Using a Rooster to protect my girls

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by RBOutdoors, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. RBOutdoors

    RBOutdoors Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What is everyone's thoughts on using a rooster to help protect my girls. I know they won't fend off a coyote, but they may make enough racket for me to notice and come out to help. Also how well will they do with hawks and such? We had a hawk dive bomb after one of the girls in the backyard yesterday so I am trying to find some options.

    Thanks
     
  2. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A rooster will do what he can, but protecting them I just don't know. He can alert them to danger and such but probably best he can do is have the predator eating rooster instead of hen.[​IMG]
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Quote:In addition to above. I value roosters in a free-range setting for controlling losses to predators although they do not work with all predators or at all times. They are useless against larger predators such as coyotes although in my setting they can increase odd juveniles will escape fox when rooster runs interference. In respect to hawks, seasonally they can be very effective against Coopers hawks and prevent losses of juveniles and chicks that are their own offspring. They can also provide a measure of protection against red-tails if flock and rooster(s) can operate in cover that denies hawk advantage of flight. Mine seem to operate more to protect offspring than hens which contrasts with what is offered by many indicated by others. Breed can be important as well. My American games are very consistent in engaging hawks but my dominiques seem to do little more than sound alarm and do not appear to defend offspring in any meaningfull fashion. Bantams and the other more extreme breeds like silkies are not affective. My game roosters put themselves at risk mostly when their young are present but will anytime take pot shots at a hawk on ground if they can get behind it. They are useless against all predators after dark although they can increase odds juveniles will roost off ground at younger age.
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I appear to be the most prolific poster in history by pressing a button just a few times.[​IMG]
     
  5. rebel-rousing-at-night

    rebel-rousing-at-night Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have a small coop with a fenced yard. I saw my rooster round up the girls and get them in the house this summer.I know he looks up into the trees a lot.

    I feel better that he is there. JMO
     
  6. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    centrarchid.........something you just posted got me to thinking. I've never witnessed it so I don't have a clue. But if a hawk is on the ground and not in flight what chance do a larger rooster have is warding off the hawk. Seems to me as though the hawks talons would be somewhat neutralized but that beak hasn't changed. Or maybe more than one rooster on the attack. Is there any difference?

    On the double posting, I use to do it very consistant when I was on dial=up. Since I got DSL it's made a lot difference.
     
  7. coonhoundmama87

    coonhoundmama87 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    the right rooster can do wonders! I have a rooster who free ranges with a flock of hens and I'll hear him so I go outside and he will be standing there sounding alarm while the girls are hiding. He's tipped me off to stuff many times. I do have other roosters tho who scream once and then hid with their girls, not as helpful in my opinion. So pretty much its not a promise but it doesn't hurt!
     
  8. stoopid

    stoopid Chicken Fairy Godmother

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    If you are allowed roosters, I would get one. Their job is to protect, some do it very well, others...
    But, I have had a few that will actually sit at the coop door at night, and count the girls going in.
    And won't go to bed until they are all inside. That is a good roo, IMO
    And just let us know where you are, I am sure there are many here that need to rehome a rooster. Or five.
     
  9. chickensbythesea

    chickensbythesea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We just lost our rooster after he saved our flock.
    He got mauled by a fishercat, but all of his ladies (who had been right with him) escaped just fine, and he put up enough of a fight that the fisher didn't try and come back (we have since eliminated the ...impolite word goes here)

    Prior to losing him, he would keep the hawks from the hens, standing in the open and making a giant commotion for a good 15 minutes while the ladies hid. He was just shy of 12 pounds, so they didn't ever try and catch him. Before, we lost nearly 1/2 our chicks to hawks if they got out too early. After he was an adult, we lost zero.
    We also caught him trying to intimidate a coyote, but I chased that bad larry away.
    He'd also chase the hens into the coop if he heard the hounds get worked up about something, even if he didn't know what.

    On the other side of the spectrum, his brother (same hatch) was the most mean, cowardly son of a gun to ever run our yard. He'd peck the hens if they got too close, and he would run screaming for cover and hide until he was absolutely sure danger passed. He made our neighbor's tummy very happy.
     
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Quote:Double posting? It was up to 16,000 something!

    Beak is not so good when foe not in talons. Beak is designed first to pull / tear against something held in place by talons. My birds are much faster than a grounded hawk. They also seem to be aware of risks talons pose. I saw a video recently that shows what my birds do around a grounded hawk. Once hawk on ground, hens will pitch in. In my experience, only rooster(s) responsible for matings will engage hawk. Others act like hens and get.
     

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