Keeping a Rooster

By Reurra · Jul 3, 2013 · ·
  1. Reurra
    A year ago I started my chicken venture. My Dear Husband, in all his doubting, was happy to finance my insanity. Me, armed with my Green Horn Book of Knowledge, felt that every flock should have a rooster. After all, everyone knows a hen wont lay eggs without a rooster....right? (Thats a bit of sarcasm there, hehe)

    The first thing I did was put out an add in the local free website. "Hens and a Rooster wanted!" Well, I have no shortage of replies....for roosters. Not one offer of a hen! Just roosters! Short ones, fat ones, tall ones, colorful ones, even striped ones! And this got me thinking. Why dont people want roosters?

    Well, my first experience with a rooster was a charming 10 month old boy in the Brown leghorn breed. I picked him up and brought him home and introduced him to my two Ex-battery ladies. He promptly fell in love with them, especially mt favorite hen, Frightful. And for the first time I witnessed him asserting his manly duties. Of course, never having seen this before, I thought he was trying to kill her. In alarm, I separated him and went straight to the internet for answers. And answers were plentiful! How embarrassing to find out he was just being a lover, not a meanie! Thanks to BYC, that cleared up that crisis.


    The weeks went on and I got used to being woke up in the morning by my new flock guardian. 1am.....4am...6am....ugh!! But soon I learned to ignore the constant alarm clock that was the feather bag out in the coop. I guess he was just keeping it manly, after all, he was the only man living with two women.

    Then came the attack. Not from a raccoon, not from a hawk or even a bear! It came from him.

    One morning, I strolled out, scratch bucket in hand, and opened the coop in all my innocence. Suddenly, it was a blitzkrieg!! Screaming, feathers flying, chicken feet everywhere. The scratch went one direction and I went the other! I was so startled I slammed the coop door shut thinking I had stepped on a land mine armed with chickens. Then came the growl, that classic rooster growl. I cant begin to describe it, but it was something between the growl of a dog and a bear being wok up from his nap. Peering in, I saw my 2 ladies calmly eating the spilled scratch, and there was the rooster, not a feather out of place, eyeing me with all the hatred something with that small of a head can muster.

    So back to the internet I went! BYC saves the day! Once more!

    After reading several articles, I realized that my roo felt I was just another chicken. And not just any chicken, but a weak, whimpy, low on the totem pole, wussy chicken. Well, that wont do. So, after taking some advice, I found him a new home with someone not far away. They needed a rooster....because we all know hens wont lay eggs unless they have a rooster.

    But the coop felt empty without that stud strutting his stuff around the coop. I missed his crow and how pretty he looked, and how well he took care of his girls. He would always climb into the nest boxes and stomp down the shavings for the girls and purr at them to pick the best box. When scratch came, he would pick the best bits and cluck at them to eat them before he would partake. Outside, he would hunt up bugs, but keep an ever vigilant eye on the sky and on the fields for predators. He was a fantastic roo, but a lousy pet.

    Then it dawned on me. Roosters just cant be pets. Sure, there might be one special boy once in a big blue moon, but I had not won the lottery here. It was very unlikely I would find a rooster I could co-exist with on a friendly basis. But I wanted chicks, so I started looking for another rooster. The answer came later when I got a young boy of the Blue Australorp variety.

    Big Blue

    He was a big beautiful boy.....who would not shut up. Every hour, on the hour he would declare his manliness. I figured he would grow out of it, but nope. He got worse. He would crow in the morning, when he ate, when he scratched for bugs, when he found a worm, when he drank water...even gargled. He would crow when he went to bed, crow in his sleep, crow when one of the hens jostled on the perch, crow when......well you get the idea. I could not take it any more! So the broken record had to go!

    At this point I did not feel a roo was working, so i decided, no more roos! Even my tolerant and wonderful husband was agreeing, after the broken record incident, he pleaded with me, no. more. roos.

    Then someone gifted me a RIR roo that was about 6 months old. Resigned, and doubtful, I took in the roo with full intentions of using the stew pot. However, things got in the way and axe day was delayed due to outside influences. He got along well with my girls, but soon I began to see signs of aggression toward me and to my two older sons. Pretty soon, I felt an attack was imminent and banned my sons from visiting the coop.

    To the BYC Cave, Chickenlady!!

    Once again, I took to reading to avoid a confrontation with Stinky. (We called him that because he had the worst smelling cecal poos I have ever whiffed) What I found were several articles on how to cook a rooster. Of course, I didnt have the set up or the time to go dipping chicken carcasses in hot water. Well actually, I just didnt have a big enough bucket. And when i thought the only solution was to stuff and stew, I found an obscure article about behavioral training.

    In the article, the poster mention how to stop a rooster from seeing you as a complete ninny. Intrigued, I read on. Apparently, roosters see the world as one big vortex that sucks up their ladies at random. And its the roosters duty to stop the vortex from snatching their fluffy feathered bodies into thin air. To that end, the roosters brain is on constant defense mode. Some roosters on the other hand, take it a step further, because fortune favors the prepared, they attack anything and everything that could be a threat.


