In the field of rooster
management, I’ve clearly got a lot left to learn. Last year, we ate
our rooster because
he had taken to beating me up when I went into his pasture, a problem
which (in retrospect), I’m pretty sure was my fault. This spring,
I noticed our rooster giving me the evil eye and I gave him a wide
berth, moving slowly and trying not to get between him and his
ladies. Even though I think our new rooster had the same
potential to turn into a person-flogger, my care ensured that the
behavior was never triggered.
this year’s rooster turned his aggression in another direction, violently
molesting one of our hens. I can’t quite decide
why he turned mean after a whole winter of generously protecting his
ladies as they free ranged in the woods. Maybe spring simply
fills rooster with aggression, or maybe being crammed into small
pastures set him off. Perhaps it shook him up to be rotated to a
new pasture every week, even though I chose this rooster out of all of
last year’s cockerels because he was (and is) the smartest about
heading into the coop and out a new pophole on rotation day.
of the cause, I’m afraid yet another rooster is going in the pot.
We’ll keep one of his sons to fertilize this fall’s and next year’s
flock, and I’ll keep trying to learn to be a better rooster
keeper. Not that we need a rooster between April and August (when
we’ll start our fall batch of broilers). Maybe the solution is to
simply keep a rooster around for the winter and eat him each spring
before he becomes a problem?
separate a troublesome bird from the flock.
Have you tried getting after him when he starts acting that way? I taught my girls to head straight for our rooster and to chase him when he acts that way. He learned he’s not the big guy on the block and will back off. A gently placed boot may be in order to reset the pecking order.
Heath — How did you train the hens to fight back? Everything I’ve read about humans responding to aggressive roosters with aggression says it’s a bad idea, but I wouldn’t mind training the hens to stand up for themselves.
Ha! Perhaps I should have said children … 5 and 7.
Heath — Oops. 🙂 My mistake…. Most people do assume that the term “girls” refers to human beings….