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Best rooster for my flock?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm planning on starting a flock from chicks this spring. I want to breed chicks in the future so I'm planning on getting 1-2 roosters to grow along with 15-20 hens. I'm out in Northeast Texas where we have hawks, raccoons and opposums along with snakes as predators. I plan on allowing them to free range my 1/3 acre and want a rooster to help protect my ladies. Any advice on what breed would be best?
post #2 of 13

free ranging probably isnt the best idea with that many predators..... but if you want i protective rooster its not always about the breed any breed could have pretty much any personality.  but i have a buff orpington female who is very protective so i assume the roosters would be too.  they are also very large so that would be good to intimidate predators.  but dont be surprised if you lose a few... those are pretty dangerous predators to chickens

post #3 of 13
I agree with animal. I have 4 roo's in my flock. 1 Jersey Giant, I frizzled cochin, 1 buff orp, and a mix.  I have to say out of all of them my Jersey is the most protective.  He's been caught chasing my 7 year old neice away from the flock and does not let strangers anywhere near the younger 4 pullets we have.  I have found that when he goes on alert, the other 3 round up the girls and "circle the wagon".
" I don't have chickens, I have mini velociraptors"

My Girls: Red Sex Links, Barred and White Rocks, NH Reds, Easter Eggers, Wyandottes, Leghorns, Cochins, Jersey Giants, Tetra Tints
My Boys: , Buff Orphinton, White Leghorn, Easter Egger and a mutt
Webbed babies: Cayugas, Khaki's, Mallard's

A husband, a son, my puppy and soon to be added goats and rabbitts...

Boy I am one busy "crazy chicken lady"
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" I don't have chickens, I have mini velociraptors"

My Girls: Red Sex Links, Barred and White Rocks, NH Reds, Easter Eggers, Wyandottes, Leghorns, Cochins, Jersey Giants, Tetra Tints
My Boys: , Buff Orphinton, White Leghorn, Easter Egger and a mutt
Webbed babies: Cayugas, Khaki's, Mallard's

A husband, a son, my puppy and soon to be added goats and rabbitts...

Boy I am one busy "crazy chicken lady"
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post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
I figure that I will possibly lose a couple chickens but I want the chickens to help in my garden/orchard/ lawn. I'm hoping that with a good roo or more and my two dogs, I'll minimize losses.
post #5 of 13

Get a rooster that works well with your breeding program, is good to the hens, and isn't aggressive towards humans. That's the best rooster for you.

 

Roosters are good at breaking up hen fights and giving the predator alarm, but most don't sacrifice themselves for the flock. They may force hens undercover, but not do more than that. I've lost plenty of hens to hawks, dogs, coyotes, foxes, weasels, owls, raccoons and skunks--but never lost even one rooster. Dogs are good predator protection, but roosters don't really do that much.
 

We have a flock of 170+ right now: Blue Copper Marans, Red Sex Links, Black Sex Links, Easter Eggers, Tetra Tints, white Leghorns, dark Cornish, Buff and Barred Rocks, some barnyard mixes, ISA Brown, Amberlinks, Black Australorps, a Buff Orpington, and a little Buttercup, who's just here for the pretty.
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We have a flock of 170+ right now: Blue Copper Marans, Red Sex Links, Black Sex Links, Easter Eggers, Tetra Tints, white Leghorns, dark Cornish, Buff and Barred Rocks, some barnyard mixes, ISA Brown, Amberlinks, Black Australorps, a Buff Orpington, and a little Buttercup, who's just here for the pretty.
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post #6 of 13

I've had 3 cochin roosters and 1 easter egger rooster and neither were able to protect the flock from racoons, 'posums and dogs.  The 3 cochins did loose their lives from neighbors dogs, but I can't say they gave up their lives protecting their flocks, just were the ones the dogs caught up to while chasing them around.

 

We've lost 17 chickens in the last year from predators, mostly dogs and coons.  One neighbor felt so bad he invested in underground electric fencing and the other dog was caught by my wife and turned over to animal control officer (neighbor across street), so we've been fortunate enough to not have anymore dog issues.  Most of this occurred in a 2 month time span.