    Now roosters feel that being the one and only protector of his harem, he needs to announce his dominance to the world...or at least as much of the world as he can see, which isnt much, but to him its everything. this is the first sign of authority. When a rooster crows, he is letting all the other roosters in the world know, that he is boss, healthy and strong. To that end, if the rooster crows with you in the coop, he is telling you that he owns the girls, not you.

    So, every time my rooster crowed with me in the coop, I would take a step toward him. Of course, some roosters are cowards at heart and despite the manly overtures, will run away if you reach toward them. So, instead of a very studly crow, the poor roo would let out a cocka...gurrgle...aaahhhh!! And run away.

    Who is the Ninny now?!

    The second sign of a roosters dominance is mounting his ladies in my presence. Thats his way of saying "See this? its mine...thats mine...those are mine too!" Some believe it to be true and some dont. I think it depends on the roo , of course. So, to solve this, I once again would walk toward him when the jumped onto one of my ladies. Of course this would mess him up and he would topple off in his mad cowardly scramble to get away from me.

    Who is the Wuss now?!

    The third sign and most important in my opinion is the wing drop. This is a possible sign of impending attack and should be dealt with immediately! When the rooster drops his wing to his ladies, he is showing he is boss and sometimes it can lead to a challenge between birds. This is often called a "Dance" but it is also used as a dominance display. Usually it comes to nothing with the girls because they usually submit and squat down for him. However, if he does it to you, grab that feather bag and hold him.

    Thats right. Hold him.

    Pick him up and tuck him under your arm and carry him around for a while. The works if you can actually nab him, but some roosters are as fast as greased pigs on a butter slide. If he gets away, chase him for no more than a few seconds. Roos have a very short attention span, after about thirty seconds, they forget what they were doing before and are running away from the big pink faced finger monster. So dont worry if he gets away. Chasing him is enough to say: "Hey dude! Im not one of your ladies, show some respect!"

    Now, if you do get your hands on him, tuck him under one arm and hold him there for about ten minutes. Longer if he struggles. For me, I found that keeping his head down to the level of his shoulders made him submissive to me. If he brings his head up, I push it back down, or tap him behind the comb until he drops his head.

    At this point, I believe I should mention that in order to tame a rooster, you have to think like one. What would a dominant rooster do to another one? Well, for one, as stated above, he would chase the subordinate rooster. Secondly, they often peck or bite, or kick the lesser rooster, forcing its head down or forcing it to crouch or cower. Now Im not saying you have to chaw into your rooster like a chicken vampire. Thats just gross. Or even drop kick them like a football. However, fingers make great imitation beaks.

    If you would rather not hold your rooster under your arm like a feathery clucking purse, another method I use is to push the rooster down to the floor. I hold his body down, hands over his wings until he stops struggling. I then push his head down to the floor and every time he tries to bring his head up, I "peck" him with my fingernail until he puts his head down. If he does not put his head down, I gently push it down and tap his skull firmly. After a while., the rooster feels embarrassed because the ladies come over to check out what is going on. I give him about two minutes like this, then let him up. But I am the one that gives him permission. I had Stinky trained to the point that he would stay squatting down, head to the floor until I nudged him.

    The Colonel

    Its important to say, never harm your birds. Causing pain could possibly aggravate the bird further and could cause them to see you as a monster and not as a fellow rooster. This will make you seem a bigger threat to the safety of the flock. Gentle assertive action is usually all that is needed.

    On the other hand, if the rooster just will not learn, or is too far gone to teach, a simple method will solve that right quick. Its a great recipe for crispy fried chicken. Stinky made a great soup! (not because he was unfriendly to people, it was because he kept plucking the tail feathers out of my ladies bustles)

    Remember, roosters are not pets. Having a good tame rooster is a rare and wonderful thing, but most roosters have no desire to be friends. Roosters are livestock, they can be mean and do serious damage with the spurs they have on their legs. If you choose to own a rooster, get them when they are young. Be patient through the teenage months, and show them you are boss at all times. Never show fear to your rooster. Always show strength and dominance. You are the superior being, bigger and have the axe. Never forget it, and make sure he does not either.

    Now dont fret. Roosters can be extremely valuable. Although you and he might not be best of buddies, a rooster can be a wonderful addition to the flock. Just like my rooster Dagger. He was a good boy, never challenged a soul. Always showed respect to his girls, always gave them the best morsels and always made sure there were no vortex monsters to steal them away. He sounded the alarm when predators were close and was very watchful when he let his girls eat in peace. He fathered 8 chicks, 6 of which were roosters too.


    Sadly, Dagger passed away from unknown causes. Fortunately, his son is still with us and will be carrying on the duties of his father. In addition, I have another young roo who has shown very people friendly traits. He will be kept in the flock and we will see how he does as well.

