How to win over a roo.


In the Brooder
11 Years
Sep 26, 2008
Mobile, Alabama
We've just started with some chickens, and I'm super excited. I have 25 RIR's coming on the 15ish, and I can't wait to baby them all. However, my problem lies with the chickens we already have. An uncle gave my son 4 game chickens for his birthday. They are so beautiful, but they weren't handled all that much before we got them. They were maybe 2 months old. They were kept in the cage they were delivered in until we got a nice sized coop built, and they've been in that coop for a couple weeks now.

I am their "provider" in that I am the only one who feeds and waters them. Both my son and I like to sit outside the coop and feed them treats through the fence, though. He's only two (my son, not the roo) but he's exceptionally gentle and loving with them. The roo will come up to the fence and eat out of our fingers, but he tries to peck my hand when it gets too close. Does he think my fingers are a big fat worm?

My problem is that I am a little scared of roosters. I was spurred by one when I was younger. The offending chicken was one in a commercial chicken house. Think BIG and mean. I am trying really hard to get over this fear, because I love chickens. I want this rooster to come to love me, sit with me, all that good stuff. I've been reading through your posts on how to "tame" a rooster, and I'm trying to apply some of the measures I've read about. I just went and caught him in a very small net, released him immediately, and tucked him under my arm and petted (pet?) him. Now he's being shy about coming to the fence. Did I mess up? What methods should I try to win him over. He's absolutely gorgeous, and SO attentive to his ladies (3 game pullets). I don't want him to be scared of me.

We've contemplated passing the 4 of them on to a nephew who's older, but as they were a gift to my son, and they so are beautiful, I really don't want to do that. I'm not worried about the RIR's, as I plan on spending lots of touching time with them, but I want to be able to love on Gordon (the roo in question). Any help would be appreciated. Even a link to another thread would be nice. As I said, I've read through about 10 pages under a couple different topics, but maybe I missed something.

I'm sorry for rambling, but I wanted to get all my thoughts across. Thanks in advance!

I know how you feel!
We have a RIR rooster(Marty) who we raised since he was a day old, and we carried him around every where.
But as he got older, he became aggressive and would peck at us or chase us!
We tried to spend as much time with him, but as he got worse, we were forced to not be able to carry him around any more. Then we stopped visiting him inside the run, and just giving him pieces of grass and leaves OUTSIDE of the run.
He is a pretty boy, but very aggressive. I wish he wasn't like that.
We try spending as much time with him, like going into the coop and giving him grass and bread crumbs, but we only do this when he isn't down on the floor. We wait til he's up on the perch. He likes company, but is just too aggressive.
I sorta feel bad for him because he can't come outside or he will chase us.
But now we put him with our pullets, to see how they get along.
They HATE him!
He isn't what I would call a "gentleman" when he is around them, or us.
We have another RIR rooster(Ty) who is aggressive to us, but is waaay nicer to the hens than Marty!!!!

But anyway, YOUR rooster is just afraid because when you captured him forcefully like that, it frightened him and now when he sees you he thinks you are gonna do it again. I would advise that you try catching him a different way, one that's not that forceful. :|
Give him some time and after he starts coming to the fence again, try catching him by holding out some food in your hand, letting him come to you.
Then, when he finally comes to you and eats from your hand and is in reach, grab him gently but firmly and pick him up. Pat him gently and talk to him, and as you hold him, encourage him to eat more food from your hand. Over time, he will begin to look forward to the treats!
And I don't know about you, but I would rather look forward to a treat instead of getting snatched up roughly by a net if I were him!

Good luck!

And sorry this is sooo long!
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Don't worry about the length. I appreciate any advice at this point. Yeah, I thought my catching him in a net was rough, but I read that he might see me as his savior after I released him. Stupid, I know. After some coaxing, he's coming back to the fence. I've got some strawberry tops I'm saving for their evening treat, so I will try again then. I really don't want him to not trust/like me.

