Training a Rooster.

Old Ben

Songster
Sep 23, 2018
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My chickens are going to be 5 months old soon, the hens are starting to poke their heads inside the nest boxes every once in a while. And the rooster. Well, he’s starting to act like a rooster. And of course that means he’s starting to pay me more attention with “stairing matches” whenever I go near him. As you probably guessed these are my first chickens and I don’t want any rooster problems so I’ve been determined to deal with him now instead of later on. I did a lot of research and I want to know what y’all think about how I’m dealing with him. Whenever he goes up to me I stand tall and stair right back at him, if he doesn’t lower his head or turn around I’ll stomp my feet at him. If that doesn’t work I chase him just enough to make him run away. I only do this when he comes up right next to me and looks at me like he’s challenging me. Anything else I should be doing? Or shouldn’t be?
 

DobieLover

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I wouldn't let him come that close. He needs to keep his distance.
And whenever you are walking among the flock, walk with purpose and walk right through him to make him get out of your way.
I've had issues with my maturing cockerel but nothing too serious IMO.
If your boy displays all the other desirable rooster traits, keep up on dominating him. If he doesn't, consider rehoming him knowing he will likely end up in someones freezer.
I personally don't agree with trying to have a rooster as a pet. My opinion. But I don't want to have to hurt him either. That being said, I did kick (not too hard) my cockerel in the butt a few days ago because he flogged me. He had his reason. It wasn't just because I was in with the flock.
Good luck.
 

LoveMyChickenBabies

Crossing the Road
Sep 11, 2018
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I say this only my experiences, others might be different but this is what happened with me and my problem rooster.

When we got our very first flock of chickens, they were all supposed to be sexed pullets. Of course there had to be that one that was not a pullet. He grew up, and I did everything that you say that you are doing. Anytime he looked at me like he was challenging me, I chased him. Now he is the worst rooster you could imagine. Every time we turn our backs, he is charging us and flogging us. When he does that, we have to chase him or whack him in his breast/wing area (not hard). It has gotten so bad that my Mom had to buy a slingshot to protect herself when she goes outside. We can't get rid of him because he is such a gosh darn good rooster that treats his ladies like a gentleman and he protects them like no other we have ever seen.

That is my experience. I would recommend not doing that anymore.
 

llombardo

Crowing
Mar 11, 2018
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I think your sending mix messages and I would stop the staring. Staring is challenging him, so you are technically setting him up to fail. At this point you want him to give you space. You walk through the area like you own it. If he doesn't move out of the way, then you make him move. I don't think stomping is the answer there either--another challenge in his eyes. You can carry around a long stick, broom, etc. This can block him if he decides to flog and you can gently move him out of your way with the stick. I don't believe in that whole dominance thing with people, dogs and add roosters to the list. In most cases you will do more harm then good and are setting them up to fail. From what I am seeing most people that do this,have no problem culling the rooster, which kind of makes me mad because they created the problem and because things didn't go their way the rooster pays for it.

They do learn. Mine knows his name, he knows the girls names. When I tell him to go check whatever girl--he goes right to her. They definitely can be trained.
 
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Old Ben

Songster
Sep 23, 2018
133
177
101
I wouldn't let him come that close. He needs to keep his distance.
And whenever you are walking among the flock, walk with purpose and walk right through him to make him get out of your way.
I've had issues with my maturing cockerel but nothing too serious IMO.
If your boy displays all the other desirable rooster traits, keep up on dominating him. If he doesn't, consider rehoming him knowing he will likely end up in someones freezer.
I personally don't agree with trying to have a rooster as a pet. My opinion. But I don't want to have to hurt him either. That being said, I did kick (not too hard) my cockerel in the butt a few days ago because he flogged me. He had his reason. It wasn't just because I was in with the flock.
Good luck.
Thank you for the reply! I agree with your comment. it may seem harsh to others sometimes, but in reality it’s better for the rooster because a behaving rooster saves him from becoming chicken stew.
 

Lady J

Songster
8 Years
May 14, 2012
91
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Arkansas
I may have gone about it all wrong, but I caught, handled and held my cockerel every day from when I first got him. He is a big fellow now, but I still corner him in the pen, catch him and either make him let me pet or hold him. That's my way of demonstrating dominance over him. He doesn't like being caught but that falls under the category of too bad. Was this the wrong approach? I haven't had any issues with him at all. The first pic is from when I first got him. He is on the far left in the second pic. It is a few months old, so he is even bigger now.
IMG_6153[1].JPG
IMG_7152[1].JPG
 

DobieLover

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I may have gone about it all wrong, but I caught, handled and held my cockerel every day from when I first got him. He is a big fellow now, but I still corner him in the pen, catch him and either make him let me pet or hold him. That's my way of demonstrating dominance over him. He doesn't like being caught but that falls under the category of too bad. Was this the wrong approach? I haven't had any issues with him at all. The first pic is from when I first got him. He is on the far left in the second pic. It is a few months old, so he is even bigger now. View attachment 1584166 View attachment 1584169

Has he shown any signs of aggression? How old is he now?
I would say that you cornering him, catching him and petting him then letting him go without hurting him would be constant reinforcement that you won't hurt him, but I also think it would be unnecessarily stressful for him as you say he doesn't like it.
Maybe you could just try offering him treats to keep a positive relationship with him instead of handling him daily and just let him go about protecting and caring for his ladies? Again, this is just my opinion. You will find vastly differing opinions here on the treatment and raising of cockerels and roosters.
 

Lady J

Songster
8 Years
May 14, 2012
91
117
136
Arkansas
Not the first sign of aggression. I'm guessing he's 7 months old now. He eats meal worms and other treats out of my hand on a regular basis. He's going to be under a lot more stress if he starts posturing against me vs any stress caused by loving up on him. Hahahaha.

In fact, the last time I caught him, I sat down on a stool and put him in my lap. He slowly started relaxing and his body got lower and lower until he was laying down in my lap. The more he relaxed, the more I relaxed my arms and loosened my hold on him until I was pretty much no longer holding him. He stayed in my lap for a good 5 minutes on his own watching the ladies and then eventually jumped down of his own free will and just casually strolled off.

One more P.S. I don't handle him every day now. I did that when I first got him. I might pick him up once or twice a week now.
 
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DobieLover

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Not the first sign of aggression. I'm guessing he's 7 months old now. He eats meal worms and other treats out of my hand on a regular basis. He's going to be under a lot more stress if he starts posturing against me vs any stress caused by loving up on him. Hahahaha.

I think if he was going to start posturing against you, he would have started by now. I think you may have an inherently good guy on your hands. I'd stop handling him and just offer him the goodies. Good for you on having such a nice boy!
 

alexa009

Crossing the Road
Apr 6, 2017
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Taming him and being gentle is asking for trouble in a cockerel, grab him and hold him roughly if you have to. Acting friendly and gentle towards a cockerel can start promoting him to take advantage of you and will reinforce aggressive behavior. Five months is still early to determine if you rooster will actually be friendly in the long run. Mine was starting get leery of me at 5 months of age then started charging and attacking at 7 months (so it did take a while.) Now don't get me wrong, I am not saying there are no friendly lap birds out there who are roosters, there can be but that is usually rare cases. Roosters that are intimidated of their owners usually turn out to be the best ones.
 

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