Will introducing a mature rooster pose a threat to cockerels?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by sosanista, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. sosanista

    sosanista Out Of The Brooder

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    Nicasio
    I recently posted a thread here about my flock being harassed by a hawk. Some have told me that free range flocks need the protection of a rooster and this makes sense to me. Being that we are starting over at a new house with no previously established birds I haven't got a mature rooster yet. Right now my flock consists of all 5 week old Dark Cornish that are 10 hens and 20 cockerels which I will butcher all between 12 and 20 weeks of age. Right now I'm holding off on free ranging until they get bigger and I get a rooster. My question is: Am I putting my cockerels in danger by introducing a mature, possibly aggressive, cock into the mix?
     
  2. jhm47

    jhm47 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The sooner you introduce the bird the better. He will establish himself as the leader, and there will be little problem after that. However, sometime next spring there will likely be some of the cockerels that will challenge his leadership, and that could be a bloody fight. They will live through it, but there probably will be some blood spilled. That is if you don't butcher all the cockerels.
     
  3. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't think simply intoducing a rooster will prevent losses to hawks or other preditors. IMHO the risk of intruducing a new rooster to the flock is much greater than whatever small degree of protection it might offer. Some roos will atempt to protect, other just make sure they are the first ones safe in the coupe if danger is spotted.
     
  4. jhm47

    jhm47 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with CVF about the rooster probably not being much of a "protector". The ones I have had in my 55+ years of raising poultry will be more alert than the hens, and they will warn their flock if danger approaches, but they don't do anything to protect their harem.
     
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    By brining in an outside bird to a fresh flock, risks bringing in diseases and other pests. I would just grow out your current roosters and pick out a few prospects and keep those as the flock masters.
     
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    A rooster will alert and warn the flock, but his presence is only a temporary deterrent. He will also determine his dominance over the cockerels with the possibility of injury to them.
     
  7. sosanista

    sosanista Out Of The Brooder

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    Nicasio
    This seems to be one of those questions that you just have to gather all the info you get and make your own decision because I seem to get a lot of answers. I talked to a local chicken farmer out of petaluma and he advised me to never let flocks out to free range without a rooster. I think the cockerel's will be in the freezer by the time they start to assert themselves as alphas and what not but if the rooster does prove to pose a threat we could find him another home or put him in a pot. Another local organic farmer found me on craigslist and hooked me up with a two year old Dominique. Put him in the coop the day before yesterday and he and my birds seem to be doing just fine. I also spoke to a breeder of sporting cocks who is in an area around a lot of hawks and he told me that the hawks wouldn't dare land near one of his flocks. Going to let them get used to each other and will attempt to let the forage in 4 or 5 days. If I could get my hands on some Dark Cornish not from hatchery stock but from free range foraging stock (not selected for laying) I would be really happy though these birds do seem to be quite feisty.
     

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