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Kristina Smith

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It was after our daughters brought home our first batch of chicks that we started noticing changes in our rooster Casanova. He seemed highly interested and invested in the chicks, I suppose, because it would be more variety for him once they matured.

One day when we let the chicks out in the sunshine, they pulled out some of his tail feathers, flustering him. They could have been considered adolescents at the time, but as we were putting them up, he got upset with us and started showing typical rooster behavior.

WHY ROOSTERS ATTACK

I’m sure everyone is familiar with this or has seen it either in real life or on a show or a movie, where the rooster will start pecking the ground, get this crazy look in his beady eyes, and seem to square up before he actually bows up with his neck feathers flaring out.

That’s how far Casanova went with us and the chicks, which he now regarded as his property.

Our small flock in their first coop.

Once the new birds were big enough and used to our property as their home, we opened the coop up so that Casanova and Natalie could get in there with them at night as well. We had a plank board that rested from the entrance to the ground so they could walk up and down as they pleased, except at night, when we closed it up.

Thus began what seemed like a lengthy, almost daily battle with our 1-foot high roo.

Why do roosters attack? At the time I didn’t know, I couldn’t fathom why he went from a docile creature to something I wanted to beat in an instant. If you’ve every had a rooster or experienced their behavior, you will understand where I’m coming from. I went out there to feed and water them, bring them treats, and take care of them, which the girls seemed to appreciate, but he literally bit (or pecked in this case) the hand that fed them.

Every day, sometimes several times a day, Casanova would attack, not just bow up. He would use his spurs. He attacked everyone at my house, not equally, no, but none were spared. My youngest daughter was scared to go outside because, even though he was small, he still scared her.

I looked up information on this bothersome problem, and there were many different opinions out there, and there still are. I read that I needed to dominate my rooster, love my rooster, or act like a rooster, just a tougher one because that’s supposedly how he viewed me.

Let me just tell you that none of that worked on that bird.

Maybe Casserole (nickname we started calling him) was just stubborn, or maybe the people who wrote those posts had different roosters, I don’t know, but he wasn’t going to change.

I had heard that roosters are supposed to protect the flock, so it was confusing when I would see this pipsqueak run through the flock of girls for cover when a hawk was flying over, yet attack one of us when we brought goodies out.

Casanova, sitting in my daughter’s lap.

It wasn’t until after Casanova died, and we already had a newly matured, replacement rooster, that I figured it out.

My rooster, Megatron, has never attacked me, and I don’t think he ever will. He respects me. Casanova saw me as a rooster and wanted to challenge me. Daily. He wanted to challenge all of us that he considered roosters. I didn’t understand that until he was gone and Megatron acted so differently, almost gentlemanly. He also sees me as a rooster, however he doesn’t want to provoke me. He never fought with the tiny roo and never even crowed till Casanova was gone.

My roo Megatron.

Do you have any experience with a rooster attacking? How do you handle it? I would love to hear your comments and how you handle your own disorderly roosters.

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