Saturday, October 19, 2013

The training of the roo....How to raise a friendly rooster

I think everyone has a mean rooster story or two to tell. It seems that some roosters can be downright evil. Others though can be real sweethearts. Unfortunately, roosters are one of those animals that you only really get 1 chance to raise them right. Sad, yes. Even worse, it's true. If raised wrong, you can end up with a cranky, mean, vengeful beast.....but if done right, you can end up with a powder puff! Rooster training is best started young....like 1 day old young if you can! Usually that's not so terribly tough since most of us have a hard time keeping our hands off the chicks anyway! It's important to handle him daily. It doesn't have to be the same person, several people can get in on it. Even the kids.


Training a rooster


It's easy to spend time with chicks, but once they move out of the brooder it can be a bit harder. Coops are busy places with lots of other birds and things to do. It's much more fun for the little cockerel and he probably wont be as eager to hang out with people. This is where I don't give them a choice! Romeo is our newest cockerel. He is a small breed, but it's still important that he is brought up with lots of human interaction. My method is simple. Every morning I pick him up off the roost before he has a chance to jump down. I carry him over to the feed shed to get the feed and some treats. I carry him back and set him down to go about his day.


During the day I spend time with him if I can, but I often can't get around to it till bedtime. When I go to close them up for the night I pick him up off the roost again and pet and talk to him a bit. As with the hens the more attention you give them, the more they seem to like human interaction. The more you can visit with him and give him attention, the better results you should get. 

Now I can't guarantee this will work on every rooster, after all they are individuals....but a good dose of daily human interaction is a great place to start.

~L 
Shared at: The Homestead blog hop                      

7 comments:

  1. This is such a sweet post- and yes, don't we all just love handling those fuzzy little babies? The more time spent, the more friendly they are- and it's so much more enjoyable to have the friendly ones around :)

    Happy to meet you! I'm your newest follower and I found you through the Down Home Blog Hop!

    Erin
    Yellow Birch Hobby Farm
    http://yellowbirchhobbyfarm.blogspot.com

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    1. They are irresistible, aren't they? lol

      Great blog...I'm following you now!

      ~L

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  2. While you're right that interacting with a chicken is great, the bad news is: there is nothing that can be done to alter the personality or hormones of a mature cockerel inclined to become aggressive. Their aggression/territoriality is often misconstrued as them being mean, but aggressive roosters aren't mean, they're just doing the job they're supposed to do and that is protecting the flock. The testosterone levels have a great deal to do with the ultimate disposition of a rooster and there is no way to socialize hormones out of a feisty roo, nor should someone try. I've had lots of roosters, but none has ever become aggressive and it's not due to any special handling or socialization on my part. While I'd love to have more time than I do to handle my roosters individually, the reality of my busy life doesn't lend itself to it. If they are chill, that's totally my good fortune and if they are aggressive, it has nothing to do with the way they were socialized.

    Thank you for sharing your experience and thoughts through your blog post with us on The Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week!

    Cheers,
    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick®
    http://www.The-Chicken-Chick.com

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    1. Oh absolutely! I was focusing on bringing them up with the interaction as opposed to trying to add it in later. Sadly, some grow up super sweet and just change one day. I have noticed that mean roo's often have mean offspring and usually remove them from my breeding programs for that reason. I've just found that on average, the ones I raise with lots of attention grow up much nicer then the ones that have been raised here without it.

      Thanks for stopping by! Love your blog and hop!

      ~L

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  3. I actually like the philosophy of kindness presented here. So often people beat roosters into submission. I have seen that "work" (in that rooster comes to fear you too much to challenge you), but only if the rooster was physically injured.

    While it's true that rooster behavior is hormonally mediated, that does not mean that there is no plasticity to his behavior. One could make the argument that the behavior of every individual, human and animal, is chemically mediated - because it is. But that does not mean that behavior cannot be modified. In fact, we know that both human and animal behavior can be modified by environmental factors (the "nurture" part of the nature/nurture debate) - there are many, many examples of that.

    Can every rooster be tamed with kindness into a people friendly, non challenging bird? Of course not. But I think some can be. Some are more hard wired than others. Among my own roosters, some had nastier dispositions than others, but I would say that those I handled more were, on average, tamer. And I certainly saw it go in the other direction. I had a wonderfully tame rooster who suddenly snapped for good, after a child got into my coop and started chasing the chickens around, trying to grab them. The rooster went nuts, and thereafter, tried to attack any child that entered his territory. So his behavior was certainly modified by the way he was treated!

    So thanks for the post, I enjoyed it.

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    1. Thank you for your fabulous comments!

      I agree, so much of our behavior is predetermined (us being all mammals) but it is often influenced by the way we are treated. I really hate some of the 'cures' for rooster problems that I've read. It is something that needs addressed, but I don't believe attacking or challenging back is the answer. If their upbringing can give them a chance of turning out nicer...why not try?

      You have a perfect example of why they need treated right their whole lives also! I too had a rooster that turned because of a visitor. This situation got so bad that culling was the kindest answer. I watch people a whole lot closer since then and thankfully haven't had a problem.

      Thank you so much for stopping by!

      ~L

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  4. I know roosters are kind animals. I 2 and they sleep in my house. They are loyal and kind. They are my babies. I have raised them. They come when I call them.They are never aggressive with me at all.Spending time with them is the key and giving love and affection.Animals are more loyal them humans.

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