I ordered a Jersey Giant Rooster to come with my various hens that will hatch on 4/21 & come between 4/22 & 4/25. Upon thinking a little harder about the potential for a rooster to turn mean, I'm not having second thoughts, other than I don't want the rooster to go after my son as he is toddling around the yard (or any of the rest of us, although the rest of us are adults and can handle it better) so I thought perhaps I had better read up on the what ifs, and how to fix it if a problem presents itself.
So after googling about it for awhile, I found some comments via BackyardChickens in "The Definate Guide to Roosters" on the subject and how to go about taming them down I've kind of come up with some overall points to follow, for myself & the family.
"Don't let him eat while you are there, don't let him breed while you are
there, don't let him get too comfortable around you. Some roos don't
need too much of this type of training, some do." ... "treat him with respect, but there's no need to keep your distance from
him if you want a tame rooster. You can certainly pet him! Don't let him
approach you in a dominating or aggressive way though. That behavior
must be corrected immediately, usually by just picking him up, or
'dominating' him by circling him, making rooster noises, or even walking
briskly at him." ... "Whenever a rooster is acting
like a bit of a smart-alec, or even makes the slightest move to attack,
I pick him up, make a bit of a fool out of him in front of the hens,
and sometimes shake him up a bit if he's being a bit mean (without
hurting him of course).
If I DO encounter a mean rooster, I have a bit of a 'matador session'
with him, sidestepping whenever he tries to attack, then grabbing him.
Not saying you have to do this, but once you're used to roosters, it's
quite useful, as, again, it makes the rooster respect you" ... "
a scared rooster is also an
unstable rooster much of the time. Some roosters will take any chance to
attack if they see an opportunity. Even though he may be scared of
you, and never attack you because he's just that scared, if he sees
someone different, or someone smaller, he will often take that
opportunity to attack THEM. It's just him protecting his territory from
what he sees as a threat." ...
Apparently, there are three things** a rooster will do to exert his dominance, and essentially he looks at humans as other chickens, either hens or another roo it doesn't matter. The point is he's gonna try to show you he is the top roo, and the only (humane) way to show him he isn't the alpha, is to dominate him so to speak, and humiliate him in the process. Basically show him you aren't someone to be trifled with, while also not being mean to him.
** 1) Crowing: Although it may seem minor, this is a rooster's way of saying "HEY! This is MY flock... you are a possible threat! GO AWAY!" So some people seem to think that if he crows in your presence that you should chase him. Others believe that if you chase him, it would create fear in him, which would lead to a mean spirit because fear begets the higher likelihood that he might try to attack you while your back is turned.
** 2) Matador behavior: A roo will sometimes charge you, performing what's sometimes known as "the dance". Essentially it's what he would do with an opposing roo, so when he charges you, you can side step him, catch him and hold him up under your arm until he stops struggling. Tap him on his head with your finger in a "pecking" motion behind the comb, like another roo would do. Keep his head down even with his chest. If he raises it, you push it back down, tapping him on the head again.
** 3) Eating in your presence: This is a fairly minor example of exerting his dominance. In an alpha relationship, the alpha eats first, so by allowing him to eat in your presence, at times this can make him "confused" and make him believe he can dominate you, which will lead to other forms of dominance later, so you can approach him while eating, and a lot of the time he will run away.
** 4) Mounting the ladies in your presence: This is another example of him exerting his dominance, saying "These are MINE! I'm gonna show you how much I own them by breeding with them while you're watching!" Some believe you should approach him, to throw him "off his game". When you approach him while breeding, most of the time he will fall over and run away. Doing this, will tell him to respect you. Some say anyway.