Friday, April 23, 2010

That Fighting Bird

This is just a quick post to provide an update on a recent issue here. 

The rooster, Muffin. 

I previously posted how he attacked me once when I was wearing an orange shirt. 
I thought it was just because of the shirt. 

Now he attacks me whenever I wear bright or light colors near the chickens.  Or if I wear a light shirt covered by a dark jacket.  Or if he's in a bad mood.
Most of the time he attacks me when my back is turned.  He attacks me with his feet, not his beak. 
He runs up to me very, very fast and makes his attack, over and over attacking me with his feet. 
I cannot turn my back on him and run, as this makes him worse. 
I cannot raise my foot or my hand to him, as this makes him attack even worse that I thought possible.  

The only way to make him stop is to throw food near him during the attack. 
Lee at Farm Folly gave me that suggestion - thank you, Lee, it does work. 

I don't always have scratch grain with me, but I've learned to make do with anything I can fnd. 
Today when I was out with the chickens, at first Muffin was fine, totally relaxed around me.  I was wearing a light tan shirt covered by a dark jacket (which I thought would keep me safe from Muffin's moods). 

After about ten minutes as I was walking around I heard Muffin running at me.  I quickly turned and found him attacking me from behind, his neck feathers all puffed up like a backwards bowl around his head.  I was in a low culvert, Muffin was coming at me from above, at chest height.  Instinctively I put my hand out to stop his attack as he was flying towards me.  This made him attack even worse, as it always does.  I think him seeing my hand (or foot) go out makes him think I'm trying to fight him and makes him more aggressive.
After I fended off his initial attack with my hand/arm, he dropped to the ground, and as he bounced back up at me I reached down and grabbed some dirt, dead pine leaves, and pine cones and threw them at his feet.  This distracted him and gave me a couple seconds to reach for a few live green leaves from a nearby bush. 

Quickly I threw the green leaves at him, and when he saw them he made his clucking sound which called all the hens to come eat.  The hens all came running at record speeds and gathered around.  I was grabbing more leaves to use as a distraction for the next attack. 
But Muffin forgot that he was in the middle of a fight to the death, and I was able to run away to safety, throwing leaves behind me.

Muffin won that fight, but at least I survived. 

That rooster has got to go.  He's a fighting bird.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like it's time for Chicken and Dumplings.

Foothills Poultry said...

I am afraid you got some bad advice. By giving him food each time, this has encouraged him to do it again and again. I know it let you get away, but in the end he won and got food too.

At this point I would think about chicken & dumplings or maybe a chicken pot pie. Just let him cure in the Fridge for 4-5 days to tenderize the meat.


Nicolezmomma said...

I wonder if the rooster thinks he needs to fight you to get some food?

Anonymous said...

you need to carry a broom, it will not hurt him but it can give him a good swat and show him you are the boss, if that don't work a big pot of chicken and noodles will do the job.

Poconoangel said...

Hey! You watch out for that rooster! I agree with the other comments. Time for Muffin to go. But knowing you, I know you could never enjoy him in chicken and dumplings. Maybe a trade or donation to your Amish neighbors?

jalynn01 said...

I remember from home and childhood my mother telling me keep away from the rooster or be 'flogged' So I looked up some stuff and came up with this site that may help you 'Keeping your Roo Sane' I hate to see him end up to the crock pot. :-(

Knatolee said...

Poor you!! I think he needs a new name: The Muffinator.

It seems to me that a lot of roosters end up in the stewpot because of this sort of thing.

Razzberry Corner said...

Comment from Lynn at Razzberry Corner ~

I know am being too submissive around the rooster. I know it now, at least. And so does Muffin, he's known it all along. I need to show my dominance, but it's tough for me because I cannot help it, I am a woman who's afraid of being attacked by a rooster. I need to work on my technique, my attitude around the birds. Throwing grain, leaves, food helps save my hide at the moment, which is very important to me right then, but I see it reinforces the bad attitude of the rooster. I just need to work on my "Alpha Attitude" around the birds and not be so sweet to them all (including the roosters). I notice no rooster ever attacks my husband. I am going to leave a broom outside near the chicken area, for future rooster attacks. The Muffinator will not win this battle.

Jalynn - Thanks for the link, it was very helpful!


Cattle Call Farm said...

You have more patients than me. When he is attacking you with his feet, he is trying to get you with his spurs. If he gets one in you, you'll being throwing more than food at him. We "had" one like this and for some reason I was his pick. But you notice I said "had".

John Gray said...

I have suggested this before but the only way of coping with this rooster is to pick him up long, hard and often.
walk round with him under your arm as long as you the paper,............... if the agression have to eat him or let him beat you!!!

Benita said...

From experience, nothing you do will make him not attack you. As a kid, whenever a rooster did this, we ate him. That was the only way to stop him from attacking.

AJ-OAKS said...

When Stew Pot started hanging around he was always trying to atack me. My first instinct was to kick at him, which of course made it worse. Then I threw small rocks at him. Nope, that didn't work. It got to the point whenever I was outside I couldn't relax due to waiting for him to 'attack'. One morning I had had enough. He came at me and to his surprise I ran at him waving my arms and yelling. He took off the other direction and I continued to chase him. He stopped briefly only to see me still coming at him. He ducked under the pasture gate and ran a short distance into the pasture and stopped. Well, little did he know that I can get through a gate quick! When he saw me still coming at him he took off running. When I knew I had won, I stopped and walked back to the house. Yes, he came back, but I have never had a problem with him since. I win!! If he ever pulls that crap with me again, well bye bye Stew Pot. I will not put up with that from a rooster.
So Lynn, show him who is boss!! Go get 'em!!

DayPhoto said...

Welcome to the world of chickens with roosters. Sorry but that is how it is. They are mean. Sometimes they are not mean, but that is a rare, rare, rare rooster.
He needs to leave or you will get hurt. YOU WILL GET HURT!!!! It is that simple.


Robin said...

Yup, it sounds like it is time for him to go. I wouldn't want to put up with that either. Scary.

Christine said...

I'd be having a Muffin for breakfast! Sometimes they just turn out that way. I have plenty of scars to prove it. Ended up sending my favorite roo, Bob, to crockpot camp. Still miss him, before he went crazy he used to sit in my lap.

Lee said...

Sorry to hear you are having ongoing poultry problems, and that Matt asserts it was caused by my bad advice. However, my advice was linked from here, and I'm going to bet he's learned something from the thousands of chickens he's raised.

Newer training advice doesn't recommend the dominant alpha strategy with dogs. I'm really doubtful it's that reliable with rooster. My dad had the old war stories with the rooster from when he was a kid, too. Mostly they ended with someone shooting the rooster.

Dog Trot Farm said...

I think Mr. Rooster needs to relocate. Is there a farm close by who might be willing to take him in? I wish I had better advice to offer, I would certainly keep a broom or small rake close at hand. Good luck I am thinking of you.