cockerel already starting to feel his oats!...questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by showjumper_girl2002, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. showjumper_girl2002

    showjumper_girl2002 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    good morning fellow chicken keepers! i'm in need of some help. my young cockerel jack, who by the way is only 3 1/2 months old, is already starting to test me! he's always been a sweet heart and still doesn't mind being pet and is as content as can be to be picked up and carried around [​IMG] however, he's starting to show small signs of aggression. he does this funny little shuffle towards me with his wings dropped which i'm assuming is some kind of sign that he's testing me. this small flock that I have are my first so i'm new to roo talk lol. he has also graduated to pecking me, and not in a nice way [​IMG] I knew the day was going to come when his hormones would kick in and he would start to test me so my question is, is there anything I can do to nip this in the butt so he stays pet quality? I've read a lot about people keeping pet roos without problems. I want to keep him so he can keep an eye on my girls for me when i'm not around and because he's always been sweet and smart and is special to me lol but I don't want to have to watch my back and worry about him every time I go in my backyard and want to hang out with my girls! I know that you're not supposed to show signs of aggression back and I also read that picking them up and carrying them around a bit is supposed to help. well I've tried the carrying around bit and it doesn't seem to be having any affect [​IMG] so I would love any and all suggestions to help me with my hormonal cockerel! lol
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Sometimes 'pet' just does not work with certain roosters. Very frequently 'pet' roosters become the most human aggressive - they view their keepers as subordinates. You need to convince him that you are dominant - not him. Kicking, striking, etc are generally ineffective. These actions in my experience simply fuel a rooster's aggression. Try complete subordination. When he comes at you, force him to the ground and hold him there until he stops struggling. Wait a bit and then let him up. If he comes at you again, repeat the process. Scooping them up in a short handled fishing net and carrying them around sometimes works. Get on this immediately, and don't let him win. You are bigger than him. Good luck. A human aggressive rooster is no fun.
     
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  3. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    I've had very gentle to very aggressive roosters. Sourland made some good points. I have a tough guy right now, about 6 months old, who's instincts are strong. He follows me then dashes for my leg as I leave the yard. Now I stop at the gate and stare at him. If upon moving he makes a go at me, I grab him and pick him up. I'll do that as many times as I have to. It may change the behavior, and it might not. When I take the time to sit in the run, I bring a can of feed with me. I put some in the palm of my hand and coax him over. He'll stand on my knee and eat out my hand. I use this opportunity to pick him up, and walk around with him for a bit while I tend to the things I can with one arm. I don't want to make it a battle, but won't let him dominate me. [​IMG]

    I prefer a tough rooster to watch out for the hens while ranging. I will keep his spurs short and rounded. Sharp spurs can do some damage. A pair of large dog nail clippers and a metal nail file makes it easy to stay on top of spur growth. There are gauged holes in a piece of flat stock steel made to which the spur is inserted so you saw the spur with a spur saw. I think Randall Burkey carries those items besides some of the gamecock supply houses.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2013
  4. ChickieG'ma

    ChickieG'ma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    x2

    I've also read that you shouldn't allow him to mount hens in your presence. And that drop winged dance thing he does means he thinks you are a chicken and so are under his rule. Also a no no.

    In our yard we've had both good roo's and not so good roo's. Our not so good ones seemed to go from sweet to attack mode over just a few days so I am assuming it was breeding and hormones. Not much can be done about breeding. If it's to be, nothing to be done about it.
     
  5. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    Well, I wouldn't interfere with natural behavior. Roosters do a courting dance. They mate. That's what they do. I think the idea is to make them manageable without being spurred every time you visit the coop to collect eggs. It can be done. Just like a high drive breed of male dog, you try different approaches to training to avoid destructive behavior. You don't want to deny the dog's nature to be a dog.
     
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  6. showjumper_girl2002

    showjumper_girl2002 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thanks everyone for your replies! I am keeping him so I guess i'll just have to try different things to try and keep him in line lol. he's funny because even though he's starting to test me he still loves being scratched and carried around [​IMG]

    just for fun, here is a picture of my handsome man [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    Good looking rooster. I think if you can keep his spurs short and filed, you and the hens will appreciate it.
     
  8. showjumper_girl2002

    showjumper_girl2002 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    He's still young and doesn't have any spurs yet, but I will definitely do that when he does get them :)
     
  9. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm still guessing what breed your cockerel is. A Maran?
    Mine is a 23 week old California Grey and has 1/4" stubs. He's testing my reactions and tries to rush me when I'm not paying attention or my back is turned. He's quick on the draw, lol. I just turn around slowly reach down from above and he moves away. If I reach at his level, he takes it as a challenge. I don't yell or move quickly. Sometimes I'll walk toward him if he's challenging me and speak in a gentle tone. Bribing him to see the benefits of some scratch in my hand turns the aggression off. Like I said, catching him and picking him up shows your dominance in a gentle way. Years ago I had a big Araucana rooster. He was very brutal to the hens. I witnessed him pecking his hens in the skull while mounting them. Not just a few times, but as if he were trying to kill them. I stopped it, and later found a hen with half her comb torn off. So Mr. Araucana was dispatched to the next dimension. The hen recovered. I can accept a human-aggressive rooster and deal with that, but not one that will injure hens.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2013
  10. GD91

    GD91 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hey, I read somewhere on here about a lady who's young daughter gave their aggressive rooster a "bubble bath in front of his ladies".

    Apparently it really calmed him down [​IMG]

    Wish I could find the thread...
     

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