Can we talk about rooster raising?

Savitar

In the Brooder
Nov 15, 2020
11
40
37
We have an Easter Egger/Americana rooster - about 26 weeks old now. Wasn't supposed to be a rooster; got lots of attention as a chick, sat on our shoulder, etc. Now, he's been getting on a stump and crowing everytime I go in the run/coop, and I pet him as I go by. I didn't take the crowing as a sign of aggression. He still ate out of my hands, but normally he was too busy strutting to eat.

Today, he flew at my arm to attack me when I bent down to give fresh veggies. When that didn't get my attention, he flew at my face, knocked my glasses so far off my face that I couldn't find them for minutes, and now that I'm inside, I guess he drew blood. As I tried to finish my veggie chores, he followed me around and tried to attack my legs a couple of times.

I'm thinking I know the answer, but does he need to go? We have another rooster the same age, that is a tiny bantam silkie cross. That one is too scared to even crow, but maybe too many roosters? Or just the wrong one. We have 5 hens.

ETA: we live in the Rockies, and can't let them free range due to every predator under the sun. So a rooster isn't 100% necessary, as we also don't need baby chicks.
 
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bhawk-23

Songster
Premium Feather Member
Apr 12, 2020
375
527
176
East Central Illinois (Urbana, IL)
We have an Easter Egger/Americana rooster - about 26 weeks old now. Wasn't supposed to be a rooster; got lots of attention as a chick, sat on our shoulder, etc. Now, he's been getting on a stump and crowing everytime I go in the run/coop, and I pet him as I go by. I didn't take the crowing as a sign of aggression. He still ate out of my hands, but normally he was too busy strutting to eat.

Today, he flew at my arm to attack me when I bent down to give fresh veggies. When that didn't get my attention, he flew at my face, knocked my glasses so far off my face that I couldn't find them for minutes, and now that I'm inside, I guess he drew blood. As I tried to finish my veggie chores, he followed me around and tried to attack my legs a couple of times.

I'm thinking I know the answer, but does he need to go? We have another rooster the same age, that is a tiny bantam silkie cross. That one is too scared to even crow, but maybe too many roosters? Or just the wrong one. We have 5 hens.
That is the behavior that will turn Oscar into Chicken Oscar! Just need some crab to make that work😉
I will let others give the advice since I have no experience. I hope you are ok and can make the right decision for you and your situation, whatever that may be.
 

halefamily_flock

Songster
Sep 16, 2020
289
657
156
Southeast Misssouri
We have an Easter Egger/Americana rooster - about 26 weeks old now. Wasn't supposed to be a rooster; got lots of attention as a chick, sat on our shoulder, etc. Now, he's been getting on a stump and crowing everytime I go in the run/coop, and I pet him as I go by. I didn't take the crowing as a sign of aggression. He still ate out of my hands, but normally he was too busy strutting to eat.

Today, he flew at my arm to attack me when I bent down to give fresh veggies. When that didn't get my attention, he flew at my face, knocked my glasses so far off my face that I couldn't find them for minutes, and now that I'm inside, I guess he drew blood. As I tried to finish my veggie chores, he followed me around and tried to attack my legs a couple of times.

I'm thinking I know the answer, but does he need to go? We have another rooster the same age, that is a tiny bantam silkie cross. That one is too scared to even crow, but maybe too many roosters? Or just the wrong one. We have 5 hens.

ETA: we live in the Rockies, and can't let them free range due to every predator under the sun. So a rooster isn't 100% necessary, as we also don't need baby chicks.

That's a lot of roosters for 5 hens. Even one may be more than 5 hens can handle. If the one who has recently gotten aggressive is the one you would prefer to keep, you could try putting him in "time out" for a couple of days (In a crate or separate coop), to see if that helps. However, you would need to be able to dominate him when he comes out. If you're nervous around him at all (which most people would be in your situation), it's likely to continue to be a problem. With that level of aggression, he may need to go.
 

Savitar

In the Brooder
Nov 15, 2020
11
40
37
That's a lot of roosters for 5 hens. Even one may be more than 5 hens can handle. If the one who has recently gotten aggressive is the one you would prefer to keep, you could try putting him in "time out" for a couple of days (In a crate or separate coop), to see if that helps. However, you would need to be able to dominate him when he comes out. If you're nervous around him at all (which most people would be in your situation), it's likely to continue to be a problem. With that level of aggression, he may need to go.
Yes, I was writing too wishy-washy. I know that's too many roosters - the intent was all hens, but that didn't work out. I guess we hung onto them in the hopes that this type of behavior wouldn't happen. Now I'm wondering if we should just get rid of all of them, but the little bantam seems like a meek mouse . . . at the moment. He adds nothing to the flock, except a very high cuteness factor. :)

I will probably end up being nervous around him, even though I know I shouldn't.
 

JaeG

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Sep 29, 2014
7,289
20,521
921
New Zealand
Yes, I was writing too wishy-washy. I know that's too many roosters - the intent was all hens, but that didn't work out. I guess we hung onto them in the hopes that this type of behavior wouldn't happen. Now I'm wondering if we should just get rid of all of them, but the little bantam seems like a meek mouse . . . at the moment. He adds nothing to the flock, except a very high cuteness factor. :)

I will probably end up being nervous around him, even though I know I shouldn't.

Personally I would not put up with that sort of behaviour from a cockerel. We have children and I stress to them that we cannot keep a dangerous animal.

Our bantam boy has been a dream and because he's so little and cute it's easy not to be intimidated by him. I respect him and tell him he's a handsome boy, and we give the food to him first so that he's the one calling the girls over (though usually they are there waiting for us to put it down before he is 🤣 ). The kids pick him up and he tolerates it.

