So, how do you control an aggressive rooster? There are many ways you can handle a problematic rooster. The most common one is to make your rooster feel less powerful. But this option needs your courage. Otherwise, the rooster will engage you in a fierce fight that will leave you devastated and defeated. Since you don’t want to go down the history as the only human vanquished by a chicken, you need to learn how to control your male chickens.
Years of raising backyard chickens have exposed me to different traits and behavior displayed by these birds. While some are friendly and easy to deal with, others are difficult and aggressive. Roosters fall in the category of the most stubborn backyard chickens you will ever encounter. If they are crowing at odd hours, they are chasing hens around or engaging in unnecessary fights. Worse, these male chickens can become extremely hostile even to humans.
Many chicken owners are still not sure how they can handle their aggressive roosters. Some are scared of these male chickens to the extent of not raising them. They claim that on one occasion, they had a stand-off with their roosters when visiting the coop to collect eggs. The roosters attacked them in defense of their territories. If you find yourself in such a scenario, what should you do? Let’s find out why roosters become aggressive.
Why are Roosters Aggressive?
In the wild, roosters would defend their flock against predators or their competitors. This trait has been passed down to domestic chickens as a defensive mechanism. Therefore, your rooster has the responsibility of taking care of your flock as well as his needs.
One of his basic needs is fighting for food and mating with many hens around him. Speaking of mating, most roosters become highly aggressive in spring. This is their mating season, and each one of them wants to mark his territory to defend his hens.
During this season, these male birds will display all kinds of defensive tactics to deter any threat coming their way.
Some of the tactics they use mostly include:
- Flogging: This is the act of flying towards you in a bid to attack or fight you. The flogging involves the use of wings and spurs to inflict as many injuries as possible to their perceived enemies. So if you cross their line of defense, you should be ready to be flogged and raked.
- Spurring: Unlike flogging, spurring entails jumping at you in order to rake you. If you are not stable enough, your aggressive rooster will wrestle you down using this defensive tactic.
- Chasing: This tactic is more common when your rooster is charging after children or you. He will chase you around and stop only if he is sure that you’re no longer a threat.
- Aggressive pecking: As the name suggests, aggressive pecking leads to serious injuries to you or other chickens. Don’t let your rooster adopt this behavior even at his young stage.
How Will You Tell a Rooster is About to Attack?
You should always watch out for certain signs when approaching your roosters. Knowing such signs will tell you when your male chicken is contemplating an assault on you. Keep in mind that he is the master of disguise as well as sneak attack.
More often than not, he will slightly lower his head while keeping his eyes on you. In some cases, he may initiate what might look like a rooster dance. When you see these two signs, just know that he is ready to attack.
Another tactic that your roster may use is stealthily charging you from behind, stopping occasionally, and staring at you. This is a way of issuing a challenge and to make you prepared for a fight. What you can do to avoid an imminent attack is to stand still and stare back. Definitely, your aggressive roosters will call off his attack on you.
How Do You Train Your Aggressive Rooster to be Friendly?
Try To Appease Your Rooster
Most of the aggressive roosters need one thing in particular; the assurance that you are not a threat to them. So if you come across an attacking rooster, you should find a way to appease him.
You can start by giving them judicious stroking. How do you go about it, given that such a roster is hostile and ready to defend himself?
First, you can get hold of him. Before you do that, make sure to wear protective clothing, gloves, or long sleeves. Approach him cautiously to avoid any confrontation with him.
Once you have him safely cradled in your arms, grip his legs and use one hand to stroke him. The stroking should start from his throat, moving toward the wattles and comb.
Keep talking to him while stroking the afore-mentioned parts. Use a soothing and reassuring voice to calm him. Within no time, you will notice a puzzled expression on his face while wondering how friendly you are.
Continue to hold the rooster while talking to him. Take a seat or walk around to make him fully relaxed and comfortable.
Take a little time to study him to be sure that he is happy with you and his surroundings. Then let go of him gently while watching his reactions. If the rooster walks away, majestically and calmly, that is fine. Your mission is accomplished.
But if he turns around and tries to attack you, get hold of him and start the process again. Repeat this procedure several times until the rooster gets used to you. With time he will trust you, knowing that you are no longer a threat to him.
If this option doesn’t work for you, then you should get a little bit creative. So you should use food as another option to tame your rooster. As you may know, the way to any animal’s heart( including humans) is through their stomachs.
The same concept applies to your rooster. He will not attack you if you bring him tasty treats, but this is not always the case.
Some roosters will eat while attacking people or other chickens. This is because throwing food at them gives the impression that you are trying to attack them. Divert your rooster’s attention by tossing food near and not directly at where he is standing.
Run Them Down
The ‘run them down’ means that you should just walk right through your aggressive rooster without stopping. Here, the main idea is to compel him to give way while you are passing by. Most likely he will interpret this move as an assault. In the process, he will counterattack and this is not a good idea.
To achieve this goal, you must take a large step towards his space while looking at him down. Your movement will intimidate him to the point of fidgeting. If you are keen enough, you may see him looking down on the ground as a sign of defeat. Just know your mission has been successful and walk away from him slowly.
Under no circumstances, you should be afraid when running your rooster down. No one can indeed withstand being flogged by their roosters. But fear is portrayed as the greatest weakness among different animals; they will exploit it to the full.
Whether you are scared of him or not, you should never retreat. Instead, let him take the first step back before you can take any action.
Don’t hurt him in any way. This is important, especially when controlling your aggressive rooster. Use fear as your main weapon to tame him. Fear, however, does not make them respect you. But it makes them meaner and more hostile than before. If you get your rooster to respect you, he will not think of attacking you.
You should also not back off if he tries to run towards you. Stay firm and don’t yield to his threats. If he resorts to dropping his wings and spreading them slightly to attack, just do the same.
Look directly at him and spread your arms as well. Step forward into his space to make him retreat. He will back off or scamper for safety. The main idea of displaying all these tactics is to show your rooster that you are the boss.
Why do my roosters keep coming back for a rematch when fighting them? Typically, there is no permanent victory in the pecking order. Different roosters strive to get their way up their pecking order by fighting those at the top. So they try to replicate this behavior to humans every time they are challenged into a fight.
Most roosters are aggressive and hostile when it comes to defending their territories and hens. They would fight to maintain their pecking order and even scare away their competitors or their owners. If your rooster is difficult to handle, you can appease him, walk him through, and make him know that you are the boss. Whichever way you choose, make sure that you don’t harm him in any way.
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Chicken Board!!