Describe 'Roosters-The Good , The Bad, and the Potential Good' here
In 5 years, I have spent many hours sitting and watching my hens and roosters. Roosters are an interesting addition to any flock. My first roo, Ivan, taught me much about roosters. Ivan was a good roo to his girls. He also became very friendly and didn't mind a hug. Yes, he would call the hens in at a sign of danger. But there was more to him. At dusk, Ivan would make his final trip around the coop and make sure everyone was in. If not he hung out with the hen until she went in. When the girls were new at laying eggs, Ivan would entice them by warming their nests, and bawking like a hen. Sometimes he would sit in the nest with a hen while she layed. Ivan eventually gave up his life for his girls, he jumped the fence to kill our dog. He got proper prayers and a burial.
I had an Ameraucana hen named Valerie who , from first sight, followed Ivan around , so in love. I saw her throw herself at him many times, even lifting her bum in front of him. But she was never Ivan's type. How sad! Ivan, a Polish roo, liked the big girls best, my Buff Orp, and Jerseys.
Ivan had a brother that lived with the flock as well. Ugly Eddy. Eddy was never handsome, kind of a crooked roo, and may have had some mental deficits as well. But, Eddy was a great babysitter for the Juveniles.
Eddy jumped on a Jersey Giant hen once, and was tossed 3 feet.
Being low man in the pecking order, Eddy had to eat last, and drink last, and roost last. When he found a bug or something, he would have to give it up. He was not allowed to mate the girls . He was not allowed to look Ivan in the eye or walk directly toward him, and had to move quickly to give up whatever space he stood on. If Ivan tried to teach Eddy a lesson, the girls would save him, Lord knows why. It was real funny to watch Eddy walk behind Ivan and act like he was going to attack-until Ivan turned around , then Eddy played innocent. Not a day went by that Hubby and I did not mention "what Eddy did today".
After that, the girls went without a roo for a year, and one of the hens took up mounting the others. Eventually, we got Clarence, a Buff Orpington roo. I had gone to a swap and bought a hen for the neighbor and she left an egg in my car. I put it in the incubator and got Clarence. Clarence was a fine rooster after his behavior modification (2 days). He was always a gentlemen, and one day next to my patio, I saw him actually jumping up knocking rose petals to the ground for the girls. He never ate a treat. He always dropped it for the girls. His girls always ate and drank first as well. From him I learned that roosters sometimes call the girls for a bug or treat he found-when he didn't. He was tricking them into coming over so the hens would be close enough to mate.
My first behavior modication victim was a Silkie roo name MushMouse. As a hormonal juvenile, he would throw his body at me , claws first. If I picked him up, he bit me. It took me one week, 20-30 minutes twice a day to modify his behavior. We eventually became friends and he would let me hug him and put him in the coop every night. Ivan, Eddy, and MushMouse were my first roos. I still get choked up when I think about them.
Our current main roo, Handsome, is a black Jersey Giant. Never a problem. Became quite friendly to my husband on his own. Handsome will fly up on Hubby's arm if he holds it out. Even though he weighs 9 pounds! He is as tall as my knee.
At one point I had 5 roos in a pen. 4 Jerseys and Clarence. My 9 year old Granddaughter would go in the pen every morning to give them a treat. You can see how big they are compared to her.
I feel that the biggest error I made involving roos was giving 2 Blue Jerseys away. I should have kept them. They were well behaved. Since then , I don't give roos away anymore. I just build another pen. Roos have just won my heart . With my behavior modification, the only one who did not respond was a D'Uccle bantam roo. He hit my calves every time I turned my back to him. He found a new home.
I try to change their behavior in rooster language. Remember Ivan and Eddy? If alpha roo attacks me, I stalk him for about 10-20 minutes every time I go out. I wear heavy jeans. I make him move all over the yard, constantly giving up his space. I also walk right toward him staring him in the eye. One of us will have to back up and it won't be me. Never take a step back. You will lose. Make him step back, keep moving him along. He may try to eat, drink, or mate; don't let him while you're out there. I want my roos to respect me or even get friendly. If I hit them with a broom or rake, they will end up fearing me. That's not what I want. I've modified the behavior of every roo that needed it, except that bantam. It's important to start as soon as the hormones kick in and they need some modification. Don't let them go on too long.
This behavior modification is something I'll do before thinking of rehoming him. My 9 year old Granddaughter was attacked by a Silkie roo, and she did the behavior modification and the roo actually became her favorite, and well mannered. However, the safety of children DOES come before any roo who is a danger.
Roosters can be entertaining and sometimes a good pet as well. I will always value them and give them a chance to behave themselves. There will always be a place in my heart for a roo.