Best Roosters for Coyote/Hawk Alert?

SpicyDisaster

Songster
May 30, 2021
141
490
126
Eastern WA
Are there certain breeds you have found are best for predatory alertness with coyotes and hawks? This summer we moved to 40 acres surrounded by several thousand acres of wheat field. Our house is on 1/2 acre of cleared dirt while the rest is wheat field. Last week a coyote discovered our girls were easy meals and has been picking them off one-by-one. We've got them fenced in now with 4' galvanized wire fencing against the house while we wait for the permanent chain link run to be installed (supply chain delays, waiting since August) and the coyote has been seen just hanging out laying on the ground watching the chickens from 15 yards away. It's got me to thinking though, the run was initially to keep the girls contained and out of the garden/pasture as things are growing and we want to be able to let them out to free-range at times.

For that, what roosters breeds have you found are best at alerting to the presence of hawk and coyotes? I work from home permanently and want a way to be notified if a predator is approaching or sighted so we can handle it with lethal force. I would love a rooster that would protect his girls against a hawk attack as well but I don't expect that he'd self-sacrifice for a coyote.
 

nchls school

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 22, 2015
7,316
4,603
416
Tennessee
I think any of the active bantam/standard breeds would suffice. Those that are noted as good foragers. If it were just a warning system I wanted, I would consider gamefowl (OEG) or another breed that is more "natural" physically. I would not consider those of feathered feet, muff, crests, etc. for obvious reasons.

My Phoenix roos are excellent while the serama roos are not.
 

Coops Dad

Songster
May 10, 2020
606
1,823
206
too close to Waco, TX
My old rooster, a Blue Andalusian/ Black Jersey Giant was awesome at letting the flock know what was going on. My current rooster, an Ameracauna, has grown into the job to the point that I know his "hawk" warning from his "dog/coyote" warning. I've put four coyotes on the fence in the last 6 months- that is to say, I shot them and hung their carcasses on the fence at the back of the property as a warning to the pack. I've got a couple extra roosters that are shaping up to be good boys. I'm in central Texas; if that's convenient to you, you're welcome to pick one up. I'm just going to eat them anyway.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
12 Years
Nov 12, 2009
9,722
13,996
656
western South Dakota
A lot depends just on the rooster. There are good roosters, great roosters and rotten roosters, and really the breed is not the best indicator.

If you get your druthers, you want a rooster that has been raised in a multi generational flock, in a similar situation to what you want your flock to be in. Coops Dad above, I would be quite interested in his roosters - as that is how they are raised. Those birds will have been taught by older birds.

You need a rooster that is close to a year old, and at the bare minimum, over. 7 months. Until then, they are just too young to pay attention. Many people on here, claim there is no protection at all from a rooster, and maybe it depends on your predators, or where you live. But for me and mine, a rooster can make a difference in daytime predators.

As for coyotes...yeah, a rooster is not going to win that fight. I have lost several to coyotes - they often will snick one off and the bird is just gone. Once they find you, they will be back, and coyotes will also pick off your pets like cats and dogs. Even if you don't want to kill them, I would be shooting at them, so as to move them somewhere else. Once predators find you, they will be back.

My worse predators are coons at night. Coons can climb anything, are willing to figure out gate latches, and hands can bend some types of wire. Coons alway (for me) come in the dark, and only over the top, totally enclosed runs have worked for me.

Good luck,

Mrs K
 

SpicyDisaster

Songster
May 30, 2021
141
490
126
Eastern WA
My old rooster, a Blue Andalusian/ Black Jersey Giant was awesome at letting the flock know what was going on. My current rooster, an Ameracauna, has grown into the job to the point that I know his "hawk" warning from his "dog/coyote" warning. I've put four coyotes on the fence in the last 6 months- that is to say, I shot them and hung their carcasses on the fence at the back of the property as a warning to the pack. I've got a couple extra roosters that are shaping up to be good boys. I'm in central Texas; if that's convenient to you, you're welcome to pick one up. I'm just going to eat them anyway.
Thanks for the reply, that is encouraging. Unfortunately I'm up in Washington or I would totally take you up on that offer. Do you think hanging the carcass on the fence helps ward them off at all? I told hubby I was putting a head on a pike if I get one but he doesn't think it would help.

You need a rooster that is close to a year old, and at the bare minimum, over. 7 months. Until then, they are just too young to pay attention. Many people on here, claim there is no protection at all from a rooster, and maybe it depends on your predators, or where you live. But for me and mine, a rooster can make a difference in daytime predators.

As for coyotes...yeah, a rooster is not going to win that fight. I have lost several to coyotes - they often will snick one off and the bird is just gone. Once they find you, they will be back, and coyotes will also pick off your pets like cats and dogs. Even if you don't want to kill them, I would be shooting at them, so as to move them somewhere else. Once predators find you, they will be back.
The age thing is good to know, we haven't had a roo yet. Out of the 16 we picked up in spring they were all pullets. Didn't figure on those odds... We've shot at the coyote twice but only have a 22. It hasn't shown up in a few days so I'm hoping the last time we got it even it if wasn't an outright kill-shot. Thankfully no coons out here so far, there are no trees within several miles just open wheat field.
 

50-45-1

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Feb 25, 2008
2,835
9,026
646
Northern Michigan (tip of the little finger area)
My Coop
My Coop
I have lost way to many good protective and alert roosters to give you any unrealictic hope for rooster coyote protection.
Your wheat fields are how tall? Giving the preditors lots of cover to creep in close.
Once the fields are harvested maybe a chicken will have more sight distance. Still I have seen chickens just watch a preditor mosey in close without a clue that there is danger.
I have pretty good preditor protection for my free range flock, with 3 guardian dogs and a flock of loud and watchfull guineas.
I still lost 4 hens this year.
The only way to fully protect your flock is full confinement with a covering and hardware cloth apron.
Good luck!
 

LabMomma

Songster
Dec 2, 2021
141
388
116
My black Australorp is amazing at hawk alert. He warns his girls whenever their is a hawk, and they all go into the hen house when he warns them. He will also stand guard at the pop door until he thinks that the hawk has gone away. I feel like I have heard of Australorps being good about hawk alert
 

Coops Dad

Songster
May 10, 2020
606
1,823
206
too close to Waco, TX
I've watched coyotes heading across the field behind us, cross the scent trail from the carcass, stop dead in their tracks then take a new course to avoid the area. The downside is when the wind shifts and carries the aroma towards you. Fortunately, the prevailing winds are either out of the north or south, and my vulnerable fence line is 6 acres to the west so it's a rare day that I'm reminded of my death-dealing ways.
 

MTKitty

Songster
Aug 14, 2021
471
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236
MT
A lot depends just on the rooster. There are good roosters, great roosters and rotten roosters, and really the breed is not the best indicator.
I second this, based on limited experience with my cockerels. I have three of the same breed. One sky-watches like a champ. Yesterday, he alerted to an airplane flying so far up I could barely see the exhaust trail. The other two are pretty oblivious to anything except food and shiny objects.
 

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