Single White Hen Seeking Rooster Or What Qualities Make GOOD Roos

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Alexandra317, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. Alexandra317

    Alexandra317 Out Of The Brooder

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    What does a rookie chicken-keeper look for in a good rooster(cockerel) ???
    I had 4 cockerels entering breeding age. One was culled out this morning and slated for dinner tonight. What qualities do I need to look for when deciding which 2 roos to keep?
     
  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Most people choose their rooster after its temperament. You want a gentle rooster that is not overly mean to its hens, and not mean to people. Roosters should still be alert (you don't want a lazy rooster that won't look out for its hens). A good rooster doesn't excessively tear out a hen's feathers, and it kindly gives (or trys to give them) hens pieces of food when it finds them.

    Of course, for those who breed chickens, the quality of a rooster (how much it conforms to the American Poultry Association's Standard of Perfection breed standard) is also under consideration. Most good breeders will also emphasize temperament, however.
     
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  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    If you're breeding birds of the same breed and variety then look for close to the standard of perfection of the breed. That info is easy to find on breed club web sites or from the APA. The following also applies to pure breeds.

    If they'll be cross bred then a large, non-aggressive bird that is alert, bright eyed, good plumage and has an exuberant behavior. One that can't wait to get out in the morning and find food for his hens and watches over them while they eat.
     
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  4. Hanna8

    Hanna8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They should be friendly with people, not too rough on their hens, and watch for and warn the flock of danger. If you have any intention of showing, then they should also be close to the breed's standards. Crowing volume and frequency can also be taken into account, but for many people this doesn't matter much.
     
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  5. Alexandra317

    Alexandra317 Out Of The Brooder

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    Not showing. Mixing breeds here. How much is TOO MUCH abuse to the hens when breeding? The EE that was culled this morning would jump out of the coop in the morning and NONE of the others would come out. Then, one of the lowly peasant pullets would come out... or pushed out by the others... and he would chase her and jump and pull out feathers. He postured, chased and jumped, ripping out feathers of whoever he could catch for about 20 minutes. Then, he was fine. He let the pullets have food. He would even drop it for them. Then again at dusk, back to posturing, chasing and ripping out feathers. I'm inexperienced and not sure what is normal behavior for roosters.
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    That sounds pretty normal. I like a robust bird that isn't human aggressive.
    Chicken breeding, especially with cockerels is more like rape than romance. Older roosters have better foreplay. It also helps as the hens mature and get used to him and submit.
     
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  7. Alexandra317

    Alexandra317 Out Of The Brooder

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    And he had just started actual mating and posturing at me. I have young grandchildren around and ... decided to nip danger in the bud.
     
  8. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Young children can be a problem even with a non human aggressive bird. Roosters attack predators and other roosters. Predators move fast and other roosters don't bring treats.
    Fast moving children can be interpreted as a predator. Move slowly around them and teach the kids to move slowly.
     
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  9. Alexandra317

    Alexandra317 Out Of The Brooder

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    OK! Good to know!!! Thank you so much. I still have 3 cockerels left out of an entire flock of 20. It's my understanding to have 2 roosters. One as back-up. Yes I agree on the children points you mentioned. My 5 yr old granddaughter was here daily all summer and became an ACE CHICKEN WRANGLER. Now she comes on weekends occasionally. The 3 yr old of the renters in my basement apt, is never unsupervised. Her dad is my chicken-slayer.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2013
  10. pmcatnip

    pmcatnip Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am also learning what's 'normal' for roosters as all of mine have been just stellar and had no aggression towards people. When I got my flock a year ago (an established flock my friend was getting rid of--coop and all) it included one BA rooster and about a dozen little mixed breed cockerels. I never handled Papa because truth be told I was scared of him (he was big and black with huge spurs), but he never chased me or anything, the problem was all in my head. The other little guys were too busy fighting with each other to notice me much. As to deciding which to keep/cull, we culled the ugliest and meanest one first that was picking most of the fights, then the heavier ones that were worth eating, then the smaller ones (we hoped they'd grow more...nope) and at the end only kept one cockerel because he is drop-dead gorgeous. In comparison to our new Delaware roo who grew up to be quite heavy, the handsome one barely weighs anything. So that will be another one of my deciding factors when it comes time to cull roos again--who's most likely to provide good dinner-plate offspring.

    As a young cockerel whenever the Delaware pecked at DH, DH would pick him up and fiddle with his comb. He doesn't peck at DH anymore so it seems to have worked.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2013
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