The Hot Tomato vs. the Aggressive Rooster April 19, 2013

My friend Jesse, owner/instructor at the Hot Tomato Pinup Academy,  recently shared a story with me about a battle she once had with an aggressive rooster belonging to her family. This is one reason I love my job so much: I get to hear the best, most entertaining stories about chickens, not to mention that my farm will be a site for an upcoming Hot Tomato photo shoot! Picture Jesse doing battle with a rooster:

 

Hot tomato vs. aggressive rooster

Jesse the Hot Tomato does battle with an aggressive rooster

She’s definitely got the girl power and the force of personality to back her up. Plus, her story was so charming that I just had to share it with you.

The Hot Tomato Vs. the Aggressive Rooster

The kids and I went to feed the chickens that morning and saw, for the first time ever, that  Condor the rooster was not his usual charming self! He had gotten out of his pen that morning, but we were assured that he was “real tame” and “wouldn’t bother us” when we went to feed the chickens. Little did we realize!

The driveway is about 250 ft long and Condor was crowing his head off the whole time we were walking toward the house. At first we thought, “Oh, how sweet! Condor is happy that we are coming to see him.

Ha!

Have you ever seen a mad rooster? He was at the mouth of the driveway, all puffed up and dancing around in full war dress, making a huge demonstration for such a little guy. He was hissing and spitting and crowing and running back and forth—really letting us have it! So I told the girls that the rooster was not himself, and that maybe it would be best if they went back up to the road and waited for me there. They quickly complied.

So now it’s just ME and the ROOSTER. (Picture in your mind if you will, the quick draw saloon shootout scene  in a westerns, where the protagonists stand there staring at each other as a cloud of dust stirs in the air and the horses neigh in the background. Hands on six-shooters, they squint at each other and wait. Are you there? Can you picture it?) So it’s just me and Condor in the showdown… and he is NOT moving! Lucky for me I could make myself look bigger, too, since I had on my layered skirts. I took the sides in my hands and made like I was going to take flight; I flapped it up and down and ran in place, slow-motion-like.

Condor looked a little worried, but he was determined to stand his ground. He decided he’d fly up land on top a the Jeep—higher ground is always better for a fight, right?—but since he didn’t take his eyes off of me when he was trying to do this, he missed and landed on his feathery rooster butt! This provided me with an opportunity to pass him and head for the hens, who had been begging for breakfast and were not happy being shut in the coop.

Jesse vs Condor the aggressive rooster

We’re not sure if Condor the aggressive rooster ever had a chance against this Hot Tomato

But as I passed Condor, he started to run after me; I realized THE CHASE WAS ON! Around the chicken pen, past the garden, behind the outhouse and back beside the coop. I was on one side and Condor on the other. Unfortunately HE was on the side with the door and the feed, so we did this little dance where we would peek around the corner at each other and run around to the other side and peek around that corner. Peek, run, peek.

Still, ROOSTERS ARE SMART and I saw that I was NOT going to win at this game. So I gathered my wits and took a wild run at him with my skirt flapping in the wind and I crowed my loudest crow, I hissed and jutted my head in and out like a chicken, Condor backing up all the time, until I had enough room to get to the chicken feed.

I quickly scooped up a couple cans of feed and tossed it toward the hens; as it rained down on them they briefly scattered. This gave me an idea. I drew up a big can of feed for Condor, closed up the can. I looked around to see where he was—back over by the driveway, aha. Perfect.

I took the can and approached him slowly. When he started getting all riled up again I threw the feed on top of him which startled him enough that it gave me time to run for the road! I had done it! I had fed then hens despite an aggressive rooster, and was no worse for wear. In fact, I was cool as a cucumber when I got to the girls.

When they asked ” How were the chickens, Mama?”  I said, ” Oh, they were just chickens, not much to tell!”

jesse2

Not much to tell? We’re glad she shared her story with us!

