Best Way To Raise A Rooster?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by suki'smom, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. suki'smom

    suki'smom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok I have 3 Cockerels right now, 1 Ameracauna, 1 Black Giant, and 1 Speckled Sussex. They each vary in degree of friendliness with the SS being the most friendly (loves to be scratched and isn't afraid of me at all), the BG being the most nervous and the EE right in the middle. I don't pick them up, or chase them around to hold them. The most I do is sit with them and hand feed them treats, maybe give them a scratch if they'll tolerate it. I do pick up the friendlier hens but not the boys. Is there anything I should or shouldn't be doing to help make my boys not attack me anytime I'm in with them? I failed horribly with my last rooster I held him and bothered him all the time and not surprisingly he bloodied my legs all the time as an adult.
     
  2. Dudu

    Dudu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What a great thread, I will be following this one as I have the same questions (only a complete newbie here and raising my first rooster ever).
     
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Behavior is both genetically and environmentally controlled; therefore, it varies from breed to breed and from individual to individual within a breed. A generally good rule of thumb is treat your cockerels like chickens and make pets of your pullets/hens. Overly socialized roosters can lose sight of the fact that they are not on the same social level as the humans who care for them. When that happens some try to 'subordinate' your position in the flock-- this is not a good thing. [​IMG]
     
  4. wayne hulgan

    wayne hulgan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    roos will want to rule the roost, so to speak. If you keep roos, my thought would be, be the boss. put them in their place. if they need a little ruffing up then give it to them. that's all they understand. either you are boss, or they are. a fly swat works wonders. if they try to attack, give them a swat or 2.
     
  5. suki'smom

    suki'smom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the replies [​IMG]

    sourland: that's basically what I'm trying to so your response is comforting. I do hand feed them and give them a scratch if they'll let me but maybe I should only hand feed the hens? Its hard to do when everyone comes running. Today I threw their treats on the ground but I still had them coming up to me looking for nummies in my hands. Should I scold them for that? That might be counterproductive as I'm trying to make everyone friendly. They like the hand feeding best as its easier to pig out when the treats are in a pile rather than scattered LOL

    wayne: I am worried that if I meet their bad behavior with aggression that it will lead to aggression from them. I know I can't let them get away with it though...maybe a "naughty cage" or something? Wow that sounds ridiculous LOL I will definitely keep the fly swatter in mind, that's a darn good idea [​IMG]

    I want these boys to be manly enough to protect my girls and I do want babies from them, but I don't want them to get carried away. Where do you draw the line? At attacking me I suppose lol
     
  6. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Hand feeding male animals like roos, bulls, sheep, goats is considered a big no-no. They imprint on your as the opposite sex of their species and then treat you accordingly...like, jumping at you and doing the roo dance. There have been studies on the subject and it is proven true more than it is not that hand feeding of breeding stock is not a good idea.

    Imprinting has long lasting and important biological and psychological effects on adult sexual behaviour, which is often irreversible. Males that have been imprinted onto another species tend to court the surrogate species that raised them. For example, ram lambs that are raised on nanny goats will court and try to breed female goats when they reach sexual maturity and they show very little interest in ewes. The same pattern unfolds in birds. Some farm families have the embarrassing pet tom turkey who spends his entire life courting and pestering the family members that raised him. That is why in captive breeding programs for endangered species like the whooping crane or the California condor the hatchlings are raised and fed by bird puppets. The human caretakers must stay hidden from the young birds in order to ensure they are properly imprinted onto the correct species and not imprinted onto humans. Fortunately young females that imprint onto the wrong species are usually not affected and will remain attracted to the courtship displays from males of their own species. That is why ewe lambs that are raised on nanny goats will breed to rams even though their surrogate mother was a goat.

    The full link:

    http://www.usask.ca/wcvm/herdmed/applied-ethology/Bottle-raised males can be very dangerous.pdf

    I've read so many threads on here from people who nurtured their baby roos like you've described...holding them on their laps, hand feeding them, etc. More of those threads result in confused and aggressive roos than from folks who never did this. Take some time and just page through the behaviors index....threads about how sweet their roos used to be when they were chicks that turn into monsters later are quite prevalent.

    The best way to raise a roo? Treat him like the male animal that he is. Don't handle him, don't hand feed him, don't pet him. Do remain vigilant for aggression, do stop it immediately by timely and consistent correction. Do not run, flap, crow or otherwise immitate a chicken to do this correction. Be a human who will not tolerate dominance from a 10 lb. football covered with feathers.

    Keep him wary of the large, two-legged possible predator and he will be the one walking a wide berth around you and watching for your next move and not the other way around. This does not mean you have to be mean to them, or kick at them every time you see them. If you've done your training well, you shouldn't have to carry stick with you all the time, watch your back all the time or even notice he is in the area.

    Keep him in the corner of your eye and advance towards him if he wanders into your space. Give a little jump in his direction at times ...sort of surprise him now and again. If he breeds a hen right next to you, nudge him off and move him along....he is way too comfortable with you if he does this. If he tries to crowd into the feed when you are feeding, nudge him out and make him stay away until you are gone....eating while the two-legged predator is near is not the sign of a wary, vigilant roo.

    Make friends with your hens, have a mutual respect with your roos. A strong roo won't like being manhandled but will submit if your training is done right.

    My best advice is to put the baby roo down....treat him like a big boy.​
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011
  7. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

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    suki'smom :

    Ok I have 3 Cockerels right now, 1 Ameracauna, 1 Black Giant, and 1 Speckled Sussex. They each vary in degree of friendliness with the SS being the most friendly (loves to be scratched and isn't afraid of me at all), The most I do is sit with them and hand feed them treats, maybe give them a scratch if they'll tolerate it. Is there anything I should or shouldn't be doing to help make my boys not attack me anytime I'm in with them?

    I failed horribly with my last rooster I held him and bothered him all the time and not surprisingly he bloodied my legs all the time as an adult.

    Hand feeding the treats can also be an issue, I think you are on the right track and I am happy you are embracing the real Rooster care method. I would stop feeding him from your hand, just toss him his treats into a corner seperatly while feeding the other hens as you wish. Keep these roosters respect as the flock leader with these methods and you'll be fine. It's ashamed more people don't or worst yet won't implement these technics [​IMG] and then are shocked when they get flogged. I am glad your on the right track.​
     
  8. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    When/if the cockerels start to show aggression: flared hackles, wing dancing or rushing at you, nip it in the bud. Grab them and press them to the ground with one hand over their back and one immobilizing their heads. Hold them until they stop struggling, wait a minute or so and then release them. Just let them know that you are bigger, stronger, and won't put up with any baloney. Don't let it get to the flogging point. Hopefully you are raising respectful young cockerels. [​IMG]
     
  9. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

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    Quote:This IMO is the best method once you find out he is going to the dark side, Trying both prevention and correction is a must know, and having a no tolerance policy in place is also a plus LOL.
     
  10. openheartnp

    openheartnp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi there I'm new to this forum. I've had 2 roos for over a year, raised from chicks. The alpha is wonderful with my 9 and 7 year old boys, gets pet, picked up, carried around. But, he has always been aggressive towards The Chicken Goddess (me). In answer, I would chase him away if he danced around, attacked my leg, etc. Well, he finally bit me on the hand as I was giving him a treat. Using every ounce of self control I had, I gently held him in place and pet him on the head and back for a few minutes. Now, every day I go out there and pet him. He is not as wary, and MUCH less aggressive than he has ever been. I think it's the consistent non-aggressive contact.
     

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