Keeping a Rooster mellow

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by yyz0yyz0, Jan 31, 2017.

  1. yyz0yyz0

    yyz0yyz0 Chillin' With My Peeps

    610
    78
    144
    May 2, 2012
    a couple weeks ago I introduced an 8+mo old rooster to my flock of 12 hens.

    the rooster was handled alot while he was being raised so at this stage he is pretty mellow around me.

    If I move slow I can corner him in the run and pick him up without much fuss and hold and pet him. He allows me to pick him up and doesn't struggle while being held or petted.

    So, now to the question: From this point further, should I keep picking him up and holding him or should I just treat him like the rest of the flock? Treating him like the rest of the flock would mean talking to them while taking care of them, hand feeding some treats occasionally, herding them back into the run after free ranging, gently petting/touching them if they come close enough but not forcing them by picking them up or cornering them.
    I don't care if I can't pick him up as long as he remains mellow and doesn't go psycho on me, I've had enough of the psycho roosters to know I won't hesitate to send him off to freezer camp if he starts to attack.

    So what would others do to keep a mellow rooster mellow?
     
  2. TheKindaFarmGal

    TheKindaFarmGal Overrun With Chickens

    5,379
    5,218
    396
    May 4, 2016
    Somewhere in the Universe
    Just treat him like the rest of the flock. If he goes bad - well, you know what to do.
     
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

    15,961
    3,555
    436
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Top rooster dominates by controlling space and resources. He should always move away and never enter your space, which is about 5 feet around you. Facing you directly and not moving away are bad signs. A rooster should never move towards you, always away. So chasing and restraining can be dominance behavior, I just would stop petting him which can be seen as a submissive behavior.
     
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

    7,280
    1,590
    356
    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    I don't handle, treat, or pet my cockerels or cocks. They are to respect my space, and I reinforce that by walking 'through' them as though they aren't there, and expecting them to get out of my way. Creeping up on him, crouching, and petting, are more submissive behaviors, and not a good idea IMO. Mary
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,522
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I don't treat my roosters as pets.

    to me, they're intact male livestock with a job to do. Here, their job is basically to make babies for me. I don't free range, where I need them to be alert for predators, etc. So, they need to get along with the hens, court them and make their lives nice, be pretty, and above all be respectful to me.

    If the animal is doing it's job, I don't need to mess with it. Roosters don't want to be caught and held and petted, it's not a reward for a job well done like with a dog.

    I say leave him be. My attitude toward most of my roosters is benign indifference. Basically, I ignore them. they keep an eye on me, to know where I am, and get out of my way when I approach. If I'm feeding treats, they come up and call the hens, that's part of their job and perfectly acceptable. Otherwise, approaching me is not okay.

    Other than the petting/touching, I'd treat him as you treat your hens. Just matter of fact. As long as he yields to you, sounds like he's on a good path.
     
    2 people like this.
  6. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    9,545
    2,482
    411
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Donrae said the magic word: ignore. You have a mellow cockerel. By ignoring him, you are demonstrating you trust him. This will practically insure he will remain a mellow little dude.

    By trying to show affection to him, it can impart mixed signals. Mixed signals to a young cockerel who is trying to settle into his role in the flock may lead to insecurities, which may lead to behavior problems. Your behavior, even more than his, will determine how this youngster will behave going forward.

    You'll hear from some people that you should never allow a rooster to mate a hen in your presence. Those people are flat out wrong. By interfering with a cockerel or a rooster's normal function in the flock, you would be causing frustration and conflict, the opposite of how you want a mellow roo to feel.

    After a lot of roosters, I finally got one that is naturally mellow. He has never required any discipline whatsoever. He naturally glides out of my path when I approach, and he's gentle with the hens. He got handled as a chick, and he was very sweet, but the minute his hormones came in, I ignored him. I handle him very rarely, only when health issues require it. The rest of the time, he's allowed to do his job unimpeded. This shows I respect him. In return, he respects me.

    It's called, "if it's not broke, don't fix it."
     
  7. yyz0yyz0

    yyz0yyz0 Chillin' With My Peeps

    610
    78
    144
    May 2, 2012
    Thanks for all the replies. I had heard many different opinions on the subject previously.

    They aren't pets to me, they are farm animals. I have no problem if I can't hold pet him, I just want to do what ever is best for keeping him from going attack mode on me.

    So Ignore him it's going to be and I'm ok with that.

    thanks again for the replies
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by