You didn’t know it the first time you saw him, mostly because you didn’t even know it was a him…but you didn’t know you’d fall in love with a mean rooster.
As a chick, he was the first to run to your hand, sometimes quizzically studying your jewelry and pecking and your rings.
He made you laugh, until….he made you cry, with his first crow.
You knew you bought straight-run chicks, but deep down inside you were actually hoping for a clutch of pullets. So, the logical thing to do, since you were already head over heels, was to let him stay.
The Honeymoon Phase With Your Rooster
The first few months were the honeymoon phase. And they were blissful months.
Your little rooster was charming. From his first roo dance around his hens to those gorgeous sickle feathers glistening in the sun, you were smitten.
Roo was gentle with his hens, protected them from scary sky predators, and always said, “ladies first” when he found a tasty morsel in his path.
Then, one day, he changed.
It started like any other day. You were bending over to harvest your morning breakfast from the nesting boxes when a sharp piercing pain radiated through your calf.
He used his big, ugly, scary spur…on YOU!
It wasn’t so much the pain from the puncture as it was from the heartache you felt.
You took it personally, and your relationship would never be the same.
The Mean Rooster Had to Go
I love my roosters, and if I’m lucky, this situation never happens with the majority of the roos I’ve raised over the years. But it did finally happen to me — after about 10 years of raising chickens. My rooster spurred me while I was in the coop with him.
At first, I thought it was an accident, maybe he was still waking up and mistook me for a predator…yeah right, he’s up at 3 am — but hey, I was in denial.
Aren’t we all when our relationships start to break down?
So, of course, I began my research, attempting to pick up the pieces of our broken relationship and tape them back together.
I tried just being more confident — the alpha. And in all honesty, I pretended the spurring hadn’t happened at all. I kinda gave him a pass. But, fool me once your fault, fool me twice, well, that’s on me.
He came at me again and I ran screaming to the house.
My next idea was to block his attacks, and assert myself more aggressively…BIG mistake, he only took this as a challenge, “What, What, You Want Some Of This?” and he certainly took the bait.
I resorted to makeshift walls, similar to ballistic shields that police use to protect themselves. I figured that I could adapt.
This went on for a few months, a big dance between me and the man of the house. What was once one of my favorite part of the day became a horror movie every morning.
One day, he started beating up on my hens, and then my dog. My hens lost all the feathers on their back, and the roo was literally smashing his beak into their combs until they bled. Because my roo had been free-range, I didn’t see him much during the day until he started seeking me out and chasing me around the yard…arms flailing, zigging and zagging, and of course, screaming.
Yeah, if someone would have been recording, it would have been the next viral rooster vs human video on social media.
Finally, my husband, who <shhhh> is terrified of chickens, sat me down and told me my rooster’s behavior was unacceptable. He laid it all out there: the rooster was hurting me, my chickens, the dogs, and now even visitors. There are good roosters and then there are the bad eggs. My patient husband reminded me that we wouldn’t want to breed that behavior into our future flock, and breeding good chickens was one of my goals.
He was right.
Because I loved that roo, even despite his poor behavior, I had thought he could change, or I could adapt. But, even my Facebook chicken family told me he had to go to freezer camp.
And I finally accepted it. It may be controversial to some, but he was a chicken after all…and there’s no good reason to keep a mean chicken around. It was time to let go.
It was, after all, a part of being a chicken owner.
So, if you have a nasty roo that’s beating you and your hens up — and sucking the joy out of life. You aren’t obligated to keep him. Sell him online if you can’t stand the thought of butchering him…or better yet, donate him to a family in need.
By the way, morning chores became the best part of my day once again. And yes, I do have a new rooster, and he’s a hero.