How to properly 'train' roosters?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Blue_Myst, May 12, 2009.

  1. Blue_Myst

    Blue_Myst Songster

    Feb 5, 2009
    Well, my big boy is now just over two months old, and I think it's time I start researching this...

    I've been handling the rooster almost everyday and he is a social little guy. From what I've read, I know that carrying roosters around and showing them who's boss is what I need to do, but when do I start this? Should I be picking him up even at this early age and carrying him around, or wait to see if he's a rebel?

    Also, how do you keep your grown roosters looking at you as the big boss? Do you pick him up everyday, pet his girls to show you aren't a threat, what do you do?

    I really want to him to turn out right. Thanks for any opinions/advice!

  2. Becky_H

    Becky_H Songster

    I'm new to chicken keeping personally, but grew up with an uncle who had a lot of roosters (why he had them is another subject and not one to get into here). I always, always heart and believe pretty well that as long as you handle the chickens a *lot* they'll be okay. Handle. Not treating them rough and teaching them to be scared of you, not cuddle and coddle them and teaching them that they can get you to do what they want. Just handle. Spend time with. Feed them occasionally, pet them sometimes, groom them -- pin feathers are itchy. Generally treat them with basic kindness and respect without turning into a sop, from the day you get them to the day they're dead, don't take poop, and you'll be okay with most of them.

    I take this in a slightly different direction by sitting my roosters with me on the desk, yeah inside, and keeping a hand on their back. They usually settle fast at which point I send a while getting rid of those pesky pin-feather casings around their neck and head. by the time it's over, they're OUT. And that's not just the young ones, but the older grumpier roo, too. Oh, and I tend to chase them away from mating the hens and away from the feeder when I need to refill it. Just because they're coveted resources and they're mine/I'm top rooster, darn it all.

    ...and I should add, just for the record: My hens are my livestock far more than my roosters. My roosters are the pets. I tend to REALLY like their personalities better than that of hens, and tend to spend a lot more itme with them than my girls.
    Last edited: May 12, 2009
  3. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    I guess it depends on how much time you have to devote to the project. And a lot will depend on the individual temperment of your roo. Some respond well to the type of frequent handling you describe, and it seems their behavior is changed & improved by it. Some are just more wary & dislike any handling, and such "training" might make them more, not less manageable.

    My best roosters are the ones who do their jobs tending their hens, and never bother their human owners, without any type of training at all. If I had one that became aggressive towards us, I might try the holding/carrying technique a few times. But if his misbehavior continued, he'd be transferred to a different department (dinner guest) and another more mannerly cockerel would be promoted from the meat pen.

    I wish you success with the roo you have, it sounds like you're handling him well.
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:I agree. My rooster was never handled as a baby. I only pick him up once a week now to do health checks.
    He's wary of humans and I think that's a good thing. He'll eat out of my hands when I offer treats, but then immediately steps back out of my way.
    He knows who is the boss around here and as long as he never forgets it, he gets to live.
  5. CuriousChicken

    CuriousChicken Songster

    Apr 26, 2010
    My roo is an indoor pet and he has just turned 6 months old. As an indoor pet he spent lots of time in my lap getting pets, not to say I let him walk all over me (pun intended). He's potty trained but since he's a bird he has accidents, these are used to reinforce his training. He's turned on his back and told hes a bad bird then he goes in the cage. He's not aloud out until he poops in the cage, then he's praised given a small treat (a raisin usually) and he can rejoin his flock (my boyfriend, the kitty, and I). When he's being a bad bird (this includes bitting, harassing the kitty and ugg humping) he gets picked up and flipped belly up then laid down on his back, this not only puts him in a submissive position but given a moment he will calm down. I just keep in mind that he's only doing what his instincts tell him to, he's not being bad on purpose... usually and he just need to be reminded who's top bird.
  6. Sshameless

    Sshameless Hatching

    Apr 24, 2017
    After they develop one attitude it is almost impossible to change it.[​IMG] Not that its a bad idea.

  7. Samitche

    Samitche In the Brooder

    Apr 27, 2017
    So the consensus is my 5 weeks old brown leghorn is a roo. At first I was kind of excited because they are so beautiful. I thought the only downside was noise, fertilized eggs and the potential for chicks. But now I've read the possibility that they can be aggressive and make it difficult to tend to the hens. I read some of the threads and it seems that it really depends on the individual rooster. I guess I will just see how this plays out. Thank you for all of your great insight and suggestions.
  8. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Free Ranging Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.

    Start "training" him now. No petting or cuddling or hand feeding treats. Let him know you are the boss. If he's where you want to be, go there and make him move out of your way. Move confidently when dealing with him. If he comes your way, walk toward him and back him down. If you decide he's not for you, find him a new home or eat him.

    Having a good rooster in the flock isn't a bad thing. Fertilized eggs aren't a big deal. Unless you know what to look for, you'd never know you're eating them. Potential for chicks? Only if you incubate or let a hen hatch some out. Collect your eggs daily, and it's not a problem. A cockerel (rooster under a year old) can be a royal pain for everyone around. But if you have older, mature hens they'll teach him some manners as far as how to treat the ladies. It's up to you to teach him to respect his human.
  9. Samitche

    Samitche In the Brooder

    Apr 27, 2017
    Thank you for the excellent advice! I will definitely follow it. He's growing up with the 3 hens so hopefully they will all get along.

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