Rooster behavior advice for newbies

Sally PB

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Aug 7, 2020
8,166
35,577
933
Belding, MI
I'm starting this thread hoping people who know how to deal with aggressive cockerels/roosters can help those of us who have them and don't know what to do. This is a recurring topic!

I'll start with my boy, Darl. He's a 9 month old Buff Orpington. I've had him and three Black Australorp pullets (same age) since they were day old chicks from TSC. I had two other BO cockerels (never buying straight run again) that I had to cull, first, because three cockerels is way too many for three pullets, and second, because when hormones hit, they turned into mean, mean boys. None of my birds are "lap chickens," though I wish the girls were a little more affectionate.

Darl is... ok. He's not rough on the girls, even though there are only three. He tidbits. He crows, but not too much or too loudly. He will take a treat from my fingers and pass it to one of the girls. So what's my problem?

Sometimes when I bring in treats, he will rush me, head down, hackles out. Occasionally, he has come at me feet first. I am not fast enough to do the "hold his head down to the ground" maneuver. It would be just luck if I got him before he got away. I have done the "peck with fingers" a couple times, but usually he scoots out of range quickly.

I know he probably sees me as competition for his girls. In the last week, I have tried putting the plate of treats down in front of him. Here you go, big guy, this is for you to give to your ladies. This seems to work better. Is it a valid strategy? I will never, ever, let him get away with challenging me, but I don't have a way to physically demote him.

I'm not trying to make him my best buddy, though that would be fine. I want a nice rooster to sire some more chicks next spring.

Suggestions?
 

nuthatched

Fishin' for Chickens
Nov 9, 2019
4,385
9,360
486
Rim Country, Az
Pick him up and carry him around for a minute..
Giving him the treats first is a good idea.
My rooster would only try to get me if I'm wearing plaid. so I wore plaid until he got used to it.
 

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