Cockerels

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Milow-, Jul 21, 2019.

  1. Milow-

    Milow- In the Brooder

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    I have several 13 week old roosters. My question is when do they start alerting the flock to danger? We lost a hen to what we thinks was a hawk. When I sit out and watch the birds the cockerels don’t seem to be taking a leadership role. Are they to young?
     
    BlueBaby and ButtonquailGirl14 like this.
  2. CountryFlock

    CountryFlock Songster

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    That might be a breed thing because none of my roosters do anything about predators. Maybe hide or run
     
    Milow- and ButtonquailGirl14 like this.
  3. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

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    At thirteen weeks, these youngsters are barely beginning to discover their roles as future roosters. Most won't even begin to mature for another three months, and the hormone surges will likely confuse them even more when it happens.

    I've watched my younger rooster mature and grow into his role as co-protector with his pop, who took a serious role in disciplining him. This was no small job since the youngster was not the natural gentleman his dad was, and still isn't.

    Now, at three years old, the rooky-roo takes seriously his job of standing watch over the farthest free-ranging hens while his pop hangs out closer to the run to keep an eye on the older hens. They are an excellent team and were put severely to the test this past winter when two marauding dogs attacked the flock of nineteen hens. They worked in tandem to draw the dogs away from the hens and led them off a seriously long distance before returning home the next morning with severe frostbite from being out all night. But not a single hen was injured in the attack.

    Whether or not a cockerel ends up being a good protector depends on genetics and discipline from an older rooster or from you. It does not happen overnight automatically.

    One of the first considerations you must make is to assess if you will have a proper rooster/hen ration if you keep all the cockerels. Anything less than nine or ten hens per rooster will create problems for the hens and cause conflict among the roos.
     
    aart, Milow-, CountryFlock and 4 others like this.
  4. Aunt Angus

    Aunt Angus Crowing

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    My Coop
    WOW! What a great story!
     

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