I have raised a flock for about 8 years. I started with 1 hen, 1 rooster, and 2 ducks. Dixie, Dillinger, Donald and Daisy, respectively. However, Daisy grew a drake feather and for those not keen on ducks, that means Daisy was a dude. As a result his name became Ronald. We were very ‘lax raising chickens because my husband and I both worked full-time, I was in college (let’s just say I got a 4 year degree in 2 years. I was… full-time). The flock were our pets, like dogs. Donald & Ronald, the ducks, often came in the house. I loved all of the birds. Until…
Until Dillinger, the rooster, turned out to be a complete jerk.
He spurred anyone who came outside. If I walked to my car then he would b-line across the yard to come get me. People were afraid to go outside at my house.
One funny part about him was when my husband’s friends would come over and run as soon as he saw Dillinger. A chicken. Real tough. Eventually Dillinger died of natural causes…. for real. We had him forever.
Since then, I have purchased sexed chicks, but I always end up with at least ONE rooster. As soon as they start to challenge us, they did not die of natural causes.
There are two children on our farm now, and we basically live outside, so my children cannot be afraid to go in the yard. If we are challenged by a chicken, the chicken is no longer allowed to be here.
Enter this year.
Our chicks came home and I am more invested in my flock nowadays (for my full blog on how to begin a chicken flock, click here). I buy ‘fancy’ chickens as my dad says, I nurse any sick birds back to health, and I collect eggs and tend to the birds every day. This year I had a sick chick (see what to look for in your chicks to care for a sick chick) and I gave it antibiotics twice a day. That chick loved me, I swear. It got healthy and as it matured, it turned to be the prize rooster of the bunch.
DETERMINED to have a nice rooster, I tried EVERYTHING to keep him nice.
My dad has MULTIPLE nice roosters. His roosters ate out of my damn hands. I held my little devil chicken all of the time. I showed him who was boss when he challenged and taught my boys to do the same. That year we ended up with 2 more roosters and they, too, are all fully-mature and…. (gasp!) NICE!
Needless to say, I have become rehearsed in rooster taming and am here to share the best tips I have.
5 Tips for a Nice Rooster.
- Show him lots of love as a juvenile. Carry him around everywhere.
- Walk around the yard with big arms and squatted as you do so. Be the dominant bird. Not him.
- If he still challenges you, pick him up mid-attack. I only did that once, and I almost died of anxiety while I did it. Our Roo respected me after that.
- He still challenged my young boys. I told them to put their arms up and if he didn’t listen, to try to grab him. Now he cowers away from them.
- Everyone gives treats, so he will know his food suppliers. I feel that helps too.
To clarify — I am not questioning my luck, I am thanking God I have some flock protectors and maybe JUST MAYBE I can hatch some babies this year!
Any tips, tricks, stories about roosters? Am I the only one that had terrible rooster experiences?
If you ever have any questions, or ideas for future blogs, comment below or shoot me an email!
From the farm,