Raising a rooster

Deavschee

In the Brooder
Dec 26, 2018
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Good morning. I've only had experiance with 2 roosters. Yesterday I was told that you dont really want to have a "holding/petting" relationship/bond with your rooster cause it actually creates them to be on the meaner side. I had a lavander orpington who loved being held and pet and I just picked up a 5 month old Ayam Cemani and I really wanted to bond with it but now I'm second guessing. Is this true or what is your experiance?
 

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ldrchickens

Songster
Jul 1, 2018
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Oklahoma
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I have 4 roosters total that a raised from chicks. Lavender orpington, silkie, showgirl, and a mystery chick. I held them everyday and was with them a lot but not a single one completely tamed down like a few of my hens did. Only the lavender orpington is aggressive and its not all the the time. Only to little kids, animals, and strangers but sometimes he goes after me. The other three have never once showed even a slight bit of aggression other then the silkie roo bites sometimes when you try to catch him. They just run when you try to pick them up.
 

JedJackson

Crossing the Road
Jul 6, 2016
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The reason many of us advise against holding and bonding with young male birds is that if they are tamed to the degree that they no longer fear humans, then they can easily turn aggressive towards people when they are older. It does not always happen that way, of course, and many roosters who have never been tamed turn aggressive, too. It's just something to be careful about. Also, I should stress that the idea is not to have the rooster terrified of people, just to have one who is respectful and keeps a respectful distance.

In your case, I think it is probably too late to tame a 5 month old, and Ayam Cemanis are basically a game breed, so it would probably not be easy to tame them, anyway.
 

Shadrach

Roosterist
Jul 31, 2018
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Good morning. I've only had experiance with 2 roosters. Yesterday I was told that you dont really want to have a "holding/petting" relationship/bond with your rooster cause it actually creates them to be on the meaner side. I had a lavander orpington who loved being held and pet and I just picked up a 5 month old Ayam Cemani and I really wanted to bond with it but now I'm second guessing. Is this true or what is your experiance?
Most of all, you have to realise that roosters are not like hens. It seems obvious but............
I’ve picked up and carried and been particularly friendly to a number of cockerels. There are always problems later but once you understand a bit about what drives the cockerel and how the cockerel is likely to see you as it matures how to handle the problems later becomes more straightforward.
If you feed and pet a cockerel he’s going to imprint on you. What’s more, he’s going to see you as a strange mix between top hen and something else he doesn’t quite understand. As soon as the cockerel is able to mate, particularly if you have a more senior rooster who mates with the hens, the cockerel is going to see you as the only mating opportunity he has.
He may well do the ‘you’re my hen’ dance around you. He may drop food for you. He’s likely to peck you to both boss you about and in part as a sign of affection. Most of all, he’s likely to try and mate with you, probably your feet. This really upsets some people and they seem to think this is either aggressive behavior, or find it distasteful. Frankly it doesn’t bother me. I’ve got a young cockerel here now in love with my boots. It takes time, but eventually they grow out of this stage and dump you and turn their charm on for the hens.
If you drive a cockerel that behaves like this away from you, this can make him aggressive and want to dominated you. This seems often to be where things go wrong for many people.
You need to remember it’s not his fault. You, by trying to be his mum, feeding him and grooming him etc, have made the situation. Most cockerels try to mate with their mothers first and later learn how to attract their own hens.
My advice is wear boots. Let him do what he needs to with the boots and if you don’t already have hens get some.
 

