Saturday, September 17, 2011

Rooster woes

We may be heading down a bad path with Magnus.  He has turned into a truly beautiful bird and is quite regal looking.  I have always been able to pet him- maybe not always happily on his part, he has been getting more aggressive recently.  I'm sure it is just part of his age and little rooster hormones kicking in- he is nearly 5 months old.  He is doing his duty with the girls - not too rough at least.
He has never been really fond of V- maybe he recognizes him as the alpha male on the farm or maybe just because V didn't spend much time with the chickens as they were growing up.  But regardless, Magnus has been getting more aggressive with me- and I'm the one who feeds them and brings them treats.  Until this afternoon it has taken the form of waggling his head at me, slowly approaching, flapping his wings and crowing- these didn't bother me at all- he is, after all, on duty protecting his girls.
But today, things changed.  This afternoon, after a Saturday at work, I was out in the coop, checking the nest boxes (the girls were all outside in the run) and he jumped at me.  He actually bit my shirt sleeve.  Fortunately I was wearing long sleeves or it could have been ugly.  Later I went back in to see what would happen- he didn't charge me but he definitely was stalking me, herding me to the door.  V went in and Magnus attacked his leg.  Not good.
I've been doing a bit of reading online for suggestions.  There seem to be two camps.  One is the 'win them over with kindness' crew who suggest hand feeding and snuggling them until they calm. The other are the folks who advocate showing him that you are the alpha chicken and not backing down.   He isn't bad yet but I don't want it getting worse.  I don't want to wait until he injures someone- especially the children.  One post I saw recommended using a squirt gun.  Hmm, we used it for behavior modification for the dog and cats, maybe it would work on chickens.
I'm open to feedback or advice.

I'd rather he not have to become dinner but I don't want to have to always watch my back.


  1. I have never tried to cuddle with a mean rooster but I think I would pass if given the chance. I think you have to show him who is the alpha chicken. I speak from experience. Magnus reminds me of a rooster named Rufus that played a significant roll in my life growing up. I wrote about him a long time ago on my blog if you want to click the link and read about him.

  2. Our roo jumped my 9 yr old, her older sister stepped into protection mode-wearing her rubber mud boots- booted him hard. He came back a couple times for more. Once they got over the surprise of it they found it pretty funny but carried a badmiton racket just in case. We didnt fight biology and eventually made soup.

  3. I've never heard that anything worked to tame a rooster but then it might be worth the try. Most of what I have read about similar problems ended with the rooster becoming dinner. I hope that you find a reasonable solution. Good luck.

  4. Rabid Rooster!! I have no clue. I just wish you luck with Mangus. I'd probably try the squirt gun, then the battmitton then the

  5. Yep .. I lived with bruises up and down my leg for 3 years from Sven. I carried a hoe .. I drop kicked him more than a few times.. and finally, I was done!

    He was waay too old by that time to be my dinner .. so I let him deal with the coyotes.

    I think the coyotes lost.

  6. When I was four, my only chicken, a rooster that I hand fed all by myself, spurred me all the way to the door. It kept attacking me as Daddy kicked it and Mama pulled me up. Mama told me later that it would never quit attacking me. She asked if I would mind eating it. I said no. REVENGE! I had eaten other hens from yards and I knew that was what happened. It was delicious. I remember eating the pulley bone, so happy. I am 65 and terrified of all roosters and will not turn my back on one. Eat it now, while it is tender and no one has to bleed like I did, from shoulder blades to ankles. He will only get bolder.

  7. One of our roosters ended up in the pot because he was stalking the kids.

    Here's a thought, if you really want to keep him, how about staking him out in the chicken yard on a tether like I have seen fighting chickens done. The roosters have a tether around their leg. Then the hens wonder around the rooster so the eggs get fertilized but the rooster is restrained from attacking anybody.

  8. Our rooster, Gator, started out really nice. Now we call him Satan. He started attacking us several times. My young son was injured and required stitches. My husband would have killed him, if it was not for the children asking us not to kill him. Now we do not let him free range unless we are all inside. The children are not allowed out while he is out. We ALWAYS carry a metal rake with us. I hope you have better luck than us.


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