Originally Posted by Shezadandy
The feed thing started because it was the only time they willingly came running towards me. Growing up with horses and then later working at breeding farms gave me a very healthy respect for not getting cuddly with hormone driven animals, males of all ages in particular. I didn't like how the boys would come barreling in to the food-- setting a precedent for approaching me without fear/respect when they otherwise practice avoidance. The Super Blue unfortunately has had his back picked clean by the Welsummer cockerel- just stands there and lets it happen- so there has been handling to address that problem, but even in doctoring I try to take the "just cleaning my shoe" mindset- treated and returned.
Thank you for including information about what to do once they're starting to do their rooster thing. These will be our first roosters- I'm hoping the presence of full-grown ladies will help mitigate issues. Thanks again!
Glad you are familiar with other male species, it should help you keep your roosters in line. Most animals communicate by body language, you will quickly learn to see behavior in your roosters that is inappropriate and disrespectful to you. Use what you know from horses, respecting your space goes a long way in establishing dominance. Standing square, moving in a confident manner and never giving your back until you are sure there are no issues.
I don't judge my roosters personality until they mature a bit. I will often pull roosters between 4-6 months who are acting too full of themselves as far as treatment of the hens, and pen them separately to allow them to mature and gain some sense and respect. Some have been in jail for 6 months. They emerge calmer and more respectful.
I haven't had an aggressive rooster for years, if one did start showing it I would cull it because it would be too stupid to have some simple understanding of correct behaviors. It does help that I have established roosters and older hens who also teach respectful behavior.
As far as behavior when getting scratch, I don't usually correct any behaviors that are feeding behaviors. A young rooster will be pushy for scratch, but as he matures he should start trying to feed the hens. So unless a rooster is running up too close to me I really don't interact, I toss and watch or just walk away. I usually expect about a 5-10 foot distance from me from roosters because that's the distance I've observed between mine before the top rooster will chase a lower one away.