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Which roo to keep?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I'm going to process soon and need to decide which roo to keep.  I have a cuckoo marans who I have no negatives about. He moved himself into the tractor housing the hens when he was 12 weeks old and they tolerate him.  He's not a pain at this point.  I have a black rooster (no idea what breed) who is large and was the first I saw mounting the girls.  No opinion either way on him, either.  I have a naked neck who I've always liked.  He just seems so alert and friendly.  Last, I have a white roo and a buff orpington roo.and 2 that are black w/ a greenish sheen and brown patches on the side that I don't care either way.  DH feels like the black would be more invisible to predators.  Any thoughts I should consider?

post #2 of 8

Keep the one who treats the hens the best.  A good rooster does not peck the hens away from the food, and calls them over when you bring treats, or when he finds a treat.  He is a giver and not a taker.

 

He does not over mate. When mating he shouldn't stay on their backs pecking their heads, or any other overly dominating behavior by holding her down after the mating is over.  He shouldn't be too large in body size in comparison to the hens.  

 

When free ranging he is alert while the hens are foraging.  He should be able to be handled by you easily to check for mites, or if he has any problem that needs treated.  

 

The hens' behavior while around each rooster will let you know which one they feel the most comfortable around.  Take time and observe.


Edited by JanetMarie - 1/24/16 at 4:43am
...what you know for sure that just ain't so...--Mark Twain;  is what harms future generations.--me
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...what you know for sure that just ain't so...--Mark Twain;  is what harms future generations.--me
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post #3 of 8
Those are all good traits of good roosters. I don’t know how old yours are but I suspect you don’t have roosters but instead have cockerels. There can be a lot of difference in behavior of a cockerel versus a rooster. Another problem is that a flock can only have one dominant rooster (or fairly mature cockerel) at a time. The dominant rooster has flock responsibilities, the others don’t. You will sometimes see a change in behavior when one is promoted to flock master from a subordinate position. Behaviors are hard when you are dealing with a group of cockerels but I have used behaviors to eliminate some candidates.

What are your goals? What do you want from the rooster? Eye candy, flock protector, large offspring for the table, good egg laying offspring, certain colors, patterns, combs, or whatever in the offspring. You need to know what you want before you can start to decide.

If you are going to hatch chicks from him, I suggest you pick the rooster that best represents what you want those chicks to be like. What colors and patterns he has and what the hens have will determine the color of the first generation of chicks. A black rooster will father a whole lot of black chicks with about any hen, a white rooster is really iffy since a lot of different colors and patterns could be hiding under that white. The chicks from a red rooster often take a lot of their color from their mother.

Other than color, consider body size and shape, comb type, and behaviors. Tendencies of behavior are inherited. An aggressive rooster tends to have aggressive offspring. I like an early maturing cockerel, I think they make the better flock masters and the hens accept them better. There is a certain amount of fighting and flock dominance issues when they are sorting things out, so some of that behavior is acceptable. But if I see what I think is brutal behavior there are eliminated. An example. Fighting between cockerels is normal to sort out flock dominance. If a cockerel wins the fight I generally accept that as a good sign, but if he keeps chasing the loser and constantly attacks him well after the fight is over, I consider that brutal. I want a rooster that can dominate the flock without being brutal.

I have my own criteria, color, pattern, size, early maturity, and behavioral. I can normally eliminate all but a few pretty easily but the final decision can get rough. But by the time I’m down to that point any of them are probably a decent choice.

It’s not always an easy choice, but pay attention to your instincts. If you like a rooster there is probably a good reason.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

Okay, so I guess they are cockerels, at 22 weeks.  The naked neck is large and heavy, so that's a minus.  Other than that, I haven't seen any negative behavior other than mating one pullet more than the others (3 pullets, 2 hens who've been laying for over a year).  Color is probably what will decide it for me, I like various colors and the black one is solid black with a green sheen just like the pullet that came with him, so I'd guess they are the same breed.  Thanks.  I've really got to get my courage up to process, I've been ready and then had to postpone several times already and have waited much longer than I intended.  I keep telling myself to just grit my teeth and do it; after the first it'll be easier.

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Still haven't done the deed.  Weather, mostly.  Anyway, my naked neck is now on the short list--he's started 'bumping' me when I'm filling the feeders.  Not flapping or flogging, just a gentle bump.  They all peck at my boots (polka dots) so it's not that, it's different.  Won't be able to do it tonight or tomorrow, babysitting the grands after work, then Saturday we have tournaments from 9 til 8 and Sunday a birthday party after church.  Maybe early Sunday before church?  We'll see.  Gotta get it done already.

post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by trudyg View Post
 

Still haven't done the deed.  Weather, mostly.  Anyway, my naked neck is now on the short list--he's started 'bumping' me when I'm filling the feeders.  Not flapping or flogging, just a gentle bump.  They all peck at my boots (polka dots) so it's not that, it's different.  Won't be able to do it tonight or tomorrow, babysitting the grands after work, then Saturday we have tournaments from 9 til 8 and Sunday a birthday party after church.  Maybe early Sunday before church?  We'll see.  Gotta get it done already.

Gives them just a little more time to live.  

...what you know for sure that just ain't so...--Mark Twain;  is what harms future generations.--me
Reply
...what you know for sure that just ain't so...--Mark Twain;  is what harms future generations.--me
Reply
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

I did it this morning, got set up and started before 7 and done by 10, then spent the day watching basketball.  My tushie hurts from the hard bleachers and I'm going to bed.

post #8 of 8

Congrats!

Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

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Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

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