Am I crazy for considering keeping a Rooster around Toddlers?

Mike592

In the Brooder
6 Years
Jun 26, 2013
49
1
34
SW Ohio
My son is two years old and my daughter is only two months. We have seven layers at the moment.

I've never had a Roo but we have a broody setting on a dozen bought fertilized eggs. I'm considering keeping the most mannerly of the new boys, but obviously want to take no risk with my kids' safety.

Can a good rooster turn mean on a dime? I know some people have sweetheart roosters, but is it worth the risk? Or am I being too cautious since I have no experience?
 

Folly's place

Crossing the Road
8 Years
Sep 13, 2011
18,079
24,220
906
southern Michigan
Consider a bantam boy, very carefully selected. Supervise! I wouldn't have toddlers out there much at all anyway, certainly not without an adult right close. Mary
 

Mike592

In the Brooder
6 Years
Jun 26, 2013
49
1
34
SW Ohio
The boy is always supervised. I guess I worry I'll turn away for one second to do fill feed or something and a rooster will decide to attack. :(
 

Michael Apple

Crowing
11 Years
Mar 6, 2008
3,495
579
318
Northern California
Most all roosters show aggression and are possessive of their hens. It is never wise to let infants or small children into the chicken yard unless you are carrying them. Chickens are attracted to shiny things and that includes children's eyes. So allowing little kids to handle them or allow them on their lap shouldn't take place until they are old enough to understand precautions. If common sense is practiced, there's no reason why you shouldn't keep a rooster.
 

bobbi-j

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Mar 15, 2010
14,351
27,033
982
On the MN prairie.
The boy is always supervised. I guess I worry I'll turn away for one second to do fill feed or something and a rooster will decide to attack.
And that could happen. Roosters are fast! It would take seconds and your child could be injured. But, you are the only one who can make that choice. As with all animals, you just never know. I have a rooster right now that I would trust around a child. My grand-nieces and nephew like to go look at the chickens when they come to visit, and the rooster I have now just moves along, taking the hens a safe distance away. That's MY rooster. They're not all like that. And kids can be fast, too. Several years ago, my cousin's two-year old daughter got away from her mom and ran right underneath my 2-year old gelding! Fortunately, the horse just stood there. It all happened so fast... The same could happen with your kids and a rooster. Your little boy could take off after a chicken and a rooster may or may not be protective. It's up to you if you want to take that chance.
 

Northie

Songster
6 Years
Feb 9, 2013
312
34
128
little farm, Saskatchewan
We bought a couple of Cochins (among others) hoping that they would be friendly enough for the kids, our oldest is 4 and has been really enjoying helping me take care of the chicks our youngest (2) is still to grabby and rough so he hasn't been allowed much time with them... What can a parent do to keep things safe?
 

5 Acre Rooster

Songster
6 Years
Apr 18, 2013
595
31
111
North Missouri
My youngest son 3 and daughter 2 have never had an issue with my roosters. Right now we have 6 or 7. All free ranging until last week for breeding pens. My 1st and ONLY rule set in stone is aggressive roosters go ASAP. Generally I find they are aggressive with each other before any people. Anything more than a simple spar to see whos who in pecking order gets a free ticket to freezer camp. I have 1 hen that will protect the nest she is laying in, my boy found that out. Didn't get him but he knows not mess with her now. Just spooked him when she nipped at him. Otherwise all my birds are rather gentle. My kids were grabbing tails and dragging birds to dad when I was catching breeders with a net. Not 1 peck or scratch on any of them. So now the net gets hidden or my 3 y/o is ALWAYS catching baby birds (What he calls all chickens)

A lot depends on the management of the flock I believe. A lot of people regret that 2nd chance they gave a rooster, or believe it wasn't his fault. Same with all animals. Not saying I would see it the same way if someone INTENTIONALLY tormented an animal. But on my farm that don't happen. I would probably still cull the animal. Can't cull children but I grew up with the ever present threat of a whopping if I was bad. And I still raise my kids that way. Although taking electronics away seems worse punishment these days.
 
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chickenboy121

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 23, 2013
9
0
7
No, if it's used to the toddler it shouldn't see him as a threat and should be comfortable around him.
 

DoubletakeFarm

Songster
6 Years
Feb 23, 2013
271
43
136
NE Ohio
I've had chickens for 15 years now and I have never had a rooster that is aggressive toward people.

People have raised chickens for centuries with children underfoot. It was usually the children's responsibility to feed the chickens and gather the eggs because that was a chore you could give a small child. They learned to care for and respect the chickens.

One good thing you have going for you is that your rooster will be hatched and raised by you. The more they are handled (with supervision) and exposed to your kids, the better behaved they will be. If it was me, I'd have my toddler out there teaching him how to feed the chickens, letting him give treats, and teaching him boundaries (never chase the chickens). All of this with you by his side of course, because supervision is definitely necessary at two.

Of course, this is advice coming from a girl who didn't wear a helmet when she rode her bigwheel, so do with it what you want!
 

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