——

Roosters are wonderful to have around; chances are Condor thought he was protecting “his” hens. My guess would be that this was a young rooster who had just reached the age where he was feeling the instinct to protect the flock. Sometimes that protective instinct is misdirected at people. An aggressive rooster is rarely a bad rooster! While we can’t recommend Jesse’s flapping skirt technique for dealing with an aggressive rooster long term—you can read our advice for dealing with an aggressive rooster right here on our website—her tale does a good job of illustrating why so many people are worried about having a rooster in the flock! You can also read some advice here about how to keep multiple roosters in the flock in an earlier blog post.

Do you have any good rooster tales? Please share in the comments!

8 Comments
Kim April 19th, 2013

No wonder his name is Condor.

Jason Papa Chicken April 19th, 2013

I have had pet chickens (all hens) for nearly a year now. I am obsessively in love with my girls – And I like to think of imagine that they feel the same way. In fact, I’ve said many times that if I had known how amazing these gals were, I would have never adopted dogs. The hear my voice and come running… I have a poop free and protected bench in their little piece of chicks utopia – heck they even have a chandelier in there, a coop cam, Tibetan Peace flags and speakers so they can listen to their favorite songs on the radio, all day – everyday. Then suddenly one day, about a month ago shortly after beginning to lay , one of my polish crested started attacking me and she has done it every day since – even when I go in bearing gifts like a kale piñata or a plate full of cheesy oatmeal with chopped grapes. It is the weirdest thing ever. Up until this all 9 of my hens, including her have been outwardly loving and gentle. I was even tentative about letting my five year old daughter go in to visit them but she loves them as much if not more than I, so I finally caved in. Well wouldn’t you know it, Bowie climbed right up on her lap and snuggled with her just as she always done. I was hopeful that her crankiness was a phase or a hormonal mood swing but now I’m even more upset because she is still doing it to me every time I walk in! It’s now personal – my funky baby girl hates me. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Michael April 19th, 2013

OK.. question.. why can NOT more ladies look like this when down on the farm 🙂
Outgoing as well… … 🙂 🙂
Of course, LOVED the ROO story too… as my own ROO has started about a week ago acting up as well.. ….

Lissa April 19th, 2013

Hopefully we’ll be able to share some more cool farm girl pictures from the upcoming photo shoot on Facebook and possibly here on the blog, too. (Personally, I think ALL farm girls have a beauty about them… but it doesn’t hurt to have a great photographer, cool costumes and professional modeling coaches as well!)

cam April 19th, 2013

I had the funniest chicken experience a couple days ago. My 2 hens, Sweet Pea and Keno were out in the backyard just scratching around like they do, and I was sitting on the back steps playing tug-o-war with my Aussie Sheppard/Boarder Collie, Guinness. She has one of those soccer ball dog toys with a rope around it, and when she gets all playful she growls while trying to win the game.

Sweet Pea, who is my little lap chicken, (she always lets me catch her and hold her and carry her around, and will sit on my lap), heard Guinness growling and saw what to her must have looked like Guinness was attacking me. She RUNS across the yard over to Guinness and attempts to jump on Guinness’s back, feathers all ruffled up, and “talons” extended toward the dogs back, and squawking like crazy! The dog and I were both taken by surprise, and Guinness whipped around to see who was attacking her, and would have defended herself except I grabbed her by her collar and shooed Sweet Pea away for her own safety!

I was stunned but also flattered that my little hen thought so much of me as to risk her own life to try and protect me! Normally the dog and the chickens get along fine, as Guinness (a sheep-herding dog) sees the chickens as her flock, and takes her job of protecting them very seriously. She has come to their rescue several times, against neighborhood dogs, a coyote, and even a goshawk! I think she was a little confused by Sweet Pea’s behavior, but I thought it was somewhat awesome!

