Bantam rooster protecting the flock?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chixcoop, Feb 15, 2016.

  1. Yes

    1 vote(s)
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  2. No

    0 vote(s)
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  3. I have a standard

    1 vote(s)
    50.0%
  4. Never tired a bantam

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. chixcoop

    chixcoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi, I have a bantam rooster that is about 16 weeks old. I was wondering how his 'protection' of the flock compares to that of a standard. He is a welsummer bantam if that makes any difference. What is your experience with a bantam rooster defending the ladies?
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    No matter the size of the rooster, they tend to be more "alterters" than "protectors". If you want a rooster that's going to be able to warn the hens of danger, I think a bantam could be just as effective as a standard sized bird. To actually fend something off, he'd stand less of a chance than a big rooster. I tend to think of a rooster as more of a speed bump when it comes to actual protection. Hopefully some or most of the hens can run for cover as the rooster is giving up his life trying to fight off something like a fox, skunk or coyote. Most roosters don't stand a chance against any of these predators. Not to mention the occasional stray dog.
     
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  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    My bantam roosters are good for alerting, I agree most roosters will be good for keeping watch, how well they do seems to be more an individual thing based on the roosters personality.
     
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  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Yes.
     
  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    And AGE of the rooster, a 16 week old rooster only has one thing on his mind, and it is not protecting the ladies, at this stage, they nearly need protection from him.

    An older rooster, near a year old works best.

    Mrs K
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I use fully adult well-feathered standard sized roosters in a measurable way to protect flock. First the activity is risky and resources in the environment such as cover are extremely important to the roosters success and likelihood to take such risk. The roosters do invest more in observing their surroundings. Mine are particularly effective against one class of predators, hawks, and the species of hawk where I really need roosters to defend against is the Coopers Hawk which goes after smaller birds in the flock rather than the rooster. They are not effective against animals like foxes, coyotes or dogs unless the predator is naive or has an impairment of some sort. I have seen roosters prevail against such but it is as a general rule a consumptive use of roosters when they do engage such predators physically. My roosters will run a distraction to get predator to follow them as offspring hunker down and slink to cover. My roosters then then fly and quit well to avoid being captured at last moment. Most chickens cannot fly so well. Also my roosters generally are not defending hens, rather they are defending their reproductive investment which means offspring and the protection is particularly evident when group is small like a harem and more likely to the roosters offspring. Other predators and at night generally rooster is much less likely to fair well. The roosters are the most vociferous in producing alarm calls that activate other anti-predator mechanism such as poultry guardian dogs and myself.


    There is considerable variation as a function of breed and general health. Bantams are too small and those I have observed do not seem to have the appropriate behavior repertoire needed. Silkies and Polish have visual impairments and the former has serious physical limitations stemming from feathering. Birds with bad eyes or sick will not be up to the task. Low ranking birds are more concerned with self preservation.


    Roosters are a tool in your predator management toolbox and should not be looked at as your only or even most important measure. Always think how to integrate methods and where practical present the predators with layers that not only make visits unpleasant or unlikely to get a meal, they also advertise they are entering a zone that is better avoided.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2016
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  7. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with what everyone else has said. I have both sizes of roosters, but the bantam roosters (Old English Game roosters) are very alert and take excellent care of their girls, although they are mostly alarm clocks, but the spirit is there.
    Recently when the birds were out foraging a little bantam hen had found something and was eating it. A large fowl hen moved in and wanted some so the bantam moved off. The larger hen moved closer but the bantam kept eating. The bigger hen reached over and pecked the bantam on her comb and she squawked. From about fifteen feet away a little bantam roo, maybe 1/4 the size of the bigger hen, raced to the rescue, the bigger hen couldn't race away fast enough. After a ten foot pursuit the little roo went back to the bantam hen.
    This past week was frigid and I made warm French toast for the chickens. I cut it in strips and put it in a large bowl and took it out to them. The hens converged on the bowl and the bantam hens couldn't get anywhere near it. I was going to pull some out to feed them when I realized the bantam roosters had pushed their way to the bowl by going under the large hens. They grabbed strips of French toast and took it back to their hens and shared it. It was adorable to watch.
    So they may be small but they have good instincts. Protection they may not be, but they are good alarm clocks.
     
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  8. Leigti

    Leigti Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am also wondering if maybe I should get a bantam rooster. I have 12 large fell chickens. Today my neighbor informed me that there has been a hawk, not full-grown yet, lurking on my fence and also jumping down into my yard. My chickens free range in the yard. I like cocks but not if they eat my chickens. Any suggestions? I am going to build or make some more places for them to hide. Will a bantam rooster help enough to make it worth getting a rooster?
     
  9. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Every rooster is different, so it might help and it might not. I would get a mature rooster if possible. It can help to make sure you have lots of cover. We have lots of hawks too but I haven't lost any to them. I do have plenty of roosters to escort hens and keep watch. I would recommend bantam cochins as a flock rooster if you are looking to add one.
     
  10. Leigti

    Leigti Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OK, thanks. There happens to be one advertised so I'm going to try to get it. The problem is I think it's only four months old. Maybe I should look for an older one?
     

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