I Have a Rooster, Part 2

in Barnyard,Critter Chatter

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In rooster news, I still have a rooster.

I posted his availability on Craigslist, but no takers.  Seems roosters aren’t exactly going like hotcakes around here.  (I just wrote hot potatoes, and thought, that’s not right. Bear with me.)

I’m not upset about it, because I sort of like having him.  It seems right to have him.  So far, anyway.  I have to ask myself why and here are my thoughts on the subject.

He’s gorgeous, of course.  And while he hasn’t completely made it to the top of the pecking order–the older hens still boss him around, he has a confident bearing and a sense of duty that has endeared him to me.  At roosting time, he’s always the last one in the henhouse, seeming to make sure all his girls are gathered up and settled in.  He gets all kinds of bent out of shape whenever I go to pick up one of the ladies. When I approach the run during the day, he’s got his eye on me, cautiously monitoring my activities.  The hens are just pecking around, kicking up the dirt and leaves, but he’s watching.  Always watching.  I see how useful that is, particularly for free ranging birds.  Roosters are the bodyguards of the chicken world.

He’s 4 1/2 months old now, and while he looks pretty much full grown, I know he’s not fully mature and his personality may change.  I’ve heard a lot of stories about ill-tempered, aggressive roos and I realize the jury is still out on this one, so time will tell.

Of course, I haven’t mentioned the big subject of the crowing.  He’s got his crow down pat, now.  The only reason I haven’t had to get rid of him so far is because I sound-proofed the henhouse.  Not completely soundproofed, but I took a bunch of decibels off by blocking the windows with four inch styrofoam and drywall and caulking with weatherproofing foam.  I know.  Seriously.  The things we do in the suburbs to make this lifestyle work.  The door is already metal-clad with double-paned glass (yay! for salvage yards).  I also blacked out the door window to postpone the crowing until about 7 a.m.

I can still hear it from the house, but it sounds like it’s coming from over the hill and far away, not from the living room like before.

This all means I spent a whole day on the soundproofing and have to close them up every night and let them out every morning (previously they let themselves in and out at will).  Am I going to more trouble than it’s worth for this guy?

I’m still refusing to name him.  It would make it harder when I had to let him go.



{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 gmorgan October 16, 2012

Remember to name him “Pretty Tasty”, “Delicious” or “Yummy”. As in, “Isn’t this delicious?” “No, this is pretty tasty!”
Since I live in a neighborhood where, altho’ my neighbors wouldn’t have any problems with a chicken coop, I have problems with their dogs and cats (barking and digging, respectively). A squawk or out-and-out CROW would be enough to make me feel extremely guilty in violating our ‘good neighbor’ attitude here.

2 Carol October 16, 2012

Maybe you ended up with this rooster for a reason that’s not yet obvious. The world works in strange ways and even if you learn/gain nothing more from this rooster, at least you are now more aware of the challenges of sound-proofing a henhouse! :)

3 Sherry October 17, 2012

I too have an unplanned for rooster, after I got rid of the last 2 I had. My first was very aggressive and no matter what I did, he came after me…so he went to a farm. My second was a wimp and useless, so he was given away also…but this one I have now…he is so far a good rooster. He watches out for the girls like my first one did, but we handled him as a young one, and even now a couple times a week, I go and pick him up, pet him, hand feed him….so he (so far) doesn’t consider me competition or a threat. We’ll see. I do like a roo for the stability they give a flock…but I would suggest working on making real friends with him. My first rooster would see me from the far corner of our back and run to fight me. Not fun.

4 Linde October 17, 2012

We don’t have a rooster, for all the above reasons. But, I lost my best layer (and prettiest bird) to a hawk last week. It was gruesome, and sad. :( I’m considereing getting a rooster with the next batch now!
PS: We lock our girls up every night, and leave them out every morning for safety. You’ll get used to it! :)

5 Andrea October 17, 2012

When we found out one of our 4 chicks was a rooster, I swore that if he was ever testy that he’d be soup. Well he’s about 7 months old now and a big beautiful Buff Orpington. He is the shepherd of those oblivious hens and has challenged me on several occasions, I’ve just taken my place in the pecking order…just a bit above him. :)

Our flock does range, mostly in our yard but sometimes down the street in the neighbors yard (small town) but this guy can take on any of the curious neighborhood critters. My cats have also found their place in the pecking order and co-exist peacefully with Honey’s watchful eye ever upon them.

I am sure to have my ‘chicken stick’ with me whenever I approach him, and if he gets cheeky and drops his shoulder to me, I tap the stick and he backs off or he gets a nudge.

His adolescent crow was hilarious and almost painful sounding and today it’s still missing the doodle. He still seems fine with making his presence known at any time of the day, not just dawn. Thank Goodness I live in a chicken friendly small town, cause he’s just talking to his buddy next door.

6 Guestghouse Dweller October 17, 2012

Being your neighbor and former guesthouse dweller, I have loved watching him grow up, I think it is time we named him – he is a keeper! His crowing, little as it is, is far more tame than the dogs barking in every yard around us! I just love it when I come through the gate with a hand ful of grass/goodies and he and the girls hear my voice and come running – they know that Aunt Gina is going to feed them! Too bad we cant get Precious to stop chasing the chickens everytime she sees them – I guess she is a hearding doberman! LOL I need to start sitting in the pen with them so the newbies can get used to me.

Bottom line – the dogs make more noise that Mr. Roo does!

7 Funny Farm October 17, 2012

Of course the 6 adorable chicks ended up being 4 Roosters and 2 hens…three have been given away, I didn’t know the 4th was a rooster until the next day with his …cock a #@%^#@ He is just now getting it down to a good crow. My first thought was, OUT…the last one was sooooo mean…but so far MJ…is doing good. I had 3 other hens and he is not their boss…yet….but if he gets mean….out he goes….he crows…ALL THE TIME…we live in the country so it’s fine….I too love having a rooster, but I’m the boss and love cuddling my hens…we shall see who wins!!!

8 joss October 17, 2012

A friend gave us a rooster he couldn’t keep because where we live they’re allowed. First, we ran this new guy past all the neighbors and no one had any objections to our keeping him. Even then, he was on probation from the start since we have a toddler. But he’s been around for almost a year now and continues to be the sweetest, calmest thing, maybe because he was hand-raised. He’s not much of a body guard -a cat got into their yard and he just walked over like the friendly little ambassador he is. It fell to the scrappiest hen to run the cat off. Besides being nice, the other reason we can keep him is because he isn’t related to the hens in the flock. He fathered 2 chicks a while back, which at first we thought was neat -free chickens!- but then realized incest was going to become an issue once the chicks matured, regardless of which sex they turned out to be. One grew into a hen and we were able to easily find her a home. The other was a rooster, and nowhere near as tame as his dad, since he’d been raised by his mother and not by people. We could not find him a home and ultimately ate him rather than reenact Oedipus in the backyard.

9 lisalynn October 20, 2012

LOl.. I know the perils of a roo..
thankfully we live in the country & so the crowing isn’t a problem..
But having more then one roo can be horrible.. sometimes 2 can live together & not fight.. but wow.. other times, watch out.

our 1st roo years ago was named Mr Noodles.. we said if he was mean, he would be Cken & Noodles :-) Thankfully he was not mean & he lived a good long life :-)

lisalynn

10 Kathryn October 20, 2012

We had 2 roosters. The one we kept was originally named Sally, but is now Salvador. I never wanted a rooster, but I really like his crowing in the morning, and he doesn’t do it all day. He jumps on the girls, but is pretty nice about it and they don’t seem to mind. We tried to give the other one away- he was not very nice and would crow all day long. We never named him since I was suspicious from the start. I ended up naming him ‘dinner’ and that name was realized- by my wonderful husband.

11 Julie October 20, 2012

I have a Roo also….he was dumped at a local mall parking lot and the animal control officer for our town,knew i was weak at heart when it comes to “need to be rescued ” animals….so he resides with my 8 lovely hens….He is mean as all heck though so he doesnt get to free range like the girls-I think he may have been used for fighting….he does protect the ladies so hes a keeper!BTW…if its the crowing your not wanting…i keep mine in the hen house till 7am…no complaints from neighbors!

12 Funny Farm October 21, 2012

After letting our Broody Hen Ethel hatch 6 little eggs, which turned our to be 4 roosters and two hens, we are now down to MJ, I thought was a hen until the other three roosters found new homes…so far he is beautiful (aren’t they all!!) and loves the 5 girls he proudly protects!! He was cleaver and did not crow until all the others were gone…so I guess we have a Rooster!!!

13 Babsy October 21, 2012

Ahhhh…..what to do with the roosters!!! I have 40 chickens now, and for the first time in a looong time, only four are roosters….not HALF and HALF! Someone said that the temperature has something to do with whether the eggs hatch out roosters or hens. We are consistently split down the middle….and our hens are setting and hatching out their own eggs. We gave roosters away, dropped them off at the local feed store (he keeps cages out front for people to bring their chickens when they have more than enough….and then others come by and get what they need), and sadly, had roast rooster for dinner. I really had a hard time with that. But the four roosters left have divvied up the hens and each has their own flock. And it seems to work. And they are the watchmen for the flock…..the hens don’t have a clue where they are or what is lurking, but those roosters do….and no wonder they are skin and bones underneath those feathers!! They don’t eat….they WATCH! And they warn and even protect. In my humble opinion, not only are they all so different and beautiful, roosters are greatly needed….and my oldest one is nearly three now and he is still such a sweetie.

14 Guestghouse Dweller December 17, 2012

Well – Mr Roo is gone to a farm where he has more ladies to woo. I am very sad as I love hearing him “sing” while I am in my yard working. Maybe he will find a lady or two that wont chase him away at his new home! LOL

15 Funny Farm December 18, 2012

Well, I STILL have my rooster MJ….we had 5 hens but sadly our beautiful Road Island Lucy died yesterday….I can only hope that they all do not get sick…:( MJ is a great protector and I pick him up often to let him know who’s boss…wear long sleeves and gloves…he still likes a peck here and there! He does love to crow…we love it too…how long do chickens live???? I really am sad to loose my best layer…no broody hens yet…but I will let them hatch their own eggs when one does go broody..

16 Dennis April 16, 2013

It is funny how fast they get possesive and protective of their ladies. We have not had ours a week yet and it is funny if you take one of the Silkie pullets out of the cage the cockrels have a meltdown until they see you are not hurting them

17 Me July 31, 2013

Forgive me if this has been covered elsewhere before, I haven’t made it through the whole site yet :-D.

And, I don’t have any chickens yet, still arm wrestling with my wife over it, as many times as I read the “they’re not stinky” sections from your book, she still won’t believe it.

But… a friend of mine has been raising chickens for a while and he told me how to handle aggressive roosters (again, sorry if this has been covered previously). He said that he would go into the pen/coop/chicken place and this rooster would charge at him, so he’d just gently knock it over with his foot. Then it would charge him again, and he would gently knock it over. This went on a few times until the rooster tired of losing, at which point it would strut off with the attitude… “yeah, you come back in here next time, see what happens to…” then WHOOP, my friend would knock it over *one last time* as the rooster was walking away, just to make the point… it never bothered him again.

For my part, assuming my wife suffers a moment of weakness one day in the “let’s get some chickens” discussion, I’m planning on adhering to the advice in your book, let someone else have the roosters!

thanks!
cf

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