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Will a rooster protect the flock?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Since losing three birds last night I want to do everything I can to protect the remaining three and the new birds we get to replace the others. We've done what we think will secure the coop at night and any predator would need the teeth of a rodent and hours of determination to get in.

However, if something happens to get in, would a big rooster be any use in terms of protecting the flock?

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post #2 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by misterhandsome 

Since losing three birds last night I want to do everything I can to protect the remaining three and the new birds we get to replace the others. We've done what we think will secure the coop at night and any predator would need the teeth of a rodent and hours of determination to get in.

However, if something happens to get in, would a big rooster be any use in terms of protecting the flock?


At night a rooster needs light to see- otherwise like the hens he'll just sit there- my run faces my automatic light so when something triggers the light he also can see it.

(it goes of in 5 min).

 Scientist and Tutor, expert at nothing, opinions on everything.

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 Scientist and Tutor, expert at nothing, opinions on everything.

2012 Art Contest runs till Midnight EST Dec 31st 2012

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post #3 of 15

Hello!  I wouldn't get a rooster for such a small flock, and here's why:  A rooster needs at least 10 hens, and with just six hens, they will be over-mated, start looking raggedy, and also they may be stressed out, effecting their egg production.

And Firetigeris is right.  When it's dark at night, unless you have a light, a rooster will be a sitting duck, like every other hen.  They tend to be very still during the night.

I think bumping up your security  is just a great idea though.

Sharon

Currently keeping a flock of 14 chickens, one rooster and 13 hens.  I have three Easter Eggers, three Golden Buffs, two Marans and six Buff Brahmas.  My hobbies are gardening, chicken keeping, and beekeeping.  I'm married with two sons, a step son and daughter, and two really cute grandkids!
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Currently keeping a flock of 14 chickens, one rooster and 13 hens.  I have three Easter Eggers, three Golden Buffs, two Marans and six Buff Brahmas.  My hobbies are gardening, chicken keeping, and beekeeping.  I'm married with two sons, a step son and daughter, and two really cute grandkids!
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post #4 of 15

It depends. As said above a rooster can do nothing at night, but during the day it can definitely help. big_smile Roosters can protect against hawks and small predators and sometimes even fight off foxes or dogs, but some roosters won't do anything. Breeds like games, RIRs, or other protective rooster breeds would be the way to go if you want protection, however a rooster is not guarunteed to fight off predators.

Owner of 2 labs , 2 RIR hens, 2 BOs, a polish, a dominique, an EE, a frizzle, and a RIR rooster. Some how manage to not get tired of them.

Life is tough. Life is tougher if you're stupid.

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Owner of 2 labs , 2 RIR hens, 2 BOs, a polish, a dominique, an EE, a frizzle, and a RIR rooster. Some how manage to not get tired of them.

Life is tough. Life is tougher if you're stupid.

Smile, Jesus loves you!   

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post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicmom 

Hello!  I wouldn't get a rooster for such a small flock, and here's why:  A rooster needs at least 10 hens, and with just six hens, they will be over-mated, start looking raggedy, and also they may be stressed out, effecting their egg production.


I disagree with this post.  You can read this thread to see why.  The 10 to one ratio is for fertility only.  That is what commercial operations use for maximum fertility in a flock that lays hatching eggs.  In my opinion, it has practically nothing to do with overmated, raggedy, stressed out hens. 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=250327

However, I do agree that a rooster at night will not protect your flock if he cannot see.  And not all are good flock protectors anyway.  A good one will give his life for his flock, but not all are good.  The one I have now leads his hens to safety instead of staying between them and the danger.  However, his replacement is now 8 weeks old.  I figure another ten weeks.

Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought....Abraham Lincoln (Freedom carries responsibility)

The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right.....Judge Learned Hand  (The more sure your are that your way is the only right way, the more likely you are wrong.)

 

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

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Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought....Abraham Lincoln (Freedom carries responsibility)

The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right.....Judge Learned Hand  (The more sure your are that your way is the only right way, the more likely you are wrong.)

 

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

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post #6 of 15

A good rooster will be the first one to the fight and will die to protect the hens.  He will scan the sky constantly and put out warnings when anything unusual is heard or seen.  I've watch my roo go head to head with a raven his size that had killed a 1/2 grown goose and win, seen him growl and the hens run for cover

As to overworked hens, my very active my Leghorn roo has 5 RIR hens and no bird appears to be over-mated.   Yes they can be a little noisy but well worth the feed investment.

The purpose of life is not to arrive at the grave with a well preserved body but rather to skid in sideways, in a cloud of dust, beat up and bloody, grinning ear to ear and yelling "MAN WHAT A HELLUVA RIDE"
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The purpose of life is not to arrive at the grave with a well preserved body but rather to skid in sideways, in a cloud of dust, beat up and bloody, grinning ear to ear and yelling "MAN WHAT A HELLUVA RIDE"
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post #7 of 15

I got tired of the rooster constantly at the hens so my solution was to get a bantam rooster for the girls.  He's smaller so if they don't want him bothering them they can ward him off.  He does protect them and takes his job very seriously.  At first some of the girls didn't want anything to do with him, now they squat for him.

Swedish Flower Hens
 

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Swedish Flower Hens
 

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post #8 of 15

I agree that not all roosters will protect and they can't protect against what they can't see, though I have had one try (young roo got between a coon and the girls but there was probably enough light from nearby houses for him to see).  I also think you need the right breed.  I have pretty well decided that for flock protection I am going to stick with my RIR.  He watches for hawks, chases off dogs/cats, and will fight to the death with foxes/coons.  My rooster does not do well with more than about 6-8 hens by himself, not a fertility issue, but he stresses out and loses weight.  When I had a larger flock (before the foxes last year) I had to keep a second rooster just to keep my protector feeling confident enough to put his head down to eat.  Now that I am down to the 7 hens I have now he is much happier in his protection duties.  I like having a rooster and I have had them chase off foxes on a few occasions before I managed to fix the fox problem permanently.  If you are only wanting protection at night I suggest just beefing up your coop/run.  Even with a great protector I still lose birds occasionally, he can't be everywhere at once, smart hens follow the roo.

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the tips. We blocked off all possible access under the coop and picked up a solar powered motion light to install where the weasel got in last night. Sounds like a rooster would be a good idea too. The poor hens have been pacing in their run all morning. I can only imagine how stressed out they are.

is amazed how life can change in an instant
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is amazed how life can change in an instant
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post #10 of 15

One thing my rooster would do if something were in the coop at night would be to make the loudest noise of all the hens.  Also, I think roosters do tend to crow at night when they hear something going on in the yard.

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