 

Make sure you keep your flock locked up at night.  We free range during the day and lock up tight at night and haven't lost a chicken in several months.  Make sure your coop has hardware cloth of 1/2" or smaller.  We had a few coons grab through 2x2 wire and rip heads off several chickens in one night.

 

We do have hawks and eagles where I live but fortunately no lose to them yet.  Usually our birds see the hawks flying above and they skedaddle under our deck for safety.

 

The dog attacks though came during the middle of the day and by the time we got out there, several were already dead. 
 

post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by outdoorpodcast View Post

I've had 3 cochin roosters and 1 easter egger rooster and neither were able to protect the flock from racoons, 'posums and dogs.  The 3 cochins did loose their lives from neighbors dogs, but I can't say they gave up their lives protecting their flocks, just were the ones the dogs caught up to while chasing them around.

 

We've lost 17 chickens in the last year from predators, mostly dogs and coons.  One neighbor felt so bad he invested in underground electric fencing and the other dog was caught by my wife and turned over to animal control officer (neighbor across street), so we've been fortunate enough to not have anymore dog issues.  Most of this occurred in a 2 month time span.

 

Make sure you keep your flock locked up at night.  We free range during the day and lock up tight at night and haven't lost a chicken in several months.  Make sure your coop has hardware cloth of 1/2" or smaller.  We had a few coons grab through 2x2 wire and rip heads off several chickens in one night.

 

We do have hawks and eagles where I live but fortunately no lose to them yet.  Usually our birds see the hawks flying above and they skedaddle under our deck for safety.

 

The dog attacks though came during the middle of the day and by the time we got out there, several were already dead. 
 

 

You're lucky with your neighbor. We ended up shooting one neighbor's very nice dog as he ran home with his third hen in his mouth.

 

We find that woven wire tight to the ground gives the hens a fighting chance with dogs, since it takes the dog some time to dig under and I can get a shotgun out there in time. We'd like to run a hot wire a few inches above the ground on the outside of the pasture some day to help with coyotes. We also put some goats in the chicken pasture and they seem to act as a hawk deterrent. And of course, making sure the hens are locked into the hen house at dusk helps, too.

 

I guess the upshot is, get whatever kind of rooster you want for breeding, and don't expect him to make much of a difference to flock safety while free-ranging.

We have a flock of 170+ right now: Blue Copper Marans, Red Sex Links, Black Sex Links, Easter Eggers, Tetra Tints, white Leghorns, dark Cornish, Buff and Barred Rocks, some barnyard mixes, ISA Brown, Amberlinks, Black Australorps, a Buff Orpington, and a little Buttercup, who's just here for the pretty.
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We have a flock of 170+ right now: Blue Copper Marans, Red Sex Links, Black Sex Links, Easter Eggers, Tetra Tints, white Leghorns, dark Cornish, Buff and Barred Rocks, some barnyard mixes, ISA Brown, Amberlinks, Black Australorps, a Buff Orpington, and a little Buttercup, who's just here for the pretty.
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post #8 of 13

It's hard to say about what breed of rooster would be the best protector - things like White or Black Giants certainly look the part.  I think roosters, like people have such different personalities - it's hard to predict how protective one will be.  Stories abound on BYC of heroic roosters attacking, chasing, and facing down predators.  But I'm sure there are plenty (like mine!) that, when danger is present is "every man for himself!"  I am happy with my rooster - a gold-laced wyandotte - not for his guard chicken prowess, but because he is gentle with his hens.
 

I never considered a difference in opinion, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.  - Thomas Jefferson
Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.  - Ben Franklin
If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month.  - Teddy Roosevelt
 

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I never considered a difference in opinion, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.  - Thomas Jefferson
Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.  - Ben Franklin
If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month.  - Teddy Roosevelt
 

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post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks all, for the advice. I'll look more for breeding then protection and maybe get another dog or a goat for predator protection.
post #10 of 13

Lamas are great pred control they will put the run on Racoons and yotes.  they use them alot to protect sheep, so I guess they would be good for Chickens too.

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