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How to Handle a Cranky Rooster

How to Handle a Cranky Rooster

So you have a cranky rooster? First, lets be fair to the rooster. Your mature rooster is only doing his job! Sometimes, he may take this job very seriously and decide that you are infringing on his territory. He is truly an alpha chicken, and in many cases this farming stuff is not for the faint of heart. I would argue a case that this type of rooster may be just who you need looking after your hens. Should an ill intentioned raccoon, opossum, fox, mink or hawk drop by, your aggressive guy will be on the job enforcing his boundaries. First, he will gather the flock and point them to shelter. Then he will stand in front of the flock. This is preferred rooster behavior. Really, it is.

What do you do if your rooster has decided that you are not welcome in the chicken run or even you own backyard? How do you handle a cranky rooster? It may be time to take some corrective action and to learn how to prevent a problem in the first place. We have had our fair share of aggressive roosters while raising chickens. We had two barred rock roosters that split the hens into two “families.” Not only did they become very aggressive to each other, they became very aggressive to us, too. Since there were two of them, they would work together and it was hard to leave the coop without being attacked! This was too much for me and we were lucky to re-home them both to different local families who wanted a rooster for their flocks. Once they went to their new homes, the aggression stopped. 

 How to Handle a Cranky Rooster

We all know that roosters are inevitable. Asking for only pullets will not be a one hundred percent guarantee that no roosters will be in the order from the hatchery. Hatching out your own chicks gives you no guarantee. And then the little sweet chick grows up to be a protective rooster. So how do you handle a rooster that sees you as a threat? What are some possible ways to handle a cranky rooster? Here are some tips that work for us. Maybe these tips will help you keep your hard working protector and keep the peace in the pen.

How to handle a cranky rooster

How to Handle a Cranky Rooster

1. When entering the chicken run or coop, don’t turn your back on the rooster. Use a rake, a stall pick or something that you can use to keep the rooster from coming too close. I call this situational awareness. I know where my aggressive roo is and I keep him in sight. This prevent those sneak attacks!

2. As I pointed out above, carry a rake or garden tool or stick. You don’t have to use it! But you may need to hold the rooster from attacking your legs while you leave the coop area. I am not condoning hurting the rooster. This is just for your protection. I carry my stick and the rooster knows to stay away. Believe me, he notices every time I forget to bring in the stick!

3. Put the rooster in time out! Usher him into a large dog crate while you are working in the coop area if he won’t leave you alone. You don’t have to be a victim to his behavior. 

4. Give the rooster some treats away from where you need to be. It will distract him for a few moments. 

5. And my personal motto. Don’t over react. Remember back at the beginning when I said this wasn’t for the faint of heart? It will hurt if the rooster spurs you. But its not the worst thing that can happen. And please don’t take it out on the rooster. He is just doing his job.

 

How to Handle a Cranky Rooster

How to Handle a Cranky Rooster

Important Caution–  Please don’t keep an overly aggressive rooster around small children. Unlike adults, they can be hurt very badly by a rooster and it isn’t worth the risk. Of course all of this is my opinion and ways that we have been able to deal successfully with our roosters.

 My very first published book, Chickens From Scratch is now available on Amazon for Kindle.  Look for the print version to be available in Timber Creek Farm’s Shop in the near future. 

 This post appeared on Backyard Poultry Mag.com on  January 28, 2014

 




Yes You Can Give a Rooster a Bath

 

Sharing  a past favorite today. When we first adopted Mr. Tweet, the ladies (hens) had a hard time accepting him. He was so fluffy and they had not seen a Silkie before. Under normal circumstances, I don’t recommend giving chickens a regular bath. But there are certain times when it is absolutely necessary. Read on to lean why Mr. Tweet needed a bath to literally save his life and know that Yes You Can Give a Rooster a Bath!

 

Yes You Can Give a Rooster a Bath

 

 
Okay  the title kind of gives the story away. But yes, Mr Tweet had to have a bath tonight. Here’s what happened. We were feeding and I noticed that there was a bedraggled looking chicken tail poking out from under the chicken house. We got the creature out and poor  Mr..Tweet was barely recognizable. He looked so sad and messy. Apparently he had fallen into the old duck swimming pool.( I am guessing this, he didn’t actually tell me) He was muddy and wet through and through. He looked so forlorn. I almost cried for him. But, I knew he had to get clean, because that mud is like glue on the feathers. They can’t fly or even clean it out themselves.This is the same mud he was depositing on Little Feather Foot, all over her back. Mr. Tweet has a very active love life, but lets keep this post rating PG.
 
So we got a bucket of water and proceeded to dunk him and wash off the feathers and swish him around again. Luckily he did not put up much of a fight. I began trying to dry him off. He started to get chilled so I wrapped him up in a dry towel and rubbed him gently. My husband decided to drive my car to the house, (with my phone in it)  to put the groceries in the refrigerator. I decided to take Tweet and sit down in a chair by the sheep pen. I went to sit down and the leg of the chair sunk into the ground tipping the chair backwards. I was pinned between the chair and the garden fence on my back holding a rooster, with my arm all scraped up from hitting the fence on the way down. So I am lying in a tomato patch,upside down, holding a rooster. Luckily I managed to get up before Hubby returned. I am sore. But I held on to Tweet!
 
After quite a while of drying feathers, he seemed good enough to go to bed. We put the crate in the chicken house and let him stay in there tonight. the other girls were now picking on him because he was so pitiful. A bit of his own medicine! But I couldn’t let them harass him all night. He needs to get better. He was eating so I think he will be fine. I’m not so sure about me. And the sheep are still laughing about seeing me lying in the garden holding a rooster wrapped up in a towel. I will never be the same.
 
Mr Tweet on one of his better days.    

 

“Ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” (Job 12:7-10)