Don't touch/handle roo for first year?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Ezio, Sep 30, 2013.

  1. Ezio

    Ezio In the Brooder

    Feb 17, 2013
    I was told by someone in the show world that you are NOT supposed to touch/handle a cockeral/roo until after its a year old. According to the person, too much handling will cause the roo to be aggressive. Any truth in this ?
  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    I've heard something similar. Apparently, handling cockerels too much will make them not afraid of humans, which can lead to agressive tendencies. However, I've also read that you should handle roosters, to make them trust you. I handle my roosters often, and they are perfectly sweet, tame, non-agressive birds.
  3. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Well, I've never had any problems handling my cockerels from hatch through the rest of their life. But I, too, have heard that it is often the most cuddled, tamest cockerels that eventually become aggressive to humans. Because of this, many people recommend not taming a cockerel too much, as they will only use that to take advantage of you when they get older.
  4. BigECarter

    BigECarter Songster

    May 8, 2012
    Mississippi Gulf Coast
    Maybe an aggressive rooster is dangerously aggressive if he is not afraid of people. Just a guess. My cockerel is sweet so far.
  5. Araucana16

    Araucana16 Chirping

    Jun 18, 2013
    Denver, CO
    Huh. I guess this has some truth to it, in some ways. If a rooster realizes how much you love and trust HIM, he'll not only love and trust YOU, but he'll think he has some control to you. With a roo, you simply can't have that, because once that happens, you may have to find a humane slaughterhouse in the area!

    I think there HAS to be some sort of balance. Me? I'd handle a roo constantly, but once it's starting to crow and get rough with girls, stop being so lovey and stop tolerating any crap. With hens, I wouldn't be like that. If a hen started to get cagey and wanted out of my arms or was kicking me, I would try to calm her down and be sweet and patient. With a cockerel, if it did that, I would show no compassion. Remember, chickens aren't made of metal, but they aren't exactly fragile. As long as you aren't hurting them, why be super delicate with a bird that's acting up?
  6. Ezio

    Ezio In the Brooder

    Feb 17, 2013
    I think the person I was talking to had a slight fear of roo's. He told me how his bantam roo would go on the offensive and drive him out of the coop. The man sas 6'0+ and over 200lbs.

    My roo, Corbie (RIP) was handled till the day he became weasel chow and he was never aggressive.

    I was just wondering since I might be getting a bantam roo (not sure what breed) from a coworker. Do bantams need anything done differently with their diet?
  7. chooks4life

    chooks4life Crowing

    Apr 8, 2013
    Quote: Not in my experience. What causes his aggression is his breeding, generally speaking. A rooster who has attacked a human, who is then caged and continued to be bred, will often produce offspring with a high incidence of aggression towards humans. If you keep breeding that on, the trait gets stronger and stronger. Then you end up with males who will likely attack whether or not they've been handled, simply because the ancestral imprint is so strong.

    I breed for tameness among other traits and have never had a male of my breeding attack me, and I've had hundreds of males who freerange together around the houseyard and farm, in a mixed flock. In my experience if you breed a bully you get a bully, so I don't breed bullies or aggressive roosters. I handle all mine from hatching onwards. Not excessively, but enough to be able to spot and weed out those which don't have any leaning towards tolerance for humans. If he or she won't tame, he or she won't breed. Breeding only those which will tame has worked very well for me. A chicken which prefers to avoid humans and won't allow itself to be handled peacefully is just trouble in the making, and very likely to breed trouble in turn. Not breeding those sorts means you end up with birds which take well to handling from a very young age, and this makes everything else easier.... Treatment and transporting and so forth.

    Personally, I handle all my birds from hatching onwards and out of many hundreds of birds I've have only had one male attack me (a male I didn't breed, which I bought in from elsewhere --- the breeder kept animals that attack people, which should have been warning enough for me, but wasn't at the time because I thought it would breed out quickly enough).

    Being tame doesn't make a good male more likely to attack but might make a bad male more likely to attack, I'd guess.

    Quote: I think you're right. I do believe aggression to humans is something which is either inherent or not present in the bird to begin with, not a trait they suddenly develop; good males don't turn bad but bad males will act on it sooner or later... And they don't turn good afterwards. I don't rely on fear to get a male to respect me, since I've found tameness and trust to be far more effective.

    In my experience there are 'gateway' mentalities and behaviors which if unchecked can develop into aggression to humans generations after they first show up in an animal's family tree. The same is true of other negative behaviors. Often just a hint shows up in the ancestor and if you don't know what that warning sign is, it can emerge with seeming suddenness down the track. But the warning signs were always there, progressing with each generation.

    Aggression to humans has always been linked to other bad social traits in the birds I've seen it in. Now I'm more experienced I can spot the warning signs in very young birds, and it's never been something that goes away or is grown out of.

    So far I have never seen aggression to humans in a bird which was a "10 out of 10" in any other area. It's linked to a whole mentality (or instinct blueprint if you prefer) which is aberrant. And thankfully it also seems to be linked to bad genetics; no bird I've culled for aberrant behavior has been a genetic loss.

    I think that human-aggressive birds are the result of those breeders who keep a male who attacks humans, and probably inbreed excessively too, fixing the negative trait deeply. Sometimes desperate breeders of purebreds will also keep an aggressive male despite his attacks, just because it's a rare breed, or just because his physical type is what they're after. Some other folks believe it's natural to any male to be automatically and indiscriminately violent, despite the evidence that it's not natural nor normal for many, so that's what they breed on. This isn't meant to be a slur on anyone. We all believe different things. But it has been my experience with all the bad males I've bought that they are a direct reflection on whoever bred the last five or so generations of that strain or family line. I've been told by the likes of such folk that "inbreeding only matters with mammals".
  8. Rettarain2

    Rettarain2 In the Brooder

    Sep 29, 2013
    My Isa Red ..Was bought at a feed store..all the chick's were handled with love. Just last week he started to turn and I have no idea what to do. I sing to him and talk to him yet he lunges at me and charges me . methodically watching my movements. . today he cornered me in the hen house. A large 9x12 building. I need some help here.. any suggestions on what to b do??
  9. BigECarter

    BigECarter Songster

    May 8, 2012
    Mississippi Gulf Coast
    Well, you can't let him get away with that, obviously. I have read threads where people put a juvenile rooster in his place and afterwards all is good. So, you might try that. You will have to catch him and force him to submit. If he continues to be aggressive, freezer camp. Or give him away on Craig's List (same thing but you aren't doing it.)

    I assume you do not have children. Lock him up if you expect visitors.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  10. sepaditty1

    sepaditty1 Songster

    Mar 29, 2008
    South Carolina
    Retterain, we just had to cull a rooster of ours. He went from friendly to attacking our guests in just a week. I had to weigh the options. What I wanted was a family friendly, show the neighbors kind of chicken farm. If I can't do that, then the problem roo has to go. Done.

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