Which cockerel to keep? Delaware or Black Australorp

cajun41887

Songster
Nov 25, 2015
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Parrish, Florida
I have 10 chicks total that are all 5 weeks old. Definitely have at least 2 cockerels. If all things are equal, which should I keep? We have 2 Delaware pullets, 2 EE pullets, 1 partridge rock pullet, 1 black australorp pullet and 2 golden laced wyandotte pullets. Eventually want to hatch some eggs to help replenish our flock once the hens start getting older. Which between the Delaware and the Black Australorp cockerels would be best to keep as our rooster? I know there will be differences amongst individuals of a breed, but in general which breed will be best at alerting to predators, being easier on the hens and easiest for my family including children to be around? From what I've read, the Australorp is a better egg layer than the Delaware. Out of the chicks we have, the Delawares are by far the most friendly, and that includes the cockerel we're considering keeping. The australorp cockerel is difficult to catch and handle, but they both seem to be easy going with the pullets so far, although I know the hormones aren't raging yet as they are still only 5 weeks old. Based on our situation, which cockerel would you keep and why?

As always, thanks for any input and taking the time to read this.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

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Jul 16, 2015
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All roosters develop different personalities, so I can't comment on which to keep at the moment, your best bet would to keep both for now, wait and see how they develop, pull the one you think is worse, but keep him penned separate so you observe the flock dynamics with the other rooster, than perhaps swap them out to decide for sure, sometimes you pull what you think is the bad rooster only to find out he was the better of the two, and most roosters go through a faze of learning where they aren't always on their best behavior.

As far as just guessing by breeds, I always like the Australorps, but they can be big boys, and it seems a lot of Delaware become people aggressive, but I've not had one.
 

TheTwoRoos

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Sep 25, 2015
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All roosters develop different personalities, so I can't comment on which to keep at the moment, your best bet would to keep both for now, wait and see how they develop, pull the one you think is worse, but keep him penned separate so you observe the flock dynamics with the other rooster, than perhaps swap them out to decide for sure, sometimes you pull what you think is the bad rooster only to find out he was the better of the two, and most roosters go through a faze of learning where they aren't always on their best behavior.

As far as just guessing by breeds, I always like the Australorps, but they can be big boys, and it seems a lot of Delaware become people aggressive, but I've not had one.
I agree,wait it out.

Go for the one with the best protection and that's not people aggressive.But most roosters do not enjoy human attention,although some may stay friendly.I have had three cockerals in my whole time of having chickens,and they all do the same thing around 5 months and 7 months,they forcefully mate.I'm not saying all cockerals will do that,but I would guess most generally yes.Punk cockerals may wait until later on,because some do not have the guts to fight the hens.
 

Folly's place

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Sep 13, 2011
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Raise them both and see who's a better fit. Human aggression may appear later, even next spring, so if things are fairly calm, wait it out. If one or both boys become human aggressive, it's crock pot time for them! Meanwhile, act like the queen; walk through them, not around, and generally expect politeness towards you at all times. I love having roosters, but only the good ones. Mary
 

aart

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Nov 27, 2012
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I too agree to wait it out....and I'd stop cuddling/handling the cockerels as much as you handle the pullets, familiarity can breed contempt.

I would hand feed my cockerels, but stop picking them up daily once I knew they were male.
Still handled the pullets daily and the cockerel once a week or so. I felt they needed to know I would be touching his girls, and him, and no one would die.

Understanding chicken behaviors will go a long way towards a pleasant chicken keeping experience for the whole family.
Not sure how old your kids are, but both pullets and cock/erels can cause seriously injury to little kids.
Keep chicken beaks..............far away from..........human faces.

There are lots of ways to 'raise' cockerels...it's good you're asking early on (kudos there!)...read a ton before deciding what fits your style and needs.

Best of cLuck to you, Have Fun!
 

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