Originally Posted by chickenpatch
I understand that taming doesn't work with every rooster.
But I know Silkies are one of the easiest breeds to tame and it's possible.
As I've said, I've been rescuing and taming for years, I know what it takes. If you really want to keep your roo, and love him... Then you can tame him.
Picking them up really annoys them, and they hate it (In most cases). So this teaches them not to attack next time. And as long as you don't act scared around him, he won't have a need to hurt you.
I absolutely agree there. If your rooster is a pet, and there are no significant risks to innocent children or other animals, many of them can be retrained to be polite and respectful. Silkies are one of the easiest to tame -- somewhat like a teeny tiny Golden Retriever of the chicken world, behavior wise. They are quite intelligent, respond to gentle negative and most positive conditioning, and can be easily bribed with food treats to encourage behavior modification. And being Silkies, they have two other very important characteristics. The roosters are only 2-3 pounds, which makes them a lot safer than an 8-12 pound powerhouse. Also, having Silkie feathers instead of normal feathers, they are unable to fly up and attack your head.
So the risk level from Silkie roosters is very low by comparison, and the success rate is relatively high, so retraining is definitely worth a try under those circumstances. The worst that is likely to happen is your ankles get pecked, or occasionally flogged, or your hands get bitten. A really lucky shot might result in a joint infection, but other than that it's just a little blood and superficial scratches.
However, that low risk situation is not the same with all roosters. 5-6 years ago my husband's 10-11 pound, very tall Croad Langshan rooster, the aggressive rooster that would take on bald eagles to protect his hens, and is not too fond of people, decided he didn't want me in his yard. He started stalking me, sneaking around every bush and tree before he could get close enough to attack. I was prepared for it, as he attacked frequently and had some predictable moves. But this time he changed his routine, and ended up burying his 3 inch spur in my inner thigh up to the hilt, at a downward angle such that he was hanging from my thigh by his spur. Blood was everywhere (mine, not his), oozing out around the spur as he hung upside down, flapping, unable to free himself because his spur was through my entire inner thigh musculature and was wedged up against the bone at a downward angle. I starred at him in total disbelief, trying to decide if the huge amount of blood pouring down my leg was just because of the muscle trauma, or if he had damaged my femoral artery. I considered killing him then and there, but was more concerned about my own life if my femoral artery was damaged, since I was home alone and was more than 600 feet from the house, and a phone to call for help. Normally you shouldn't remove an impaled object from the body if there is a risk of severe bleeding, but that becomes technically difficult when that impaled object is a flailing live animal. I knew if I killed him there would be more flailing as he died, which could cause further bleeding, so I decided that the safest thing to do was to pull him off quickly and get direct pressure on the wound instantly. I pulled him up and out of my leg, tossed him about 6 feet away, and pressed tightly on the wound as blood oozed out around my hand. Then as I was taking off my jacket to tie the long sleeve around my leg for better direct pressure, the rooster decided the fight wasn't over. He rushed me as hard as he could, and using my uninjured leg I kicked him right in the chest, which sent him flying. I felt horrible, as I had never before kicked an animal, but at that point it was a self defense situation. He started to turn on me again after he landed, but realized that he was becoming more and more sore with every step, so he limped off in another direction. I was able to get the bleeding under control after about 6-8 minutes, as it was severe muscular bleeding instead of arterial bleeding. After lots of ice packs, anti-inflammatories, and antibiotics the injury healed, but it could have just as easily become a severe muscle and bone infection requiring multiple surgeries to resolve. Despite this attack, that same rooster is still around. He is 8-9 years old, still huge, very arthritic and decepit, but still has a strong will to live. He now lets me take care of him, most of the time, with only an occasional gentle bite to remind me that he's really an a-s-s under all that geriatric neediness. Now on daily arthritis medications, thick soft bedding and a special diet, he hobbles around the farm flirting with the hens, occasionally chasing one for 10-20 steps, occasionally trying to breed one (it's a sad sight, all that slipping and falling off), but usually just trying to keep up with his social group, going from one soft spot to another, and watching the skies to give early warnings when eagles fly overhead.
This is an example of a rooster that is NOT safe for most people to have, and would never respond to any taming techniques (believe me, I tried, really tried, continuously before this incident happened). As my leg was healing I debated a long time about what to do with him. I even picked out a special recipe by a French chef at a top restaurant, specifically developed to bring out the flavors and create tenderness in an older, free range rooster. But he was an important member of the Langshan family -- five hens, another rooster, and him. He and the other rooster worked together as a team to escort the hens over the property. The other rooster is the brains of the group, and he is the brawn. The other rooster is the flock leader, and he is the soldier, the body guard, the decoy for eagles that gives the others time to find cover, and sometimes takes the punishment with fistfuls of plucked saddle feathers, but agile enough to avoid the talons, and once was seen taking an eagle to the ground as it attacked. He and his little flock were the only Langshan survivors of a terrible living situation that they were rescued from -- 7 Croad Langshans, 30 ducks, 70-100 bantams, 50-100 pigeons, uncounted quail, all crammed together in a 12X20 foot pen with no roosts, no house, no bedding, with stray dogs and coyotes and raccoons regularly pacing around the perimeter, raccoons reaching in through the wire every night to pull the head off any bird close enough to reach. They were terrified and traumatized when we got them, and took months to realize that they were safe in their overnight pen. And despite this incident, these birds meant a lot to my husband, so I decided to give him another chance. But things had to change. He clearly wasn't responding to kindness and respect from me, so I started treating him like another rooster would treat him. I never went outside without a large towel in my hand. Whenever he approached me in an aggressive or suspicious manner, he got body slapped with the towel, and he continued to get slapped with the towel until he ran away. He was allowed to approach me calmly without punishment, he could eat from my hand, and he could sit beside me, but he was never allowed to give an impression of dominance or aggression without punishment. To him, it was a fight that he always lost, because he couldn't get close enough to land any blows. Eventually he just stopped trying. At that point I started approaching him, with the expectation that he would respectfully move aside. If he didn't, he was punished with the towel. He was a bit slow to figure it out, until the other rooster helped him. The other rooster is the brains of the flock, and despite being smaller and unaggressive he is also the dominant male. When the other rooster realized what I was doing he started helping. As I approached the aggressive rooster, the dominant rooster would get between us and move the aggressive rooster away from me. Later I stopped carrying the towel, but the dominant rooster tends to maintain a position between the aggressive rooster and any person who comes on to the property, overtly defending people from the aggressive rooster's misguided threats. On the rare occasion that the aggressive rooster attempted an attack after that, the dominant rooster punished him severely. So now he and I have an understanding, and I will take care of him until he dies and is buried under his favorite tree. But he's still an a-s-s!!
Edited by Sydney Acres - 9/3/15 at 3:21pm