What to consider when selecting which cockerel stays

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Stacinfl, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. Stacinfl

    Stacinfl Chirping

    Feb 22, 2018
    N. Florida
    I have (i believe) 4 cockerels, Barred Rocks, 4 weeks old.
    Knowing I can only keep one- and that once they mature lots can change, are there certain characteristics you watch for when their young?
    Is it best to find them new homes when they are a certain age?
    Currently they have adjusted to life out of the brooder and in the coop/run.

    Thank you for your input!
    UThobbyfarmer likes this.
  2. ChickenGirl555

    ChickenGirl555 Songster

    Oct 22, 2017
    My Coop
  3. andreanar

    andreanar Crowing

    May 16, 2014
    Finger Lakes, NY
    If I had known cockerels, I would get them rehomed asap. As for which one to keep, that depends on what you are keeping him for. Since they are the same breed, and so young it will be harder as you don't know what their temperament will be like when they hit maturity. Id just pick the one I liked and give it a go.
    Stacinfl likes this.
  4. Stacinfl

    Stacinfl Chirping

    Feb 22, 2018
    N. Florida
    thank you for your input. going to be tough to pick one, i've grown fond of them all, but know some have got to go!
  5. Roosters110

    Roosters110 Chirping

    Mar 10, 2018
    Is there a certain reason your getting rid of them?

    Besides that I look for which one does the best treatfidning and best protection/watch out.And personally I like the most friendly one which I raise all mine to be friendly.
  6. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    It takes time to evaluate and choose the best one, and then it's still sometimes a guessing game!
    As they grow, any that show human aggression need to go. I want my cockerels to move away from me when I walk towards them, and never think bad thoughts at me. They will be sparring with each other, NOT me.
    Any with conformation flaws, or too small in size. For a non-show flock, still you want a bird that is structurally correct, and not 'weedy'.
    After that, continue to watch development. With sexual maturity, human aggressive behaviors may appear. Be ready! You can try to correct a bird one or twice, but after that, he's an idiot who needs to go.
    Then, hang on to them for a bit longer, to make the best choice you can. A good bird who's just 'extra' might find another home, and the culls will taste great, either for you, or some other family.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Just pick one by 16 weeks(when the hormones really start to flow)
    and get rid of the rest.
    If you're brand new to keeping chickens you might want to get rid of all of them,
    and keep a female only flock for eggs until you get some experience under your belt.
  8. UThobbyfarmer

    UThobbyfarmer Crowing

    May 29, 2013
    We've grown out probably 20+ roosters over the years. I was surprised to learn I actually really like them! I like roosters who are good with people, gentle with the hens, quite, and get along with other roosters. In that order.

    Unfortunately I've learned you can't possibly predicted any of these factors until they are 5-6 months and their first hormonal surge comes in springtime.

    Just choose one you like the look of, good growth rate, and a reasonable personality for it's age. Not too friendly or shy.

    I feel there is probably a genetic link here as well. Just like other animals. But until this year I've always done hatchery birds and never had a chance to explore this further.

    Here's one of my mixed breed roos. He's a bit loud but otherwise fits all my criteria for a perfect roo.


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