Help me train my cockerel?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Noymira, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. Noymira

    Noymira Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2011
    Chittenden County, VT
    I've just added an 7 week old Barred Rock cockerel to my 9 week old pullets. So far things are ok between them, he chases and pecks at a few of the girls on occasion, but nothing too serious. One of my bigger pullets has decided he's not on top of the pack, not yet anyway, and reminds him daily.

    My issue with him so far is that he was not handled a lot by my neighbors (I had to climb into their coop to catch him), and he's a bit human shy. I'm trying to handle him every day (just like the rest of the pullets) so he gets used to me and sees me as the flock leader. He's bitten me a few times when I tried to pick him up, nothing to draw blood, but it stings. I think he's just not used to being handled and reacts out of fear, because once I pick him up and talk to him he'll sit calmly on my hand and just look at me. He doesn't try to bite me or get away at that point- so I've been picking him up and carrying him around a bit to get him used to it. I've also "pecked" him back when he's bitten me to let him know I won't tolerate it, but not enough to hurt him since he's still very small.

    Anything else I can do to work with him at this age? I will not tolerate a mean rooster, since I have a young child (not that she'll be in the run with a full grown roo anyway) and I don't want to fear turning my back on any animal I own.
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Hello! You're really doing all you can do at this point. And you're doing a good job. The thing is, only time will tell when it comes to the temperament of a rooster. I've had rooster that were super tame and LOVED to be picked up when they were youngsters, change and become a terror once they matured and that testosterone hits......I've had relatively shy roosters that I bought as young adults seemed shy at first and then became mean.

    Right now, I've got an olive egger rooster that has just been mating for about a month, and he's very respectful of me, he keeps his distance. He sneaks up on my husband and pecks him though.....So I'm kind of worried about that. I can be around him and he's just fine though.....So far......

    Good luck! Hope he turns out to be a nice roo for you,

  3. Noymira

    Noymira Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2011
    Chittenden County, VT
    Quote:Thanks! I'm guess I'm probably watching him too closely at this point. I'm a bit nervous about all the stories on here about mean roosters, and I didn't think I wanted a roo initially. He is still just a baby, and I've only had him since Saturday. It's so cute listening to his strangled crowing attempts though!
  4. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Human shy is a good thing for a rooster IMO.

    Some tips:
    walk through him, not around him - he yields to you.
    don't let him mate in front of you - only took 2 times for my rooster to be knocked off lightly with my foot and he got the picture. If my back is turned, I will let him mate, but he has to sneak it when I am present.
    Occasionally speed walk (chase, but slower speed) to keep him in check that you are top rooster. You don't have to catch him, just chasing him will work.

    I've done all the above with my welsummer rooster and have never had a problem with him.
  5. Noymira

    Noymira Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2011
    Chittenden County, VT
    Quote:Thank you, Ill try these!
  6. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    Quote:This usually works for me, too. I just do what I am doing, calmly and quietly, but I do not move out of his way- he has to move out of my way, always. I can't do the speed walk thing, (I have to use a cane) but I can see that being very effective!
  7. Saltysteele

    Saltysteele Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2011

    as long as he respects your space and doesn't challenge you, i'd leave him be. my rooster is scared of me, and i'm making no attempt at trying to get him to like me. he gives me space and doesn't try to challenge, and things are going splendidly [​IMG]

    he will come withing a foot or two of me if i've got corn (their treat), but otherwise he keeps his distance (his hens do, too)
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2011
  8. ekemily

    ekemily Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2010
    Fairhope, AL
    I've picked my rooster up only a few times in his life. He's afraid of me, and that's perfect. It's good to have a tough rooster that's just below you on the totem pole.
    I always wear jeans on the farm. The only time my roo has ever attacked me was when I went in the coop wearing shorts for the first time. I went from extreme surprise to chasing after him through the coop with a stick to very proud chicken momma. After I calmed down, I realize that he didn't recognize me and was doing what the roo should do... protect the ladies. Now, with that said, I've gone in there with shorts again and he ran to the far side of the coop. It's not about being cruel, it's about setting boundaries and having an understanding between the two of you.
  9. Noymira

    Noymira Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2011
    Chittenden County, VT
    Thank you everyone for the replies!

    I was all set to follow the advice you gave and not try to socialize him too much. But last night when I put the little ones up in the coop for the night as it was getting dark my two Rhode Island White pullets where fighting over who got to be in my lap first, then one tried to roost on my shoulder. I'm not a fan of chickens next to my head so I got her down and then sat on the edge of a chair to talk to them all and suddenly the little roo jumps right into my lap and lays down looking up at me for pets.

    It's hard to say no when any animal climbs in my lap looking for affection! [​IMG] Hopefully that means he sees me as the flock leader.

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