My Favorite Rooster Breeds

When acquiring a backyard chicken flock, most people opt for a flock of ladies. But for those who want a rooster ot two, but are apprehensive as to which breads are best, this post is for you.

My flock total clocks in at around 50-60 birds (according to chicken math), 30-40 or so hens and 13 roosters. Half of the gents free range with the girls, the rest reside in a bachelor pen. A bachelor pen is a coop/pen assigned to house just roosters. There are no hens in a bachelor pen. Contrary to prevailing opinion, roosters can and do cohabitate well together. However, there are some tricks to successfully house roosters together. To see how I use and manage a bachelor pen, chick here .

The “coop-hood”.

I have three large coops that house my girls, within each of these dwellings, I have two roosters. These gents care for and protect the ladies while they are free ranging. That means, on any given day, I have 6 roostes in the yard with the ladies.

The roosters of yesteryear, which star in our nightmares, was often played by the game cock, according to today’s breeding standards. The rooster we met on our grandparents farm was very aggressive, and for good reason. Our grandparents kept chicken to supply the family with eggs and meat, a defensive rooster was needed. However, many things have changed since our grandparents day.

Deaky, Fi, and Freddie (Laced Polish Hens) perching on a hammock swing under the grape arbor.

The backyard chicken hobby has exploded, chickens replacing the family dog in terms of popularity. Backyard chickens are quickly becoming the go to for a backyard homestead. In the wake of COVID-19, everyone wants more control over their food supply. Backyard chickens have never been more popular than they are right now. Correspondingly, the breeding industy has responded. Hatcheries and breeders are selective breeding for behavioral/temperment traits such as calm, friendly, docile and low key. Most breeds today meet the needs of the backyard chicken hobby keeper. Gone is the blood thirsty aggressive rooster that roamed our grandparents farm, meet the roosters of today.

Using my 13 roosters, I will provide a breed profile overview. I will highlight behavioral and temperment traits associated with common breeds developed for the backyard chicken keeper.

Buff Orpington:

The first breed that I will present for consideration, is the Buff Orpington. Orpingtons as a breed are known as the “Golden Retrievers” of the chicken world. Their demeanor is calm, friendly, and low key. They are big balls of feathers, looking bigger than they actually are. My very first rooster was a Buff Orpington named Roy. Roy exhibited much of these behavioral traits, he was a gentle giant. In my presence he was very calm and relaxed. He would beg me for treats that he could give to his ladies. He was in one word a gentlemen. He was never aggressive towards me and took excellent care of the ladies.

Roy (Buff Orpington Rooster)

One day I witnessed his heroic efforts to save my girls from a hawk. Prepared to lay down his life, he sounded the alarm. The ladies ran for cover, while he battled the hawk. Although injured, with love and care, he made a full recovery. I learned the true value of a rooster from this experience. After that event, Roy lived on several more years as a decorated war hero. He sadly passed away 5 years ago. I never thought I would miss a rooster so much, he was my rooster teacher. He taught me a lot about chickens and the sacrificial nature of a rooster. Ever since Roy, I have fallen in love with roosters. Today, they are one of my favorite creatures, worthy of respect and admiration.

Cochin:

The next gent to introduce you to is Enigma. Enigma is a Mottled Cochin Bantam. Like the Orpingtons, Cochins are also big balls of feathers. The cochin is a very docile and friendly breed. They girls make excellent mothers and the gents make excellent roosters. No bigger than he is, Enigma has established himself as the alpha rooster of the chicken yard, all the other guys answer to him. He is a very sweet rooster and takes very good care of his girls. He is calm around humans and will even allow me to pick him up for his health inspections without much issue. He too will beg me for treats that he can offer to his girls. He allows the girls to eat first, then if there is anything left, he will partake. When free ranging, he will often follow me hoping that I can give him a morsel to take to his favorite lady. Out of all my boys, Enigma is my favorite.

Polish:

These next guys with the fabulous 80s hair are Polishes. Polishes are my favorite breed, I have more of them than any other breed on my farm. The Polishes are known as the “comedians” of the chicken world. As a breed the they are very curious but high strung. Due to their fabulous crests, their vision is limited thus everything spooks them. Simple even mundane objects in their environment will startle them. Due to their limited vision, they cannot see what is above them. For this reason, a keeper needs to ensure that they have a covered run. If free ranging, provide them with ample coverage as protection from aerial predators.

I only allow my polish flocks out when I am in the backyard or have multiple roosters on duty. Polish gents make great roosters for a keeper who does not mind their antics. They are very easy to pick up and hold, due to their limited vision. They are a bit high strung making them an entertaining breed to own.

All my polish roosters are very sweet, however, curious. Due to the feathered crests, they are a bit jumpy. I talk to them before I pick them up as to not give them a jolt. Characteristically, they do not make the best roosters for protection. I have ample coverage in my backyard as a hedge of protection for my polish boys.

Silver Lace Polish Flock. Fi, Agatha, and Link. (Link is our Silver Lace Polish rooster).