    Lil' Blue

    Dont let one bad experience deter you from enjoying a full and happy flock accompanied by a rooster. You never know, one day you could find your golden boy who is just like a lap dog. Or you could be very content in just letting your boy wander the yard and watch over your girls. Roosters can be very heroic and have shown many times their worth in protecting their hens! There are dozens of stories here on BYC that describe such acts of sacrifice and courage that make your heart melt.

    So many roos get sent to slaughter because no one wants to deal with them at the first sign of trouble. But give them a chance, and you might be surprised! Armed with patience and knowledge and a backbone, rooster ownership can be very exciting and rewarding!


    A Note From Nifty-Chicken:
    A couple of days ago I was talking to one of my next door neighbor’s. They were upset that the neighbor behind them has chickens. This made things awkward for me (as the owner of the site and another neighbor with chickens). It turns out the reason they are upset is because the other neighbor has roosters, which are not allowed in our city. I explained to them that it’s frustrating when people have roosters in areas where they are either illegal or inappropriate, and that this often ruins people's wiliness to support raising BackYard Chickens for the rest of us that want to keep chickens. So, before adding roosters to your flock, make 100% sure it's legal and appropriate to do so.

    What are your thoughts and experiences with having roosters in your flock? Comment below!

    Share This Article

Recent User Reviews

  1. Celticdragonfly
    "Useful and clear"
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Jun 3, 2019
    Useful practical article that was also entertaining to read. I'll come back to this one when I live somewhere I can have a rooster.
    chrissynemetz likes this.
  2. Grllcluck
    "great tips on roos!"
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Feb 16, 2019
    thank for the great article! Our first foray into tending a backyard flock gifted us with one Roo, our all iridescent black PepperRoo. He is the light of our garden of hens; from his first hysterical gargling moaning crowing practises to his spot-on kind treatment and management of his girls. He never insists on his perogative, - only covering hens amenable to his advances while letting the girls who aren't in the mood pass by unmolested (so far no bald necks!) - crows a reasonable amount, and always ALWAYS calls the girls over when he finds food - even picking up any really special finds and holding it until one of his harem runs over to accept it.
    But. While he has never attacked me, he absolutely cannot abide by my husband. He does crow, mount hens, and rise up to flap his wings in my presence, I think he must consider me to be a tall pink unfeathered mama hen since I'm the one who opens the coop every morning then proceeds to offer all the treats - probably reinforced by my habit of raking back tamped down layers of the straw and leaves so they can get at any worms or tender shoots hiding beneath every now and then.
    But PepperRoo obviously sees my husband as either a threat or a competitor whenever he joins me in the chicken yard. He's tried carrying Pepper tucked under his arm while walking around; he's hand fed Pepper peanuts, he's tried stepping forward into Pepper when he starts showing aggression. That hasn't worked. The latest resort has been for hubby to carry large window screen with him so that when Pepper attacks he hits the screen instead of my husband's shins. Very aggravating for hubby.
    We'll try the "pecking" treatment, and - thanks to your article - have my husband try the step-toward movement when Pepper mounts hens, crows, or mantles in his presence. We both agree PR's good behaviors far outweigh his aggressive behavior - especially since, while hubby is the one who makes sure they have food and water inside the coop and closes up the coop every evening after they've gone to roost, he spends very little time with them other than that nightly ritual.
    Thanks again for the great tips!
    chrissynemetz and Wendy Case like this.
  3. Jules929
    "Great info!"
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Jan 19, 2019
    I didn't know that a cockerel/rooster crowing while I am in the coop was a sign of aggression/dominance. You just cemented what I suspected. Of my 2 cockerels, I now know for certain which one to remove!
    chrissynemetz and Wendy Case like this.


