Is it possible to make a skittish roo more friendly?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Desirai, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. Desirai

    Desirai Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 12, 2011
    My rooster Lindo (originally Linda til he crowed) is extremely skittish. He always has this look like he is terrified (as you will see in the pictures)
    He won't come near me, and if I come in the pen he sounds the alarm that something is wrong and the hens all run to him.

    I had to rehome my other roosters so he is now the only rooster in the flock.

    Is there anything I can do?



  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    He is gorgeous! Beautiful colouring.

    I think the best way to befriend this boy is to spent time with him. Go into the run with some treats and sit down, on the grass or take something to sit on, like a cushion. Just sit there and talk to him and the hens. this may sound silly, but talk to them like you would to a baby or a small child. Offer them the treats and if they won't come to you, toss it to them. But not too far from you, so they have to approach you. Do this every day, for as long as you can/have time for. They will eventually figure out that you are not the enemy and will come to you for treats.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I think I would just rather have him a bit skittish. It means he thinks you are still the top. Friendly roo's often loose their fear of humans, and then begin to want them to subordinate, and will attack.

    I move slowly and quietly while around them, I call them, "here chick, chcik when I bring feed, but I don't make a pet of the rooster.

    2 people like this.
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j True BYC Addict

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
  5. juststruttin

    juststruttin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 9, 2010
  6. KatieBugg

    KatieBugg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2010
    Holts Summit, MO
    I agree whole heartedly! So yeah X4 :D
  7. NovaAman

    NovaAman Overrun With Chickens


    The only boys of mine I handle are the tiny ones... Like Pat the Rat. He's a little one pound walking feather hat. Not kidding. Very small bantams Cochin. Well anyway, if he's skittish that's good. Mine are, but they come for treats. I throw the treats to them, they call the girls, then I throw treats every where. Roosters have their place. And some are not meant to be lap chickens, some do. If he is leary, leave him leary.

    What is he? He is very pretty.
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I'm in the wanting a rooster to keep his distance camp.

    If/when you had another roo, this rooster never approached him. It's a respect thing. I agree roos who lose that respect tend to wind up in the stewpot. I never handle my roosters (then again I don't handle my hens either) and they always alert the hens when I come in the run. But none of my birds are what I'd call scared of me. They know I come bearing food, and like Mrs K they come running to the high-pitched "here chick chick chick" I call them with. Sometimes I have to nudge them out of my way, so they're not scared of me!
  9. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 8, 2008

    There are so many stories of people on BYC being flogged by their beloved pet roo, the one that used to sit on their laps and fly to their shoulders. Lots fewer stories of people who had roosters that were standoff-ish and then suddenly turned.

    I want my roosters to be wary enough of me to move away when I walk towards them, but not so scared that they panic when I walk in the hen house. Yours seems a bit too wary, so I'd start giving treats using the same call every time ("here chick chick chick chick" seems to be a standard) so that he associates you with treats and doesn't marshal the flock, but not so friendly that he'd feel OK being petted.
  10. mtnviewfarms

    mtnviewfarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    x 7 here. I've been raising chickens now for 3 years, currently have over 100 and 10 of them are roos - 8 that I raised from day old and two that I purchased
    as young cockerels.

    I spend a lot of time with my flocks and I believe that the aggressiveness or a rooster is more of a genetic predisposition than environmental as ALL of the
    Roos I've raised and had were treated exactly the same way by me ( I am the only one who tends to them ) and most have never attempted to flog me but a few have and they were quickly sold as I breed my chickens and don't want to pass the aggressive to humans gene along to future generations. In fact, the two who flogged me were Welsummers that I had raised from day old chicks!

    I do move slowly when tending my flock, no sudden movements and no high pitched noises - I talk to them as I tend them and many of the pullets flock
    around me as do some of the Roos but a few of the Roos just 'watch me critically from a distance' and I am aware that they could flog me but so far have
    not. One of my grand daughters loves to watch chicken TV with me - she's 10 - and I've warned her not to yell or make sudden moves in the coop and run that a Roo could perceive as 'threatening' as this could lead to a flogging. Yep, she did both of those things last time she was here and guess what -
    my Black Australorp Roo, Zeus, minimally jumped her. Didn't hurt her but scared the begeeses out of her. I told her iit was her behaviors that caused it
    and she will now be more mindful when in their 'house'.

    Roosters are programmed for two very basic behaviors, mating a lot for procreation and protecting their 'girls' so anything that can be construed as a threat - at least from the Roo's point of view - is asking for trouble.

    I prefer my Roos to be a little skittish and standoffish with me for all of the above reasons and what others have said as well.
    As I tend the flock every Rooster moves out of my path to let me by which I interpret as a submissive behavior and that's
    just fine with me as I want to be 'the head Roo'.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2013

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