Free ranging without a rooster??

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by IndigoJaguar, Mar 9, 2011.

  1. IndigoJaguar

    IndigoJaguar Chillin' With My Peeps

    200
    0
    101
    Mar 5, 2011
    I have recently posted about my hen getting torn up by my rooster.....up until last week all eight of them lived peacefully together....now the rooster has to go because I don't want to chance that happening again. They all free ranged all last summer and all this winter. They are almost a year old now. The question is will the hens be safe to free range without a rooster? He has been a pretty vigilant guard for them. I've never seen him fight off anything but he has alerted them when a hawk is overhead. Is it necessary to have a rooster for safety sake?
    I do plan to get another rooster....possibly a salmon favorolle which are supposed to be calm....but it will be quite awhile until he is grown enough to take over. I hope to do things right with my rooster this time. I didn't know all I know now when I raised him....my next rooster is gonna toe the line. [​IMG]
    Also....will my current hens respond to a new rooster who is so much younger than them?
     
  2. BarefootMom

    BarefootMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2010
    Half Way, Missouri
    I think they will be fine. Of course there are always dangers with free ranging, some dangers that even a rooster can't ward off. We had a coyote come right up into our yard last summer and take 1 hen. I have also had hawks get into the coop in the middle of the day (what a mess!) But all in all I firmly believe that free ranging is best. And I don't think you need a roo unless you want fertile eggs.
     
  3. NewHopePoultry

    NewHopePoultry Overrun With Chickens

    5,038
    12
    281
    Apr 9, 2007
    Troy,Missouri
    I think it will be fine. The dangers are the same with or without a rooster.
     
  4. theguy67

    theguy67 Out Of The Brooder

    71
    0
    39
    Dec 23, 2010
    I dont think roosters really protect anything but themselves. I have had many invasions the past few months of the chicken coop ( mine dont free range) I had 5 hens, 1 rooster, and 18 pullets. All the pullets were taken then 4 hens. We are now down to 1 rooster and 1 hen. The rooster had afew scratches on him but he was always fine. If he were to fight the animal, he probably would have been one of the casualties. The onlything he challenges is me when I am messing around in there.
     
  5. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    You'll most likely have one hen that will assume the lead in your flock, in the absence of a roo. If this flock has free ranged any length of time, they are already predator wary and will probably do just fine.
     
  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I agree with beekissed. Your lead hen will most likely take on the roll of look-out. My girls went for a year with no rooster, and they would automatically come to the porch, or in close to one of our outbuildings when hawks were in the sky. We now have a rooster (just a bantam so I don't have to worry about my girls being harrassed or torn up), and he does keep them closer in, especially when hawks can be seen. But I think they'd be just about as safe without him. My worry over a salmon fav. as a "lookout" is their poofy cheeks. I know we have to keep my one salmon girl's facial hair cut back quite a bit, as she seems to have issues seeing treats, etc. Maybe you might consider an adult bantam roo, one known to be good with people????
     
  7. madrooster

    madrooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    100
    0
    89
    Mar 4, 2011
    villa rica ,ga
    the hen should take over and let them know when somrthing is not right but its always good to have a roo when free ranging he is a little louder and will let u know when something is not right,not just the hens. my roo is pretty loud when a hawk comes around and gives a pretty good warning.
     
  8. tinychicky

    tinychicky Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,623
    40
    181
    Mar 24, 2010
    Hollis, New Hampshire
    i wouldn't.... [​IMG]
     
  9. IndigoJaguar

    IndigoJaguar Chillin' With My Peeps

    200
    0
    101
    Mar 5, 2011
    Thanks, people!! [​IMG] I guess I will take my chances. They have been free ranging since July of last year. They had a break in there where they didn't after I lost a few hens, but they do now.
    In fact, when I lost my two hens, I think the hens lead the predators away from the rest of the flock and then got eaten.
    I'm not worried so much about a rooster who is good with people, tho that is nice, as one who is good with his hens. I want a rooster who is good to his girls and does not attack people. I feel a little rooster wary right now. [​IMG]
    We got our first chickens last year around this time. Since then we have butchered three roosters, lost two hens to predator, had two chicks die, and had seven chicks killed by a dog. I almost feel like I don't ever want any more chickens because it's so disheartening to loose them! Yet I still go to Big R and drool. [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  10. TajMahalChickens

    TajMahalChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    211
    0
    109
    Mar 22, 2010
    I don't have a rooster and I almost only let my birds free range. I do, however, have a miniature schnauzer who does some pretty good protecting. He blends right in with the girls. I also have two guineas who warn the others about almost anything. I actually don't think they do much though since they constantly cry wolf [​IMG] .
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2011

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by