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How Do You Know When a Rooster is Going to Attack?

Not all roosters are aggressive, but when you have one who is on the feisty side they can become a bit of a nightmare.

This can become a particular problem if a rooster is free-range and intimidating you and your family on your own property.

The good news is that there are some things you can do to make your rooster more passive, but when they’re aggressive it’s important to know the signs of attack so you can be ready to defend yourself.

As an owner of an aggressive rooster myself, I’ve learned to spot the signs that it’s time to get out of the way because he’s really not happy about something!

The main signs which show rooster is going to attack are; dancing in a strut-like style on their tiptoes, walking sideways towards you, feathers fluffing up (especially around the neck), wing flapping and constant aggressive clucking.

Read on to find out more about the signs that a rooster is going to attack, along with the reasons why they can be so aggressive and some things which you can do to defuse the situation.

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More Signs That a Rooster is Being Aggressive

To expand and elaborate on the signs that a rooster is going to attack, here is a break down of what you could expect:

1 – Dancing

Dancing is a sign that attack is pretty imminent, the rooster will make its self look as tall as possible and almost stand on tiptoes.

The dance will usually involve bobbing up and down and fluffing up so the rooster can look as intimidating as possible.

2 – Walking sideways

Walking sideways is often part of the overall dance, and it’s also a way that they can take you by surprise.

The rooster will often circle around the person they see as a threat and then come in sideways without warning.

3 – Feather fluffing

When a rooster wants to intimidate it can fluff up its feathers to make its self look bigger and scarier.

Pentagon Pet is the owner of this article was first published on February 15, 2021..

When they do actually attack they will extend their necks and fluff out all their neck feathers which can look pretty alarming if you’re on the other end of the attack.

Image of a rooster chasing someone

4 – Wing flapping

Just like feather fluffing, wing-flapping is also a way for a rooster to make themselves look more aggressive and to make themselves look bigger than they actually are.

5 – Throwing things

When the rooster is becoming aggressive, they might pick items up with his beak and throw them in frustration.

Our rooster picks up twigs, leaves and any other small items and he flings them around, in frustration.

6 – Aggressive clucking

Chickens are very vocal creatures and they use various sounds to communicate, when a rooster is becoming aggressive is a constant clucking sound which can become more erratic if they attack.

As well as this, the classic cock-a-doodle-do, is also a sign that a rooster is warning you away.


Why Your Rooster May be Attacking You

When it comes to roosters, their minds work in a straightforward way, and their lives revolve around some really simple principles, which are; protecting hens, mating with hens and territory defence.

Whereas a hen will happily spend the day grazing and preening, the rooster is always on high alert for a potential threat and in some cases, in their eyes, you are that threat.

So based on this principle, these are the reasons why your rooster might be attacking you:

  • You’re picking up or touching a hen – if you go too close to a roosters hens, this can cause them to attack.
  • They think you’re trying to take their spot as top chicken – roosters are very territorial and anything that threatens their position could be subject to attack.
  • You’re in their territory – some roosters get particularly angry if you go into their run or clean out their coop and this is because you’re on their territory and they want you off.
  • It’s what you’re wearing – this might sound crazy, but we have noticed that our rooster is more likely to attack bare legs than someone wearing boots.
  • They’re just angry – some roosters are just pumped up and full of aggression and don’t need an excuse to attack.

How to Stop a Rooster Attacking

When you learn to recognize the signs that your rooster is going to attack it makes it easier for you to defend yourself from potentially getting hurt.

When it comes to defending yourself from a rooster, defending yourself from an immediate attack is key, but there are also some things which you can work on to make the rooster more passive in the long term.

Short term defence

One of the best ways to prevent an immediate attack without hurting the rooster is to stick your foot straight out in front of the rooster to make them jump back.

Another thing you can do is hold out anything to hand such as a bag or a coat to keep it away from your legs.

Long term defence

As a long-term defence, you can in time make your rooster a little more passive by handling them when they become aggressive.

We’ve tried a few different ways, including gently holding him down to the ground for a while and holding him in our arms to calm the situation while showing him whos boss.

Personally, I think the picking up method works best because it gets them used to being handled and shows them you’re not going to harm them.

We’ve found that making them angrier doesn’t help much in the long-term, because it just makes them want to attack you more, whereas being gentle and friendly can help in the long-term.

It’s also important to know the potential injury they could inflict on you or others (especially children) if they do attack, you can find out more about this in the following article:

Can roosters hurt humans?


You Might Also Like

I hope this post has helped you to find out more about spotting the signs that a rooster is going to attack, you might also like the following articles too:

Should you get a rooster? – The complete guide

Do you need a rooster for hens to lay eggs?

Why do chickens wipe their beaks?

What Time do Roosters Crow?


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This article and its contents are owned by Pentagon Pets and was first published on February 15, 2021..

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