I Need to Talk About the Rooster

This guy has faced me with a difficult dilemma.

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Since we got back from our trip he’s been aggressive (biting and trying to hit me with his spurs) in the mornings. I expected an adjustment period with all the chickens, but while the girls have warmed up to me again he’s just getting worse. Three days ago he attacked me with enough force to draw blood from both hands, and it took effort to pull his beak off my pant leg. In the mornings when I let the big chickens out he will literally throw himself against the fence if I go near the d’Anvers coop. Afterwards he’s back to being his normal, friendly, camera-ham self.

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I hoped it was just a hormonal teenager thing, but I posted about it on Backyard Chickens and every response I got said to expect him to only get worse as he gets older. That this isn’t normal rooster behaviour. That after being attacked by him enough I would be glad to see him go, one way or another.

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Maybe that’s true, but right now the idea of it is too hard to even consider. Maybe if he was aggressive all the time the answer would be easier, but because he’s his normal self in the afternoon I am torn on what to do. The website My Pet Chicken says it is normal for males to get more aggressive around 6 to 7 months, so I’m not really sure what to think. For now I’m going to wait it out and see if his behaviour changes, then go from there. For now if his aggression is limited to mornings I can live with not being able to go in the d’Anvers pen until the afternoon. Yesterday it was very sad though, listening to the tiny hen scream for attention and not being able to go give them treats. One person said roosters who grow up with older chickens tend to be more humble, so he might be moving into the large chicken pen to let the big girls put him in his place.

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Herding them with Suki is out the question now though. She’s at just the right height to have an eye taken out by the rooster, and I’m not willing to risk her being attacked at all. I just wanted to post about him so that if I do need to do something, it’s not a huge shock to everyone. I’m going to follow the advice on My Pet Chicken and carry him around every day, as well as doling out lots of tasty treats every time I go out to see them. Here’s hoping it works!

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