Posted in All about them Chickens, Hen Pecked

To Roo or Not to Roo?

Will you have a Rooster? I didn’t want one but after tiny predators attacked my girls so many times, I changed my mind.

photo 2

If you get a Roo, what should you expect?

Well, first off, a lot of what you can expect will depend on you.

I always hear people get mad if a Rooster attacks them. This amazes me. First, be happy that the Roo is doing it’s job. You want him bucky and spunky and you want him ready to fight. If you have a problem with him bullying kids, though, (and this also goes for yourself) then teach them how to stand their ground. You have to teach a Roo who is at the top of the pecking order. Roosters and Hens should know that you are — and it’s not negotiable. Chances are, though, a Roo is only gonna step out of line if he senses fear or nervousness in you or children. I’ve never had a problem with one— my kids either. So if you do, reevaluate the situation. You may have to teach yourself who is in charge and then teach your children that they are too. You should also spy on kids and see how they are treating the Roo when you aren’t looking.

My husband’s Aunt was telling me a story of a Roo she had. It attacked her son and I think he had to get stitches. I said, “Did you put him down after that?” (The Roo, not the Son—lol) And she said, “heck no.” Her son tormented that Roo every chance he got – chasing it, throwing rocks, etc. The Roo finally had enough.

Now I know we all think our kids are little angels but every now and again, that halo falls off. lol

Forget about the whole –lap –Roo notion, too. Now while some people will say that their Roos will sit on their laps and be all sugary sweet, this isn’t always the case. I say this again so that there will be no surprise – You want him bucky and spunky and you want him ready to fight. His job is to keep the Hens straight – so that their fighting doesn’t truly hurt one another—and to keep the small predators from taking out your flock. Let him do his job. Love on a Hen if it’s driving you crazy and leave the Roo be if he doesn’t want to be your baby boy.

Second, realize now, that having only one Roo may be the best and only option. Don’t care if you’ve got fifteen Straight Run and five of them ended up being Roosters, and I don’t care if they were buddies from the day they hatched from their eggs. Eventually, at some point, those Roos are gonna hit puberty. Eventually, at some point, they will fight and possibly kill each other over who gets to be the Mack Daddy of all the Hens. And that’s the goal, ya know – who is gonna be Mack Daddy.

Long time ago, a truly sweet older lady called, asking that I take on her three Roos. Poor thing, she truly loved them boys to pieces and they were spoiled from day one. Problem was, she lived in a subdivision and didn’t realize they were Roos when they were given to her as chicks. That was the one rule of where she lived, no boy birds. Their crowing might bother the neighbors.

This heartbroken lady did not want to part with her boys and her one and only goal was to find them a good and loving home. She had stalked an older website of mine, seen everything I had put up, knew I loved my birds like my family dogs. I immediately said I was sorry, but I couldn’t take them on. She assured me they were well tamed, not mean, and would never fight each other.

“Not yet.” I said.

This was like a slap across the face. It was as if I insulted one of her grandkids. She didn’t yell or even raise her voice but you could hear the hurt pour through her words over the shock that I would even think that. She swore on her life that they got along and would never give me a bit of trouble. 

I explained over and over, “I believed you.” I really did, but I also knew they wouldn’t stay that way. Once the boys turned into young men—all hell would break loose.

 And that brings up another point . . . .

Have a good amount of Hens to one Roo and if you are confining your birds, think twice about doing it if there is a Roo in the Coop.

Why?

A Rooster is not only a scrappy thing but he is also a very selfish, old-fashioned kind of primal sort of cave man. Yes, don’t think for a minute he won’t go all cave man in a shake of a tail feather. When he wants to rock a Hen’s world, he is out to rock it — whether she likes it or not. And he is out to rock em as many times as he likes, doing whatever he has to do to hold her down. He will pluck their feathers, make em bleed, bruise em all to kingdom come.

I went to a farm once where a man bred birds. He had a big, monster of a Roo locked up with two tiny hens. Those poor things were plucked and battered left and right.

I’ve never had that here. I keep a lot of Hens and when I finally got a Roo, I got a Bantam Cochin of a Boy who was small but very scrappy. photo 3Can you see by the picture how very small he is?

Even when he tried to rock some Hen-World, he was too tiny to do much harm. And there were so many Hens (I had about fifteen at the time), he got his fill without being a monster about it. That meant, eventually they wore HIM out, lol. He was big enough though to chase off the small predators — like small dogs, weasels, etc. That’s what I wanted.

When he crows, its not as ear-screeching as a regular Rooster, either. Might want to consider that if you have neighbors.

Don’t be afraid of big Roosters either. Just because I went small, doesn’t mean you have too. You may have enough Hens to keep the ol’ boy happy.

You also have to decide whether or not you want baby chicks. I’ve written up an Article already on what it takes to raise them.

Now look, a Hen will actually have to go Broody and sit on the eggs in order for baby chicks to come, but then you have to think about what kind of chicks will they be? If you have various breeds then you will not get a pure blood chicken. To some, that matters and to others, it doesn’t. Just one more thing to keep in mind.

Also keep in mind, though, that not all Hens go Broody and some Breeds will rarely go broody at all. What does Broody mean? That means if a Hen is willing to sit on a nest with Eggs. Most of them lay and go.

Big Roo, small Roo or no Roo at all— it’s totally up to you. But again, do your research and have plenty of Hens that way no one Hen has to suffer the Cave man alone.

Next Article: Predators

Back to: It’s All About Them Chickens Table of Contents

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