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Choosing a rooster?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Northie, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. Northie

    Northie Chillin' With My Peeps

    What do you guys look for when choosing a rooster? I'm a long way from actually making this kind of decision but i've been thinking about it anyway.
    When I get my chicks they'll probably be straight run buff orpingtons from a breeder near my parents place. I'm assuming I'll get about 50% males and I plan on eating the extras. So what do you guys look for in a rooster that sets them a part and makes them the keeper? I have things like growth rate, weight at butchering age, temperament and conformation on my mind but, I really don't know anything yet... Plus... If I pick a nice docile rooster out of the bunch how do I know he wasn't just the underdog who will turn out to be a tyrant once the others are gone... Then there's this crazy notion of chicken math... I started out thinking I'd be happy with about 10 hens and a rooster, but somewhere on here I noticed that people separate their extra roosters from their main flock so they can reach a good size before butchering and so they aren't harassing the hens... Does that mean I need ****** 2 ****** coops? One for the main flock and one for the meat birds? Uh oh.... Lol
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    My original plan was 50 straight run chicks and butcher most of the males around 12 to 16 weeks. This actually worked quite well. If you butcher as they mature, or around when they mature, they never get to the overmating and fighting stage, so it's no problem to house them in one coop and pen.

    But there is some personal preference here. At 12 weeks they are not full size -- but they are IMO still tender enough to grill or roast, which we prefer. Roos allowed to grow to full size have also been sexually mature for a while, and that does change the flavor a bit. Traditional French coq au vin calls for a 2 year old rooster. It's a popular, classic dish -- which I don't really care for.
     
  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    I am trying this this summer. I currently have a flock of mixed heritage, and a BA roo.....who, I am not real happy with.

    I have ordered 25 Delewares, straight run, which are suppose to be a good dual purpose chicken. I am planning on butchering about 12 +/- roos. Keeping one of the roos, and go into winter with a dozen head total.

    Mine free range all summer, but I was thinking of penning up the roo's come end of August, for their last month, so that they would put a little more weight and be a little more tender.

    But as of right now, I don't have another pen/coop set up? hmmmmm, chicken math

    MrsK
     
  4. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Soooo, back to the original post - how do you pick a roo for a breeding program?
     
  5. Northie

    Northie Chillin' With My Peeps

    I know people looking to show their birds would probably be looking for something different than a person looking for a good utility flock. Is this one of those skills you learn as you go?:/
     
  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    I wonder if we should go to the show board, I would like to know how to judge a rooster. And a top show bird should be good for a flock, he should meet the standards of the breed. I am just not sure what to measure, "how to look" so to speak, with my breeding, I do want well built, good laying girls.

    MrsK
     

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