Do roosters "GO" bad or once sweet always sweet?


7 Years
Mar 21, 2012
My 11 week old roo BIG Al is becoming quite the man. Tonight it seemed as though he wanted to go to bed earlier and his girls weren't co-operating. He systematically put them all to bed, two needed a chest bump and a gentle follow up chase into the run. I was so proud of him for handling 5 hens (well pullets they are all 11 weeks old) so well and without pecking or pulling combs- all the nasty stuff I hear about.
Will BIG Al always do his job in such a gentleman like fashion or do some roos go from sweet to savage? And if they do, when is their behavior likely to change?
I agree with both of the above posts. I have seen sweet litle boys turn into buttheads once they reach sexual maturity but also I have been very very fortunate that my sweet big boys were sweet gentlemen as juveniles. It really is an individual thing, each rooster is an individual and should be treated as such.

Some say babying them as little guys makes them think they are on your level once they are matured, again I have seen it both ways. Just remember that his true personality will arise when he reaches breeding age...usually 18 - 25 weeks old. Should he show aggession ... immediately handle it. Grab him up and hold his beak until he remains calm...tell him NO if it is an issue of biting. If it is flogging, there are other methods but you must make him yield to you as soon as he starts to display any negative behavior or you are done for. If he gets away with it as a youngsters or frightenes you, you have lost before you started. He will forever be a butthead towards you. The old cliche' "Nip it in the bud immediately" applies with hormonal juvenile males.

Just treat him with respect, love him, handle him so he knows it is okay t allow him to be a rooster .... that is what I personally find is the best. I can handle my boys, they listen to me, they let me grab and pick up girls with no attacking and they are in charge of their flocks. They also love me as much as I do them. Boys are special so enjoy him and good luck. You are on the right track.
The rooster I watched "go bad" wasn't mine but I visited often enough to see the changes happen. It began with the onset of sexual maturity which was quite late for him. So, he was past 6 months when he decided to crow and almost a year when he chest-bumped a human leg for he first time. By 18 months, he was stewpot-bound and his owner had a really nasty spur injury to show for her "training" attempts.

My rooster, in sharp contrast, was meek and mild as a juvenile and reluctant to take charge even as he reached sexual maturity (at 12 weeks). He's never challenged a human and while he has taken charge of his harem, his authority is occasionally challenged by the dominant pullet. He is presently 13 months -- fingers crossed for this guy because I have kids and won't tolerate any aggressive behavior from him.
The Gentlemen roosters are usually the least dominant ones, in my experience. They usually get beat up by their brothers on a regular basis while growing up, and can even get a good talkin to by hens.

The key turning point is as the others stated: around the one year mark when testosterone is floating their little brains away. Just hang in there, and observe them closely after they clear their maturity hurdle. It's adorable when you get a gentleman roo, because they'll gently tug on their ladies' wing feathers in question when they want to mate ("excuse me, if it wouldn't be too much trouble...") and do pretty dances. They'll mount and balance without feather-pulling, or spurring their hens. And they'll point out tasty treats, and let the hens eat first when they find something yummy... without lying (yes roosters can lie to get hens close for mating, though the hens catch on after a while).

As an interesting point, I recently got ahold of a book that has in-depth studies into flock behavior. In it, several studies were cited where 'experienced' hens prefer these roos as well! 'Inexperienced' hens liked the loud brash fight-winners, but after a few rounds of rough treatment, distinctly changed their preferences to gentleman roos, even if they were the losers of a fight between roos. The book's name is The Complete chicken. A good read!

Too many people put up with aggressive roos that are nasty to the hens. Not allowable in my house. I feel it's part of my role as a steward of animals to ensure they breed in a constructive direction. I don't necessarily want a cuddly rooster, but one that treats my ladies well. That's his most important function.

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