For those of you who free-range...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chixcoop, Feb 16, 2016.

  1. Yes

    9 vote(s)
  2. No

    2 vote(s)
  1. chixcoop

    chixcoop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 24, 2015
    Western Mass
    Hi, I was wondering if you have a rooster with your free ranged flock. I had a rooster, but I got rid of him (wished I haden't.), so now I keep my chickens confined in a coop. I am raising a bantam rooster to be the new protector, but I was just wondering if you have a rooster as part of your free ranged flock!
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Bantams will not provide protection services desired beyond warnings.
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j True BYC Addict

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Agreed - as was stated in your last (similar) poll. He'll maybe work as a warning system, but won't be able to protect very well.
  4. Macis Papa

    Macis Papa Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 28, 2015
    Central Iowa
    I free range my chickens most of the time and usually have a rooster running with them. Most roosters won't provide much protection from a determined predator. I've had some that fought off some hawks, some didn't survive the encounter. Some roosters will take on anything that bothers the hens, some will be hiding with the rest of the hens. If you have a good rooster he's usually the first or second to be killed in a predator attack.
  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    A mature rooster, near or over a year old has given me pretty good luck. In my opinion, they are more alert than hens, when I walk up to the area, he is always the first to see me. I have had several roosters over the years, and I loose less hens with a full grown rooster. A young rooster is no worth much in this department.

    However, it is NOT fool proof, and I have lost birds to predators, you do so, if you free range, but I have had better luck with a rooster.

    Mrs K
  6. Paganrose

    Paganrose Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2010
    Albany,, Wisconsin
    When I had my chickens they were 100% free range- I always kept a rooster and a spare! the roos always were the first ones to defend the flock and warn the girls. Until the last incident that happened with coons breaking open the coop while on vacation, the only birds we lost to any predator was the rooster. We also made sure there were plenty of place for the birds to hide in. Any sign of a predator and the roosters would signal and go into attack mode together, while the ladies would all hide up in the pine trees.
  7. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    We all have differing experiences and opinions, but mine, for what its worth - sure, they are good alarm sounders - but thats about where it begins and ends in my experience. I would not rely on a roo to protect your flock. My alpha hen does a pretty good job in my roo-less flock.

  8. citygirlfarmer3

    citygirlfarmer3 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 18, 2015
    Alexander, AR
    Certainly not anything thing like an expert here but I was wondering the same thing: Is a rooster necessary? We were sent 10 "males" with our chicks last January as heaters in the box. One died within a day, one died a couple of months later, one turned out to be a "she" (sweetest little girl), one was killed we think by the other chickens (he was mean), 3 were culled, one killed we think by a predator and now there are two. One is little and mean. Keeps attacking me as I walk by. The big one can be talked out of attacking but I am afraid for my grandchildren when they come this summer. Children tend to move fast and I am afraid they would "defend" against a perceived threat. Both roosters have drawn blood through my jeans and would really hurt me if I was wearing shorts or capris. We do have a young RIR rooster but he is kept in place by one (just one) of the 1 year old hens. Chickens free range and are cooped at night. We have guineas for verbal warnings but wondered if roosters were really necessary and should we keep the mean one. My husband would like to re home him. I just want him gone.

    Becky in Alexander, AR
  9. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    I'd say that if your roos have attacked you, then get rid ASAP - taking chances with your grandchildren would be unforgivable. Personally, i find them a pain and if you do not want to breed, then the need for a roo is, at best, minimal IMO.

    Search for rooster attacks and you will read plenty of threads on the topic - they should help make your mind up.

    All the best
  10. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j True BYC Addict

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.

    I'd lose them both, and the mea one would be "rehomed" to my crock pot. You absolutely don't want to take chances with your grandchildren when he's already drawn blood on you. Personally, I keep chickens for the joy of doing so, and if I have a rooster that's stealing that joy, he doesn't get to stay.

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