i recommend getting a bantam rooster over a standard sized one for small kids (Cochin's are good bantams) because they basically are half the size of the standards and are easier for smaller kids to handle. any mean cockerel either will be re homed or eating as that's not allowed around here due to my 1, 4, and 5 year olds. a bantam rooster can do all the things a standard can do. my d'uccles though seem to be just as nice if not nicer than the cochin cockerel i have
Pros/cons of keeping a rooster? - Page 3
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I have heard that RIR roosters are among the meanest, and one of the young cockerels we gave away was already mean. I am afraid that we're going to have to find a good home for our nice RIR 6 month old cockerel because of his crowing-- loud and often. I am really sleepy from his loud crowing this morning despite having my air cleaner on high power and wearing ear plugs! I really hate the thought of not having him, but it's likely that in time he will become more aggressive anyway. I don't think the pullets/hen will miss him because he tries to mount them off and on all day, which they clearly do not appreciate.
"hdowden" has a good idea about having a bantam rooster for small kids.
Would a bantam rooster survive in a LF flock?
Absolutley. Frequently the smallest chickens are on the top of the pecking order because of their lively personalities.
I have a friend who had a Sebright roo. He was really pretty but he had what she termed 'short man syndrome' (no offense) and he had to make himself known to all. He did become aggressive to her youngster and she re-homed him. He really didn't do any damage, just scared the little girl when he flew at her. Some of it may have been her set-up becasue you had to enter a rather small pen that was maybe 4 1/2 feet tall to collect the eggs and clean so you were always bent over and in a confined situation. I have another friend also with a Sebright roo and two hens and they are fine and the hens are really sweet.
eta: the lady with the re-homed roo also had a pair of Sillkies. THey were very sweet and cuddly and the little girl absolutely adored the Silkie roo. Perhaps if you really want a roo you could look at Silkies as an option. I have also heard good things about D'Uccles and Seramas too.
Edited by dretd - 7/10/12 at 11:41am
Well, it's a week later and things have changed. Because of our RIR 6 month old cockerel's ("Checkers") loud and frequent crowing, our nerves were shattering, so I could imagine what the neighbors were thinking. I posted an ad on "craigslist farm and garden for sale," and once again it was very helpful. The person who said he'd take Checkers turned out to be the brother of the guy who took one of my other surprise cockerels. We brought Checkers to his beautiful rural home where he had around 30 chickens, 2 horses, and a burro. Checkers thought he hit the "mother load" when he stepped out of the cat carrier and saw all the pullets and hens! We traded him for a Barred Rock pullet and a Silver Laced Wyandotte pullet. Now our backyard flock is complete: a bossy RIR pullet and her sidekick and Jersey Giant hen (a funny duo), the two new ones, and our EE is still the lowest in the pecking order. She is very sweet, but skittish, so the two new pullets sensed her vulnerability and have kept her at the bottom although she seems happy.
The point of my story is that through craigslist, we easily found nice small farm types of homes for our surprise 5 cockerels. As I mentioned before, people prefer a young cockerel to an old mean rooster. It was tough going through that process since we had raised them from chicks, but on the other hand, we met some nice people and had some fun adventures. And, I am sure that our girls are relieved not to worry about being jumped on by a frisky cockerel!
Mother2Hens, thank-you for your story. I am feeling more an more confident that I will be able to find Henry a home. We keep draggin our feet about it but will get to it sometime in the near future (definitely before the season changes). He is currently somewhere between 11 and 13 weeks (I think he was one of the smaller fluffier ones so he was one of the younger but not youngest), and still does not really crow, but he is definitely boss and watches out for the girls. He makes a noise and they all go running for cover. I swear sometimes he is doing drills with them, he sounds an alarm, they run for cover on the patio or in their run. He sounds a different alarm and they all run after him to whichever feeding grounds he has decided on. The others make suggestions but they only fall in line when he says so. Really fascinating to watch. He is making it difficult to integrate the medium girls (they will be 7 weeks in a few days and have been in the "mini coop" for a few weeks now). He and Ophelia the Orpington attack Nox (Blue Andalusian) and Ruby (RIR but she is light enough that I think she is probably a production red), who are the "medium girls". I am going to have to figure out how to mingle the flock as my two younger sets are not welcome with the bigger girls and Henry. I will probably bring the youngest set, who are four weeks today, into the mini coop in about a week. Hopefully they will work OK with the medium girls.
Anyway, before I went off on a tangent, I was wanting to say thank-you to everyone again :)
I am no expert, but as you know I ended up with a new flock, and I worried about the pecking order. The nice people I met while finding homes for my roosters assured me that my pullets/hen would adjust and they'd work things out. Well, they have. They still have the same pecking order as I described above, but they all are more relaxed now. Instead of my bossy RIR attacking a lower ranked one if she tried to get a treat first, now she just gives a look, or a sound, or takes a couple of steps. The lower ranked ones just step away, and don't seem frightened at all. So hopefully, yours will all assimilate. I am not knowledgable about how old they should be when they combine groups; my input is just that they do end up working it out even though at first it seems like they won't. I feel for you about your cockerel, but you might as well enjoy him until he gets older. My RIR boys were 5-6 months old before they started crowing and jumping on the girls.
I just posted a comment on a previous thread that someone else started a few weeks ago: "My neighbor is complaining about my rooster." Since this relates to pros and cons of roosters, I thought I'd share this:
I just wanted to let everyone know that it must be a myth that roosters have to stand up to crow. I remember some suggestions on this thread about putting a rooster in a small kennel at night so he couldn't stand up enough to crow and annoy the neighbors. I recently found a home for my rooster and put him in a cat carrier for the trip to the farm. He crowed off and on during the trip there, and when we arrived, it was pretty funny standing at their front door with a crowing rooster in a cat carrier. I didn't have to ring the doorbell!
Keep him and enjoy him! I keep Japanese Bantams as pets and I keep them mainly for the roosters are they are so colourful and beautiful with long tails and bright red combs.
I now have 4 roosters and 8 hens. Before I had 7 roosters until I re homes some. They all get along fine even through some were added later.
They will eat the same food as the hens no problem and can be left in with them - especially as you only have one. Sometimes a group will mate with the hens too much and cause them to loose feathers. One should not be a problem.
They all differ in their personalities. 2 of mine are cuddly tame and love to be picked up and petted, falling asleep. One is a 'normal' rooster and he just struts about looking pretty and will feed from my hand, but is too frightened to let me pick him up. The last one is the nasty one. He is great apart from if I try to pick him up he will bite me several times hard! As he is so small its not a problem and its quite funny. I remember he even used to bite my hand in his brooder when all the other chicks would run away! He is nice to all the other roosters and chickens though.
I love watching them all free ranging in the garden, flapping wings and crowing. Lovely to see.
I also get the advantage of fertile eggs, so I hatch out a few chicks sometimes which is also fun.