Regarding your RIR's. I've heard they were really docile, and that's why I chose to order them. Is that not the case? I did some research, but maybe not enough.....
I had a rooster that I loved from the day it hatched. I had hoped it would be a girl so I could keep it, since I can't keep roos where I live.
Anyway, this baby would sit with me and fall asleep and I carried him around everywhere.
When he started crowing I had to sell him.
The woman that bought him owns a chicken farm and when I told her how much attention he got and she actually got concerned.
She said, oh those are the ones that always get aggressive later on.
I was shocked to hear that theory, and she almost backed out of taking him.
She said she didn't want to deal with him being aggressive later on.
I have no idea if there is any truth to that, but just passing it along in case there is.
So how do people who have roo's/pullets that fly up and set on their hands/shoulders/heads do it? Is it just familiarity, or do some of these folks put in extra time with their chickens? I'm curious, cause I want to be comfortable walking around my winged babies.
I think its the breed and built in temperment many times.
My sussex and orpingtons are the friendliest.
the sussex are generally a very curious or you could say nosy breed.

I have a sussex that follows me around sticking her nose in everything I do.
The orpingtons will come up to me and let me pick them up , so will a couple of the rhode island reds.
Do you let yours free range? I think chickens that free range and are walking around the yard where your family is all the time get so used to you that it doesn't faze them to be picked up or whatever.
If they are penned up most of the time and are only handled when you have the time, and thats the only human contact they get I think they are going to be alot more leery.
I get busy too and don't always get to go out and pick up each one and all that, but I am doing yard work out there and my husband will be cooking on the grill and the kids running around playing and the chickens are all over the place.
They are use to my kids riding bikes around the yard and riding right past a flock that will be ranging, and they are like whatever.
Yesterday I was planting garlic and they wouldn't leave me alone, they were climbing on me and trying to grab the garlic.
Today I cleaned the coop and three of them kept coming up to me to see what I was doing, I picked up each one and held them for a few minutes.
I think just letting them get use to you for a while and I don't chase them to pick them up.
If I want to hold one, I sit somewhere in the yard, and just wait, someone always comes up to me.
I have some chickens that try to get in my house and I had one that use to make it into the kitchen on the hot summer days when I would leave the back door open.
I came in the house one day and found a rooster watching tv on my coffee table.
I shooed him out and he wasn't the least bit fazed.
The only ones that are less comfortable are the lakenvelders and barred rocks.
Again, thats why I think its the breed.
I highly recommend the speckled sussex, gorgeous and sweet and the buff or any color orpingtons.
I am sure other people will have some breed suggestions as well.
My advice, just be around them alot. Even if you are gardening and they are nearby.
That's exactly the way it is, IMO. I made the same mistake with one of my baby roos. Read my page on rooster reform and how I corrected my mistakes.
Ok, new day, new tactics. I went out this morning with a treat for the kids, and both the roo and the hens came running. I went into the coop, cop'd a squat, and had the hens eating out of my hands. The roo still seems a bit....wary of me. He's also puffing up his feathers, with the ones on his neck being the most prominent to fluff out. He's also making some gurgling noises at me. I'm afraid he's thinking about jumping me, but I'm not savvy on chicken behavior, so I'm not sure. Funny, though, how the hens are MORE prone to getting close to me now than they were yesterday. Any more advice?

Edit: I read Gritsar's page on chicken reform. Good stuff there. My chicks don't free range at this time. They have a coop, with a LARGE area fenced in that allows them grass, bugs, sunshine, and a chance to play. I do try to spoil Gordon a bit with offering him treats first, and I will stop that. Also, my chickens are not of the age to start mating yet, so I can't knock him away when he's trying to get busy with Henrietta (who appears to be the top hen) or the other girls. I also have not carried Gordon any, so no extra love in that department. I just want it so they're affectionate to a small degree with me, and so I don't have to worry about getting spurred when my back is turned.
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