Rooster Advice

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by nick7764, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. nick7764

    nick7764 Out Of The Brooder

    22
    0
    22
    Apr 2, 2012
    Starkville, NY
    Hi everyone,
    I'm new here, and could use some advice regarding roosters.. We're going to be getting chickens for the first time this summer, and have been going back and forth on whether we should get a rooster. We're new to chickens, and are a bit worried about all that we've heard about roosters, if they'll be really aggressive, etc. We live in the country though, and want the chickens to be free-range, so we figure its probably a good idea to have a rooster for protection... Right now we've ordered six girls- 2 orpingtons, 2 wyandottes, a barred rock, and a silkie. (We're really excited by the way, the day-old chicks should get here June 4th or so!). I was thinking about a silkie rooster since silkies have a reputation for being nicer, but we weren't sure since the other girls will be so much bigger. Speaking of which, my main question is, how important is the size of the rooster compared to the hens? Can he be a little guy?
     
  2. ericsplls

    ericsplls Chillin' With My Peeps

    188
    2
    111
    Feb 25, 2010
    I have a sebright bantam rooster that has no problem keeping the ladies in line. The downside to a silkie rooster is they can't fly, they aren't big enough to offer any kind of physical protection, and the good ones are vision impared because of the fluff so can't give much of a warning for arial predators. That said if you want to allow your silkies to set their own eggs you will want a silkie rooster.
     
  3. Kagu

    Kagu Chillin' With My Peeps

    714
    1
    113
    Feb 18, 2012
    Okay, every breed , no matter what sex, will have a sour apple. Silkies arent dominate and wont really be a good chose

    Breeds that are good for rooster protection

    Old english game
    Brahma
    Sebright (or other bantam)
    Maran

    i just picked some from the top of my head, Silkies arent good, you like chose the only breed not good, LOL
     
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    First off, most likely your hens would do fine even without a rooster. I was roosterless for quite a while initially, and my lead hen served as lookout - would give the call when hawks were spotted in the sky - and they'd all head in close to the cars or outbuildings. Now I'm sure she wouldn't have taken on a hawk had one dived down and attacked, but there's certainly no guarantees that you'd end up with a rooster who'd do that either. So don't think hens alone won't be on the lookout for danger.

    That being said, we did end up getting a mature, BANTAM rooster in the end, and I really like him. I love the sound of a roosters crow. He was two when we took him in, so I knew he was already done with the terrible hormone stage and knew he was not aggressive toward people. I like that he's bantam too, because he doesn't tear my girls up when he mates them (most of my girls are large fowl) like some huge 10 lb rooster would. Our roo is a d'uccle by the way. He is very gentlemanly with my girls, and only mates when they're willing - no forcing. He is good about sounding warnings w/hawks and such, but I doubt he'd take one on if one swooped down.

    Other breeds to consider: bantam cochin, d'uccle, oegb, etc.
     
  5. Trefoil

    Trefoil Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,316
    211
    218
    Dec 7, 2011
    I love my bamtam cochin rooster and my standard roosters. Aside from the protection of a rooster, I like having the roosters around for their decoration value. IMO they is nothing prettier than a rooster, you can pick any breed you like because they aren't going to lay eggs anyway.
     
  6. nick7764

    nick7764 Out Of The Brooder

    22
    0
    22
    Apr 2, 2012
    Starkville, NY
    Thanks for the advice- its really helpful! Hmm if we do get a rooster then, I'm thinkin I'll go the non-silkie route... Maybe a Brahma or a cochin bantam...I'll try to read more to decide if we wanna get one for sure... one of the reasons I was worried about getting a bantam rooster was that i read somewhere they can hurt some of the big girls' combs by trying to hang on when they do their thing....

    one things that roosters do have going for them besides protection is that I've read they're supposed to have a lot of personality, and I love the idea of watching them look after and interact with their girls :)...
     
  7. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

    8,862
    3,912
    441
    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    I'll put a plug in for a brahma. Mine is a sweetheart (he's the one in my avatar). He's not a pet - doesn't really like it when I get too close, he just moves away. But it's so much fun watching him with the hens. When I bring scraps down to the chickens, he calls the hens over and drops pieces of food in front of them.
     
  8. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

    4,826
    1,497
    366
    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    You really don't need a rooster at first, and if you have small children I would strongly recommend not having a rooster, until they are nearly 8 years old. Even then, an aggressive rooster can be a problem.

    And you must remember that a rooster really will do no protection until they are 12+ months old. 5-9 months are the 'teen' years, and they will want sex all the time, and wear on your hens. Older roosters that are polite to the hens and family are a treasure, but it is kind of a crap shoot, and lots of people wind up with terrors, before they get a good one.

    My rooster is approaching 2 years old, and is pretty much a treasure, and since he has gotten to be about 14 months old, I have not lost a hen during the day, and before that, I often lost hens.

    MrsK
     
  9. MommyMagpie

    MommyMagpie Chillin' With My Peeps

    296
    1
    103
    Jul 29, 2011
    Salem/Jarvisville, WV
    I have a friend who has a silkie rooster and he says it is no good for what you want a rooster for. We are getting a free rooster from another friend who has too many. Have no clue what kind he is, I am just happy to be getting him for nothing....plus if he turns out to be useless we have permission to invite him to dinner. teehee.
     
  10. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    9,279
    728
    321
    Apr 11, 2011
    Tn
    I had a Silkie rooster for a while. He was quite useless at first, with his big old crest blocking his eyesight. So, I gave him a little trim so he could see, and he turned out to be one of my favorite roosters ever. We called him Mr. Puffy Pants :) He tended to the hens very well, would help take care of chicks-offering them bits of food and such(and he had no problem making babies with the big girls- I still have mixed breed girls from when I had him. They're good layers). He was even a good sport while my daughter carried him around like a baby. He lives with a friend of mine now, and is still a good boy. I have Cochin roosters now, and I adore them. I've also had Chantecler, BO, and EE roos who were awesome. Good luck!
     
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by