Should I add this cockerel to my flock?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by PirateGirl, Dec 16, 2017.

  1. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    https://rockies.craigslist.org/grd/d/chicken-cockerel-free/6423287070.html

    I have been considering adding a male to my flock and as we all know there are boys that pop up regularly needing a home or else they become dinner. I am new to chickens. I currently have 5 pullets (approximately 9 months), all large fowl, no bantams. One is laying, one is squatting, the rest are waiting for longer daylight hours I presume. All are healthy. Currently all the girls get along. I am somewhat afraid to upset the balance. I think my big question is about how to choose a good boy to add in with them? What criteria do you use? Does it matter his age or breed or size? (I'm not interested in breeding) There are plans next summer for an expanded run, but this will be less predator proof than their existing small fully enclosed run. This is one of the reasons I'm thinking of adding a rooster into the mix. When this bigger yard is ready for them, I think his protection would be beneficial. Would it be better to wait until summer when they have more space, new territory, more entertainment, more distraction? Are chickens territorial? Is there a better chance of them getting along if introduced on neutral ground when I first give them the new yard? Does it matter if there are no other males? Is 5 ladies enough for one rooster? There are no plans to add more ladies to my flock. There are limits to how many birds I can have where I live, however a rooster is permitted. How loud will he really be? Will my neighbors hate me? So many questions. Any and all input is greatly appreciated. I will not be upset or offended if everyone says don't get a rooster it's a bad idea. I want to do what's best for my girls, which is why I'm asking before doing anything at all, regarding this cockerel I found near me or any other potential rooster in the future.
     
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    A rooster does not really provide protection. He's more of an early warning alarm, and he's only going to be effective if he's vigilant and the hens listen to him. As far as the hen to rooster ratio, 5 large fowl ladies is plenty for a bantam Cochin. However, you do need to consider the challenges of integrating a single, young bird into an established flock of adults. He'll need his own setup for several weeks, while the girls get used to him being around.
     
  3. SueT

    SueT Overrun With Chickens

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    I recently added a bantam cochin cockerel to my group of 8 ladies...2 are bantam pullets, 4 standard pullets, 2 standard hens.
    (First, I should the issue of quarantine. I didn't do it after realizing I couldn't really do it properly...but others will tell you this is a must. I questioned the previous owner extensively about the health of his flock and trusted his answers. It has been 2 months now, and so far they are all fine. I am not saying this is a good idea, but it is what I did.)
    The one you show is very young, they will probably not welcome him. Mine was the same age as the pullets, and still was attacked and he was absolutely terrified. I temporarily divided the coop and run and let them live side by side for about 3 weeks. The pullets then accepted him, the hens still chase him but he's faster than they are and realizes they won't kill him.
    My Cochin cockerel, Carl is very shy and polite. I have never had a Cochin before, but I have a feeling this may be typical for the breed. He dances for the ladies, and none have let him mate. He takes no for an answer. They are all molting, none laying, maybe it will change when they start laying again. But as for protecting the flock...this little fluff ball probably is not going to do it. H
    1 to 5 is probably okay for a ratio considering he's small and they are large.
    Mine has a loud, musical crow. You might want to ask your neighbors. Ours have roosters too.
    carlitos (3 of 1).jpg
     
  4. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you @junebuggena and @SueT for your input. I think I worry about the cockerel or rooster being the bully, but hadn't thought so much about the fact that since my girls are established together they might be the ones to pick on him initially! I know a bantam cochin isn't likely to kill a hawk (though it would be a spectacle to witness), but I suspect having a rooster would be better than no rooster when it comes to predators.

    I have an extra large dog crate I can set up initially totally separate, which can then be moved where they can see but not touch each other and hopefully it's love at first sight :love
     
    chicken4prez and SueT like this.
  5. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Would it be better to get a LF cockerel? Is it better to get an older rooster?

    Current Flock:
    2 wyandottes
    1 ameracauna
    1 delaware
    1 bielefelder mix
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017
  6. igorsMistress

    igorsMistress Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I would add two chicks not just one so he doesn't get beat up and has a friend his age. You won't have any idea what his personality is until he grows up. Some say as old as two years. As for when, no matter when it'll create some ruckus so I don't feel like when matters in most cases.
    I enjoy having a rooster in my flock. I don't really need one because I'm not breeding right now, I ended up with a few and decided to keep one. Honestly, my roo gives the alert but he's usually the first under cover :lau
    He's still just a baby though.
     
  7. Chicken Boy 101

    Chicken Boy 101 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    About roosters not providing protection go on your search and type in hero rooster.
     
  8. Olivekat07

    Olivekat07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nice Roo!! Very pretty!
     
  9. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    A rooster can offer a small measure of protection for a flock, usually at the cost of his own life. But they should never be relied on to be the only protection. It really depends on the individual. There are no guarantees that adding a rooster to a flock will make them safer from predation.
     
    aart, keesmom and bobbi-j like this.
  10. SueT

    SueT Overrun With Chickens

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    If protecting the flock is your biggest concern, maybe a LF rooster would be better. A bantam cochin might be like getting a toy poodle for a guard dog. However, getting an adult LF rooster would probably bring its own set of issues. I have never had one but I read lots and lots and lots of threads discussing pros and cons, I think it's well worth searching thru them before deciding.
    In the end, I did not plan to get a Cochin, but saw Carl, and instantly liked him. I really love this sweet little fluff ball and am glad he's now part of the flock.
    intro (3 of 1).jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017

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