How to Fend off Mean Roosters (because clearly, I’m an expert)

I originally posted this three years ago after a “fun” incident with my friend’s roosters. Just in case you weren’t around then to laugh at me, please, by all means, allow me to remind you of my bravery and amazing rooster fending off abilities by re-posting this story.

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Aw, here’s Malachi looking at the chickens three years ago. He was so little. ;)

Last week, I was left in charge of caring for the animals on my friend’s farm. I am so very happy to report that I started out with 50 chickens and there are still, as far as I know, 50 chickens.

Plus two roosters.

Two mean roosters.

Before leaving to go out of town, my friend Susan walked me through all of the elements of chicken care: “Here’s the feed, here’s the hose for water – and by the way,”  she said, “If the roosters try to attack you, just whack them over the head with the feed bucket.”

If the what? The roosters might attack me? I’m supposed to what? With the feed bucket? Uh…oh…okay. That doesn’t make me scared or nervous at all. {cough}

Each day last week, the boys and I would go over to do chicken chores. The boys would gather the eggs while I would courageously feed and water the chickens. Each day I would scope out where the roosters were and make sure I stayed out of their way, because I really didn’t want to have to whack a rooster over the head. Not even a little bit.

Everything went fine and I had no rooster attacks to tell you about.

Until Saturday. I made it all the way to Saturday.

I had kindly filled the water…thingy. I had sweetly filled the chicken feeder with feed. I even smiled (albeit nervously) at the roosters in appreciation for leaving me alone all week.

And then it happened.

Not one, but both roosters simultaneously charged at me – at the same time – together.

But don’t you worry. I bravely jump-skipped into the air in shock and fear – and screamed something that sounded kind of like, “Aaahhhhhhh….aaahhhhhhh. Aaahh. Aah.”  (Yes, because that will stop a rooster from charging.)

And I sorta swung my bucket and hit one of the roosters barely, which made him look at me like, “Seriously? Is that all you’ve got, lady?”  In which I answered, “Yeah, pretty much. B-bye.”  And I hightailed it out of that chicken coop.

It is a GOOD thing I’d already given those chickens feed and water, because my heart rate is still not back to a normal pace, and there is NO WAY I was going back in there that day.

I returned home unscathed – and I’m sure the roosters are now completely intimidated by my presence, what with my strong muscled bucket swinging and high pitched shouting.

Yeah, right.

It would appear that I was the true chicken. ;)

Three years later, I bet those roosters are still talking about me around the coop. “Remember that crazy bucket lady that Susan put in charge of us that week back in 2008? I can still remember the look on her face when we both ran at her!”  And then they bawk and cluck hysterically and give each other “high five” with their wings.

Roosters 1 – Laura 0

But I’m okay with that.

 

Comments

  1. Amy Harris says

    Oh my goodness! That was such a great story!! I haven’t been to your blog in a while (except to print off some recipes) due to life happenings and I needed a place to go to get some comfort this morning and I kept feeling that gentle nudging to come here. I just love how God works-He knew I would enjoy a good chicken story! Thank you for sharing your life with us, your ups and downs, good and bad and absolute hilariousness! (Is hilariousness a word?) I appreciate your hard work in teaching us how to be better moms/wives/women. God bless you and your family!

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  2. Erin says

    TOO funny! I got my first chickens in hopes of having eggs, got ten. A neighbors dog killed 5…and 4 of the remaining 5 grew up to be little roosters! They turned into dinner…none were aggressive towards me…then I got three turkeys, two males and a female. One male went over the fence and was killed by neighbors dog (different neighbor). At which point they were enclosed and I would pick grass now and again to get them some greens. They were very much afraid of me, but I still was sometimes nervous about going in their pen to feed and water them…then I got many more chickens…all for meat and a few more egg layers ontop of 10 previous all female ones I had nearing egg laying age. Of those new babies, 2 were male but one died. So I now have a 6-7 month old rooster. He is great. Does a good job of keeping the girls safe and doesnt bother me. The are out all day, so he and the ladies have the run of the place. He has on occasion given me a weird look, but all is well. So moral is, not all roosters are mean buggers. I thought I was gonna have issues with this boy cause when I got them as new hatchlings, the two boys would bite me. At 3-4 days old! No problems now. And he is quite the beauty to watch!

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  3. Amy Hinkle says

    I lived on a farm for the first few years of my life until my parents got divorced. When I was 24 years old, I moved back there to live in the apartment my Dad rented out. While we lived there someone got my daughter two baby chicks that were oh so adorable…until one turned out to be a rooster!!
    I cannot tell you how scared I was of that thing!!! It only ever attacked me. It would hide around the corner of the house and when I walked out the door, it would come running around to attack me! It would hide under my car so I couldn’t see it until it was too late. And when my dad would send the farm dog out after it, the thing would chase the dog away!!
    I carried a field hockey stick in one hand and my two-year-old daughter in the other to fight that thing off but it just kept coming back for more.
    Those few months(yes, months of this) were some of the most stressful in my life. I would get anxiety every time I had to leave the house or come home. My dad would just laugh at me. But eventually he got tired of hearing my 6 am screams and that rooster ended up in some stew!
    My husband and I would love to live on a farm someday, but I guarantee you there will be NO ROOSTERS!!
    Thanks for sharing your story. It gave me a good laugh this morning!

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  4. Lyndsay says

    We have been wanting to move out of town into the country for some time, and it looks like that may finally happen soon. The first thing I wanted to do was get chickens. Evidently, I do not roosters! Thanks for the laugh!

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  5. Christine M says

    Laura:
    I absolutely love your sense of humor and your willingness to share reality in life through your blog. We have chickens and I have to deal with a rooster that charges every so often ~1-2 times a month. He won’t bother my husband as he’s got the rooster truly submitted to him. I, however, carry a plastic bat with me everytime I go into the yard with the rooster. I must not be as intimidating as my husband but I also don’t take the time to get the rooster to submit to me as he does either. The kids know to take a plastic bat with them as well.

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  6. says

    Not laughing here (well, maybe a bit) since I’ve been attacked by roosters before, and geese, and swans, and just last week a turkey tried to attack me. I have a healthy respect for the birds. :-)

    BTW, my daughter and I have our first bottle of vanilla working in the pantry thanks to you. And we’re trying vanilla sugar, too.

    Thanks for the great blog!!!

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  7. says

    You have a great way of telling the story! I would have felt exactly the same way and would’ve been hightailing it out of there! My daughter had a rooster flog her a few years ago-she was probably 8 or 9- and he scratched her leg up pretty bad. Not a fun experience. I seriously wanted to wring its neck…protective Mother instinct…but it didn’t belong to us and I thought that wringing someone else’s rooster’s neck probably wouldn’t be quite proper…LOL!

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  8. Lori says

    My momma talks about her grandmother’s chicken’s and roosters (along with a mean bull…yes, with horns… that my uncle used to antagonize) and how one of them flogger her one too many times, so he became dinner that night!

    There is an idea!

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  9. says

    I love it! My grandparents used to have chickens, and once when my Mom was taking care of them she got locked into the chicken coop. They had a mean rooster, too! She was so scared, but managed to get out by using a stick to unpop the gate from the inside. After that she hated taking care of the chickens!

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  10. Susan says

    Thanks for the giggle! Just got back from the farm vacation though we didn’t have any roosters to fend off.

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  11. Jenifer Parker says

    Girl? Seriously! You need to be cataloging these stories for a BOOK!!! Like Jimmy Buffet’s Front Porch tales. Or the comedic newpaper writer from Miami (whose name escapes me currently-tho very famous) :-)

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  12. LisaB says

    When I stayed with my chicken-raising nephews a few years ago I was assigned to gather the eggs while the boys were at school. The first thing they did was show me their collection of wooden staffs for fending off roosters and ganders. I even had a duel–stick to beak–with one of the meanest one day when he wouldn’t back off.

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  13. Jenn says

    Great story Laura! Too funny!

    We have a great rooster story too, but it’s not funny.

    We got 8 chicks a few years ago and one turned out to be a rooster. I had no idea they could be mean. One morning I was getting the two year old ready to go out with me to clean the coop and decided not to put on her hat because it was pretty warm for a fall morning. Then I felt a really strong urge to put the hat on anyways and did so thinking the whole time that it was really silly to do so.

    So, I’m cleaning out the coop with an infant on my back and my two year old starts screaming. I look over and she’s running toward me while the rooster is chasing after her. I throw everything down and run to get her. The rooster was jumping up at her face (most likely going for her eyes I learned later) and scratching at her. On one jump he pulled the hat down over her face so he couldn’t get at it very well. By the time I got there she was on the ground screaming and flailing with the hat still over her face. I almost killed that rooster then and there. He was posted on craigslist and given away later that day.

    My daughter had one scratch right above her right eye and one right below, but her eye was untouched. She also had a fat scratched up lip. I am absolutely convinced that the compulsion to put that hat on her came from the Holy Spirit and I’m very glad I listened otherwise she might have lost one of her eyes.

    This kiddo is 4 now and she already has a large stockpile of stories about God’s protection that we’ve repeated so often that she starts telling them now. :)

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  14. Laura Walters says

    Laura, I have yard chickens myself for eggs for our family and occasionally extras to sell. I also have several mean roosters. Now before I tell you about the attacks, I have to tell you if you let chickens free range you gotta have them. I have witnessed several times the roosters “rounding up the girls” under the chicken trailer while they pecked about unknowingly, to protect them from a circling hawk. Well, when I went to feed and water my chickens about a month ago, I had two roosters attack me at the same time and while I was able to whack one with a walking stick, the other got my right below the right knee with his spur! It left a small hole in my leg right at the top of the shin bone and it’s just now only hurting when I put pressure on my knee. I was a bit nervous at times around the roosters but now I go out there with a stick and act as though I am in charge and not scared….my husband says that keeps them at bay…but if you show weakness…oh boy….so far…no more rooster attacks. Gotta love farm life. Always something… :) Love your blog and especially the whole wheat recipes. I have wheat from our fields that I grind for our use. So cool to grow it on your farm and use it in the kitchen. Your recipes are a hit! Thanks so much for your generous sharing and God Bless You and Yours!

