What To Do About An Aggressive Rooster | Almanac.com

What To Do About An Aggressive Rooster

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When Roosters Attack Humans (and Dogs)

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If you have a rooster in your chicken flock, you’ll know they can be some aggressive little animals, especially when it comes to protecting their flock. And while it’s nothing personal, it can sometimes be a problem. Understand natural rooster behavior and how to deal with aggression.

Roosters are mainly aggressively because they are protecting their flock. But how are you to get anything done or comfortably move amongst your flock with a mean rooster attacking you at all times?

The Positives of Having Roosters Around

Before we begin, you should know that roosters are male chickens. See how to tell a rooster from a hen.

Therefore, a rooster’s main purpose, as with most male species of animals out there, is to protect his hens and facilitate the fertilization of eggs to make more chicks.

Although you can have chickens without having a rooster around, inviting one into your flock has many benefits:

  • They fertilize eggs to produce chicks.
  • They protect their flock and alert when threats are near
  • They keep the peace within the flock

They Produce Chicks

If you own a flock and wish for your flock to grow, the best way is to bring in a rooster to fertilize your chicken’s eggs. Without a rooster, the only way you’ll be able to get more chicks to add to your flock would be to buy them from someone. However, getting a rooster gives you baby chicks for free!

Instant Flock Protection

Roosters work hard to protect their flock. They make for a unique alarm system, watching out for predators to warn the hens to take cover if necessary. This can especially come in handy for free-range chickens who need to be protected from predators and birds of prey.

Roosters will also protect their chickens during very vulnerable moments, such as bathing or laying their eggs.

Roosters Keep The Peace Within The Flock

Due to their rigid pecking order, bullying and fighting often happen in chicken flocks with just hens.
Roosters can calm this down and frequently break up fights between hens in the flock. They will often protect smaller members of the flock, too, and protect the weak.

Less fighting equals more relaxed chickens and a healthier and happier flock which is what all owners of chickens should strive for.

Why Do Roosters Attack Humans?

Roosters don’t particularly attack humans just for fun

They simply see you as a threat due to your size and unfamiliarity. However, some things may increase your rooster’s aggressiveness towards you. You can usually notice an increase in aggressiveness during the springtime when it’s mating season and when more imminent threats have been occurring around your chickens.

You want to ensure that your roosters are discouraged from things like aggressive pecking when they’re young. This will reduce the likeliness of them doing it to you since this act can be pretty painful.

If you notice your rooster displaying aggressiveness, stand your ground and prepare for the attack.

Why Do Roosters Attack Dogs?

Roosters typically attack dogs because they’re seen as threats. Although you know that your dog is a loving addition to the family, your rooster doesn’t, so he’s automatically going to be on the defense whenever your dog is around chickens.

However, this isn’t entirely outlandish since wild dogs have been known to kill and eat chickens for food, like other predators in the area attempt to do.

So don’t think harshly of your rooster if they’re a bit on guard with your dog around. To him, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Signs Of An Aggressive Rooster

Your rooster will show signs of aggression before attacking, which you should watch out for. Some of these signs include:

  • Aggressively flapping his wings. This is to make him look bigger than he is since he sees you as a threat.
  • Raising his hackle feathers at you. This is also done to make himself appear bigger towards threats. Dogs do a similar thing with the hackles on the back of their necks.
  • Shaking his head in your direction. Head wagging with his eyes set on you, means that he perceives you as a threat.
  • Stamping his feet. This is done before he attempts to charge at you.

These are all pretty common signs of aggressiveness that are easy to detect when seen, so look out for them before getting attacked.

How To Deal With Your Rooster’s Aggressiveness

When dealing with an aggressive rooster, it’s best to start addressing the issue sooner than later.

After all, if you let your rooster run all over you, he’ll just continue to do so out of habit. You’ll also start to notice that if you allow the behavior to continue, it will only get worse as your rooster matures. Hence, you definitely need to put them in place before that happens.

Here are a few things you can do to address your rooster’s aggressiveness.

Wear Proper Attire

First and foremost, if you have a rooster that you know is aggressive, you must dress appropriately when around them to protect yourself as much as possible. The best rule of thumb is to ensure you have little to no skin exposed when working around them. So things you should wear include…

  • Tall boots
  • Thick, long jeans 
  • Gloves
  • A long-sleeved shirt

Wearing adequate attire will lower your fear when working around the rooster since you will be protected from most attacks you could direct your way. It can also help you handle your rooster more adequately.

Get Him Acclimated To Your Presence

Most roosters will attack individuals they aren’t familiar with. So if your rooster attacks you, it’s because you’re still nothing more than an unknown potential threat to him. Spending time around your rooster in his territory will show him that while you will be around him a lot, you won’t be attacking him. The coop is the best place to hang around when doing this since you’ll probably be spending a lot of time around there to get eggs and check up on things when the time comes.

Make sure you’re properly dressed when doing this, though, to protect yourself in case things turn south.

Don’t Retreat

I know it’s scary to deal with a rooster while it’s in attack mode. However, you should never ever back away or show fear when your rooster becomes aggressive. Any fear or weakness shown on your part will increase the rooster’s aggressiveness and worsen the attack. Remember, you’re the boss, and it’s up to you to show your rooster that.

Credit: Zafer Develi/Shutterstock

Personally Handle Them

One way of showing your rooster that you’re the boss is by handling them as often as possible.
You should especially handle him whenever he attempts to attack you.

Just pick him up and hold him snuggly against your body while holding his legs and wings securely so he doesn’t get you with his claws or fly away. While you’re holding him, you should walk around and gently talk to him to calm him down. You can also stroke his neck for good measure.

If you do this every time he tries to attack you for at least 30 mins, he will learn that his attacks are useless after a while. Just know that this process will take some time and won’t just happen overnight.

Gently Set Boundaries

Another way to prevent aggressiveness is to set clear boundaries. However, you have to do this in a way that won’t harm your rooster.

You can do this using the spray bottle method. Fill a spray bottle with water and spray your chicken whenever they jump up to attack them.

Another way of setting boundaries is by gently pushing your rooster away midair when he jumps up to attack. Doing such actions will show your rooster that their actions don’t bother you and that you’re the one in charge.

Stay Aware

Always remember to stay aware when cleaning, walking around, gathering eggs, or refilling feed dishes. After all, you don’t want to do anything your rooster may perceive as a threat, and they will always attack when your guard is down.

You should also stay aware when other people are around your rooster. Even if you get to the point of your rooster not seeing you as a threat, that won’t be the same for other people or their fellow housemates, such as your dog. You don’t want to risk them getting attacked, especially if they’re children, so anyone else who will normally be around your rooster should train them to not show aggressiveness towards them either.

Get Another Rooster

Lastly, getting another rooster has been proven to help hash out dominance issues by balancing out the pecking order in the flock. However, know that roosters can and will fight each other—sometimes to the death. Keep a close eye on the flock and separate if necessary.


Roosters can be quite mean when given a chance to be. Therefore, dealing with their aggressiveness should be a top priority the moment it presents itself. However, they aren’t mean for no reason. After all, they’re tasked with making sure no harm befalls their flock, and with plenty of predators out there, that can be quite the daunting task.

With patience and time, you should soon have a rooster who no longer attacks you out of anger and respects you!

Enjoy this article? Find more interesting advice about raising chickens!

About The Author

Chris Lesley

Chris Lesley has been raising backyard chickens for over 20 years and is a fourth-generation poultry keeper. Read More from Chris Lesley

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