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Can Roosters Hurt Humans?

Although some roosters are gentle creatures, not all are and some will actively go out to attack humans because they feel threatened or that the human in question is after their position as top bird.

If you have a rooster who is very aggressive there’s a chance this can lead to an attack on humans and other pets who cross its path or who it deems as a threat.

Being an owner of a feisty rooster myself I’ve experienced what a rooster attack looks like and it can be a worry especially if you have small children or pets who are at greater risk of injury being lower down.

In short, roosters can hurt humans when they attack and they do this by pecking and/or digging their spurs (sharp claws) into the back of their legs and into the flesh which can inflict deep cuts and sores. Small children are at particular risk because the rooster has the potential to reach their face and eyes.

Read on to find out more about how roosters can hurt humans along with some tips on how to recognize when they’re becoming aggressive and how to avoid it.

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Injury From Rooster Spurs

Over time a rooster develops long claws on the back of its legs and just above the foot (see image).

The size a roosters spur can grow to really depends on the breed and age of the rooster. But whatever the size, they have the ability to inflict pain.

When a rooster attacks it will usually wrap its self around the persons’ leg or foot and dig the sharp spurs into the person’s foot.

In some cases, the spur can break the persons’ skin and cause quite a deep wound.

Image of a roosters spurs

Injury From a Pecking Rooster

As well as inflicting pain and injury with its spurs, a rooster will also inflict pain and injury by pecking.

When chickens and roosters fight with each other they tend to keep pecking and pecking at each other (usually around the face area) and sometimes only until one backs down.

This article was first published on January 20, 2021 by Pentagon-Pets.

A chickens beak is made from the same substance as our nails and is hard and in a shape which can definitely inflict some pain and even break the skin.

The rooster will also jump and peck and while this can mainly cause injury to an adult humans legs, the main danger with a pecking rooster is when it comes to small children and pets because there’s a potential of the child or the pet being pecked in the eye.

A peck to the eye from a chicken can lead to serious eye injury and even loss of sight, so it’s something to really be aware of if children are playing in an area where roosters free-range.

How You Can Tell If A Rooster Is Going To Attack

One of the best ways to avoid injury from a rooster is being able to identify when they start to look angry and aggressive so that you can remove yourself from the situation before things get out control.

Here are some key signs that a rooster could be on the verge of attack:

  • Strutting and standing taller than usual.
  • Walking sideways.
  • Fluffed up neck feathers.
  • Wing flapping.
  • Picking up and throwing small twigs and leaves.
  • Aggressive and increasing noises.

Roosters will fluff themselves up, strut and raise their wings to basically make themselves look as big and threatening as possible.

In the chicken world, the toughest and usually biggest rooster will win the fight along with the ladies.

To prevent a rooster from attacking, establish dominance by maintaining eye contact, standing tall, and gently pushing him away if he advances. Never show fear or run away. Providing ample space, avoiding direct confrontation, and using distractions like treats can also help manage aggressive behaviors effectively.

How to Prevent a Rooster From Hurting You

If you have a rooster whose behaviour is getting out of hand, there are some things you can do to help prevent attack along with reducing the chance of them inflicting injury if things get nasty.

Sometimes they might only be aggressive towards certain people, for example, our only attacks my husband because he thinks he’s a threat to his position as the top bird.

Here are some things you can try if you have an aggressive rooster:

  • Don’t let them take control by gently pinning them down if they become aggressive – (this is what they do to dominate chickens below them in the pecking order).
  • The sharp end of a spur can be clipped like a nail to reduce the risk of injury.
  • Keep the rooster penned inside a run while small children and pets are around.
  • Use a long object such as a broom to gently keep the rooster away from you when you need to go near it.
  • Keep him in sight and in front of you to prevent him from attacking from behind.

To a rooster his main role is protecting his hens along with making sure no other rooster muscles in on his territory, ultimately they’re doing what comes naturally to them, so although you can intervene, it’s important not to harm them in the process.

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If you’re considering getting a rooster, but you’re not sure its right for you and your existing flock, take a look at the following post for more information on the pros and cons of keeping roosters:

Pentagon Pet is the owner of this article that was first published on January 20, 2021.

Should you get a rooster? The complete guide

You might also find the following post useful for more tips on how to stop a rooster being aggressive:

Why do chickens chase you?

What are the red things on chickens called?

Do chickens have nipples?

This article and its contents are owned by Pentagon Pets and was first published on January 20, 2021.

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