Lissa April 19th, 2013

What a cool story! Sweet Pea must see you as one of the flock. 🙂

Stevee Salazar April 23rd, 2013

I recently had to rehome my rooster to a horse stable ranch about 3 weeks ago. Unfortunately, it is not a pleasant story. My rooster, Ben, was not aggressive towards humans. He was good to all his lady friends, about 15 of them, except to 1 of my favorite girls, Sophia. I brought 3 new hens home to my established flock, that Ben did a great job taking care of. I introduced the new girls by keeping them im a wire cage in the middle of the flock. Chickens will be chickens, I know. So of course the other girls were sticking their beaks in the cage getting to know the new girls. Well Sophia started a pecking war from inside the cage with Rosey. Ben came to break up the fight between the girls and Sophia pecked at Ben as well as Rosey. That was the beginning of the end. Ever since that day, Ben would attack her every time he saw her, so I was in a predicament. My husband came up with the idea of tying Ben by the foot with a long rope so he could roam free with the girls but Sophia could get away from him if need be-which was ALWAYS the case. Every time she walked near him it was battle time! I never understood this because he was fine with the other 2 girls- Victoria and Angela since day one. So this was the daily routine for about 6months or so. Straight from a secluded cage in the coop to tied at the foot in the day. It seemed to work well for those involved! Unfortunately one day, Ben wriggled out of his rope and I was not around. My poor Sophia got a beating so bad that I cried. I wasn’t sure if she would make it. She did survive with 2 eyes swollen shut. Both eyes did open after several days, but I think she was blinded in one eye by Ben. I had never seen this rooster aggression before. So we decided to rehome Ben because of this. So we kept him in lock down most of the time, freeing him only when we put Sophia safely away. So one day my husband and I were out with thd chickens and I suggested to him that maybe we could give Ben one lasf chance to be a gentleman. I heard that once.a rooster beats up.a hen and shows his dominance, they do not have problems. Unfortunately, I was misled. We let Ben out and he found Sophia and went to “mount” her -everything seemed ok- Then something went terribly wrong. I won’t go into graphic detail but lets just say that I was shocked. Sophia started hoping like a bunny, on both legs then started seizing. I thought she was as good as gone. Her neck went limp and I was.horrified. I ran after Ben as my husband cradled Sophia. My Sophia had always been a fighter, she was alive but something was very very wrong. She couldn’t stand. She just laid on her side. We put her in our empty brooder box (for baby chicks, who need a heat lamp). She never regained movement in her legs. She did eat some but only by laying on her side and moving her neck barely to get soms treats I knew she liked; diced tomato, grated cheese, and fresh corn. It was a long 3 days before I brought myself to take her to the vet… knowing deep down what was going to be the outcome. The vet assured me that I did the right thing by bringing her in, despite the fact there was nothing he could do for my paralyzed Sophia. Balling my eyes out, I signed the euthanasia form, not wanting her to suffer anymore. It brings tears my eyes right now. Sophia was one of my girls that always ran up to me when I went to check on them and followed me around the yard. A very smart barred Plymouth Rock. She will be grealty missed and be stuck with this guilt for a long time. This happened about 1 month ago. I rehomed Ben to a place nearby that is a horse stable facility but also has roosters. Ben seemed happy when we let him go starting his rooster dance with my friend’s rooster Turken who lives there also. I know I did the right thing but it still hurts all the way around. I hope someone can read my story and prevent the mistake I made. Roosters will always be dominating creatures. They are a wonderful addition to the flock. I still have 1 rooster, Angel, and he is young but seems to be doing a good job with the ladies, he has even broken up a fight between two mother hens with chicks-not an easy thing to do! I am not against having roosters, quife the opposite. Just be observing and if a rooster starts picking on a particular one or ones. Make sure it doesn’t cost a life. Get rid of one or the other. I hope this story can give someone information because I search for similar situations and could not find anything.

Susan April 30th, 2013

I love that truck! We have a 52 Chevy lawn ornament that looks similar….although I don’t look that good standing next to it 😉

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