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How to properly 'train' roosters?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Well, my big boy is now just over two months old, and I think it's time I start researching this...

I've been handling the rooster almost everyday and he is a social little guy. From what I've read, I know that carrying roosters around and showing them who's boss is what I need to do, but when do I start this? Should I be picking him up even at this early age and carrying him around, or wait to see if he's a rebel?

Also, how do you keep your grown roosters looking at you as the big boss? Do you pick him up everyday, pet his girls to show you aren't a threat, what do you do?

I really want to him to turn out right. Thanks for any opinions/advice!

post #2 of 6

I'm new to chicken keeping personally, but grew up with an uncle who had a lot of roosters (why he had them is another subject and not one to get into here).  I always, always heart and believe pretty well that as long as you handle the chickens a *lot* they'll be okay. Handle.  Not treating them rough and teaching them to be scared of you, not cuddle and coddle them and teaching them that they can get you to do what they want.  Just handle.  Spend time with.  Feed them occasionally, pet them sometimes, groom them -- pin feathers are itchy.  Generally treat them with basic kindness and respect without turning into a sop, from the day you get them to the day they're dead, don't take poop, and you'll be okay with most of them.

I take this in a slightly different direction by sitting my roosters with me on the desk, yeah inside, and keeping a hand on their back. They usually settle fast at which point I send a while getting rid of those pesky pin-feather casings around their neck and head.  by the time it's over, they're OUT.  And that's not just the young ones, but the older grumpier roo, too.   Oh, and I tend to chase them away from mating the hens and away from the feeder when I need to refill it. Just because they're coveted resources and they're mine/I'm top rooster, darn it all.

...and I should add, just for the record:  My hens are my livestock far more than my roosters.  My roosters are the pets.  I tend to REALLY like their personalities better than that of hens, and tend to spend a lot more itme with them than my girls.


Edited by Becky_H - 5/12/09 at 4:50pm
Back after a 2 year hiatus from chickens and the forum.  I have one chicken right now - a BO rooster, who just ain't right and likes nothing more than a good cuddle.  No, I don't know, either.
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Back after a 2 year hiatus from chickens and the forum.  I have one chicken right now - a BO rooster, who just ain't right and likes nothing more than a good cuddle.  No, I don't know, either.
Reply
post #3 of 6

I guess it depends on how much time you have to devote to the project.  And a lot will depend on the individual temperment of your roo.  Some respond well to the type of frequent handling you describe, and it seems their behavior is changed & improved by it.  Some are just more wary & dislike any handling, and such "training" might make them more, not less manageable.

My best roosters are the ones who do their jobs tending their hens, and never bother their human owners, without any type of training at all.  If I had one that became aggressive towards us, I might try the holding/carrying technique a few times.  But if his misbehavior continued, he'd be transferred to a different department (dinner guest) and another more mannerly cockerel would be promoted from the meat pen.

I wish you success with the roo you have, it sounds like you're handling him well.

It's not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy!
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It's not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy!
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post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunny_Side_Up 

My best roosters are the ones who do their jobs tending their hens, and never bother their human owners, without any type of training at all.  If I had one that became aggressive towards us, I might try the holding/carrying technique a few times.  But if his misbehavior continued, he'd be transferred to a different department (dinner guest) and another more mannerly cockerel would be promoted from the meat pen.

I wish you success with the roo you have, it sounds like you're handling him well.


I agree.  My rooster was never handled as a baby.  I only pick him up once a week now to do health checks. 
He's wary of humans and I think that's a good thing.  He'll eat out of my hands when I offer treats, but then immediately steps back out of my way. 
He knows who is the boss around here and as long as he never forgets it, he gets to live.

If there ever comes a day when we can't be together keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever - Winnie the Pooh
I'll never develop a thick skin.  Thick skin leads to a hard heart and I never want to be one of those people.
A slave to LF brahmas, seramas, cochins, sebrights, bredas and call ducks.  R.I.P. Dragon, the crossbeak.  Thank you for teaching me so much about life.

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If there ever comes a day when we can't be together keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever - Winnie the Pooh
I'll never develop a thick skin.  Thick skin leads to a hard heart and I never want to be one of those people.
A slave to LF brahmas, seramas, cochins, sebrights, bredas and call ducks.  R.I.P. Dragon, the crossbeak.  Thank you for teaching me so much about life.

Reply
post #5 of 6

My roo is an indoor pet and he has just turned 6 months old. As an indoor pet he spent lots of time in my lap getting pets, not to say I let him walk all over me (pun intended). He's potty trained but since he's a bird he has accidents, these are used to reinforce his training. He's turned on his back and told hes a bad bird then he goes in the cage. He's not aloud out until he poops in the cage, then he's praised given a small treat (a raisin usually) and he can rejoin his flock (my boyfriend, the kitty, and I). When he's being a bad bird (this includes bitting, harassing the kitty and ugg humping) he gets picked up and flipped belly up then laid down on his back, this not only puts him in a submissive position but given a moment he will calm down. I just keep in mind that he's only doing what his instincts tell him to, he's not being bad on purpose... usually and he just need to be reminded who's top bird.

post #6 of 6
My Guide to Roosters: http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=63850-the-definite-guide-to-roosters. This is some of my rooster knowledge from years of working with roosters compiled into one page. If you have an aggressive rooster, you CAN turn him into a nice one!
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My Guide to Roosters: http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=63850-the-definite-guide-to-roosters. This is some of my rooster knowledge from years of working with roosters compiled into one page. If you have an aggressive rooster, you CAN turn him into a nice one!
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