How to pick a rooster to keep.


In the Brooder
Jan 11, 2021
The bird I recently butchered was the type that ran at me. One time I bent over to pick something up, and he jumped on my back! That was it, no more chances! Pure bred rare-breed or not, I'm not okay with having to keep looking over my shoulders everytime I'm out in the coop area, fearing an attack. He was gorgeous, and good with the girls, but he ran out of chances to redeem himself.

So far the hens have not taken to the other roosters. Might need a bit of time for those relationships to get established. The one remaining pullet is now hanging out with the grownups, having lost her girlfriend. Still sad over the whole thing. :(

That’s how I feel too, however need to explain it to my 10yr old. Who burst into tears when I told her he needs to go into the pot!

Let us know how things settle, crossing my fingers the hens take to one of the other roosters.


Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Feb 25, 2008
Northern Michigan (tip of the little finger area)
My Coop
My Coop
I hatched some chicks this last spring and also picked a few chicks from Tractor Supply when my shipped eggs failed to hatch, and I wanted my broody to gave some chicks for her effort.
3 were male and Watching them mature I noticed the pullets of the same age chose themselves one of the cockrels I named Kellog to follow. He was protective of them. The other two roosters were more aggressive with them and they ran to Kellog for protection.
I already have my good rooster Ringo and intended to rehome or cull any roosters I ended up with so When my neighbors needed a rooster I gave Kellog to them and they say he is terrific and is showing no aggesive behavior to them or their children.
If one of your roosters is already beginning to be accepted by your hens, he may be the one to keep.
Unfortunately if he will become cocky and human aggresive will yet to be seen. I had a trusted rooster I had for 5 years one day attack my 2 year old daughter in the back of her head as she was walking between her Father and myself across the yard.
Needless to say he only drew breath the length of time it takes my husband to go fetch his pistol.
Roosters are a crap shoot, you never know what you might end up with AND their attitudes can change as they age.
Maybe just choose the one you like the best and is the nicest specimen.
Nice thing is someone is always looking to rehome roosters if he does not work out.


Jun 8, 2020
PEI Canada
My experience is that not all human aggression is equal. I have a silkie flock leader who every morning is first out of the coop so he can give a good morning peck to everyone he feels deserves it as they come out, and I am always first on that list. But his aggression towards humans has never escalated much beyond that(as a silkie, his capability is limited but he could certainly do more), he's actually backed down from how he was at his most hormonal but even that never amounted to biting or flogging. (we have alternately ignored him or shuffled/pecked back at him) The dogs get the full treatment(hackles, flogging) when they come in to the run, though, to his frustration, they don't always realize he's trying to fight them.
So I definitely believe that working with them can resolve at least some roosters/cockerels. It's up to you to watch him closely and make the call if you have to, especially if your boy is large and could more easily be dangerous.


In the Brooder
Jan 17, 2021
I have raised different breeds of pheasants for years and chickens now for 5 years and the biggest thing even with roosters that appear ok is to make sure children are aware of them. I taught my step son to treat the roosters like a bull, never turn your back on them and to never run from them, give them a boot if they try and confront you. The RIR pair of roosters we have free ranging though have good temperament and we make sure to handle them regularly and we reward good behavior with treats. They do a good job with predator protection and put the hens away into the tractor each night. When you get a bad one though it is impossible to break them, a past Silver pheasant rooster I raised as a chick was the worst one I have had yet. Went at you with the spurs every morning when you would enter the pen, his time was very limited.

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