They are very curious, often following their curosities into predicimates, then not able to see well enough to get themselves out. They really are an endless form of entertainment in the backyard. The roosters are a bit high strung, panicky and flighty, yet very sweet. I have several Polish roosters, all are very friendly, approachble and curious. The ladies will often perch on my legs or arms, making them great lap chickens.

Silkie:

Silkies are known as the “Teddy Bears” of the chicken world. Due to their feathers that are “fur-like”, they are the cuddle bunnies of the flock. Silkies as a breed are known world over for being very docile, friendly, and calm. They are voted time and time again as the best breed to have around kids.

I currently have a flock of 14 Silkies, 4 are roosters. Two roosters are in the coop with the ladies, the rest are in a bachelor pen. My Silkie gents are very will behaved, shy and timid. The ladies are very friendly and enjoy interactions with their care takers. I have no trouble with my Silkie roosters. Like the Polish, its best to keep Silkies in the protection of a covered coop and pen unless you are outside with them. Due to their overwhelmingly shy and timid nature, they would rather run from a predator than protect the ladies like most roosters. When I hold my silkie roosters, they are very docile and calm in my arms. They would rather hide under a rock, but are very easy going if I need to handle them.

Easter Eggers:

Next, Dracula and Frankenstein. These two guys are Easter Eggers and although not known as an exceptionally docile breed, these two boys are well behaved. They are very curious and want in on whatever I am doing. Due to their breed, they are a bit larger than my other roosters. Despite their size, they are very calm and friendly. They do not like to be held, so I only pick them up when needed.

Silver Lace Wyandotte:

Smoug (Silver Lace Wyandotte Rooster)

My final breed to hightlight are Silver Lace Wyandottes. Wyandottes are a large breed, Smoug is the largest member of my flock. He easily towers over the other roosters in my flock. At 12 pounds, he is a big boy. Despite his size, he is very calm, friendly and easy going. He is best described as the gentle giant of my flock. Due to his very relaxed nature, he is at the bottom of the rooster pecking order. I can easily pick him up and hold him when needed for health inspections. He prefers not to be held, but will tolerate check-ups when needed.

While there are many more breeds available, the breeds listed I keep and can expound on associated temperament and disposition. Most roosters bred today for the backyard keeper are well behaved. Don’t get me wrong, a rooster has a job to do and he takes it seriously, but most are calm and friendly. I currently have 13 roosters, all are very well behaved gents. They take good care of the ladies and are not aggressive to human by any means. They are often my welcoming committee when I enter the backyard, curious about what treats I may have brought them.

I hope that this post has been helpful for those thinking about acquiring roosters for their flock. It is very possible to have your cake and eat it too when it comes to keeping roosters. Selecting gents from breeds that are well known for being calm and docile is an excellent place to start. If you have any questions, please feel to leave a comment. You can also drop me a line at kuntryklucker@gmail.com

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In addition to The Kuntry Klucker, I maintain a sister blog, “Knowledge of the Spheres”. If the subjet matter of astronomy, astrophysics, or anything space interests you, please drop by.

As always, thanks for reading. Till next time keep on crowing!

~ The Kuntry Klucker Crew ~

5 Reasons to LOVE Silver Lace Polishes


Fi (Silver Lace Polish Hen)

If there is one breed that will always steal the show, it’s the Polish. If there is one variation of Polish that will take your breath away, its the Silver Lace Polish. The Polish breed of chickens has taken over the backyard chicken enthusiasts movement by storm. This year, the number one selling chicken breed, was you guessed it, the Polish. What is it about the Polish breed that has backyard chicken keepers so smitten?

Fi (Silver Lace Polish Hen)

Polishes are characteristically very quirky, entertaining, and affectinate. Due to the ample feathered crests that crown their heads obstructing their vision, Polishes can be a bit flighty and jumpy. Just about everything in their environment startles them, for this reason they are often the comedians of the backyard chicken world. In addition, they are very curious, often following their curiosities into humerous predicimates. Unable to see well enough to get themselves out, they call for other members of the flock to come to their rescue. For this reason, the Polish breed can be a bit more vocal than other breeds. It is this combination of attributes that makes Polishes one of the most beloved breeds within the backyard chicken movement. Now that the Polish breed has our attention, many new variations are becoming more readily available. One of the most loved variation is the Silver Lace Polish. Here are my top 5 reasons why Silver Lace Polishes are topping the charts.

(1). Stunning Appearance:

Fi and Agatha (Silver Lace Polish Hens)

Let’s start with the obvious. These ladies and gents are absolutely beautiful!! They look like something right out of a Van Gogh painting. The command of color and contrast in their plumage leaves the observer breathless. The densly feathered creasts topping thier head completes the look. These fancy gals and gens appear as though they are dressed up for a chicken Gala. All of these attributes combined comprise their unique appearnce that commands attention of anyone who happens upon them. Make no mistake, Silver Lace Polishes will quickly become the gems of the flock. Many keepers including myself, keep these beauties to enter into poultry shows. When not winning ribbons, Silver Lace Polishes add a bit of refinment to a backyard flock.

