How to Pick the "Best" Rooster?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Marion, May 13, 2009.

  1. Marion

    Marion Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2007
    Wilmington, NC
    I have seen posts about how to choose a good laying hen but haven't seen one about how to pick the best rooster...

    I have 23 pullets that will be laying in a month and 4 cockerels that are about two weeks older than they are... how many roosters do I need to keep? If I decide to get rid of two of the roosters what criteria should I use to choose the "best" ones to keep? All 4 are nice looking but 2 are a little larger, is size important?

    Would keeping all 4 of them put too much stress on the girls?
  2. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Quote:2 cockerels for 23 pullets is sufficent.

    You want vigor above all other traits. Your males should be alert and busy. You want the ones that are first off the roost and last on.

    They should be busy scratching and finding food and calling the hens to it. They should appear to be on guard, watching for danger. Lots of crowing is a good sign... the cock that crows the loudest usually has something to crow about.

    Physically, size matters. They should be full bodied, head erect and the largest of the lot. They will be the more assertive at sparring among each other. The good cock will be protective of his flock, to the point that he may see you as an invader and try to pummel you.

    (Here, some will argue against the protective cock. Their concerns are most often based on the safety of small children. A large cock, in protection of his harem and territory, can scratch and cut with it's spurs.

    They can frighten, even astonish, grown adults who are unaccustomed to their belligerent protectiveness.
    Children must, therefore, be guarded when in the presence of a dominant cock.

    This is a decision only you can make: a cock's vigourous, protective aggression weighed against the well-being of small children and those adults who may not appreciate such behavior.)

    They should be virile at mating, staying "on top" of that job. 11 pullets per cock is just about the right number to ensure adequate fertility and still give the hens a needed respite from amorous advances.

    In essence, you want the two that seem to have risen to the top of the hierarchy. By intently watching them in action, you'll spot these two "best specimens" hanging together with the hens.

    The other two will seem to be rather lackluster, smaller and on the fringe of things, most of the time- those are the ones to cull.
    Last edited: May 13, 2009
    2 people like this.
  3. Marion

    Marion Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2007
    Wilmington, NC
    Thanks Davaroo!

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