This is fairly off-topic, so I won’t be upset if the thread gets deleted. But I’m sure some posters here keep chickens and may be able to advise me. I don’t get to the back end of my property that often, and I’ve discovered that the neighbor’s rooster has decided it’s part of his territory. I’d be happy to let the chickens come over and eat bugs, but I don’t want to feel threatened on my own land.
He has rushed at me with his feathers and wings raised and I fended him off with a stick. Is this actually a danger to me, or is it just a show? Is there a way to establish a peaceful detente? I’m guessing that if I try to assert dominance, he’ll take that as an endless challenge. Any advice would be appreciated.
When I was a child, my great aunt had a pet rooster. It grew up with dogs and thought it was dog (in fact, it died chasing cars). This is my only relationship to an aggressive rooster, but he certainly was that. He would chase my brother every time we came to visit. Once, my brother tried to climb up a tree to escape him, but the rooster pecked his legs until they bled.
So yes, roosters can hurt you. They are very territorial. From his POV, you are on his land, not the other way around. Since he’s someone else’s rooster, and you don’t go back there often, I don’t know if you can broker peace. I found this article that may help: https://backyardpoultry.iamcountryside.com/feed-health/how-to-tame-aggressive-rooster-behavior/
I would suggest talking to the roosters owner and trying to find a way to keep him off of your property instead.
Thanks for the advice, and that article was very helpful. My first thought was to tell the neighbors to keep their rooster at home, but my husband usually deals with neighbor issues (he has much better social skills than I do), and he’s not taking it seriously yet. So we’ll see.
We had aggressive roosters. They were delicious.
I understand this is not a very helpfully reply, but it is a truthful one.
Carry a stick. Roosters can be hella jerks once they decide you are an enemy.
LOL, that was one of my first thoughts–“Maybe I should buy a .22”! Not that I’ve ever shot an animal or anything else. If it was my rooster, I wouldn’t hesitate to have it dispatched.
Omg I’m so happy I wasn’t the only one with the thought of “dinner” as a way to deal with an aggressive rooster lol
LOL I didn’t want to say it though.
Edit: I wanted to add that the question of whether the behaviour was a bluff is excellent. Some birds absolutely bluff you with that behaviour. I recently encountered a partridge that ran right at me, flew straight for me - head level and all. But for a partridge it’s a bluff. They won’t actually attack me because I’m too big, and if they’re injured the nest is unprotected. My dog certainly didn’t appreciate the show though!
What I would like to point out is that all roosters are aggressive. So the question becomes are they aggressive to humans? As a one that has a backyard flock with multiple roosters, Tom turkeys, living in the same area, I can safely say that the pecking order is established by the caretaker of the flock. Well, at least the tone is a more accurate description. With that said, how does one curb an unwanted aggressive behavior in a rooster? My first thought is punt! Yes, when that rooster comes at you you draw your leg back and punt! Let that rooster fly. What I would like to remind all of you is that rooster has a coat of armor in the disguise of feathers. Punting will not hurt nor kill the rooster.
In my travels I had a few very aggressive roosters. Punting helped curb the behavior of attacking people. Stressing again, it will not hurt the bird! It will teach that critter that there is something else bigger and you a’int having none of it!
Here is another thing that I gleamed from the Backyard Chickens link. “In the rooster world, he who runs away, walks away, or hides is the loser, these are his acts of surrender. I want to warn you: Never introduce a second rooster to a flock that already has one. They will most always fight to the death or until you can intervene.”
Not sure what bred of roosters that the individual had? What I can tell you in my eight years of chickens is that I have never had that issue. That is with a mixed chicken flock with six roosters, five Tom turkeys, and a mixed group of chickens and turkeys. There were around 60 birds all together.
To be fair, the peaceful, the shy and the snuggle roosters were also delicious, but that does not make as good a story.
Thanks to all of you for your comments. I won’t hesitate to kick or hit the rooster if needed, but I’m hoping it’s not needed. I mean, I’m not going to antagonize him, but if he threatens me, I’ll respond. I haven’t had a chance to put this to the test in the past couple days, although I could at least harvest some hazelnuts in peace yesterday as he was probably already in the coop for the evening.
I had a pet rooster from second grade through college. He was a sunnofabitch to everyone except me. That is until we took him to the pet hospital to be boarded while we were on vacation. This is in farm country where lots of people there had their own animals. Well they knew what to do with an aggressive rooster. They just picked him up as soon as he got close to them. He didn’t know what to do with that. Now, this was a bantam rooster, so I don’t know how big “yours” is, but honestly I think you just need to establish yourself as higher than him on the pecking order. The punting suggestion will work as a last defense I think, but he’ll most likely just think of that as a challenge and want to keep fighting you. If instead, you can get a big jacket that you dont care about too much (like an old high school letter jacket or jean jacket) and a pair of thick gloves, I’d try picking him up or otherwise trapping him with your body and holding him still. That way you are subduing him without making him feel extra threatened. The way to do this is by grabbing him around the body like a football with one hand, pinning his wings, and then grabbing his head/beak with the other so he can’t bite you. If you’re able to pick him up and turn him upside down, that is even better. They get more docile when they are upside down. You may have to do this a few times before he gets the message, but consistency is key. You may need to start making a regular pilgrimage to the back of your property to keep him in check. When I went off to college, my rooster, who had been fine before, started challenging me when I returned home. It’s 100% about showing him who’s boss. Good luck!
So sorry you are dealing with this, Karen! As the flock mamma of 28 different birds (4 different kinds), let me see if I can share my thoughts. His behavior can be interpreted in a few ways:
- If he has his ladies nearby, he might be feeling the need to defend them. Stay away from his ladies and thus, not provoke him.
- Some roosters are just aggressive towards humans. They really need to be penned or, if your ethics permit, put in the pot.
- It’s ok to defend yourself. All flocks have a pecking order and sometimes, a big mean rooster wants to know if you are above him or if he is above you. Once you establish your own dominance (with a stick or whatever else you need to do; waving your arms, being loud, yelling, etc) then usually he won’t mess with you. He knows you are a threat and he won’t bother you after that–you are above him in the pecking order. The #3 solution would be my go-to in this case. Make yourself bigger and badder than he is (which may include some loud shouting, hand waving, etc) and usually he’ll back down. It may take several attempts.
Beyond dealing with the rooster himself, I think the best approach is really to talk to your neighbor. If the rooster is attacking you, it’s also attacking the mailperson, UPS driver, people who come by, which makes him a pretty serious liability. Blessings to you and the roo!
When my partner was five, at his grandpa’s farm in Texas along the Red River, a rooster attacked him and tried to peck out his eyes. His grampa cut its head off and buried the two parts on opposite ends of the yard. So there’s that.
My partner has an inch-long scar right between his eyes and lucky not to be blind. They can by harmful to small animals and children, take care.