i have seen conflicting advice on here about Roos. I am thinking of getting one and was wondering do I handle him so he gets used to me or do I keep my distance? Is there a certain breed I should lean more toward?
What I do as soon as I discover I have a cockerel (a rooster under 1 year of age) is stop handling it. When it's old enough to be out of the brooder and in the coop, run, and free ranging is to make sure it knows I am the boss. I do not act aggressively toward them. I don't kick at them, dangle them upside down or any other such thing. What I do is, walk through them if I want to go somewhere and they are in my way. I keep walking and make sure they move. If one thinks it wants to challenge me, I go on the offensive. I walk or run toward it, chasing it around a bit. I move them away from the food if they're eating, just because I can. I move them out of the coop just because. If one gives me the stink eye, I stare right back and move toward him. I haven't had an aggressive rooster since I have started raising them this way. It's easier if you can start when they're young instead of waiting until they start acting up.
Since I like all my chickens very friendly I hold them.But,when it comes to a cockerel you must gain his trust and at the same time teach him to respect your boundaries as well as holding him you want on your agenda.I have been raising roosters for awhile now and succeed using this method with four of my roosters.The father was sweet and the three sons were as well,although it could be something in the genes.BUT,regardless of that this method didn’t work on my Cochin,he ain’t docile but he keeps his distance and has never attacked me or anyone,and does his duties well.
Ditto @bobbi-j's post....except...
I handle them just enough to get them used to it,
so they know the 'won't die' and get used to my voice while handling,
just like all the other birds, but I handle the females more and in front of the cockerel so he learns that handling 'does not mean death'.
Both genetics and management matter here. I also want my cockerels and cockbirds to respect my space and never have bad thoughts, and I don't cuddle them or try to make pets out of them.
Some breeds tend to have more polite cockbirds; Salmon Favorelles, Cochins, some game breeds (although then you can only have one at a time!), maybe Brahmas. Hatchery white Leghorns and RIRs tend the other way; many cockerels are jerks!
Speckled Sussex from hatcheries, and many other breed types, can go either way.
If you decide to raise cockerels, have them respect you from early on, and be prepared to have some who need to be culled.