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When Roosters Attack

By Audrey Pavia, Urban Farm Contributor

Monday, September 19, 2011

rooster garden gnome

Photo by Audrey Pavia

Mr. Mabel likes to pick fights with me.

My bantam Cochin mix rooster, Mr. Mabel, is well known among my friends for his attacks on people who do not belong in my yard — at least in his opinion. Once in a rare while, he also cops an attitude with me. But this past week, Mr. Mabel has taken me on not once, but twice.

Both incidents occurred in the morning, right after I let the flock out of the coop and was walking to the garage to get their feed. In both cases, I felt a small, feathered body bang up against my bare leg.

The first time, I instinctively pushed back at him, lifting him slightly off the ground with my leg. This was a mistake. Mr. Mabel took it as a challenge, and came back at me even harder. I was so outraged at his behavior that I suddenly reverted back to the age of 12 and pushed back at him again. He responded even more violently, and the two of us ended up having a genuine cock fight with my calf substituting for the other rooster.

I finally came to my senses and reached down and grabbed the little monster. He pecked me furiously on the hand until I turned him over on his back. This rendered him helpless.

I waited a minute until his hackles laid flat against his neck and he stopped making attempts to wiggle free. I then lectured him, telling him he needed to behave, that I was the boss of the yard, not him. After a few minutes, I let him go.

Apparently, he didn’t listen to anything I had said, because three days later, I again felt his breast butt up against my leg as I was walking to the garage to get the feed. This time, I didn’t play games with him. I scooped him up, put him on his back and gave him a severe tongue-lashing. He settled down much more quickly than the first time and looked me right in the eye as I told him he was really pushing his luck.

When I finally put him down, he was noticeably shaken. I tossed feed to the flock, but instead of eating, he stood straight up on his toes looking at me, making a concerned clucking sound. I’m not sure what it meant, but my guess was that he was worried. I tried to remember: Did I say something to him about chicken soup? I might have.

Mr. Mabel and I haven’t had any incidents since that last time, and I’m hoping it stays that way. I really don’t enjoy these interactions; I much prefer a peaceful relationship with my roosters. Unfortunately, Mr. Mabel has way too much testosterone for that to ever be the case.

Give us your opinion on When Roosters Attack.
Submit Comment »
I want to get hens and a rooster but I had no idea roosters can be so violent towards humans. Is this common with roosters?
Melissa, Hawkins, TX
Posted: 11/6/2012 5:01:38 PM
Audrey, So Mr. Mabel is showing off again. Hopefully you can make him understand that you are a provider and not a threat to the yard. He's been kind of a nuisance for some time. More roosters end up in the soup pot because of the attitude than not. I hope he changes his ways before it's too late. Thanks for always sharing your chicken yard soap opera. :0)
David, Omaha, NE
Posted: 9/25/2011 6:51:57 AM
You can always revert to the warning about introducing him to "the Colonel." I hear that's the big motivator among our feathered friends.
Bruce, Las Vegas, NV
Posted: 9/22/2011 10:32:06 AM
I had a beautiful Light Brown Leghorn rooster who would attack if he thought I was late with breakfast (this before the advent of an automatic feeder). He was an average bird for his breed, so not especially heavy, but attacked spurs-first. I had no idea what had happened until the blood started leaking down my leg from two puncture holes in my shin (which left scars). After the second attack that drew blood, where he jumped high enough to hit me in the wrist with his spurs (I was carrying my hairless dog for her own safety at the time), he moved into a "secure holding facility". I kept him for a while longer as he was beautiful breeding stock, but eventually decided against continuing with such an "angry" line. Dinner is served...
Jess, Queen Charlotte, BC
Posted: 9/19/2011 3:44:57 PM

About the Blogger

Audrey Pavia

Audrey Pavia
Keeping farm animals in the city can be a real hoot. Follow freelance writer Audrey Pavia's adventures in Southern California with a yard full of urban livestock, including horses, chickens, a Corgi and an urban barn cat. She somehow manages all these silly critters by herself while working full-time. And you thought "The Simple Life" was out there?

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