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Why Does This Rooster Want to Fight Me?

2/23/2011 3:26:01 PM

Tags: rooster, chickens, bird, eggs

Angry-RoosterI keep chickens, and my rooster is driving me crazy. He always wants to fight me! What’s the best way to deal with an aggressive bird?  

People often tell me, “I went out to the chicken yard to collect eggs, and the rooster attacked me. I had to show him who’s boss, so we had a fight, and I won!”

Here’s what’s happening in this scenario: The rooster is treating you like a fellow rooster. He acts in a threatening manner, so you act threatening, too. Before you know it, the two of you are fighting. But don’t forget, a rooster that thinks you’re a fellow rooster is mistaken. And by fighting him, you’re not only participating in his delusion, you’re reinforcing it.

To desensitize an aggressive rooster, the first step is to desensitize yourself. Repeat after me: I am not a chicken. Rooster rules do not apply to me. If we fight, I may win, but there is no glory in defeating an 8-pound bird. 

With that in mind, I recommend these three strategies to deal with aggressive roosters:

Never Fight Them. If a rooster attacks me, I withdraw slowly, without fighting back. This is not difficult, and remember — this isn’t a life-or-death struggle. A chicken can’t force you to do anything. The choices are all yours.

Don’t Scare Them. Don’t walk directly toward an aggressive rooster as though you’re going to run it down. If you watch roosters, you’ll notice their behavior changes before they attack. They do a little dance and give other signals that they’re feeling threatened. Don’t trigger this behavior. If you do, back off a little, and they’ll forget all about you.

Feed Them Handfuls of Grain. Roosters know that other roosters don’t offer them grain, so if they associate you with food, it will be difficult for them to think of you as a fellow rooster.

Robert Plamondon 

Above: This bird is not your enemy — don’t let him pick a fight. Photo by Tom Meyers. 



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Post a comment below.

 

TheBradleyFarm
5/25/2013 3:46:49 AM

By the way, Robert Plamondon is a very experienced farmer.  Its worth a google.  To all the folks on here telling him he's wrong, you should know he's probably been around more roosters than all the people on here disagreeing with him.  Here's the deal.  When you get tough, and smart, you won't go see your roosters with shorts and flip flops on, and you won't be scared by their harmless flails at your shins.  If you're in there with bare skin, you're not smart enough yet.  If it scares you, you aren't tough enough yet.  This is comig from a former underdressed wouss.  If you're going to fight with your rooster at all... just butcher it.  Don't plan to have daily fights with an animal... doesn't it sound stupid when you think about it?


Heidi Scholes
6/10/2012 9:59:46 PM
Buy a cheap quirt gun in the toy department. (smaller is better) Works like magic, only takes a few times of being squirted in the face before he runs away. I was at my wits end getting attacked every day. The "pick him up and hold him technique" only worked for a day or 2 and then he was right back at me. And really who has time to lug a rooster around? After only a week with the squirt gun, all I have to do is show it to him and he decides to go do something else.

April Kaeser
6/7/2012 7:39:19 AM
Tabatha, You have my vote for Best Advice! And what kid doesn't love chasing chickens!

Andrea Frenette O'Brion
5/24/2012 10:48:45 PM
I have a 6 foot coated fiberglass post (about 3/8" thick) that I keep by my front door. I refer to it as my rooster smacker. I carry it with me when I'm on "his" side of the house. I've clocked him in the head on several occasions, which generally throws him into a convulsive fit. At least it gives me a few peaceful minutes to finish the chores...

Mary Andresen
10/9/2011 4:50:35 AM
That is all rubbish, i have 6 chickens and was given a young bantam mop top cross rooster. I am having all sorts of agresssion from it . tried the back off, didnt work , tried the fight back , didnt work. my legs are a mess.. help , please , really dont wanna get rid ov it .

Tabatha
4/22/2011 1:22:28 PM
Another vote for NOT listening to this author. I have found that what I call humiliation works much better than fighting or even ignoring the behavior. My 8 year old daughter & 12 year old son both are on rooster duty. They both chase the roosters down, pick them up & carry them around like dolls. Any new kids who come on the place are instructed to CHASE, not back away. If you back away, you are showing weakness to the bird brains, which signals to attack, usually. I had one rooster that would not realize that he was not the boss. Once I held him in a crouched position (same as they do to hens) and carried him around a few times, he quit trying. They very seldom need a reminder. Although, bantum roosters are the worst. Napoleon complex I think...

Jon Zorella
4/21/2011 6:30:11 PM
I don't think walking backwards will help you. You will just appear weak and will be attacked more often. You will often find that you are attacked as soon as you turn your back. The last time that happened while I was feeding my chickens the rooster attacked from behind so I hit him with a bag of feed over the head. It broke his leg. Looks like I am top rooster now he won't even crow at me anymore. Win the fight or put him in the soup that is the only solution.

Michael Brown
4/16/2011 5:29:51 PM
I tend to agree that the author has little experience with aggressive roosters. I've had chickens for 40+ years and a mean rooster may mellow with age but I've found 2 roosters are better than one in dealing with aggression. That way they have someone to fight with otherwise a mean rooster is a dead rooster.

Pam Smyth
4/11/2011 12:15:22 PM
my experience with mean roosters has been that they do not show a change in behavior, they sneak attack from behind, and one of these was a roo that I hand raised, and would fly up on my arm to perch and get extra treats. I have an americana rooster that is about to go in the soup pot, I simply can't have him attacking people.

snowflakey
4/7/2011 12:31:33 AM
Methinks this was written by someone who has never raised chickens or at least never had a rooster in the flock. The last time I came back from the barn with blood running down my legs from an unprovoked rooster attack was the last time. A sharp hatchet cured that little problem....

Kristina Norrad
4/6/2011 2:53:27 PM
The only answer for him is the stew pot..( have you tried talking chicken to him?lol Mine all go silent when I do.on the other hand I wish my Rode Island had a bit more spunk instead of being no pun intended a chicken..when my pup was 6 weeks old the rooster spiked him...now that he is full grown he has it out for him big time..a month ago he took off every hind end feather the rooster had..by the time I got him all showered and covered in homemade cream he looked like the hind end of a butterball turkey..

jesse
4/6/2011 2:01:05 PM
that is absurd. generally you are not fighting the rooster, you are defending yourself. they often fly at ya with talons drawn. you really expect us to retreat when attacked? and personal experience tells me, when i retreat, they attack more. an aggressive rooster belongs behind a fence or in a pot. they DO NOT change their behaviour.

DENISE MOODY
4/6/2011 1:12:26 PM
Sorry, I don't agree with this author. A mean rooster is an excellent meal. All the suggestions might work, if the rooster is young and afraid. If the rooster is older and dominant all those suggestions won't work. That rooster will attack...with no provocation of any kind. Either put up with the attacks, fight back so you only have to deal with the attacks every so often, or have a nice meal. Remember, if you know you have a mean rooster you are liable if that rooster harms anyone. And believe me that 8 lb (+/-) rooster can hurt someone. Yeah, I've been there.

Liz Wallis
4/6/2011 11:30:09 AM
If I backed "slowly" away from mine, I could be cut badly enough to need treatment. He's already gotten me multiple times and drawn blood. I tried all the remedies, including fighting and feeding, and nothing works with this one. The owners threw him in for free when I bought the hens, and I found out why pretty fast. I finally just outwitted him. I ran a length of paracord from the hook that opens the chicken access door over the top of the run to outside the run itself. Now I can stand outside and open the door, and I can also close the door when the chickens are outside so I can gather eggs or work in the coop without being attacked.







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