To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!
  1. Farmer Connie
    We care for several Roos. Different breeds and all different dispositions. Our success comes from raising them from birth. As long as they know we are not a threat and their "meal ticket", they don't pull the I am the alpha of the farm... Fear me! Stuff. The only Roo that ever attacked me was a R.Island Red we bought from another farm in his teen years. He cut the back of my calf while pulling maintenance on a coop housing his Ladies. He had to be reminded of the REAL Pecking order. He was named Max. Max lived a long and luxurious life after he realized we were friends not foe.
    We have seven Roo's. So the talk to each other. Not just early morning. All day. If one speaks, the all respond.. A chain of communication. Lord knows what they are planning or crowing about except it is never ending. My husband says they are singing to the ladies...
    Roosters are only a problem if you let them be a problem. They have a job to do hardwired by instinct. Toot- a - loo! Thanks...
  2. BonDEEroo
    Our first rooster Pretty Boy (RIR cross) was brilliant, one of the best animals we've ever owned. Glorious to look at, dignified and kind. He was allowed to free-range on our 1-acre property and was never aggressive to humans. He observed what I did with the other birds and worked along with me. The morning routine was ducks and geese out, hens had to stay in the enclosed yard next to the coop until egg-laying was done. Pretty Boy very quickly started chasing any stray hens back into the enclosed yard, if they tried to get out with the waterfowl. Then he would spend the morning on his own, enjoying surveying his domain and then coming back to see the hens. He spent the afternoon with the hens free-ranging and got them all, ducks, geese and hens, back in for the evening. He even protected our old half-blind Maltese dog from the aggressive geese. He set a very high benchmark for any other rooster we owned!
  3. Malibumom
    Another lucky Rooster owner. Since keeping chickens for over 20 years, I've had 7 or more roosters. You need to show them you're not afaid of them. Keeping a rake close by helps too!
    They're there to guard the hens. It's what they do!
    I lost my last rooster 7 months ago and the hens started fighting to show the pecking order. Their egg production went down also. I adopted a rooster a week ago and he's put them all in their place. The egg production is back on track. I love hearing his early morning crow. Thankfully my neighbors do too.
  4. The Phantom
    I have a rooster Dexter, who is a sweetheart. He give me handshakes and loves to be snuggled and pet. He is a buff brahma bantam. His two brothers are not so nice. One attacks everyone and everything. The other if just plain mean to the hens. He will run up behind them and grab their feathers and pull at their wattles. Dexter is very gentle with the hens and crows all day!
      Mav11417, nfrede and Abriana like this.
  5. OverEasyRanch
    This was a great article, thank you. I currently have 6 roosters in my flock 2 of them are older 2 years and 3 years old, the 3 year old is the father of the other 5 roosters and there all so tame.
    I have 2 toddlers running around all day and the roosters don't show any sign of aggression thank goodness, my 2 year old rooster is abnormally large much bigger then his dad and brothers, taller, heavier and thicker and he's very tame and submissive towards papa roo, My younger toddler loves to chase him around because he lets her get kinda close then takes off running, he does this with papa roo too so I wonder if its a game for him?

    My 2 and 3 year old roosters each maintain a different part of the flock, 3 year old papa rooster has 7-10 of the alpha hens follow him around and the 2 year old roo has about the same 8ish hens follow him around and even the younger roos are starting to show good rooster qualities with pullets following them around. They all free range and kinda split up into groups and wonder around my 5 acres. I'm new to owning chickens as of a couple months ago and thought I would have to get rid of all but 1 rooster but this is working out great, they all share the same coop with lots of perches and coexist perfectly (hopefully is stays this way).

    Roosters really are a good asset to flocks, they teach the hens about which nest boxes are good, which food is the best, I picked a couple hand fills of blackberries and threw them towards the rooster for a snack while his ladies were in the shade on there break and he didnt even eat the blackberries until all hens ran over ans had there fill first, he was making weird noises to get the hens attention and picking the blackberries up in his beak and dropping them to show the hens there's good food around come eat, after throwing down another 5 hand fulls he finally started to eat some as the hens had there fill of berries.
    That was the first time seeing something like that.
      Reurra, nfrede and Abriana like this.
  6. beowulfisthebesthenever
    Helpful article, thank you. I just don't think the stories about eating what were once your pets, are funny. So you know, I'm 13 years old. I became a chicken and rooster owner this year. I see their different personalities, especially Buddy, my rooster. He's a handful, but a great protector. I can't imagine ever eating him or any of my chickens!! I won't even touch a chicken nugget again, and believe me, that was my favorite food!! I just think all life is special and important. I learned that from taking care of animals I used to eat. Oh well, everyone has their own choices. But thanks again for the rooster handling tips. I'm the boss of the backyard now.
      ceceuu, nfrede and Abriana like this.
    1. Abriana
      I agree with you! I don't even like to hatch out my eggs for someone else who might eat them when they are old and finished laying. I always ask for their eggs-they think I'm crazy! Lol but I love my pets so it doesnt matter
      nfrede likes this.
  7. ravenhead
    I have Hank a Barnevelder and he is such a gentleman, when the chicks were born he sat down and called to them softely, he shows the girls the best nest boxes to go to and he greets me at the gate everytime I go there, if I have a treat in my hand he pecks gently and calls the girls. I do walk gently in the pen though and show no agression and he is good.
      ceceuu, Abriana and BonDEEroo like this.
  8. Meara
    My roosters are cuddle muffins :love My current roo is a fabulous pet and lives inside part-time and also enjoys riding around in the car with me. He is from a line of bantams I have been breeding for their sweet personalities. Many people adopt roosters from me as pets or so they can have a child-friendly rooster. So in the end it really just depends as some roos can make truly loving pets!
      ceceuu, nfrede and ravenhead like this.
    1. Cleo2019
      Meara, what breed of rooster do you have that is so friendly, I have 10 grandchildren and I wouldn't want to have one that is aggressive?
      Meara likes this.
    2. Meara
      My birds are Easter eggers so they are "mutts" but they have purebred Ameraucana in their bloodlines. However, I think that just relying on the breed may not be a foolproof way to get a friendly rooster. In my flock the sweet personality has been selected for with breeding.
  9. LeeHoll
    My rooster is one of the rare ones, a great big boob! Loves to follow me around and sits on my lap, but is also great with his girls. He is a Barred Rock, and I am totally besotted with his charm and personaliy!
      Reurra, nfrede and ravenhead like this.
  10. Ronf
    My Rhode Island Red rooster was slated for the stew pot. I will give him a short reprieve and attempt to rehabilitate him.
      nfrede, ravenhead and jennkretz like this.
  11. Peeps61
    I enjoyed the article. Your learning curve was about the same as mine concerning roosters. My first was sold to me as a pullet, and I handled him a lot as a chick. He ended up being as mean as Lucifer incarnate. A predator got him, and my next rooster was a Polish "free" chick from the hatchery. He was beautiful and very non-human aggressive. He also disappeared one day, but two of his chicks were roosters and I still have one of them. I leave him alone and he leaves me alone. He's great with people, children and with the hens. I won the lottery with him!
  12. pastryman
    I have had about 50 roosters. About 10 of them for more than a year.
    I had problems with 3 of them. Only one of them was very aggressive.

