Newbie flock question, use of roosters or other fowl to guard a flock

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Johnnyfly41, Dec 29, 2016.

  1. Johnnyfly41

    Johnnyfly41 Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 28, 2016

    I see many folks have roosters, is that just for breeding your own chicks, or, do you keep roosters to guard the chicks when they are ranging ?

    I want a calm flock and will choose species that socialize well. Does the presence of a rooster change the personality of the flock ?

    Also, what about raising a turkey chick with the flock as a flock guardian when mature ?

    My coop will have a attached run, but, I do want the flock to be able to be out and graze. I am not in a city, but, want to be a good neighbor and not really thinking I want a rooster around anyway.

    Just curious.


  2. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 25, 2015
    Turkeys are more skittish then chickens, and a ton dumber, never raised one but have heard many things.

    Roosters can be a lot of help, some roosters will give their life for a hen, some will lead them to cover, and some will leave every man for himself. Roosters also have alerting sounds. Like squawking really loud, or even crowing and cackling.

    Roosters would do an extremely better job then a turkey.

    if a rooster is present it may or may not change the way the flock acts, they could become more mellow and they couldn't change at all.Infcat sometimes hens will change the way they act towards you to, mainly because roosters try to do everything to gain a hens attention.
  3. Anne4596

    Anne4596 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 27, 2016
    Western Nevada
    It is actually not wise to mix different types of poultry(Chickens and Turkeys) because some diseases that are common and have no potential fatality in one type can be rare and lethal to the other. The turkey would also not fit in with the flock as well.

    I didn't think that I wanted or needed a rooster, but I ended up with one and I am glad that I have one. Roosters have these pros:
    1. They will sacrifice themselves to save the hens.
    2. They are generally very beautiful.
    3. If you ever want to hatch eggs your own will be fertile so you will not have to order them(they are very expensive).
  4. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Stories of roosters fighting off predators are overblown. They are usually no more able to fight off a predator than the hens are. The most you can hope for is a rooster, usually only after a couple of years of experience, who will remain vigilant when the flock is out ranging and will sound an alert so the flock can run for cover.

    There have been isolated instances of a rooster tangling with a hawk or other predator and being able to drive it off, but more often it's the rooster who ends up injured or dead.

    In reality, you as the chicken keeper are responsible for your flock's safety.

    A rooster definitely changes the flock dynamics, either for better or for the worse. Hens do not need a rooster. Even when they are ranging away from their run, one hen will normally assume leadership and will alert the rest to danger. Roosters are superfluous to a flock's well being.
    1 person likes this.
  5. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 25, 2015
    Yeah I agree I usually only keep my roosters because their pets and I like hearing the crow.But there have been times where they have saved hens.
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    [​IMG] John, Based on what you have stated, I think you will be happier without a rooster.

    What a roo will do:

    They crow ALOT. Not just in the morning, but often, all day long. Often crowing jags with 3 - 6 or more crows in succession. And if they are exposed to light at night, they might crow in the middle of the night also!

    He will be on the look out for danger, and sound the alarm. Then he will run for cover, as will your hens.

    He will call the girls for treats. He will let the girls have the treats before he eats the goodies.

    He will give you fertile eggs. He will breed the hens, A LOT. I have had as many as 24 birds in my flock, with 1 roo. I can always tell who his favorite girls are because their back feathers will be tattered. Sometimes, based on the feather quality of the hen, her back will be bare. He is often treading a hen about every 10 minutes. And he's over 2 years old.

    He will break up hen squabbles.

    He will often show his hens where HE thinks they should lay eggs. He will most likely tidbit the chicks.

    He will dance for his ladies, and woo them. They will willingly submit to his breeding efforts.

    A good roo will do all of these things, but you are not guaranteed to get a good one. It's a crap shoot, and if you try to turn a male chick into a pet, this may back fire, resulting in a human aggressive roo. A bad roo will be food aggressive, driving the hens away from the goodies. He will single out one or more hens to be on his "I don't like you." list, and harrass them. He may have a totally obnoxious crow, and use it way too often. He will not dance, he will not woo. He will run them down and breed without consent, often roughly, and may cause harm to them. And worse of all, he may be human aggressive. If you have a roo, IMO you will need more coop and run space than the minimum recommendation of 4 s.f. in coop and 10 s.f. in run per bird. If you want to hatch eggs, you can always get fertile eggs from an other flock. Without a roo, your alpha hen will take over many of the chores of a good roo.

    For the first timer, I strongly suggest that you wait a year before getting a roo.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2016
  7. Johnnyfly41

    Johnnyfly41 Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 28, 2016
    Thanks all, excellent advice !!!

    OK, well, I will just see what happens, if I end up with a rooster, maybe give him a chance. Just in case, should I get one even when buying sexed hen chicks, I will just name him "Au Vin",,, Vinny for short, and hope he gets the idea and behaves himself. Chickens are supposed to be smart after all. Hey Vinny, how do you feel about a nice Zinfandel there pal.....

    Thanks much for your advice... I read a ton on the topic, but, there is nothing like real direct experience on a topic that is right to the point !

  8. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 25, 2015
    Roosters can be fun to keep,but some make it very "Un" fun and hard.
  9. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 25, 2015
    What artcicle did you rwad?
  10. waddles99

    waddles99 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 22, 2013
    Roos also will have strong hind legs for leaping up to 30 feet, long tails for balancing, coarse hair designed to protect their skin from the hot Australian sun, and pouches on the front of their abdomens where they carry their young. [​IMG]

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