Can you "train" a cockerel to replace a mean Roo??

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by flowerchicks, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. flowerchicks

    flowerchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a rather mean silkie roo who is a year old. He has one favorite girl, my D'uccle (they are my avitar). Her and my silkie/cochin are the only ones (of my 5 laying hens) that will willingly get with him. My silkie/cohcin has been broody for 2 months (raising a baby who's 4 weeks old now), so ALL his attention has been going to my D'uccle, and she is getting tore up. He is mean and attacks feet whenever given the chance. Since he is a little bitty silkie, he is mostly harmless, but he is annoying and NEVER shuts up. [​IMG]

    I have a silkie cockerel (almost 6 months old) that is soooo sweet. I was hoping there was a way to somehow "groom" him to be the top roo. Right now, he is afraid of everything, except his silkie girlfriend and people. He runs for the hills if any of the other chickens come near him. If I toss him a treat, he jumps and runs, but he is getting better (I think trimming his poof helped him to see what was going on).

    So, Here's my idea. If I keep my evil roo away from the girls and let my cockerel interact with them, when he "turns", will he be the top roo? Should I wait till he is crowing and acting more roostery before giving him that responsibility? Will they have to battle it out for the top spot? My evil roo really doesn't have the respect of my hens, so it's not like he would be losing his spot in their eyes. I have 4 pullets that will be laying soon, they are used to the roo and go after my cockerel (they are about 2 weeks younger than he is but 3 times as big). My cockerel is so timid and sweet, and I would like him to stay that way. I would like him to take the top spot, but I don't want him to get mean, too. Can this be done or am I just dreaming. My DH does not want to get rid of the roo. He says it's up to me if we do, but I know it would not make for a happy time if I did. I don't want to get rid of him, if I don't have to, since he and my D'uccle really are a pair. The are always together, and they roost together, they grew up together [​IMG]

    And, if this did work, would my evil roo stop crowing, all the live long day!!! Or, would he crow more in an effort to try to gain his spot back?? [​IMG]

    So, any idea's or suggestions would be most welcome. thanks
     
  2. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

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    Why on earth would you want to keep a nasty mean rooster? Especially when you have a nice one...?? If you take out the nasty roo and let the nice one take the top spot, there is likely going to be a bloody mess of a fight when you reintroduce him. Yuck - I do not have any tolerance for mean roosters, big or small, there are just too many sweet roosters out there to put up with that. JMO
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2010
  3. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A few thoughts:

    In my experience, a less dominant roo tends to crow plenty just like the top one.

    Once the younger roo's hormones kick in, he may become pretty assertive, regardless of history. It's hard to know a lot ahead of time.

    I think it won't matter what the hens think in determining which roo will be dominant over the other.

    However, separating the 2 roos a while & then reintroducing them (sometime after younger one matures more) might give the younger one motivation and a fresh start at trying for the top position.

    Your younger roo could be just fine in the non-top position, though. The top roo probably will let him keep a girlfriend or two and not pick on him too much, since they've lived together a long time.
     
  4. le neige homme

    le neige homme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Personally, I find that it's best to let chickens be chickens. If you don't want a certain rooster, then get rid of him. Purposely trying to upset the hierarchy is just asking for trouble.
     
  5. farmboy15

    farmboy15 New Egg

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    the only true way to stop a roo from being mean is take off his spurs and keep him away from all other chikens until the smaller roo is ready for the hierachy.
    And dont let him near the young roo. or you counld just eat him
    [​IMG]
     
  6. bakerjw

    bakerjw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    From what I've read a rooster doesn't show its true colors until it gets to be a year old. So that wonderful friendly roo might turn out to be "el gallo del diablo"
     
  7. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    If you get rid of the dominant rooster, the cockerel will eventually move up to be the flock rooster. No "training" necessary. It's just the natural progression of things.
     
  8. flowerchicks

    flowerchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the feedback. The reason we aren't getting rid of the mean roo (yet) is DH is a huge animal lover and doesn't like the idea of "disposable" animals. The roo is mean, but not dangerous, as he doesn't fly up to attack, he is mesmerized by feet. As for roosters taking a year to show their true colors, well, maybe he will turn nice in the next month, cause he turned mean within a month of crowing. The crowing being my biggest problem with him. But, it sounds like he will keep crowing all day even if there was another roo, so I guess I will just let everyone figure out their roles and hope he loses his voice, permanently.

    Sooooo, any tips on keeping my sweet Lavy sweet? He and his girlfriend are house silkies and sit on the couch with us in the evening and sleep I'm a crate in our bedroom, but free range all day with the other chickens.
     
  9. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've found this method almost always cures a problem with an aggressive rooster:

    When rooster charges you, grab him. Easiest way to catch can be by grabbing leg (Be sure to not pick roo up off ground by leg--just grab him by leg), or catching him by net. It may be good to keep roo in coop where he's easier to catch for a few days during training period.

    After you grab him, pick him up & carry him around in one arm several minutes as you do chores. Let him watch you work around his ladies. Then pet him a little & put him back down. If he charges again, pick him up again. Do not allow any attacks to go un-consequenced during training.

    This seems to make a rooster realize:
    * People are bigger than me & have more power than me. [​IMG]
    * A person can take control of me whenever they want. A person will take control of me if I attack.
    * The ladies are all going to see me one-upped by a person if I attack. [So embarrassing!]
    * This person is not going to actually do anything mean or threatening to me.
    * Even if I'm not fighting this person off, the things this person does that seem threatening to my flock actually don't harm my flock. [​IMG]
    * I do not have any valid need to attack this person to protect my flock or myself.

    I believe this method will work with most roosters within 4-8 sessions. [​IMG] They may need an infrequent reminder session once in a while, but not often.
     
  10. flowerchicks

    flowerchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks Speckledhills, we apparently have the same method of "rooster whispering". I pick him up all the time, carry him around like a baby doll, pet him, talk to him, even lay him on my lap, all I the presence of his girls. He is very easy to pick up and handle. He is a bit nicer after the cuddling, but the problem here is consistency. If my hands are full I can't pick him up, and my hubby and father won't even attempt to pick him up, they just let him attack till he quits. If my hands are full, like when transporting NICE silkies, I try to stay between him and my very protective barred rock hen who thinks I'm her rooster and will attack the evil roo if he even fluff a feather at me.
     

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