looking for opinions

Henny Penny s Mom

In the Brooder
Sep 4, 2019
I have 6 Ameraucana and 6 Goldens, and I would like to start to let girls out their fenced area but know I will loose some of them. We have live in a rural area with a lot of fields. Wild cats, dogs, ect… any way, I thought if I got a rooster then I could help replace any lost hens but don't know if I get a bantam rooster will the chicks he produces lay smaller eggs or should I get an Ameraucana rooster. Cant seam to find any large breed roosters, I live in Ohio


11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
Colorado Rockies
One thing I've learned over the dozen years of keeping chickens is that all I need to do to have a rooster in my flock is to pick up a few baby chicks every other year. Unless I get auto-sex or sex-link breeds, I almost always end up with a cockerel.

The other thing I've learned is that I get way more cockerels when I rely on chicks being produced from within my flock, something that really challenges flock management. This makes no big difference if you plan on eating the excess boys.


Premium Feather Member
6 Years
May 27, 2015
I have let my small flock free range every afternoon for years and I lose 1-2 a year. This doesn't mean that something couldn't decimate the entire flock in one go, but it hasn't happened. I raise a few replacements each year. We live in a rural area surrounded by fields and woods in all directions. Having a rooster is not a guarantee of good flock protection, altho I did have one that twice prevented a hawk attack on hens. A good rooster may be able to warn the hens, and he may sacrifice himself to protect them with a larger predator. A bantam rooster is even less likely to do this job well, it would be like getting a chihuahua for a watch dog. Which might work....But do you really want to raise half size chickens?
You can find your standard rooster if you look. There are so many this time of year, coming of age, and not enough homes for them. Check your state thread here on BYC, poultry swaps, craigslist, etc....
Good luck!

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
11 Years
Nov 12, 2009
western South Dakota
Just ask at the feed store, at the poultry club, there are lots of roosters, all wanting a good home. If you get your druthers, I would ask for one that is a year older or older. At a year, I see much improvement in roosters becoming flock masters.

While roosters are not 100% predator proof, AND not all roosters are equally good. (Your rooster should be the first one to see you when you come to the coop) I have much better luck free-ranging in the wilds of SD with a good rooster.

I would not worry so much as to breed as to nice and alert. Put ISO a year old rooster, and you will get a response. Usually can get them for free or nearly free.

Mrs K


Sep 24, 2019
Spotsylvania, Virginia
I have been free-ranging my chickens for almost a year now, without a rooster, and I haven't lost any of them. However, I have heard many cases where roosters have sent out an alarm and saved the hens from being attacked by a predator (many roosters have died in the process :(). Also, I do agree with azygous on the fact that if you do get a rooster, you could have more cockerels than you would really want in your flock. Hope this helps! :)


Crossing the Road
Nov 12, 2017
Northwest New Jersey
I have a small flock, 8 females (1 male in a bachelor pad). I never free range. Hawks and owls are abundant here. Maybe if I had a flock of 200 I would try it because I wouldn't miss the loss of 1 or 2 birds and I wouldn't know their names. With a small flock losing 1 bird causes a large percentage of egg production loss. Large flock, you won't notice a drop in production from one bird/egg loss.

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