Mark Tashjian wrote: Thank you Marcus! I really enjoyed reading this.
Although I agree they will learn from the older roosters, they must also do all these things by instinct. I have 11 chickens. All are 12 weeks old. They have no older chickens around to learn from. My top, lead rooster comes out of the coop first, then signals to the others to come on out. At the end of the day, he will literally round them up if needed to get them all back inside. Then he will enter last, and I shut the door. And he definitely spends more time on the lookout.
James Landreth wrote:A lot of great points are given here about the virtues of roosters. I'm currently transitioning over to ducks, though, as I don't want to have a rooster crowing where I'm at. I'm curious, do drakes have these same qualities and do they play a similar role in the flock?
Lina Joana wrote:I have to say that my family has had two problematic roosters in a row in their free range flock.
The first one was a white feed store rooster, and he did do some of the protective things people had mentioned. Once he was full grown though, he started attacking - mostly my father. It got so that we had to keep them penned in their tiny bad weather run whenever he was using power tools.
The second once came from a local breeder, and was a breed that is supposed to be gentle. He was ok as a juvenile, then started attacking - any adult, even when being fed. Then he tried to attack a 2-year old, and had to go. And let me say, for a life long vegetarian to have to sharpen a hatchet and kill a rooster is a gut wrenching experience.
Once he was gone, all the hens, who had been skittish and standoffish, relaxed and became quite friendly, and now follow us around.
The local dairy farmer had a story of his wife having to shoot a rooster that was going after one of their kids - they have a multi rooster free range system, while we've only had one at a time. Quail Springs Permaculture in California, when I took a tour, said that they keep one rooster per 8-10 hens, but kill anyone that starts showing aggression toward humans. They are butchering for meat anyhow, so it isn't hard for them.
So, while I'm not saying all roosters are bad, I will say that it is very possible to get one that turns dangerous, especially if they are free range. Rooster spurs will cut through jeans, and they can fly to attack the head if they are so minded. Just be prepared to deal with it if you get a mean one, even if you aren't intending to butcher your chickens.
Marcus Billings wrote:Granted, this is more work than many folks would like to do with a rooster, I know. But killing him because he's really good at his job has always seemed counter intuitive to me. And I wholeheartedly believe that roosters help the flock in so many ways.
I can sleep through the crowing, but not through her shrieking, LOL
Cd Greier wrote:
When I was confining my chicks before I got a fence up, I put a makeshift chicken wire door inside of their shed. Every morning I'd go in to sit on the feed can and watch the chooks crowd the "big screen" to see what was happening outside. For me, it was better than TV!