Making Sure Your Rooster Knows You Are Top Dog

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by CalgaryFarmer, Oct 24, 2015.

  1. CalgaryFarmer

    CalgaryFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    My first rooster is coming of age. I have read a fair bit on ensuring your rooster does not become aggressive to you. These include:

    1. Pushing your rooster off a hen when he tries to mate in your presence.
    2. Chasing your rooster when he starts to crow in your presence.
    3. Walking through your rooster rather than around.
    4. Chasing the rooster when he drops a wing and is sideways(?) to you.
    5. Not tolerating any type of aggression towards you.

    Other responses to the above can include:

    1. Holding the rooster's wings and carrying him around.
    2. Holding the rooster against the ground for a period of time, and specifically until he relaxes at least.
    3. Holding the rooster by his legs and holding him upside down. (should be used sparingly and only for a short period of time)

    Any other thoughts?

    As well, is there a risk that your rooster may start to see you as a threat when you do these things, especially pushing him off when he is trying to mate? In other words, can these responses turn a rooster aggressive where he might not have been inclined to be aggressive to you?
    1 person likes this.
  2. MyMonsters91

    MyMonsters91 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 17, 2015
    Hm.. wow. Can't say I have ever done any of that and my rooster is amazing. lol. He's not cuddly, but he keeps all of his girls safe, is really watchful and will run to block a hen from going some-where that's not safe. Crows all the time, rounds the girls up when they start straying while free-roaming, will send the girls to the coop if they take too long roosting at night. He doesn't really like my kids, but that's because my kids tease him and set him off. They deserve his distrust. For the most part, he leaves me alone. We have a little peace treaty between us. I don't reach over and try to pet him, I don't pick him up, I don't puff at him and he doesn't puff at me. He lets me handle the girls, I feel safe with him walking behind me across the yard, I crouch down to talk to all of them and he'll hang out on the outside of the chicken-ring that surrounds me and just watches. If he does puff up and get defensive then I will take the offense. For me that means removing my flip flop and raising it at him. I'll slap him with it if he jumps at it, and I'll advance him until he stops being defensive and walks away. That doesn't happen often, though, and usually the times he does do it is thanks to my kids having got him worked up in advance.

    When he was younger (before he hit maturity) he was one of my favorite chickens to pet and pick up, but afterwards we both just decided a mutual understanding was the best for us both. :p

    1 person likes this.
  3. CalgaryFarmer

    CalgaryFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks. It is good to hear other's experience. I like the mutual understanding. Handsome devil to boot!
  4. izziebean

    izziebean Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2015
    My latest tactic is to put them in a pet carrier for a night. He is completely out of the flock for about six hours. He seems to really hate this. I call it the time out... and for some reason is it working. I did it because I was sure I was going to sell him the next day but during the night I got up and put him back into the flock. **guilt** You need to let it be enough time for him to 'give up'. If he is still standing up at the edge of the front of the crate, he gets to stay in there. If he has moved to the back of the carrier and fallen asleep, then he can rejoin the flock.
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri

    I explicitly refute options 1,2, and 4 as that does promote aggressive encounters later. Option 3 and 5 I make so rooster does not consider me a threat or someone that responds to his bullying.
    1 person likes this.
  6. CalgaryFarmer

    CalgaryFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Of course this can be effective. Thanks. Interesting there is a wait until he relaxes element to this.
  7. CalgaryFarmer

    CalgaryFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    This why I am asking the question. After pushing him off the hen the first time, I was thinking to myself, does he see me less as the caretaker and more as a competitor. It just did not sit right with me after I pushed him off. Especially because he was staring at me so intently ... or maybe my guilt made it seem like he was staring at me intently trying to figure out where I fit in in the grand scheme of things.
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    My method is to basically ignore them, I guess. Yep, I walk right through them, but not in a chasing way. I simply need to get from point A to point B and he's in my way. He needs to move. Now, maybe I really didn't need to get from point A to point B, but he doesn't need to know that.

    I don't want to mate the hens, so I don't care if he does that when I'm around. And I do want him mating the hens regularly so I can hatch eggs, so deterring him from mating is counter intuitive to me.

    I don't care if he crows, except if I'm very close and it physically hurts my ears. I'll yell or stomp at him for that, just like I would my dog for barking when I'm that close. My dog doesn't see me as an attacker, and none of my roosters have either.

    When I do need to be in the pens, I do try to be respectful and give all the birds, but the roosters especially, time to get out of my way. In smaller pens they don't always know where I'm going and get between me and the nest box, for instance. Since my birds aren't pets, when I get close to them sometime they get upset, trying to get away. When they get upset, I just stop moving for a minute and let them figure it out. I don't push myself onto any animal that's stressing like that, it's a good way to get flogged/bit/kicked. make the right choice easy....let them move away quietly.

    I find if I raise my roosters with this kind of "benign neglect", so to speak, I have no aggression issues. I'm a non-player in their minds. I mean, my dog and coop cat act pretty much the same way towards the cockerels, and the cockerels don't get aggressive toward them.

    If I need to handle a rooster for anything, I pick him up off the roost at night. I just don't need to catch them or mess with them during the day. Pretty much the same for the hens.
    3 people like this.
  9. CalgaryFarmer

    CalgaryFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Donrae, thank you. These are are all helpful comments.
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I handled most my chicks a lot, the male not as much after about 6-8 weeks, but still did on occasion just so he knew he wouldn't die if I touched him.
    Also handled the pullets regularly but with short duration until well after the cockerel came of age.....
    ......he would be concerned if a bird got upset but never went at me.
    I felt he needed to know I could do this and it wan't a threat and no harm would come, so did the pullets.
    Worked good for me, but I've only dealt with a couple of cockbirds and one was a mellow adult when I got him.

    I think the attitude of the human keeper is of utmost must remain calm but confident.
    If you're nervous and anxious bird can feel that and it makes them nervous and anxious..... and more likely to react aggressively out of fear.

    I rarely handle the birds, except off the roost, unless it's absolutely necessary...tho some seem to like to be touched, a couple actually want to be picked up.
    1 person likes this.

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