Finding a rooster who won’t harass and scratch up the hens

juniperz

Songster
Aug 10, 2017
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44
111
I have tried several roosters over the past few years, both raising them with the girls (surprise roosters) as well as getting a couple of slightly older ones and adding them into the flock. All of them except one have ended up destroying feathers and scratching up backs on my hens. I’d love to keep a rooster because they’re so beautiful, and I’ve had a few that did a good job of pointing out food and protecting their girls. The one that didn’t hurt the hens was already old when I got him, and he was amazing. But I haven’t had any such luck since then. Do I have to accept mangled feathers and scratched backs, or is there hope? How do I find a GOOD rooster? (The number of hens has varied from 8-20, so it’s not like the boys don’t have enough options.

PS I got some hen saddles at one point but I would have to cover too many hens, and it’s too hot here for them to be safe.

Photo is of my current surprise roo, a buff orpington, who has already started baring skin on the small splash hamburg hen.
 

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sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 3, 2009
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In my experience the lighter weight roosters have caused less wear and tear on the hens. Smaller Mediterranean breeds or game fowl roosters. I particularly like game fowl roosters because they are generally not human aggressive. The drawback is that they are extremely rooster aggressive and any sons will end up fighting.
 

juniperz

Songster
Aug 10, 2017
58
44
111
In my experience the lighter weight roosters have caused less wear and tear on the hens. Smaller Mediterranean breeds or game fowl roosters. I particularly like game fowl roosters because they are generally not human aggressive. The drawback is that they are extremely rooster aggressive and any sons will end up fighting.
A lighter breed is a great idea! Would a bantam be too small? I know they’re often sold straight run so it would probably be easy to find an available roo.
 

Aunt Angus

Crossing the Road
Jul 16, 2018
6,538
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Nevada County, CA
A lighter breed is a great idea! Would a bantam be too small? I know they’re often sold straight run so it would probably be easy to find an available roo.
I have a bantam roo, and I think his size causes more damage because he has to bite and claw to stay on the hen. His 2 fave hens have bald spots on the backs of their necks and 2 of my others have comb damage. Another has areas on her wings that have broken feathers because that's where his spurs hit.

Imo a smaller standard sized roo might be better.
 
Nov 11, 2020
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West Virginia
In my experience the lighter weight roosters have caused less wear and tear on the hens. Smaller Mediterranean breeds or game fowl roosters. I particularly like game fowl roosters because they are generally not human aggressive. The drawback is that they are extremely rooster aggressive and any sons will end up fighting.
I agree! Weight makes a huge difference My friends wanting to get a Jersey Giant for his flock of Dominiques .That won't end well.
 

juniperz

Songster
Aug 10, 2017
58
44
111
I have a bantam roo, and I think his size causes more damage because he has to bite and claw to stay on the hen. His 2 fave hens have bald spots on the backs of their necks and 2 of my others have comb damage. Another has areas on her wings that have broken feathers because that's where his spurs hit.

Imo a smaller standard sized roo might be better.
Oh interesting! Thank you for sharing you experience.

I agree! Weight makes a huge difference My friends wanting to get a Jersey Giant for his flock of Dominiques .That won't end well.
😯 Oh dear!
 

Chickassan

Wattle Fondler
May 23, 2017
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Bigger roosters do cause less damage even if the hens are small.
My big guy has zero feather damage on his hens which range in size from as big as himself to nearly bantam.
My smaller guy Jerry is opposite because he has to do more feet work just to do the deed.
He is improving his technique as he ages which is great because that is his only flaw.
The big guy Prince is a Faverolles, a gentle giant and Jerry is a mix of Faverolles and some kind of weird bantam mix that jumped the fence.
 

The Moonshiner

Legendary Leghorns
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Nov 17, 2016
12,345
74,089
991
Missouri
Also usually works out better raising a younger male with older hens.
They tend to knock knots on him before he gets completely mature so by the time he does he has learned some manners.
 

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