One Cockerel

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by CoachSully44, Mar 24, 2018.

  1. CoachSully44

    CoachSully44 In the Brooder

    I live on 10 acres that I have been managing (as best as one can manage a small parcel) for wildlife (and Labradors) for years. I finally decided to turn my attention to the domestic side and am starting a flock this spring. I know a rooster is not necessary for egg production, but I like the idea of a "flock protector" so I'd like to get one. I only want one, however, and the only means I have acquiring a rooster is through a straight run purchase. I don't want to end up with multiple cockerels and have to cull for no reason. How does one go about acquiring a single rooster?
    Trish1974 likes this.
  2. Cyprus

    Cyprus Master of the 'never give up' attitude

    Jan 19, 2018
    SE Wisconsin
    My Coop
    Craigslist or the Buy Sell Trade section of the forums.
    ChickNanny13 likes this.
  3. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Crowing

    Sep 25, 2015
  4. Hen Pen Jem

    Hen Pen Jem Crowing

    Sep 19, 2017
    Southern California
    Greetings CoachSully44, Welcome to BYC!

    Roosters can be a challenge, all by themselves. Some blend right in with the hens, and others present, with undesirable behaviors. Aggression towards people, including the keeper, and even towards some of the hens, can happen. So you'll need to know how to handle these situations, should they arise. I believe in training a rooster from a young age. But, if you don't have experience in training dogs or parrots, this is not something for everybody.

    Another option would be to acquire a rooster breed known for gentleness. However, you should not expect any rooster to protect your flock. A good rooster will sound alarm when aerial predators are seen, and even fight off invading roosters. But, a rooster is no match for any canine predators, nor, raccoons, bobcats, etc.

    My Barred Rock rooster, was a big tuff, and gentle soul. Thankfully, I was in the yard, when he was attacked by a coyote. He suffered many wounds to his back and vent area, in just about 20-30 seconds. That was the time it took me to run to his aid. After observing him fight for his life, I can tell you, he would have been killed, in another few seconds. Then, the coyote would have had no trouble going after the hens.

    A rooster can be a good addition to a flock. They can have great personalities, too. They are beautiful to watch as they strut around the property, overseeing the hens. I love to hear my rooster crow, which he does many times throughout the day. I have a rooster, not for breeding, just because I enjoy having one in the flock.

    My current rooster, Mr. Frito, is a very good rooster, but he was a challenge to raise. He too, is a large rooster, and powerful in strength and personality. Last year when a bob cat jumped into the yard, Frito sounded the alarm. I quickly ran out to see what was happening. I only got a glimpse of the bob cat, leaping back over the 6 foot fence with a hen. He too, was powerful. Both Mr. Frito and I, were helpless to do anything to rescue my poor hen.

    These encounters with predators, are very traumatic, but they are also, educational. They are factual, and true animal experience. This is why humans invented guns, otherwise chickens, wouldn't be the only thing on a predators menu.

    Flock protection is something all keepers have to deal with, you're not alone.
    Some good options for flock protection, are: getting a donkey, llamas, certain dog breeds, guinea fowl for early alarm warnings, or electric fencing.

    Here are a couple of links about roosters, that may interest you.

    These are my thoughts and experiences with roosters and their ability to protect a flock. I sincerely hope I have been helpful. And, I hope you are able to find a good rooster that you can enjoy having in your flock for many years.

    God Bless and peace to you and your flock. rooster imoji.jpg

    ChickNanny13 and Miss Lydia like this.
  5. dpenning

    dpenning Crowing

    Jul 20, 2013
    Blue Ridge, TX
    I just ordered three birds straight run of the breed that I wanted my rooster. I got lucky and got one boy and two girls. I figured worst case I’d have one spare roo.
    aart and Trish1974 like this.
  6. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    You don't need a Cockerel/ Rooster. The top Hen will take over his job watching the Flock. A Rooster is great at keeping Hens from bickering..He watches over the flock for predators as wiil a top Hen.
  7. CoachSully44

    CoachSully44 In the Brooder

    Apparently you didn’t see the quotation marks around the words “flock protector.” I have no delusions about a rooster’s ability to “fight” predators. I was referring to their ability to watch for danger, sound alarm, and find treats for hens.
  8. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Welcome! I have several roosters in my flock, and enjoy having them. Getting straight run chicks works well for me, because then there are multiple cockerels to choose from, and some to put in my freezer, or move on to other flocks, if they are nice birds but just extra.
    It's also fun to have a broody hen and raise chicks at home!
    As others have mentioned, it's possible to pick up an extra cockbird or cockerel from another flock. It's also possible to add a miserable disease with the new bird, a risk I've never been willing to take.
    There's always a reason to cull! Maybe because of health or temperament issues, maybe planned birds for the freezer, maybe moving birds to other flocks as extras.
    'Chicken math' is a real thing too; starting with five or six, and then having forty or more over the winter. Ask me how I know!
  9. CoachSully44

    CoachSully44 In the Brooder

    Thank you Mary. My wife is pretty soft-hearted, so I imagine our flock will be considered pets and culling/eating will be out of the question. I'm already planning on the expansion in a few years -- because I imagine hens will be allowed to live out their lives long after egg production has ceased.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: