What goes into raising a friendly roo?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by AmandaKyle, May 16, 2016.

  1. AmandaKyle

    AmandaKyle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2014
    I'm 99% sure my 3 week old FBCM chick is a roo. We have never kept a roo before, but we're going to give it a shot with this guy. Of course, we'd like him to be friendly! Are there any tips beyond frequent handling that can help grow into a tame and friendly rooster?

    Thank you!
    1 person likes this.
  2. ShanandGem

    ShanandGem Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 16, 2016
    I lucked into a lovely adult rooster who is good to his ladies and not aggressive with me. I did not raise him. I think the key is not to coddle them when they reach their 'aloof' stage. My 12 week old Orpington rooster who I packed around like a football as a baby (had to carry them over to their tractor daily and back to the coop at night until they were big enough to live in it) demonstrated subtly that he was no longer digging being picked up. He would hang back while the hens jumped into my arms for their ride outside. I acknowledged that by not handling him as much. They are in the tractor all the time now so I haven't picked him up in some time. I think those memories of me gently handling him are still there, but I do believe they need to feel secure as the leader of their flock.
    I have a tiny bantam roo that is going to be trouble and probably an early cull. He is no bigger than a hamster but runs over to peck my hand every time I open the door of the tractor. Some just don't have it in them to be nice.
    2 people like this.
  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    1 person likes this.
  4. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    This is a topic where people can be as divided and emotional as in politics. So beware the the Pandora's box you have lifted the lid on. [​IMG]

    Here's my experience over eight years and almost as many roos. First of all, breed plays a huge role. Docile breeds usually make for more predictable roosters.

    I've found that a male chick can be safely handled and enjoyed right up until he shows signs of coming into his hormones. At that point, I recommend a completely hands off relationship to the point you are practically ignoring him.

    What you want is for him to respect you and to keep his distance, and if he doesn't readily remove himself from your path as you approach him, you need to walk right through him. When you are near him, avoid sudden movements, especially with your hands and handling the hens. Be careful and deliberate. You need to establish yourself in his eyes as someone who is capable and who can be trusted. In return, he will trust and respect you.

    A good rooster with good breeding will behave appropriately naturally, but you may need to discipline, not punish, him if he shows signs of not being with the program. If he displays aggression toward you, you will need to show him he may not behave that way. There are excellent tutorials here on BYC on disciplining and training cockerels and rehabilitating problem roosters, so I won't get into that part of it.

    To sum it up, enjoy him now, but it's hands off as soon as the hormones come in!
    8 people like this.
  5. ShanandGem

    ShanandGem Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 16, 2016

    Well put. It's like the diatomaceous earth debate! Everyone gets all fired up about that too.
    I do think some roosters are better at roostering than others. My rooster that I got at a poultry swap is The Best Rooster Ever. He doesn't over breed the girls, lets them eat first, calls them over when he finds a bug. I've seen him pick the corn out of my lentil mash and set a piece in front of each hen. He stands watch over them when they're laying too.
    2 people like this.
  6. FarmerMac

    FarmerMac Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2014
    I have some roosters that will allow me to pick them up but other will never let me handle them, one leghorn will run away screaming as soon as I get close to him. I never handle him as baby.
  7. ImNotYogi

    ImNotYogi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 8, 2014
    Eastern NC
    I may not be of much help as I only have had one rooster and feel like I've lucked out with him. Turned a year old almost 3 weeks ago. I think him being an easter egger has worked in my favor. I didn't spend a whole lot of time handling them as chicks. He was very curious of me when they were all still in the brooder then as they went outside he became more distant so I left him alone. The only things I actually did with him was walk towards him to show I wasn't afraid of him or that he wasn't dominant over me. Any time I'd crouch down to do something he'd lower a wing and stomp at me. Read that was a sign of dominance or something. He'd do it to the hens as well. So I'd gently pick him up to show that he wasn't the dominant one. I'd put him down once he stopped squirming. He's a great rooster, imo. He calls them for bugs and treats, fluffs up nesting spots, watches for predators, ect. Once he even ran up to a dog that was loose. My back was turned then I heard him then heard the hens cackling and before I know it they're running away then I see him running towards a dog.
  8. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    I've had many roosters over the years, ranging from awful to very nice. I don't look for 'friendly', but rather 'respect'. My cockrels need to move away from me when I walk through the flock, and not show any sign of wanting to take me on. I will discourage such behavior in adolescent cockrels, but remember who they are, and look out for individuals who keep up that sort of behavior. They go! Human aggression can turn up in cockrels of any breed, and is a separate issue that should be reason to cull the bird. Polite birds are a joy to have in the flock, and are a combination of genetics and to a lesser degree, good handling. That's why people will tell you that their boy was cuddled and spoiled and still turned out fine. In general, cuddle the pullets, and give the cockrel some space. Mary
    Last edited: May 16, 2016
    4 people like this.
  9. Maddy757

    Maddy757 New Egg

    May 15, 2016
    I have noticed that if you desensitize a Roo through young age (physical contact etc.), and allow them to imprint on you, they seem less aggressive and more agreeable--Just a thought-Don't take my word.
  10. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Your experience getting a good roo in that manner may have been pure coincidence. Far more people will tell of an opposite experience.

    But the key is to watch for the first sign of hormones kicking in and then back off from any more contact with his unless it's absolutely necessary.
    1 person likes this.

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