Raising Cockerels Advice and Resources

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by rainwolfeh, Apr 16, 2017.

  1. rainwolfeh

    rainwolfeh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2015
    Hello everyone! This is my third year keeping chickens, but the first time I am (hopefully) keeping a cockerel...he is incredibly friendly and sweet and I am absolutely enamoured with him. He was bought as a pullet, but...it's pretty clear he isn't now. He's currently about 8 weeks old, and a Cuckoo Maran. I had plans for my first rooster, but I sort of fell in love, so they've changed.

    My question is, though, I've never kept a cockerel before and I have heard they can get to be very nasty...what kind of resources do all of you recommend I read? What changes can I expect from the sweet little bird I have now? Any advice? Do they require different nutrition? (I've currently got them all on flock raiser since they're slowly integrating.) He's currently content to be stroked or sit with me, hop up for treats etc, and is very good with his three girls, all his age.
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    When it comes to good cockerel/rooster management, I always suggest reading up on the posts by @centrarchid .
    As to feeding, I would suggest continuing to use Flock Raiser or another feed appropriate for a mixed flock. While many folks opt for layer ration the scientific fact is that male birds, and non-laying females, have no way to process and expel the extra calcium it provides and, over time, there is internal damage done as that calcium builds up in the bird's body. Outward damage is not seen and when the bird succumbs after a few years it is chalked up to natural death.
  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    If you have had chickens for three years, the best thing is to let the older flock be with him and the other pullets. A multi-generaltiona flock is best for raising a rooster, as they will teach him some manners. I do not recommend trying to keep a rooster unless you have come to terms with the idea, that you might need to cull this particular bird. Roosters are a crap shoot. Some turn out great, and some do not, and there are no guarantees, no matter what you do.

    However, I would not make a pet of him. It is so hard as it is so counter intuitive. Unlike puppies, if you treat a rooster as a pet, he has no fear of you, and often times will want to dominate you when he comes in to maturity. Chickens flock have a pecking order, and it is natural for a rooster to strive to be that top bird. The older hens will dominate him for a while, but eventually he will dominate them, and then very often he will try to dominate you. This forum is full of stories of the darling (just what your describe) turning into the nightmare in an instant. It most likely is not an instant, but people unfamiliar with roosters do not often recognize the signs.

    You need to be assertive, your young rooster need to be a little afraid of you, and naturally move out of your way. I don't want mine running for their lives, but rather to move out of my way and generally keep about 5 feet away from me. What you are saying is I am not a hen to be dominated. I do not adore you.

    Centrachid does give very good advice on chickens, but he is also very experienced in chickens. Recently he gave the advice, of not giving them feed when you come to the coop. I started pouring out the water first. Letting the birds settle a bit, before I put the feed in three different spots. He had mentioned that the wild running to get food, often upsets roosters. And really while it is flattering to have them all come running, mine are much calmer since I changed the way I offered feed. He suggested even turning them out, and letting them come back and finding the feed bowl with food.

    A calm flock is a much happier flock.

    Mrs K
    1 person likes this.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Ditto Dis^^^ Big Time!
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017

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