Training roosters?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by catchthewind, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. catchthewind

    catchthewind Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have mostly straight-run chickens, and out of the older 9 at least 3 and possibly 4 are cockerels. They range in age from 5-11 weeks old and are all together and doing fine so far. We're hoping to keep at least one rooster, but I have small children (3 and 1 right now). We don't have any laws about chickens here, though the coop is a tad close to my neighbour's house so hopefully they won't mind. We're on an acre and a half though so it's not that close.

    Anyway, the maybe cockerel is a Lavender Orpington who is almost 11 weeks old and has a lovely personality. I was just at another farm yesterday to pick up some Silkie chicks and she had two Buff Orpington roosters and they followed her around and practically begged to be picked up. If our Orpington does end up being a rooster and stays as sweet as he is now, I'd love to keep him as our roo. Will all roosters protect and warn the hens though? I don't want him to be so friendly and easy-going that he never warns the hens of danger, since that's our primary motivation for keeping one.

    My second question is that one of my daughter's favourites is almost definitely a cockerel. He is a Splash-Laced Wyandotte. He's only just under five weeks old and has large, bright red wattles already. I don't know much about Wyandotte personalities but so far he is very quiet and sweet too. We have an EE rooster who used to be really sweet, but now he's a bit of a turd and pecks at us constantly. Is there anything we can do to increase chances that the Wyandotte will stay friendly towards people, instead of getting a bit mean like the EE, or is it just luck of the draw? Will two roosters (a Wyandotte and an Orpington) brooded together get along okay with 10-12 hens (which is how many we're aiming to have for the fall) or is that asking for trouble? Are two roosters more than twice as noisy as one rooster? (Like, will they get each other going and end up crowing more than if there was just one?)
     
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  2. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    First, your little boys are still too young for you to know what kind of personalities they'll have once their hormones kick in around five months old.

    A "sweet" cockerel at three months can transform into either an attack animal or a shy roo so timid he has a meltdown when you attempt to touch him. These are descriptions of my two "accidental" roosters as their hormones turned on this past fall. One almost became Christmas dinner because he was taking huge chunks of flesh out of my hands, and the other one was impossible to catch when I had the need because he was so shy and afraid.

    They were both sweet as chicks and hand raised with plenty of tender love and attention, but the hormones were the deciding factor in their personalities.

    The good news is that roosters can be trained, but it requires a lot of commitment and perseverance. I've had tremendous success following the guidance of olychickenguy who trains chickens using chicken psychology. Here's one of his lessons on training a roo to stop crowing. http://olychickenguy.blogspot.com/s...d-max=2011-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=5

    He invites e-mails about a particular problem you might be having with your chickens. He helped me with Darrel my shy Cochin. Darrel is now eating out of my hand and will permit me to pick him up, and the biter no longer bites me, and loves to be cuddled in my lap. Problem roos need not end up in a stew pot.

    As for being able to predict whether you'll have a strong flock leader who protects the hens, I think you'll just have to wait and see what you end up with after they mature.
     
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  3. catchthewind

    catchthewind Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you so much for the information and that link! Very helpful, and I'm going to read through it carefully. Reading threads about roosters attacking people is a bit scary considering I have young kids so I want to make sure we don't have problems with ours. It sounds like lots of people have really nice roosters, so I'm not too worried, but anything I can do to prevent problems before they start would be great. I didn't realize it took so long for the hormones to kick in. For some reason I thought it was 7-10 weeks. I still have a lot to learn. [​IMG]
     
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  4. MuddyBootsPA

    MuddyBootsPA Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for posting this. I am really interesting in training our Roo (also about 8 weeks) to make him more docile & less of a crower. He is already exhibiting good behavior for protecting the girls, so I think we are good in that department. I just want to make sure he is not too loud, so we don't have to get rid of him on account of the neighbors.

    Thanks again!
     
  5. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    Crowing is going to be tough to control, but go read what this guy has to say on the matter. http://olychickenguy.blogspot.com/s...d-max=2011-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=5 Ky has trained several dozens of roosters to behave in an urban setting with great success. If you click on and read all his articles on chicken training, you'll come away with terrific insight into the chicken brain.

    He helped me train two impossible roos, and I believe if you follow his methods, you'll have great success, too. Feel free to e-mail him. He's homeless and may not get back to you right away, but he's always ready to help anyone with a chicken problem with personal advice.
     

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