Looking for a rooster to protect the hens - what breed?

NonTypicalCPA

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 25, 2010
23
0
32
SW Michigan
We have been thinking about adding a rooster to our flock of 9 hens for protection, but we're not sure if there is a recommended breed that we should be looking at. We lost a hen yesterday afternoon, I'm guessing to a hawk, and would like the girls to have a rooster to warn/protect them. We have a mixture of brahmas, orpingtons, and aruacanas. Should I look to a giant breed like a jersey giant, or something else? We've never had a rooster. Will a rooster that has good protection instincts be a pain (to people) to have as a free range bird? We enjoy the beauty of our hens and have heard that a rooster will make them look worked over with missing/broken feathers - is that always the case? Any ideas are appreciated.
 

Chicks Galore3

Artistic Bird Nut
8 Years
Dec 16, 2011
8,139
204
326
Iowa
Not always the case, no. Depends if you have enough hens for your rooster and if your boy has favorites. 1 rooster to 10 hens is a good ratio. I have a big buff orp rooster, I LOVE him and he is SO pretty! He does have a couple....anger issues, but we have sorted that all out. It really depends on the rooster, how he is raised and what his daddy was like. (Aggressiveness is passed on.)
 

chfite

Songster
10 Years
Jun 7, 2011
2,171
123
236
Taylors, SC
The wear and tear on the hens varies. My Barred Rock rooster has his favorites; and they wear aprons to protect their backs. They seem to me to be more submissive than the rest.

But he is quite the dude. Watching all the time, when they are out. When he sounds the alarm, the hens duck under cover. He calls them over for treats that he finds.

Roosters don't contribute to the laying of eggs, of course. I kept this one because the interaction of the rooster with the 8 hens is interesting to watch. I have a friend with a flock with no rooster. The behavior is quite different. Not better or worse, just different.

I don't know about breeds for good roosters. I have just this one.

Chris
 

Bear Foot Farm

Crowing
11 Years
Mar 31, 2008
5,543
312
288
Grifton NC
Other than being an extra set of eyes to spot trouble, roosters are NOT "protection"
They are just slightly larger chickens, and still no match for most predators
 

slatts

In the Brooder
6 Years
Aug 13, 2013
66
2
43
But isn't the idea that roosters used for protection of a free ranging hens are sort of expendable? I know if you lose one due to protecting his girls that's not optimal, but just get another rooster, repeat.
 

countrydream7

Chirping
6 Years
Sep 5, 2013
396
28
91
I just ordered blue iowas was told good for predators going to try Monday or Tuesday should arrive will let u guys know how this works out
 

slatts

In the Brooder
6 Years
Aug 13, 2013
66
2
43
Quote:There's no promise a predator will kill a Rooster first, so if you're using the "safety in numbers" theory, you can just get more hens
Nobody said a rooster would ALWAYS give it self up to save the hens, but sometimes is better than none at all. Yes?
 

Bear Foot Farm

Crowing
11 Years
Mar 31, 2008
5,543
312
288
Grifton NC
Nobody said a rooster would ALWAYS give it self up to save the hens, but sometimes is better than none at all. Yes?
I've never seen any real evidence they do that at all.
In fact, it seems more logical their crowing would ATTRACT more predators

I think the idea of a rooster actually "protecting" a flock is more a myth than a reality
 

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