    I think everyone should do this if they have an aggressive rooster:
    Eat it and get a new one.
    Its is not to be tolerated. You dont want to give that problem to someone else. You dont want to pass those genes on.
    It is easy to get a new rooster.
  13. Acinom
    Thank you for sharing this article. It's really helpful, I loved it!
      Reurra and Abriana like this.
  14. therese13
    I was so happy to read this post. I have a beautiful Mixed Roo who is about a year old. He is wonderful with his hens and has even saved one from a hawk. He also has never given me any signs that he is thinking about killing me. He has, however, mounted the ladies in my presence and crowded when I am in the coop. He pretty much ignores me when I tell him to be quiet. Now I know why. He knows I am the food source, and often comes to me begging food for his ladies. I will be vigilant in making sure I show him who is the boss. Glad I read this before I had a problem. Thank you!
      ravenhead and JeepersCheepers like this.
  15. Sabrit
    Enjoyed the article. I have found just carrying a stick commands respect. If my roo came at me, I just pointed the stick at him, no need for anything else.
      NightingaleJen and Bogtown Chick like this.
  16. Bogtown Chick
    What a fun well written article. I love roosters too.
      Wendy Case and Chickenrunlady like this.
  17. Abriana
    Wonderful article! I loved how you made it fair to both sides, and said that hurting him would only make things worse. My rooster Napoleon is very aggressive, luckily i was able to make sure he knew who was boss, and i keep him as a pet (he doesn't agree with being a pet) and he has fought off hawks several times. Your roosters are beautiful. Great article-i give it five stars!
      Wendy Case and ceceuu like this.
  18. hippiestink
    I can confirm 100% the info in this article WORKS. We had issues with our first ever rooster and Husband sent him to the roasting pan. The second time around (and now again with the third) we did not tolerate any aggressiveness and firmly established we are the boss, and we've never had issues since. This even works with aggressive hens, if you ever have that issue (we occasionally do).
      Wendy Case and ceceuu like this.
    This article is fantastic! There has been a running joke since I started my flock and much debate about whether a roo is needed. My boyfriend is looking to give me one of his two roo's which I am resisting! They scare the hell out of me with those spurs! I am thankful for this post as now maybe I will be less afraid!
      Wendy Case and ceceuu like this.
  20. 4hmomof4
    What a wonderful read, great info for a soon to be chicken momma !
      Reurra likes this.
  21. bcalnyc
    My rooster is a sweetie but unfortunately I live where they are forbidden. (And he is LOUD!). I cannot find a home for him and I want to cry whenever I think of him being slaughtered. I don't know his breed (a friend of a friend gave him to me as a baby) but his feathers shine like gold in the sun and I can't even begin to think of him as soup.
      Reurra likes this.
  22. Ashlee the bird newb
    I never had a flock of my own, but I remember being at this historic museum thing where the people would act like they were in the past and all that. So there was a flock of chickens let to free roam, and one of the hens got stuck or lost (not sure I couldn't see her) and she started cawing frantically. Less than a second later a rooster came running as quick as he could cawing back to see where she was. I never found out the outcome because my friends pulled me away (rude). But I thought that was so cute!
      nfrede likes this.
  23. ErockRPh
    Great article! W. Axl Rose, my 4-month old Black French Copper Maran roo, has a great demeanor so far. He'll come running across the yard if any of his ladies start making a fuss, but he hasn't shown any aggressive tendencies toward anyone in our family. I will definitely refer back to this article if needed when he grows older.
      ceceuu likes this.
  24. katsdar
    I love Bantam Roosters and your boys are beautiful, course so are your LF too.
      Reurra likes this.
  25. coopdeville15
    This spring when we bought 16 chicks, we thought they would all be pullets, but one has turned out to be a roo. This will be my first rooster. He crowed for the first time today, at least as far as I know, and has started mounting the young hens his age. My older hens do not seem interested in him at this point and still outrank him in the pecking order. It will be interesting to see how all this plays out.
      nfrede likes this.
    1. nfrede
      We have 3 Buff Orpington's we got last summer, & got 3 White Leghorn week old chicks in April. One of them is a roo, we think the other 2 are hens, don't know for sure yet. We kept the chicks in the house, in a cage, till it was warm enough to put them out with the older ones.
      I hand fed the chicks while in the house, and I bring "treats" out to them, and the roo, Roosty, comes running when he sees me or my husband, with his girls right behind him. He started crowing about a month ago.
  26. Patinas
    Thanks for the article! Lots of good advice. I swore I would not have a Rooster but one of my hens turns out to be a rooster and he looks just like Dagger. What kind of chicken was Dagger? My rooster doesn't fit any of the breeds I bought so now I'm curious what he is.