It's up to you what you do, but you want to be able to enjoy your chickens, not have to feel like you need eyes in the back of your head. We had another cockerel but he got the chop because he was starting to show aggressive tendencies, and he was abusing the hens. It was such a relief when he was gone. I felt like I could enjoy them again.
 

bhawk-23

Songster
Premium Feather Member
Apr 12, 2020
375
527
176
East Central Illinois (Urbana, IL)
Picked up Oscar boy this afternoon and he just melted into my arms and on my lap.
After hearing people talk about roosters being super sweet and then suddenly attacking thinking you are equals I do get a little worried. But I am looking at this from a dog person perspective. I absolutely love and spoil my dogs constantly! But I am also consistent with our training and my pack leader status.
So maybe I'm wishful or ignorant thinking that you can spoil a rooster while also keeping a higher status? My hopes is to just have a mutual respect, like with my dog. I guess its a good experiment? Thoughts on my reasoning from seasoned chicken owners?
 

RoostersAreAwesome

Crossing the Road
May 21, 2017
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Picked up Oscar boy this afternoon and he just melted into my arms and on my lap.
After hearing people talk about roosters being super sweet and then suddenly attacking thinking you are equals I do get a little worried. But I am looking at this from a dog person perspective. I absolutely love and spoil my dogs constantly! But I am also consistent with our training and my pack leader status.
So maybe I'm wishful or ignorant thinking that you can spoil a rooster while also keeping a higher status? My hopes is to just have a mutual respect, like with my dog. I guess its a good experiment? Thoughts on my reasoning from seasoned chicken owners?
I’ve always hand-raised my roosters. In my opinion, if a rooster is going to become aggressive, he’ll become aggressive no matter what way you raise him. It’s just the level of confidence that changes. Maybe he won’t attack the person who raised him in a hands-off way, but he may attack others that he thinks he has a chance with, like visitors or kids. However, I do believe that a rooster that is aggressive can sometimes be trained to be respectful, though people should always be careful around them afterwards.
I’ve had hand-raised roosters that were bold and friendly, but still respectful. I’ve also had ones that were aggressive or went through an aggressive cockerel phase. A few of the rescues that I got from people who raised them hands-off were also aggressive. One of them was the most persistently aggressive rooster I’ve ever had.
 

bhawk-23

Songster
Premium Feather Member
Apr 12, 2020
375
527
176
East Central Illinois (Urbana, IL)
@RoostersAreAwesome

Thank you! If you rescue roosters you probably have had a lot different personalities to deal with. Oscar will not be permitted to stay if he shows aggression towards people. My hubs absolutely will not tolerate that. But from my understanding, when roosters are in the teenage years they can be unruly, but some will settle back down once that is past. Correct? My question is what age is this? If I can get him through this stage to see if he will calm down and I can tell hubs that I will make a decision by X months I know he will be agreeable. Is it possible to give an estimate of this age?
 

RoostersAreAwesome

Crossing the Road
May 21, 2017
8,092
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882
@RoostersAreAwesome

Thank you! If you rescue roosters you probably have had a lot different personalities to deal with. Oscar will not be permitted to stay if he shows aggression towards people. My hubs absolutely will not tolerate that. But from my understanding, when roosters are in the teenage years they can be unruly, but some will settle back down once that is past. Correct? My question is what age is this? If I can get him through this stage to see if he will calm down and I can tell hubs that I will make a decision by X months I know he will be agreeable. Is it possible to give an estimate of this age?
Not all roosters will go through an aggressive phase. By an “aggressive phase” I mean a cockerel who pecks at your hands and shoes, not one who jumps at your face to spur you. The age varies, but I’d say anywhere between 3-5 months is most common. However, though uncommon, some roosters will need 1-2 years to know if they’ll be aggressive or not.
 

cincyfarmgirl

Chirping
Aug 26, 2019
15
36
54
None of my chickens are "lap chickens" (though I wish they were!), and my cockerel is good with the pullets. I have had to "explain" to him in chicken-speak that I am the boss a few times. He has come at my feet, head down, hackles raised several times. He darts in, jumps back, too fast for me to catch.

Not any more. I have caught him and held him down three times now in the last week. I don't do the carry-around-till-calm ploy, as he is squirmy and I'm afraid I'll drop him. I hold him down, one hand over his back, thumb and fingers under his wings, and one hand over his neck. I press his head down to ground level, and I have to hold firmly, because, as I said, he is squirmy. When he holds still, I do a slow count to about 30. Then I let him up and when he walks away, I leave.

I would love for him to be my buddy, but I don't think that is going to happen. It's ok by me if he ignores me and looks out for the girls instead. That's what he's there for.

They are all going on 10 months old. We'll see how he does in the spring. I want to keep him, but he has to behave.
I have not had any experiences with my cockerels showing aggressive behavior toward humans thank goodness!. Two of the young ones are going at each other occasionally and I am in the stages of trying to decide what to do because they are also beautiful. I have three young ones hoping to keep one if I could figure out how to manage that as I already have a mature beautiful Brahma rooster who services all the hens. No we do not cuddle. I’ve never thought of cuddling him but he is not at all threatening and when I direct him to go to his corner he does. I wish he’d be a little more gentle with the hens, but I guess it’s part of the mating process that they end up losing a few feathers. He doesn’t bother them unless he’s in “romantic” mood. Otherwise he takes good care of them leading them to the very best food etc. He has no problems with the young cockerels in the flock so far but again I realize I have to make some decisions about these three beautiful birds. I am able to catch the three younger cockerels as we have raised them from birth. They fuss and fume, but I catch them and have a little talk with them as I do the other hens from time to time. Seems to be working well enough.
 

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