Need recommendations on rooster breeds that will protect from hawk attacks

Feb 18, 2020
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Hi, we have had lots of problems with hawks picking off hens in the past few months. We do have a few roosters currently, but it seems like when a hawk is in the vicinity, all they'll do is run for cover.

My goal is to have 1 rooster that's aggressive towards predators and defends against attacks. A couple questions:

1) Any specific breeds that are better than others? I know game roosters are good, but anything even more specific?
2) If I introduce the game rooster to the flock as a baby chick, will he, when he grows up, be less likely to be aggressive towards other roosters in the flock?

Thanks in advance!
 

ChickenCanoe

Crossing the Road
9 Years
Nov 23, 2010
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St. Louis, MO
There are a lot of breeds I'm not familiar with like games. However, from my experience, a large Mediterranean breed is big enough and agile enough to do the job.
That would be Minorca, Black Penedesenca, Empordanesa, Catalana, White capped Black Spanish, etc..
I've raised Black Penedesencas exclusively for several years. I haven't lost a bird to a hawk in that time. However, nothing is totally predator proof. During the day, they may be able to take on small dogs but coyotes and Huskys are a problem. My experience is with pure flocks. When a roosters gives the call and the hens run for cover while he stands his ground may also be due to the wariness of the hens. He may not be able to protect a flock of Orpingtons as well.
 
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hysop

Crowing
Sep 16, 2019
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Southwest Georgia
Do the chickens not run for cover when the roosters sound the alarm??

My roosters sound the alarm and the chickens need to heed that call. I don’t doubt one of my rooster would fight the hawk but hawks are big and fast so the chances of my rooster’s attack doing anything are slim especially if the hawk swoops away with the chicken
 

hysop

Crowing
Sep 16, 2019
1,110
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Southwest Georgia
Do they have a lot of protection to hide under?

My place is filled with stuff they can hide under. I didn’t put it there for the chickens but they use it and it serves a good purpose.
 

Shadrach

Roosterist
Jul 31, 2018
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My Coop
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Hi, we have had lots of problems with hawks picking off hens in the past few months. We do have a few roosters currently, but it seems like when a hawk is in the vicinity, all they'll do is run for cover.

My goal is to have 1 rooster that's aggressive towards predators and defends against attacks. A couple questions:

1) Any specific breeds that are better than others? I know game roosters are good, but anything even more specific?
2) If I introduce the game rooster to the flock as a baby chick, will he, when he grows up, be less likely to be aggressive towards other roosters in the flock?

Thanks in advance!
Don't waste your time. You could try out a thousand roosters and not find one that will intercept and attacks a hawk.
Game roosters are not necessarily any better than any other breed. Roosters are equipped to fight other roosters. They are not a predatory species that will tackle prey larger than themselves in general.
I have roosters here that will attack a hawk, but only after the hawk has struck. Not a lot of good then often because the target often dies of internal injuries received in the hawk strike even if the flesh wounds are fixable.
It is also not recommended to keep a game rooster, particularly not an aggressive one with other breeds of rooster even if it joins the flock while it's a chick.
I'm sure you'll get some 'my rooster took on a rottweiler' stories', even some videos. A certain amount of discrimiation and common sense needs to be applied. In short, if roosters could protect his hens from hawks then not only would we read a lot less about hens getting killed, but more people would have roosters.:confused:
I've had a few breeds of rooster here over the years and none were successful hawk fighters. A few tried and died.
 

hysop

Crowing
Sep 16, 2019
1,110
4,128
251
Southwest Georgia
Last summer a hawk was standing over my guineas’ run and I think it had gotten one the day before and that’s why it was back. My husband walked up to it super close and it didn’t care it kept trying to get my guineas.

Hawks are a lot larger than we think, they look so small up in the air. And their claws are massive. A rooster’s spurs don’t compare.
 
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Folly's place

Crossing the Road
8 Years
Sep 13, 2011
18,140
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southern Michigan
Injuring or killing any raptor in the USA is a federal offence, with a big fine and possible jail time. NOT a good idea!!!
Generally hawks are more successful taking juvenile chickens or bantams, rather than standard birds. The rooster's job is to alert the flock to danger, and if attacked, will try to win. But, he isn't going to make it 'over there' to attack a hawk who's got another bird, or succeed in saving her life, usually.
Big active roosters, and big active hens, with lots of cover, and bad experiences, will do better, but they are still going to fail most of the time. Hawks get experienced too, and they are excellent predators!
I confine my flock for two weeks at least, if there's been a hawk attack, and usually that bird will move on elsewhere.
Some, but not all guardian dogs will repel raptors, if that's an option.
Mary
 

hysop

Crowing
Sep 16, 2019
1,110
4,128
251
Southwest Georgia
Injuring or killing any raptor in the USA is a federal offence, with a big fine and possible jail time. NOT a good idea!!!
Generally hawks are more successful taking juvenile chickens or bantams, rather than standard birds. The rooster's job is to alert the flock to danger, and if attacked, will try to win. But, he isn't going to make it 'over there' to attack a hawk who's got another bird, or succeed in saving her life, usually.
Big active roosters, and big active hens, with lots of cover, and bad experiences, will do better, but they are still going to fail most of the time. Hawks get experienced too, and they are excellent predators!
I confine my flock for two weeks at least, if there's been a hawk attack, and usually that bird will move on elsewhere.
Some, but not all guardian dogs will repel raptors, if that's an option.
Mary
Oh wow really?? I did not know that! Thank you for letting me know that. I will be editing my post.

I will be doing a lot more research on things like that from now on and share that information with my husband.

I come from the city and moved to the country so I’m by far an expert on things like that.
 

Folly's place

Crossing the Road
8 Years
Sep 13, 2011
18,140
24,435
906
southern Michigan
For @hysop , and other 'new country folks', there are species that are protected, federally, or in your state, and it's best to know what's allowed, and what is good to do, before getting into trouble.
There are laws about transporting animals too, so be aware, look thing up on your DNR site, or call them and ask.
Mary
 

FortCluck

Purple Minion Wrangler
Sep 9, 2019
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Central Virginia
Jersey Giants are a good breed. We had a hawk that tried to attack and my cockerel challenged it. The hawk crashed into the woods and never came back. I think it threw the hawk off when a big chicken came running from behind the coop.

My jersey giant usually makes sure all the girls go in the coop instantly when he spots a sky predator. He even makes sure the ducks go in.
 
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