    Jury is still out on whether or not I keep him. He's about 3 1/2 months old and just started crowing 3 days ago. So far, no aggression and tends to avoid me when I approach him.
      Wendy Case likes this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Patinas
      Thanks so much! I looked up pics of golden laced wyandottes and I agree that's what he must be. I bought two chicks that were labeled pullet Sicilian buttercups but they were wrong because out of the two, one is a rooster and one is a hen and I've been wondering what they were because they don't look anything like buttercups. Beautiful birds though!
      Wendy Case and MewMewMichelle like this.
    3. Farmer Connie
      Pick him up after the sun goes down. Repeat this about every other night. Pet the back of his neck. Stroke and gently pinch his neck. Each night you do this it will get easier and he will be more submissive. Eventually you can gently massage his throat. He will purr when the day comes that he realizes you are not a threat. If you show fear, they know it. If you show it you are he's friend, he will realize that after time.Yours is still young so there still time to create a bond.
      Good luck!
    4. MewMewMichelle
      I was supposed to have three golden laced wyandottes and three white plymouth rock chickens but ended up with two favorelles, two golden laced wyandottes, a white d'uccle, and an easter egger (which was my goal bird.. the luckiest surprise I've ever had!)I definitely understand getting something completely different! But I sort of get how it could happen.. So hard to tell! My easter egger looked just like the wyandottes except a red husky color instead of the darker brown.
      Patinas likes this.
  27. goats rule 101
    This article is great!!! Thanks so much for taking the time on it! I have one rooster now and at 10 weeks hes been pretty nice but now I know what to do if he starts causing problems. Thanks again!!!
      Wendy Case likes this.
    I really enjoyed your article. I have seven roosters and I let different ones out on a roster...the two brothers can't be out together...two of the bantams (with ladies) can't be together, the dad of the first two can be out with anyone and my hardworking Raphael with six Isa browns can be with any roosters have never shown aggression towards people or dogs, however I've lost two defending their ladies from a very large goanna, a fox and a visiting dog...their ladies do grieve. I talk to my roosters in my "talking to small children voice". I love watching them find the best titbits and calling their harem if a snack is thrown off the verandah. Keep clucking everyone!
      Wendy Case likes this.
  29. karenerwin
    I love your article! I have had several roosters. The 1st one, Robot, was a terror! My 100lb dog wouldn't even go near him. Unfortunately, Robot had to go to freezer camp because I couldn't train him out of attacking me & drawing blood! He would wait until you turned your head or back & then attack. Even carrying him around didn't help.
    Currently I have 2 roosters, each with his own flock. The RIR doesn't give me a second look, while the EE rooster tries to exert his dominance on an almost daily basis. I exert my dominance to him every time I'm in the coop with him. He hasn't actually attacked me in a long time but he still will drop his wing at me often. I agree with all of the techniques you suggested. Great article!
      Wendy Case likes this.
  30. Casper101Popcor
    I have had a roo since he was a week old. He takes care of his lady, Casper. He has never shown any aggressive behavior. But I have seen mean roosters before, and boy are they feisty! This was very educational, thank you.
      Wendy Case likes this.
  31. JJSS89
    Here I go, dredging up 2 yr old post... It seems like whenever I read about aggressive roosters it is from people with only one rooster. I've kept large breed roosters for many years and out of dozens and dozens of roosters, I have had maybe 3 mildly aggressive roosters.
      Richard Pryor likes this.
  32. Rayelene
    Oh I forgot to say .. the bonus .. hes a great protector. He is ever alert and when the hawk is closeby he sounds off the alarm which sends the girls running for cover. He also knows the sound the magpies (who also protect them from the hawk) make when the hawk is around and it gives him an early warning.
      Wendy Case likes this.
  33. Rayelene
    Great article .. very helpful. I have just one rooster who is just 6 months old (profile pic when he was a couple of months old.) I didn't know any of the above but I did figure out that I needed to be the boss of the coop and the few times he has challenged me I have stood up and over top of him, put my hand on his head and pushed it down . Seemed to work and he no longer challenges me but I"m relieved to read this article ... I'll be trying the above should he try again.. The hens all come for cuddles, ie will come up and sit on my knee, some snuggle right under my neck. Dexter not so much, but he does come and sit next to me. He likes to be close but not 'snuggly' close .. rooster behaviour I think :)
      ravenhead likes this.
  34. BackYardChknLvr
    this is great information.. i have had the problem with my rooster Billy all of a sudden turning on me, but i actually do this method she speaks about, i have shown him that he is boss with his girls but i am boss with him, he still try's once in a while to challenge me but i ignore him and i will normaly take one step towards him then he just cowers down.. he's a good boy with an attitude but he is officaly learning not to give me attitude cause he hates now being picked up he bites me but i just hold him and carry him around while i'm doing my chores and making him deal with it, but he doesnt try to attack me any more when he is on the ground he will try once in a while to sneek up behind me to catch me off guard, but i just turn around and he lets out a girly screem and runs the opposite way.. like he is saying, OH CRAP she is paying attention ok i'll leave her alone.. she is boss of me lol
      ravenhead likes this.
  35. Kadjain
    It is pretty extreme for me with a lot of first timer "knowledge".
    No absolutely not all roosters should just be looked at as livestock. If you were to acquire a rooster from a good breeder of chickens and not an accidental rooster from a hatchery or a CL ad you would get a pet or show quality cock. Both of which would most likely be human social because serious breeders do not want to deal with human aggressive cocks.
    I have two breeding programs, a Pink Egg Project breeding program and an Oriental Gamefowl breeding program. I selectively breed cocks that show human social temperaments and no human aggression. Human aggressive cocks are normally cowards at all other times when they should show bravery. My Pink Egg Project cock has always shown human tolerance and he has confronted a bird of prey with no fear.
    My Oriental Gamefowl cocks are so human social they are like dogs in rooster bodies. They will dance at me too and if I mistook this as a sign of challenge for dominance I wouldn't have the amazing cocks I have now. The dance isn't always a sign of wanting to mate or challenge to fight. If you have very human social cocks they will dance to say they are happy to see you. Mine will run to me do the dance in a complete circle around me bumping me the whole time then leave it at that and just stand there. It's like a good friend coming up giving you 'five' and hangin out. I can approach them anytime I want and pick them up and they never try to run or get defensive. They genuinely appreciate my company.
    Good luck with your rooster quest. If you want a nice cock at some point contact a breeder of pure breeds and ask them about their breeding practices and how they select which cock to breed. You can contact me through this site.
    PS to my above statement: You should never tolerate human aggressive cocks. That is a lot of work to do when there are way too many human social roosters going into stew pots. In my opinion human aggressive cocks taste much better in soups than human social ones. I myself have sold so many human social cockerels for stew pots but I wish I could find flock homes for them all.
      HennyPenny2019 likes this.
  36. Rosekitten
    I love this article. <33 My first rooster was a 2-3 year old Banty that someone gave my grandpa after I had been given a few hens from a neighbor. I was thrilled with him as he was very pretty .. named him Zack and I was content. Sadly something got all of the hens... and he went with being penned up with the lone goose we had for some time. Around the time I finally acquired another hen (chicken truck rescue as she had fallen off and amazingly didn't get hit by a car..) this was when I had a issue. He flew into me one time and one time only.. slashed my pants at the knee and I taught him to fly across the yard with a quick boot (I was 8 or 9 at the time so I didn't think at that moment what if i had hurt him.. he was fine though). After that I had 0 issues with him and he started trailing me around and doing his chicken duties of eating spiders and bugs whenever I moved the trashcans.

