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Rooster choice for cold climate

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by jab91864, Jul 30, 2007.

  1. jab91864

    jab91864 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2007
    Northern Michigan
    Until now I have been a lurker and have very much enjoyed reading the board.

    The time has come for me to choose my roosters. I plan to keep two standard roo's for the flock. I have one banty roo and some silkie roo's but they don't count in my big plan, I guess I consider them "fluff" and more pet than farm animal. My standard gals are buff orpingtons, black australorps, light brahmas, amerucauna, chanteclers, blue laced red wyandottes and cochins.

    There will be enough hens to keep two roosters happy and if something bad happens and one dies I won't be roosterless......

    Problem is it's time to thin the flock and get rid of the extra roosters. My first choice in roosters to keep is a big black australorp that I have been watching for weeks. I really like this guy, but am worried that his big comb and wattles will not take kindly to the winter weather. I have heard you can vaseline them for protection but am doubtful and wonder how practical that is going to be.

    None of the other roosters has caught my eye like this guy has. He is big (ok so are the orpingtons...lol) and he is already gathering a small flock of hens that follow him around. He's young, they all are at this point (hatched in April) so how protective he will be in the long run remains to be seen.

    Now I have a couple amerucaunas with a small rosebud style comb. I have a blue laced red wyandotte with a rosebud comb. I also have a red chantecler with an almost flat comb. The cochins have a regular comb/wattles, same as the orpingtons. Realistically I think the wiser choice would be to choose 2 roos from the small combed set and put the others out of my mind and be done with it but I really like the biggest black australorp. None of the others do a whole lot for me when I look at the flock in general.

    I have winter hardy breeds, or tried to make the hardier choices. I live in Northern Michigan and winter can be harsh. My coop is secure and draft free with a window facing to the east and another to the west. I am hoping to have electric wired into the coop before fall. I don't plan to run heat in the winter, just a red heat lamp for only the coldest times (we will see -0 temps). Probably a heated water pan as well since I am gone to work 10 hrs a day.

    If I had to snatch 2 roos today out of the flock to keep I would pick the australorp and one of the cochins, but common sense tells me keep an amerucauna and a chantecler and be done with it.

    So I guess I'm just curious as to what other folks in cold weather climates have for roosters and if weather played a part of their decision making.

    Thanks for the input !!!
    Julie [​IMG]

    Oh, I should further complicate this by saying one of my "sexed" pullets from Ideal appears to be a brahma roo after all. And my one and only blue orpington reminds me of a roo but is younger than all the rest so I am iffy on it's sex at this time.... maybe it's denial since I really want it to be a hen...lol
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2007
  2. Ma & Pa Peeper

    Ma & Pa Peeper New Egg

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    Jul 21, 2007
    Camanche, Iowa
    Weather most definately played our part in choosing our Rooster, a Silver Laced Wayandotte.

    Besides having a rose comb and being extremely cold hardy, they are beautiful and have sweet personalities.

    We are in Eastern Iowa, and sub-zero temperatures are possible and probable over the winter months. We also used to live in Northern Wisconsin, near the UP border, where temps up to 20-25 below were normal, with wind chills to 30-35 below. Iowa is tropical after that![​IMG]

    Just my humble 2 cents.

    Ma
     
  3. featherfooted

    featherfooted Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2007
    Georgia
    If the Brahma is a roo He would be a good one to keep. They are friendly and handle the cold very well. They are not as loud as other roos either. I have brahmas and I love them. The ones with the rosecomb will handle the cold better than the ones with single combs.

    Georgia
     
  4. flyingmonkeypoop

    flyingmonkeypoop Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 30, 2007
    Deer Park Washington
    I agree, the brahmas are great for cold weather. The chanteclers were 'made' for cold weather. The canadian folks that made them selected for a small flat comb and little or no wattles. If I had to choose I would take the brahma and chantecler or a wyandotte. What will the roosters purpose be as far as adding to the flock? If you want to eat the extra cockerels next spring, go with the brahma and wyandotte. If you want more colorful eggs in future generations, keep an americauna rooster.
    Hope that helped,
    Michael
     
  5. jab91864

    jab91864 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2007
    Northern Michigan
    I want to thank everyone for their opinion. Common sense tells me go with the small combed birds and I think that is best.

    flyingmonkeypoop ~ very good point about the meat factor and what I want out of the flock next year etc.... Yes the plan is to be able to eat any extra roo's so "meatier" birds makes much more sense. I guess I hadn't gone beyond thinking of the cold hardy factor. The amerucaunas (so far) are a much leaner bird, as is the chantecler.

    ~Julie [​IMG]
     

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