JedJackson

Crossing the Road
Jul 6, 2016
4,340
14,349
791
NW Washington state
Most of all, you have to realise that roosters are not like hens. It seems obvious but............
I’ve picked up and carried and been particularly friendly to a number of cockerels. There are always problems later but once you understand a bit about what drives the cockerel and how the cockerel is likely to see you as it matures how to handle the problems later becomes more straightforward.
If you feed and pet a cockerel he’s going to imprint on you. What’s more, he’s going to see you as a strange mix between top hen and something else he doesn’t quite understand. As soon as the cockerel is able to mate, particularly if you have a more senior rooster who mates with the hens, the cockerel is going to see you as the only mating opportunity he has.
He may well do the ‘you’re my hen’ dance around you. He may drop food for you. He’s likely to peck you to both boss you about and in part as a sign of affection. Most of all, he’s likely to try and mate with you, probably your feet. This really upsets some people and they seem to think this is either aggressive behavior, or find it distasteful. Frankly it doesn’t bother me. I’ve got a young cockerel here now in love with my boots. It takes time, but eventually they grow out of this stage and dump you and turn their charm on for the hens.
If you drive a cockerel that behaves like this away from you, this can make him aggressive and want to dominated you. This seems often to be where things go wrong for many people.
You need to remember it’s not his fault. You, by trying to be his mum, feeding him and grooming him etc, have made the situation. Most cockerels try to mate with their mothers first and later learn how to attract their own hens.
My advice is wear boots. Let him do what he needs to with the boots and if you don’t already have hens get some.
Really? I've never had a rooster that thought I was a hen, or one that strutted around me. Even when I was a little kid, this never happened. I'm not saying that it doesn't happen, but from my perspective, aggressive roosters see flock keepers as competition and a threat to their dominance, not as potential mating partners, in most cases.
 

Shadrach

Roosterist
Jul 31, 2018
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Really? I've never had a rooster that thought I was a hen, or one that strutted around me. Even when I was a little kid, this never happened. I'm not saying that it doesn't happen, but from my perspective, aggressive roosters see flock keepers as competition and a threat to their dominance, not as potential mating partners, in most cases.
Must just be me then.
I may have misunderstood the OP but I got the impression that the males are likely to be cockerels still. You are absolutely right in writing that a rooster will see you as competition in most circumstances. You feed his hens and that means (given you can supply better treats and more regular food than he can) that you are competition.
Most of the cockerels I've had a high level of involvement with may have a very brief period when they compete with me and I deal with that in a different way. Usually, after a year of being part of a flock/tribe they seem to accept that I'm not trying to entice their hens away. I've had a couple go wrong but I spend a lot of time with the various tribes and the tribes rooster accepts me so the cockerels learn from him as well.
Maybe I have that hen smell.;):lol:
 

JedJackson

Crossing the Road
Jul 6, 2016
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NW Washington state
Must just be me then.
I may have misunderstood the OP but I got the impression that the males are likely to be cockerels still. You are absolutely right in writing that a rooster will see you as competition in most circumstances. You feed his hens and that means (given you can supply better treats and more regular food than he can) that you are competition.
Most of the cockerels I've had a high level of involvement with may have a very brief period when they compete with me and I deal with that in a different way. Usually, after a year of being part of a flock/tribe they seem to accept that I'm not trying to entice their hens away. I've had a couple go wrong but I spend a lot of time with the various tribes and the tribes rooster accepts me so the cockerels learn from him as well.
Maybe I have that hen smell.;):lol:
Who knows? Roosters can act crazy sometimes. I know that indoor roosters can turn an amorous eye to just about anything, especially, for some reason, footwear, but I always assumed that was because there were no hens around.
 

Shadrach

Roosterist
Jul 31, 2018
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Who knows? Roosters can act crazy sometimes. I know that indoor roosters can turn an amorous eye to just about anything, especially, for some reason, footwear, but I always assumed that was because there were no hens around.
There have always been hens around here. The problem is in most cases the hens have a senior rooster. While the cockerels are say under six months old the senior hens will just bash the cockerel if it tries it on. As the cockerels get more mature the senior rooster protects his favorites and any 'spare' become fair game for the maturing cockerel. The senior rooster will only intervene if he is regularly mating the hen the cockerel may jump on. In the second six months or so the cockerel learns he has to 'persuade' the hen to follow him and take the food he offers. He learns fast that while he may be able to force them to mate, he can't force them to follow him and become 'his' hens.
Meanwhile, with the cockerels here, those who I have had minimal involvement with become group satellite roosters given the senior rooster doesn't drive them out or kill them until new hens become available. Those I have looked after while young (Orphans with no living relatives more often than not) tend to see me as their mum/whatever.
 
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