    In more recent years my house mate had 13 roos in our flock (we've rehomed most of them for the sake of the hens). The friendly ones were the roosters.. I had two that perched on your shoulder any chance they got (a hen does this now as well). The rest just liked to snuggle. They were oddly far more into the idea of being carried around and snuggled like a cat then the hens were heh. But like I tell people with roosters.. if you can't stand a mean one there is a pot and it'll fix it. Though in my experience a good boot seems to do the trick too and the pot can be if they didn't learn their lesson.

    If it weren't for the young roos being friendly none of the hens would have bothered to venture over to find out that I wasn't trying to do anything but give treats. I did see the wing drop a few times from the younger roos, generally they were the ones I would snatch up right away and start walking around the yard to carry out whatever task I was doing to begin with. The larger roo that decided to try to test himself against me in the young flock ended up being held like a baby upside down in front of his ladies. He hasn't tried anything after that day.

    I dunno how much I consider the crowing or mounting to be a show or display for the keeper so to say... maybe some roosters. It may very well be the rooster. The few we have now are still very friendly and stick close. One crows every hour on the hour near about so he crows more often then not while people are in the coop. All the same he is right there waiting for the ladies to get out of the way for his turn with snuggles (more recently he has taken to talking at me through the door as he perches to be nosey about the tiny peepers in the next room of the coop.. he's not a year old yet so not sure if he is curious or thinks they are his haha).
  37. cluckmecoop7
    Nice! Thanks for sharing! :thumbsup
  38. Savager
    You said your neighbor was unhappy that someone else had a rooster, did they not hear yours?
  39. Mo'sMenagerie
    Great information. My chickens are for eggs and entertainment and won't ever be eaten (especially since I'm a vegetarian). I have 5 hens and one roo (a blue laced wyondotte). They are all about 6 months old except one who I recently rescued who is 3years old.

