Rooster/predator question

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by coop-er, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. coop-er

    coop-er Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello friends, I have a rooster question..... I had a small flock of 8 birds (2 roosters 6 hens) raised from hatchlings, at 6 months old the flock was attacked and both roosters and 4 hens were killed. I am beginning to consider rebuilding the flock and my husband is wondering if we should forego getting anymore roosters. He asked me if I thought the roosters crowing was possibly "calling out" the predators. My flock was attacked in midday by a fox coming out of our 20+ acres of cornfield that abuts our property ( they were free- ranging at the time). Is this a valid concern? Is all that crowing just letting the local killers know I have a quick accessible meal close by? Thanks for your input.
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    The crowing may serve as an attractant, but the bottom line is that if you free range eventually you will lose birds.
     
  3. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A rooster has value in the flock. Our rooster keeps an eye out over the girls and will round them up if he sees any aerial threats. I would be sure that your free range area has a perimeter fence and the birds have places to hide or take cover. It will not ensure losses but it will increase your odds against losses. Our rooster will also take on a predator when the girls take cover. A relative was visiting our 1 acre fenced in chicken coop/free range area and accidently let her dog through the gate. The girls took cover into the run/coop but the rooster stayed out to challenge the dog. He lost some feathers but is OK since we got to the dog in time. I personally would only have 1 rooster since you have 6 hens. Too many roosters will overmate your hens. 1:8 is a pretty good ratio. With multiple roosters, one will become the Alpha. Hope this helps!

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  4. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

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    Predators are going to hear your chickens with or without a rooster - the egg song, squabbling, etc. It's just that EVERYTHING likes chicken. It's the rooster's job to keep the flock safe. When we have an attack by a fox (happened once), coyote (several times), neighbor's dogs, or a hawk, it's usually one of our roosters that is harmed or killed because he stands his ground to protect his ladies. Countless times I watch one of our boys give the warning call and everyone runs for cover, except the alpha roo, who will stand guard.
     
  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    I have free ranged with roosters, and without roosters. I have considerable less loss without a rooster, but the rooster needs to be about a year old. A juvenile rooster is not responsible, only has one thing on his mind and it is not predators!

    A full grown rooster is a worthwhile if you are going to free range your hens. You will have less losses. The trick is to get a rooster to be a year old, and be a nice gentleman to people, and keep him alive.

    I have had 3 roosters, one so-so, one fantastice, one meaner than a junk yard dog. Not all roosters are the same, but after looking at my free ranging losses this summer, I almost wish I had kept the mean one until fall. A good rooster decreases daytime predator losses in my experience.

    Monica
     

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