Keeping a rooster can be a rewarding experience and necessary for the protection of large flocks, especially if they free range. But occasionally, you may find yourself with a mean or aggressive rooster. A rooster’s aggressive behavior can pose a challenge, particularly if it endangers you, your children, or other birds and disrupts the overall harmony of your flock. In this blog post, we will explore various options for handling a mean rooster.
It’s quite common for roosters to get aggressive, especially during the spring when they’re feeling all hot and bothered by the ladies. Their mating rituals are in full swing and the last thing they want is someone or something they see as a “threat” to hinder their little love making dance. And sometimes, regardless of the year, you just get an asshole rooster. It happens. As a ‘chicken tender,’ it doesn’t mean that you’ve done anything wrong.
Some breeds are more prone to being jerks. And I’m absolutely convinced that some roosters are the spawn of some evil chicken demon. In any case, there are options when you have a mean roo.
Taming the Rooster
One approach to address a mean rooster is to try taming it. The most common technique is to hold the rooster on its back, which mimics a state of submission for the bird. This action may help establish your dominance and potentially calm the rooster’s aggressive tendencies. However, not all roosters respond positively to this method, and it requires caution and experience to handle them safely.
This method seems to work well when Marc does it. He has a pretty heavy foot when he walks so the roosters see him as more of a threat than me. The younger ones who are experiencing a rush of hormones, especially, might fluff their neck feathers and charge. But when he holds them and cuddles them like a baby, they get humbled really quick. Probably embarrassed. From then on out, they have a tendency to stay as far away from him as they can. But Marc is a grown man. If you have children, this method may not be suitable for them to try.
If taming efforts prove unsuccessful or if the rooster poses a serious threat to other flock members, separation may be necessary. Isolating the aggressive rooster in a separate pen or enclosure will prevent it from causing harm to other birds. This approach allows you to maintain a peaceful and safe environment for the rest of your flock while giving you time to assess alternative solutions.
I’m not a huge fan of this approach, honestly. On our homestead, roosters serve a purpose. With almost 70 birds, we have quite a few roosters. Their purpose is to protect their flock and they do a damn good job of it. So if I’m separating a rooster, then it means that rooster is no longer fulfilling his role as protector and has become nothing more than a feathered freeloader.
Another option to consider is finding a new home for the mean rooster. This can be done by selling or giving the rooster away to someone who may have a different environment or purpose for the bird. However, it’s crucial to disclose the rooster’s temperament to potential new owners to ensure they are prepared to handle an aggressive bird.
In our area, a local homesteader is willing to take allllll of the roosters that people are giving away because her family eats them. So be prepared. If you’re selling or giving away an aggressive rooster, he might become someone’s dinner.
Sometimes, a rooster’s aggressive behavior can be attributed to the way it perceives threats from humans or other animals. By learning how to respect the rooster and avoiding sudden, aggressive movements in its presence, you can reduce the likelihood of triggering aggressive responses. Developing a calm and confident demeanor around the rooster can contribute to a more harmonious relationship.
This is the method that works best for me. I walk gentle, I talk gentle, I intentionally give off loving vibes vs acting afraid or aggressive towards the rooster. If a rooster starts to fluff his neck feathers and act like he’s going to attack me, I stop and talk quietly to him. I even apologize. What I don’t do is get aggressive back. Many people see a rooster start to attack them and they kick them, scream at them, run towards them to intimidate them, etc. Roosters see that as a challenge and you’ve just justified (in their tiny little bird brains) why they were attacking you in the first place.
I’ve had some call me the chicken whisperer…while some have called me crazy and tell me that this method doesn’t work and it’s all in my head. But I doubt it. We’ve had some pretty aggressive roosters that started acting normal and non-aggressive as soon as I changed my approach.
I can’t image that this method works the best for everyone (Marc has to use the Rooster taming approach, as mentioned above) but it works great for me. I haven’t had a rooster attack me in years. And if I had a rooster continue to act the asshole, he’d end up in freezer camp.
Roosters possess spurs on their legs, which can cause injury during aggressive encounters. Removing the spurs is a way to minimize potential harm, but it should only be done with proper knowledge and tools. Seek guidance from a veterinarian or an experienced poultry keeper to ensure the process is carried out safely and humanely.
This is another method I’m not a huge fan of, though I know a lot of our local homesteader friends do this. It’s important to know that this won’t necessarily stop them from being aggressive. It will just help to limit the potential damage they can do. But in my eyes, it’s similar to declawing a cat. I love my animals and I would rather humanely cull a bird than mutilate it. Plus, without those spurs, they have no way of protecting themselves or their flock.
As a last resort, if the aggressive behavior persists despite efforts to correct their behavior (or yours) and if you have the experience and willingness to do so, you may consider culling the rooster. Culling involves humanely euthanizing the bird, and its meat can be used for cooking, although rooster meat from non-dual purpose birds may be best suited for soups and stews due to its toughness.
We do everything we can in our power to avoid culling a perfectly good roo that keeps his ladies safe. So when we use this method, it’s definitely a last resort. But sometimes it’s necessary. If this is the route that you have to take to protect your family, flock, and other farm animals, don’t beat yourself up about it. It happens from time-to-time with this lifestyle and unfortunately, some roos are just bad roos.
Dealing with a mean rooster requires careful consideration and understanding of the available options. Attempting to tame the bird, separating it, finding it a new home, removing spurs, practicing respect, or considering culling are all possible courses of action. Remember, each rooster and human is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Ultimately, the well-being and safety of you, your family and your flock should be the primary focus when addressing the issue of a mean rooster.