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  15. Dione says

    LOL! We have chickens. We do not allow mean birds. They get one warning. My dear daughter holds them (feet and wings in one arm, beak in the other hand) and has this long talk that ends with so if you try it again you will end up in mom’s soup pot. Works almost everytime. We had one who tried again… great soup!

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  16. Valerie says

    We have 80+ chickens and with their free-ranging life the boys are a MUST…LOVE them for their protective, sacrificial ways (they call the hens for scraps, pick it up and put it down for the girls to eat…so neat to watch!!)…HATE how their “loving” ways make the hens look like they have been through the plucker before their time! So, it IS a LOVE/HATE thing with the roosters, but thankfully the 8 boys watch our girls wonderfully and leave us alone with only one needing a rare “talking to” about the inside of the soup pot.

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  17. Jenifer Parker says

    HMMM, maybe those little toenail caps you put on cats would stop their attacks from being lethal? hahahahahha

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  18. Lela says

    Haha my rooter never bothers our family but will crow when someone or something comes into the yard (which is the point of having a rooster to start with). A mean rooster that attacks me soon becomes dinner.

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  19. Brenda says

    About a year ago my husband fulfilled one of my country livin dreams by buying me a dozen chicks. At the time we didn’t know what the ratio of roosters to hens would be. As they grew we recognized 8 hens and 4 roosters. One of the roosters was clearly the “King” he was MEAN! He pecked feathers from the other chickens, eventually killing 2 of the other roosters and leaving the hens with bare spots on thier backs. We removed him from the coop and put him in another location, but have kept him all this time.

    I am often asked, If your not going to keep your rooster with the hens then why keep him? The good ole country truth is, I LOVE HIS CROW— Cock-A-Doodle-Do!! He crows gloriously in the morning, anouncing the arrival of the new day. He also crows periodically throughout the day. Each time I smile, thankful for this country life I live.

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  20. Melissa says

    Thanks for this hilarious story. I read it aloud to my husband. I really want to move to the country and have three chickens.

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  21. Linda G. says

    This comment has nothing to do with this story (although it is hilarious!). Just wanted you to know that I had a nice visit with your dad today, and Tacy, too. It was SO nice to see them! Anyway, that’s all!

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  22. says

    You are so funny :-D Growing up we had chickens. There was a particular bantam rooster we named “Hot Stuff” (because he soooo thought he was). He would lurk on top of the rabbit hutches and wait until we bent over to fill the water bowls and then he would jump on our heads and attack. He eventually became a chicken sandwich. He only made one he was so small. I’m so glad to now have your expert advice on how to save myself should it ever happen again ;-)

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  23. Lonna M says

    I laughed till I was in tears! but only because this just happened to me. My rooster scares the heck out of me….I keep trying to tell myself, be brave…..so far not so good.

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  24. says

    One of my “hens” is a rooster…never would have taken it had I known. His first hint of terror was stalking my 2 yr old grand daughter in the driveway. I chased him and he left her alone. A few months later while feeding he attacked me. I kicked him and hit him with the water jug and escaped. My husband went in to finish feeding and he jumped him. He kicked him several times before he backed off.

    I was just outside on the phone and he charged me and jumped my leg. I screamed like I was being murdered! He just wouldn’t back off even with me kicking him. I was running around my sons 4 wheeler still getting jumped, still screaming when my husband came running and kicked him off me. He proceeded to try to attack him! Very tough critters! Finally he retreated. I think I will be using a plastic toboggan to go feed tonight! He may end up dinner if he doesn’t stop…which I hear isn’t likely. Sad, he is BIG and gorgeous. I just don’t want to mow and garden in fear of a rooster!

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  25. Shannon says

    My Dad tells a great story about my grandmother and a mean rooster. Apparently when Dad was little they had a rooster that was bad to jump up and flog whoever came in the pen. Usually grandma just threw the feed into the pen from the outside and stuck a hose through the fencing to fill up their water. (Grandpa usually went in once a week and cleaned out their water bucket, for some reason the rooster would leave him alone). But one day she got out there and the chickens had somehow managed to turn over their water bucket. It was a really hot day and Granpa had already gone to work and she new the chickens wouldn’t make it all day without water, so she decided to be brave and go in a fix it. Well, sure enough that rooster jumped up and flogged her. She came running out of that pen and dad said he could tell she was “mad all over”. She ran in the house and got broom stick, came back out and went into that pen, when that rooster started to run at her Dad said, “She held that broomstick like she was Babe Ruth, that rooster jumped up and she swung, knocked him clean to the otherside of the pen”. What makes it even funnier is that my grandma was a tiny little thing. Barely 5 feet tall and maybe a 100lbs soaking wet. My Dad said he didn’t think he’d ever seen her that mad before. Needless to say that rooster never messed with her again.

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