Often the first comment I get from visitors addresses my Silver Lace Polishes. They inquire about their unique appearance, some disbelieve that they are in fact chickens. The unique apperance of the Silver Lace Polish leaves onlookers and keepers captivated by their beauty.

Link (Silver Lace Polish Rooster)

The roosters of the Silver Lace variety are even more spectacular. The additional tail and crest feathers take their ravishing look a step further. Roosters command attention, but Silver Lace Polish roosters leave the observer breathless. These ladies and gents are by the far the most loved individuals of the backyard chicken Polish enthusiast. I have several Polish color varities, the Silver Lace is hands down my favorite.

(2). Friendly, funny, feathered friends:

My son holding our Silver Lace Polish flock (Fi, Agatha, and Link)

The Polish is known to be a very friendly, affectionate, docile and curious breed. Silver Lace Polishes are much like their other Polish breed counterparts. The only difference between Silver Lace Polishes and other varieties is the feather plumage. They possess all of the challenges that other Polish varieties possess.

They are very curious, friendly and form a strong bond with their keepers. Due to their feathered crests that obstruct their vision, they can be very flighty and jumpy. To keep Polish chickens successfully, a keeper must make sure to provide a covered pen, confined free ranging space and ample coverage. The feathered crests limit their ability to see what is above them, making them easy prey for aerial predators. Additoinally, due to their crests featheres, they can be high strung. Because of this, a keeper must be aware when picking them up that they may startle. It is also these combination of attribtes that make them so entertaining to keep and watch.

(3) Great for an Urban setting:

Silver Lace Polish Flock

If you live in the city limits or in a neighborhood and want fancy chickens, you’re in luck, Silver Lace Polishes fit the bill. All Polishes, incliding Silver Lace Polishes tolerate confinment well, making them perfect for the urban setting. Due to their feathered crests, Polish chickens tend not to stray too far from the safety of their coop. If a threat is detected, they like to be close to a place of safety. Because of this, they tolerate confinment in a coop and pen very well. Other more adapt breeds for free ranging such as the Australorp, Rhode Island Red, and Orpington become restless when confined to a coop and pen.

Another plus for the urban chicken keeper is the body size of the Polish chicken. Silver Lace Polishes and all Polish chickens come in both a standard and bantam (miniture or orinmental) size. Even the standard size Silver Lace Polish chickens are a bit smaller than most standard size breeds. This is an added benifit to the urban keeper. Due to their size, Silver Lace Polishes are easier for a city keeper to accomidate on smaller plots of land.

(4) Egg Potential:

Egg basket of the girls work day. White eggs are from my Polish chickens.

Contrary to popoular belif, Polish chickens lay a fair amout of eggs. They are by no means record holders like the Australorp or Orpingon, but they do lay eggs. For those who want a small flock for an urban plot or hobby farm, Silver Lace Polishes are great. They will give you enough eggs for your family without overwhelming you with an egg surplus.

Polish eggs are typically a medium size and white to off-white in coloration. One hen will typically lay anywhere from 2-3 eggs per week. Some hens may lay more, other may lay less. On average, I can expect one of my Silver Lace Polishes to lay an egg every three days.

Another benefit closely related to egg production is broodiness. Polish chickens are not known for being broody, for the urban keeper this is a huge benefit. Not distracted by wanting to brood a clutch of chicks, they will give more attention to you, thier keeper. This sets the Polish apart making them truly “pet” chickens. Which brings me to my last point.

(5). The Ultimate Pet Chicken:

Silver Lace Polishes, Polishes and more Polishes.

If what you are in the market for is a “pet chicken”, Silver Lace Polishes are a breed to consider. They are a quirky, loveable, friendly, and approachable breed. Due to thier feather head crests, they are easy to catch and pick up, this makes them great for being around children. This means that Silver Lace Polishes are great for a family flock. Pet chickens are a great way to teach kids how to take care of animals, responsibility, and respect for other creatures. As they saying goes, “chickens are the gateway drug to farming” thus, a great way to teach lessons in sustainability. Being that Silver Lace Polishes and all Polishes are so friendly, they are great to have around a urban backyard hobby farm.

Fi and Link (Silver Lace Polishes); Smaug (Silver Lace Wyandotte Rooster)

I hope that you have found this post helpful. If I did not address any questions that you may have regarding Silver Lace Polishes, please leave a comment or drop me a line at kuntryklucker@gmail.com.

In addition to the Kuntry Klucker, I maintian a sister blog Knowledge Of The Spheres | Exploring the Celestial Spheres dedicated to my other passion in life and academic degree, Astrophysics. If the subject matter of Astronomy, Astrophysics, or anything space intersts you, please drop by.

As always, thanks for reading. Till next time, keep on crowing.

Polish chroes line (Deaky, Fi, and Freddie)

~ The Kuntry Klucker Crew ~