What age rooster/cockerel to get for mixed flock?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ChickaD, Sep 7, 2008.

  1. ChickaD

    ChickaD Songster

    Aug 6, 2008
    central Vermont
    I've been reading BYC threads until my eyes drop out and haven't found this covered:
    For flock protection, we're thinking of getting a rooster for the first time in 9 years. We like to free range, are currently without a dog after many years (hope to get a compatible one later), and suddenly have to contend with attacks by a coyote and a hawk. We have 7 older gals, 4-5 yrs old or more, some still laying: Anconas, BO, NHR, and a misc white. We also have 11 6-week old chicks (no roos): BR, SLW, GLW, NHR, WL, and BA. (They're not yet free ranging, and probably won't be until next year.)

    What age rooster/cockerel do you recommend we look for? We're clueless about roos, except for reading the excellent threads and extra pages/links suggested, such as by Rooster Red (thanks!!!) Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
  2. hcammack

    hcammack Crowing

    Oct 5, 2007
    I would get a Buff Orphington or Barred rock rooster you would either want one about a year old to go into the older flock who is free ranging and integrate the younger girls when they are older or you could let the free range girls fend for themselves and get a rooster that is 6 weeks like your younger flock.

  3. dangerouschicken

    dangerouschicken Will Barter For Coffee

    May 6, 2007
    Columbia Gorge, OR
    Personally, I like to raise them myself, so I can see their behaviors developing. You always want a rooster that is protective and alert, but not vicious or aggressive. Seems like a no brainer, but there is a definite difference between protective and aggressive.

    If you want to purchase an older roo, look for one that will let you pick him up, but not too easily. Like if the roo lets you get close to him without charging you, and might let you pick him up (if he is in the mood), then you could have a good relationship with him. A roo is like a cross between an alley cat and a watch dog: alert, quick on his feet, can forage well, protective and loyal to his flock, non-agressive to humans, and might let you pick him up or pet him if he's in the right mood. To me, that's the best kind of roo.

    For age, younger than a year. Older than that, no matter how much you work with him, he may never break his old habits. I think most people here would agree with that.

    Also, I have found that if a roo spurs at you, he doesn't always mean to attack. Often he's just trying to scare you off from taking his egg offsprings, coming near his girls, what-have-you. My current main roo will back off if I just raise my voice at him. He knows his name, because when he's not in a protective stance, I talk to him sweetly. This way he knows the good voice from the bad voice, much like a dog or cat would. I have yet to physically push my roo away or be rough with him.

    Favorite breed for me has been Cuckoo Marans. I have had three male Marans and all were excellent at watching the flock without being jerks. I have also had success with Barred Rocks. The worst have been Leghorns, White Rocks, and Buff Orpingtons. They are just too high energy and I prefer a calm, watchful type of rooster.

    Hope that helps! [​IMG]
  4. ChickaD

    ChickaD Songster

    Aug 6, 2008
    central Vermont
    Thanks so much for your suggestions. I'm taking notes and sure do value your real life experience.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: