How early can you tell if he's going to be a good roo?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by AKsmama, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. AKsmama

    AKsmama Songster

    Jun 20, 2010
    South Carolina
    One of our EEs is most definitely a cockerel, and he is the top of the pecking order at the moment, which is why we call him El Jefe. Everyone will be 6 weeks old at the end of this week. Is it too soon to tell if he's going to be a good roo? He already hangs back and lets everyone else eat treats first, he is already the most watchful, and I swear I saw him tidbitting today. He doesn't call anybody over for food yet, but they aren't free-ranging right now either. Nobody crows yet (I think we probably have about 5 cockerels) but he makes this funny little whistling sound, almost like a soft hawk-type call. He's the only one who does that. Are these maybe signs that he may end up being a good boy, or is it all likely to change when the hormones kick in? I'm trying to go ahead and establish that I'm the boss and hope he remembers when the gonads take over [​IMG]
  2. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    EE's are sometimes harder to tell the other breeds. I had a hen who was DEFINATELY the head chicken in the coop. Even my roo bowed down to Broomhilda.
  3. christa7032

    christa7032 In the Brooder

    Sep 11, 2009
    my rir roo was perfect & sweet until he started attacking me for no reason at around 3 months. I don't know about your breed though.
  4. crawfordmama

    crawfordmama Songster

    Jun 29, 2010
    The Lakes Region, NH

    I think you're left wondering until he matures sexually. Best of luck!
  5. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Unfortunately, for a period of time, when those hormones kick in, ALL roos become obnoxious. Hopefully the extent of the obnoxious behavior is his proclivity towards jumping all the girls. If you maintain that YOU are The Boss of Him - and everybody else, that "his" girls are really "your" girls - then when he settles down he could still be a good roo.

    One thing I do is pull or gently boot him off the pullets whenever I see him mounting one. If you let him mate in front of you, you lose Head Rooster status to him. And if he fluffs his neck feathers AT ALL or stamps in my direction, I walk towards him deliberately. Regular stride, not chasing or running, just walking towards him. He backs up, I keep walking. He sidesteps, still facing me, I turn that direction and keep moving forward. When he actually turns away, I stop. That's what you do - and you don't need to chase him after he turns away; he's acquiesced to you.
  6. AKsmama

    AKsmama Songster

    Jun 20, 2010
    South Carolina
    Good advice, Linda! I've been reading up here on the roo behavior threads and am trying to incorporate it before he even starts that crap with me. I have nooooo problem booting an aggressive chicken across the coop!
  7. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

  8. luvchicks8

    luvchicks8 Songster

    Jul 1, 2009
    new Hampshire
    Mine wa the best guy until he discovered hens and I had to carry a stick everytime I left the house. My hen is the BEST sweet runs to me when I call Charlie was rehomed.
  9. Mak

    Mak Songster

    Dec 12, 2009
    Londonderry, NH
    I started using the tips I read here about making sure the roo knows I am the Boss as soon as I knew he was a roo. So far, so good, but he is just about at the age where the hormones will be kicking in full force. He does seem to be a pretty laid back roo overall, so that may help. That, in addition to the fact that he is the only roo (other than me, of course!), so I'm his only competition! And I'm bigger! LOL
  10. Shiloh Acres

    Shiloh Acres Chirping

    Jul 16, 2010
    My roo of a few years ago was a year old before he started reliably putting everyone in the coop at night, watching for danger and warning, etc. He was a good roo, but he had his favorites and except for making sure EVERYONE was in at night, he didn't care as well for the others.

    I just lost a fabulous roo. A nice big Marans that was about 4-1/2 months old. By the time he was about 3 months old, he was herding everyone into the coop at nght (and I currently have a flock VERY resistant to going in the coop), calling the girls for treats (though eating himself as well) while chasing other roos away. He was first on the scene when anyone sounded an alarm, even if it was a roo that was called. He allowed NO fighting in the flock. He would have been the best roo I've had so far.

    It seems the others have learned well from him though. I unfortunately ended up with around 20 roos in my flock, and I've been butchering them, starting with troublemakers (today a RIR that started picking fights with pullets, sometimes bloody, went into the pot) and a few genetically inferior ones. I'm hoping second-in-command, a nice RIR, will take over for Dumpling, the Marans, who came up missing last month.

    It seems having a good roo to demonstrate those behaviors hurries the learning process. I have several who are a little promising -- they ALL come runnning ready to fight if anyone calls out an alarm. Maybe they are braver in greater numbers too. But this batch started those behaviors by 3 months.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2010

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