is it better to have a rooster or not?

Kevin565

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Dec 22, 2009
43,520
702
486
Roosters can be a great addition to a flock. However, in this situation I'm not sure if it would truly be beneficial. Roosters will try to protect their flocks but a hawk will most likely swoop down and have the hen before the rooster could do anything. They're have been cases of roosters chasing off hawks so it could be worth a try.
 

Capvin

Songster
8 Years
Apr 13, 2011
1,007
69
178
Lake Placid, FL
When your chickens free range there is almost no way they can be protected, except maybe, by a trained guard dog. A rooster can not protect them from hawks, coyotes, bob cats, fox and other predators that can and do attack during the daytime. If you are thinking of getting a rooster for the sole purpose of providing protection I think you are wasting your time. Also, now that the hawks know there is a meal around they will definately be back. Your best bet for now is to keep them out of harms way for several days.
 

7L Farm

Songster
9 Years
Jul 22, 2010
4,635
80
231
Anderson, Texas
My opinion . A rooster can't hurt only help. Get a big bad roo & he will protect are die trying. Mine went south but he protected the flock I guarantee.If the roo turns on you get rid of him & start over.
 

Vamvakas

Songster
8 Years
Sep 30, 2011
1,089
66
168
North Branford, CT
I always liked having roosters with my chickens, they will alert for danger but most roosters will alert and run like hell lol, kinda like the rooster I have now, he only cares about his life and not the girls... But you would have to train the rooster to fight and be tough to fight off hawks.

I had a huge female turkey that lived with my chickens and she alerted when there a hawk, hawks are afraid of adult turkeys.
 
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Kadjain

Songster
8 Years
Oct 28, 2011
665
53
156
Tehama, Nor Cal (way nor)
Like most already said, a rooster will run at the sight of a hawk and run faster than the hens too. If you wanted a roo to try and fend off predators your best roo to get would be a Thai or Shamo. Those breeds get huge and have been known to whoop on coons and other small predators. It's probably the exeption (acception?) than the rule though, I'm sure plenty Thai and Shamo still get killed by small predators too.
Although, a rooster will be keeping and eye out more often than the hens and most likely would see the hawk first and alert the girls. It's kinda hard not to alert who ever is around when your running for your life and screaming your head off. I've lost 2 chicks to hawks and I had 4 roosters at the time, one of which is a Thai.
But I say get the rooster. I started with three hens and when I got a rooster they were noticably happier.
Also, it's not certain that the hawk(s) are going to keep coming back and taking your chickens until they are all gone. The two hawk attacks that happened to me were very spread out.
 
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Ole rooster

Songster
8 Years
Jun 25, 2011
2,083
43
196
Milner, Georgia
Same here. Bob has never been a problem for me. He does look out for the hens and watches the sky all the time. He finds things for them, calls and stands back to let them eat and watches. Yesterday I watched him catch a spider, calls the girls and drop the spider for one of them to eat. My wife says "Bob is just a beautiful rooster". He is not loud, pushy or mean in anyway I can see. That is except with the hens when he has a special need to satisfy. Then he bigger and and stronger so he gets his way. But they don't really mind, that I can tell.
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JerseyGiantfolk

Crowing
8 Years
Jan 12, 2012
10,825
74
288
We have 7 roo's and they protect the flock. I think it's good to have a rooster because they actually risk their lives sometimes. Our families rooster herds up the Leghorns and keeps a eye out for anything. But when the bobcat comes out in the morning/afternoon/evening the Cornish hens are the protectors in their high cage.
 

gritsar

Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
13 Years
Nov 9, 2007
28,906
336
661
SW Arkansas
I freeranged for three years without a problem, thanks in part to my wonderful brahma roo. He could and would take on any predator. In the month following his death I lost SEVEN birds. I now have a small rooster, but plan on obtaining another brahma cockerel in the spring. I won't free range without a roo.
 

JerseyGiantfolk

Crowing
8 Years
Jan 12, 2012
10,825
74
288
Roo's don't seem to mind if they die or not, and when you de-spur them they don't seem to feel it. They want the hens and chicks to live. Hurray for roo's! Alarm clocks and protectors!
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