Will a bantam rooster defend against predators?

wordgirl

One of the Shire-folk
12 Years
Apr 14, 2009
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I hope this was the right place to put this....
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I am (still
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) planning my re-start flock and am thinking about roosters. Will a bantam be able to do anything to defend his flock from predators? We don't have many up around the house, but there was one incident last year that left us without one of the hens and our rooster without his tail. Will a bantam rooster be at all helpful in this area?
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ETA: I know that even the biggest large-fowl rooster will NOT be very effective if a coyote is intent on a meal. So when I say 'defend' I only mean to a relative extent.
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Peck Johnson

Chirping
8 Years
Feb 26, 2011
101
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Greene County NY
We had a rooster that defended against a irresponsible neighbor's lab. If not for him we would have lost more hens than we did. He was chewed so bad, I was so sad to have to finish him off, but thankful that he put his life on the line. Getting a guardian is your only real defense though - we never worry now.
 
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speckledhen

Intentional Solitude
Premium Feather Member
14 Years
Feb 3, 2007
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Most roosters, no matter their size, would die defending their hens. That is their mission in life, other than fertilizing eggs. Bantams are no different. They all think they're 10 ft tall and bulletproof anyway. The only difference is that a large rooster may hold off a predator longer than a pint sized rooster, but he'll most likely lose his life same as the bantam.
 

gryeyes

Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers
10 Years
Sep 22, 2009
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My slice of heaven in Somerset, CA
Mine (I have a few) are very protective, plus very alert to aerial predators.

And Charlie (bantam Buff Brahma) absolutely HATES blue jays, which - while they might not be scary to us, they will go for chicks and eggs - he challenges and chases after all the girls have responded to his Danger! alert call.

George and Alex (Sebrights) attack visitors' legs on a regular basis. George can leave a pretty darned good bruise and even break skin.

Those are the only anecdotal examples I have to share. Obviously, any large predator would take 'em out like that! <*snaps fingers*>
 

wordgirl

One of the Shire-folk
12 Years
Apr 14, 2009
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Thanks!

So he'll still try - that's good.
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But you also said, gryeyes, that your sebrights attack your visitors? Hmm...one reason I've been thinking about a bantam is because we had trouble with an aggressive (and huge) Buff Orpington with my last flock. He was great with the hens, but not so with kids...or anyone, really, for that matter. I was hoping that a bantam would either not bother about humans or that if he did he'd be so small it wouldn't matter too much.... Are the bantams just as prone (or not prone) to protecting against people as large-fowl?
 

gryeyes

Covered in Pet Hair &amp; Feathers
10 Years
Sep 22, 2009
15,506
431
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My slice of heaven in Somerset, CA
Bantams are just as protective of their hens as are their larger cousins. Some are more aggressive than others, just like LF.

My two Sebrights are the only ones that do this, and one (George) is more tenacious than is the other (Alex). As a matter of fact, Alex has chased George away from my house guest when George flogged her ankles. Alex just postures, flaring out his neck feathers to people, or following them around suspiciously. George goes for the calves. He can leave a good bruise if he connects, and has drawn blood on two occasions. Small scratches, but y'all go "You little bastid!" He doesn't do it to me because I have established my role as The Supreme Flock Boss. I do have to walk him backwards every couple of weeks, though, just to reinforce it, because I work during the weeks don't get a lot of flock time until the weekends. (Due to shorter daylight days... this will improve.)

It can be funny, but it could hurt a child. No child should be unsupervised in a flock with a rooster (or two or more) unless rooster "conditioning" has been performed with them. Small children, never. A rooster's job is to protect his hens, and if he thinks they are being threatened, he can do his darnedest to protect 'em, even if he's only 9 inches tall.
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,451
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Holts Summit, Missouri
A bantam rooster may exhibit some behaviors associated with defense of his harem that large fowl or even a jungle fowl might but in my opinion he will be less effective in detouring predators. Size can be a very good bluffing tool when predator can be bluffed like with a smaller hawk. Most predators with experince will not be bluffed. If combat required, then bantam will be inadequate almost always while a large fowl is inadequate only most of time.

Manage your birds cover options and consider a dog to make it so predators do not have a canned hunt when visiting your backyard. If reliant only upon rooster and he is yet to be had, then get an American game. He will have best of size, physical ability and smarts. He is also more likely to be an attentive father.
 

MANNA-PRO

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