecks or bruises.

I've been working on having him back down from me -- I stand still and tell him in a firm voice "go with your hens!" If he backs off, I leave. If he advances, I push him back with my broom. I try to remember the good parents I know saying "you have a choice to make, and every choice has consequences"!!!

Thanks again for everyone's input.

--Johanna

Here is a link that might be useful: Busy Solitude Farm

    Bookmark   November 2, 2009 at 4:20PM
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brendasue(6)

I would cull the rooster also. I haven't had an agressive one. Maybe it's because we don't cuddle them like pets, I don't know, but any animal that's openly aggressive towards it's caregiver wouldn't last a second day here on the farm.

As a child we had turkeys that would go after us kids-Mom put them in the oven quick.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2009 at 7:44PM
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