    Mr. Rosemary hasn't been aggressive to me or my partner at all. However, I have started to get a bit concerned about how often he mates with certain hens. We have felt the need to separate him from the hens with a fence a couple times now when it seemed he was oversexing our americauna. But he hasn't gotten so rough that he's started removing feathers from them...

    I plan to get a few more hens in the spring, so I'm hoping he can keep his cool over the winter. I don't want to have to find a home for him or go anywhere he would get eaten or used for food.
    1. Reurra
      Its normal for a Roo to have a favorite girl or two. You can easily help your hens out by getting them a "saddle" to protect their backs or add more hens to give the hens a rest from their amorous protector ;) As he ages, he wont be as busy. My current boy, a sexy stud named Cogburn is two years old now and doesnt act as busy with the girls as when he was younger.
    2. ChickenGal6
      When you have more than one roo they keep eachother in check making sure they all get a good amount of time with each hen same with turkeys.
  40. Cleo2019
    Good to know about roosters, Reurra. :)
  41. jade and ruby
    i think i have a wellsummer rooster can anyone post a pic of a younger wellsummer rooster.
  42. garagegirl
    I have a rooster that I can pick up and hold he is still rough on the hens. That's just their nature they are males. If you want to hatch your own chicks you need a rooster. If you just want eggs you don't need a rooster he is just there to fertilize the egg just like a male of any species. I hate to see the roosters jump on my hens becaus the way some of them act it seems like rape some of them hide and put their heads out of the fence. At times it seems so brutal. It all your personal preference on what you want going on in your hen yard???
  43. wolfinator
    I just lost my white Silkie rooster (3 1/2 yrs old) who was recovering from an injury a few days ago, my girls have stopped laying even though I have a Bantam rooster still in the pen (3 weeks ago I got 29 eggs from them). I have the remaining rooster and 6 hens (4 Showgirls, 1 RIR Bantam mix and a Bantam Cochin) together in the pen. They all are about 2 1/2 years old.

    I have a second pen with 3 black Australorp roosters and 2 RIR roosters (no crows yet from the RIR's) that are just almost 17 weeks old and have been raised together since they were 4 weeks old. So far no problems between them. I have 17 pullets/hens the same age in the pen with them (got my first 2 eggs this week, don't know who laid them).

    I have a third pen with 2 13 week old pullets that I'll be adding in with my other 22 in a few weeks. I also have a 4th pen with 6 Khaki Campbell's ducks, so far I can tell I have 1 drake.

    I'm waiting to hear from a friend as to whether or not she'll be be giving me her 11 chickens (3 roosters and 8 pullets) and 3 Peking ducks (1 possibly a drake) due to moving, I'll have to build more pens if she can't keep them. I love hearing all my roosters crowing (the 4 that do).
  44. gailstpierre
    I guess I am lucky. My first rooster is a good one. He stands around the hens on high alert like a secret service agent. He does not like me but respects me ever since I had a knee jerk reaction to his nip at my shoe with a little kick that sent him flying. A second batch of baby hens I bought turned out to have one rooster so since each of them has his own harem peace prevails between them.
  45. gailstpierre
    I guess I am lucky. My first rooster is a good one. He stands around the hens on high alert like a secret service agent. He does not like me but respects me ever since I had a knee jerk reaction to his nip at my shoe with a little kick that sent him flying. A second batch of baby hens I bought turned out to have one rooster so since each of them has his own harem peace prevails between them.
  46. gailstpierre
    I guess I am lucky. My first rooster is a good one. He stands around the hens on high alert like a secret service agent. He does not like me but respects me ever since I had a knee jerk reaction to his nip at my shoe with a little kick that sent him flying. A second batch of baby hens I bought turned out to have one rooster so since each of them has his own harem peace prevails between them.
  47. youngchooklover
  48. Dudu
    We have about 50 roosters and only a small part of them try to be bossy with us. (Sometimes successfully... ouch!) I do work with them (the dominance exercises mentioned in the article) and it does yield results in most cases (or for a while anyway until the roo in question challenges me again and I have to show dominance again). However, MOST of our roosters are either completely neutral with us, or friendly and affectionate. I have had more than one rooster who would literally tuck his head under my coat when I hold them, they were (and are) great pets. Thanks for the article, particularly about the exercises to do, they do help! (E.g. if I am working on a roo's dominance and my husband does not, the roo will not attack me but will readily try it with my husband)
  49. SilkieGirl 1
    I really LOVED this post! I am getting silkies and my dad hates roosters! So mainly my mom and dad where very strict about not having roosters, and no one wantes roosters so we will be stuck with them. I love silkies and the Silkie roosters are the sweetest things ever! But the do crow in the mornings and early in the morning and it wakes my dad up does anyone know how to help?
  50. greggking
    My Phil the roo, was getting aggressive at 5 months old, to me and my granddaughter. Grabbing and holding seems to work, Ya gotta show him Who's the boss. Great post.Thanks

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: