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 ~

How to Manage Extra Roosters in Your Flock.

Roosters, you either love them or hate them, there really is no in-between. What to do with the male chicken? In some city areas the choice is pretty clear, roosters are banned. But for those who live in the country, we have a few more options than our city dwelling counterparts.

I am on the lover side of the rooster debate. I marvel at them as a creature and value them as an asset for my large free ranging flock. What are the best ways to manage roosters in your flock? In this post, I will list my top three rooster management techniques.

1. Establish a bachelor pen:

After this past springs chick pick up at a local feed stores, I ended up with 7 roosters. This is the most that I have ever had in one season. I already had 6 roosters in my established flock, bringing my total rooster count to 13! But I did not freak out, why you may ask. I had a plan – A bachelor pen. Picking chicks out of the straight run bin has its associated risks. 😊

You may be surprised to know that roosters, when living together, can and do exist peacefully. Most people associate roosters with fighting when in close proximity to one another. This is true if and only if hens are present. Roosters will fight to establish dominance in the presence of hens. The couveted position is that of the alpha rooster 🐓, or top dog. However, if there are no hens present, there is not much to fight over. Roosters in a bachelor pen will still maintian a pecking order, but fighting as you may know it will not be an issue. No hens to fight over, no problem.

I have 13 roosters, 7 free range with the hens, as for the rest, the bachelor life it is. The 6 residents in the Coop De Ville (bachelor pen) can see the hens, but they have no contact with the girls. Because there is no contact with the hens, there is no fighting for position. I plan to leave them in the bachelor pen. If I need an individual to perform a task such as breeding or protection, I can select from the bachelor pool. 

My flock free ranging. Picutred in this image are 5 out of 7 roosters that free range with my hens daily.

Having a few roosters on stand by is an asset. If you free range your flock, it is possible to loose a few roosters. A good rooster will often give his life for the flock. They are biologically wired with this protective behavior. It is for this reason that many keepers who free range thier flocks will have multiple roosters on guard. For example, I free range my flock daily. On a daily basis I have 7 to 8 rooster in the yard with the girls. To date, I have never lost a rooster to a predator. I have had to nurse a few back from the brink due to injuies from an aerial attacky by a raptor, but that is the extent.

2. Re-home extra roosters:

hiding behind the water
Roy (Buff Orpington Rooster). Roy was my first rooster. He taught me that roosters are amazing sentient creatures worthy of our admiration and respect.

In the past when I only had once coop, I re-homed roosters that I could not keep. This is pretty much what it sounds like, finding a new home for your surplus roosters. In my experience it’s pretty easy to find a new home for your extra roosters. However, when doing this, you have to understand that the new owner may see him as dinner or a fighting contender rather than a pet.

I was not aware of this when I first re-homed some of my boys. If you list your rooster on a site like Craigslist, it is possible that he will be used for illegal cock fighting. So its best to take care to find a good owner for your extra boys. If you know a friend who has a large farm, they make take him for protecting their flock. Or if you know someone who is looking to breed, this is also a good re-homing choice. If you live in an area of the country where keeping chickens is very common, its pretty easy to find home for your boys. If you are a city dweller, this may be harder to come by. You may be forced to cull him or call your state veterinarian for the best option given your area.

Another option to connect with other chicken keepers. Join a poultry club if your area has one. The backyard chicken keeping movement is exploding all over the country. In response, many poultry clubs are popping up in every conrner of the United States. A simple google search or facebook group search will yield plenty of options. Many of these clubs offer traiding/swapping/rehoming services. By connecting with other keepers in your area, you will be able to easily find a good home for you extra boys.

3.  Sell them.

🐓 Roosters-(Link, Smaug, Pantaphobia, Sec, and Supreme) keeping an eye on the activity in the backyard.

On my farm, I tend to raise some more rare breeds. I have the standard Orpingtons, Easter Eggers and Australorps that you find in most feed stores. I also have other breeds that can only be purchased from specialized hatcheries. For the rare breed boys that I end up with, I find that I can sell them to others who want to breed. It is these circumstances that allows me to sell one or more of my surplus boys. The same goes for my White Crested Polish, Silver Lace Polishe, Silver Lace Wyandotte and Buff Laced Polish roosters. They can at times go for as much as $100, especially if I throw in a few hens to seed a good starting flock.

Buying from specialized hatcheries is expensive, on top of that, you have to order a mandatory minimum then pay shipping. So for those who want to expand their flock themselves, this saves them a lot of money. So really its a win-win-win situation. They win, I win, and the roosters wins by going to a good home.

You may have noticed that none of my techniques include killing my roosters. Those are viable choices as well, for me though, I love roosters and choose to allow them to live out thier natural lives. For those who have the ability to process extra roosters, freezer camp is an option. Many people use this method to manage rooster populations in their flocks. I have nothing against this, however, since I don’t butcher my boys, I cannot speak by experience on this matter. There are many videos on YouTube no how to successfully butcher and process a rooster. For those who need tutorials this is a great resource.

I hope that you found this post helpful. If you have any questions that I did not cover, please leave them in the comments. You can also drop me a line at kuntryklucker@gmail.com.

In addition to The Kuntry Klucker, I maintain a sister blog Knowledge of the Spheres, dedicated to my other passion in life and academic degree, Astrophysics. If the subject 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 ~

Smaug (Silver Lace Wyandotte Rooster)

The Useless Rooster.

Many people associate roosters with being aggressive nightmareish birds recalled as the barnyard terrors we encountered on our grandparents farm. Sadly, roosters are often type casted into this role by an unfair association.

Roosters are amazing creatures, worthy of admiration. Recent breeding methods have changed as the backyard chicken movement has exploded and evolved. The selective breeding methods by many breeders have yielded roosters better suited for the backyard setting. In our grandparents’ day, when a flock was kept for food be it meat or eggs, a defensive rooster was needed. However, chickens today are kept more often as pets that have the benefit of making breakfast.

The breeding industry has responded, breeding for behavioral trait qualities such as docileness, calmness and friendliness. Many breeds available today have roosters that possess these qualities. Breeds like the Polish, Silkie, Cochin and Orpington all are breeds that are widely available that typically have well behaved roosters. I have all of these breeds, and can validate for good behavior in roosters of the aforementioned breeds.

Don’t get me wrong, roosters have a job to do and take it seriously, but most backyard flocks have well behaved gents. Sometimes, a rooster can be so well behaved that they are by all purposes useless.

How can a rooster be useless, you may be wondering. Allow me to introduce you to Pantaphobia, the useless rooster.

White Crested Polish Rooster: Pantaphobia

He is afraid of food:

Pantaphobia is not the fear of pants, its the fear of everything, including pants. As his name suggests, Pantaphobia is afraid of absolutely everything. He is afraid of ordinary mundane things chickens often encounter in their environment, such as bugs. While the other chickens in the flock can be seen chasing a juicy morsel like a fly or a moth, Pantaphobia is often running from these meals to go. Since he is also afraid to go into the coops, this also means that he does not partake of the food readily available in the feeders. He lives on weeds, grass, worms and other morsels that he can find crawling on the ground.

He never hunts for the girls:

One of the necessary things that a rooster does for his flock is searching for food. A rooster will take it upon himself to actively look for morsels for the girls to eat. Once he finds something of value, he calls his girls over to partake of his hard work. It is by evolutionary design that a rooster knows that the hens needs the extra nutrition to sustain the flock population. If there is anything left, only then will he eat. A rooster is a self-sacrificing soul, caring more for his hens than himself. He is more concerned about their welfare than his. Pantaphobia is quite the opposite. He spends most of the day occupying himself with hunting for grubs in the grass, but he has no interest in sharing with anyone, including the hens.

He Never Mates with the Hens:

One thing that a rooster is supposed to be able to do very well is mating with the hens. In Pantaphobia’s case, this too is something that he elects not to participate in. He will never approach a hen with the intent to try to woo her for a date. He simply ignores the hens and occupies his time looking for grubs to dine on. For this reason he never gets into many confrontations with the other roosters in the flock. He simply keeps to himself, hunting and pecking his way through the day.

He never warns the flock of danger:

It is a roosters primary job to keep an eye to the skies, constantly scanning for danger. While out in the yard with the rest of the flock, it is the other gents that keep watch for any threats. In the event that the alarm is sounded, Pantaphobia will run for cover along with the other hens. He will not attempt to protect the girls from the imminent threat like the other roosters in the flock. He simply runs and hides till the “all clear” is announced.

He hardly ever crows:

If there is one attribute that is always associated with roosters, it’s crowing. Roosters crow for many reasons, to establish dominance in the flock, to check in with the other roosters when free ranging, to warn the flock of danger, and just because they can. Pantaphobia, on the other hand has no interest in this time honored tradition. He will sometimes crow in the mornings as dawn moves over the land, but other than that, nothing. He is the quietist rooster that I have ever had. Early on, I wondered if he was a hen, but there is no question, anatomically and definitively he is a rooster.

So, why keep him?

You may be wondering why I would hang on to such a useless rooster. Well, here on The Kuntry Klucker Farm, I allow my ladies and gents to live out their natural lives. I keep Pantaphobia for the same reason that I keep my senior hens who are no longer laying, all have value. Although he performs absolutely no service for the flock, he is still a delight to watch.

Additionally, he is a White Crested Polish, my favorite breed. The Polish’s have the habit of being flock comedians, due to their head crests that obscure their vision. Pantaphobia does not disappoint in this department. While the other Polish’s have figured out what to be afraid of and what not to fear, Pantaphobia has not. The other Polish members will actively chase after a flying treat, Pantaphobia will run in terror. You have not adequately spit out your coffee till you see a rooster run from a butterfly.

While he may be useless in every other sense of a rooster’s role in the flock, he is not a disappointment when it comes to the entertainment value. In this respect, I got my moneys worth and then some.

I hope you have enjoyed this post. While most of todays roosters are well behaved (a far cry from the game-like aggressive breeds of yesterday), roosters come in all personalities. Some make good caretakers of the hens, others not so much. A rooster is a creature that it worthy of respect and admiration, even those who are a bit of the special needs variety.

If you have any questions about roosters or chicken keeping in general, please leave me a comment. I make it a priority to respond in 24 hours. You can also drop me a line at kuntryklucker@gmail.com or find us on facebook.

I have recently started a sister blog, “Knowledge of the Spheres” dedicated to my other passion in life, astronomy, astrophysics, and anything space related. If this subject matter interests you, please drop by.

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

~ The Kuntry Klucker Crew ~

5 Reasons to Keep A Rooster In Your Flock.

Enigma (Mottled Cochin Rooster watching over the girls as they dig for delectables in the freshly spread hay.

Roosters are amazing creatures. However, they unfortunately fall prey to a negative stereotype. In reality, roosters are not as aggressive as many think. The rooster of yesteryear that haunted our dreams often encountered on our grandparents farm, was related to game cocks by todays breeding standards. Yes, those breeds can be high strung and aggressive. However, due to the variety of breeds available, the majority of rooster today are very docile and calm. Gone are the days of your grandparents flock which contained the rooster that starred in your childhood nightmares. Many people today keep chickens for fun, eggs or as a hobby . Thus, the breeds available today are suited to these purposes. That being said, below I will detail my argument for why keeping a rooster or two is an asset for a backyard flock.

Enigma (Mottled Cochin Rooster) and The Kuntry Klucker Crew
  1. Protector of the Flock:

Roosters are often unfairly stigmatized as being fearsome, blood thirsty, mean and nasty aggressive birds. While they do have a job to do and take it very seriously, they really are amazing and gentile creatures. When out free ranging, a rooster will keep watch for any dangers that could impact the flock and sound the alarm when needed. If there is more than one rooster in the flock, they will take turns keeping an eye to the sky. Each taking up part of the watch, as the rest of the flock scour the grass for any available bugs, worms, or greens to dine on. If a threat appears, one or several of the roosters will sound the alarm. Alerting the hens to the impending danger, and if needed sacrificing himself for the safety of his girls. I have witnessed this first hand with my first rooster, a Buff Orpington named Roy.

One afternoon while out in the backyard he sounded the alarm. I heard his cry from the house, rushed out to the backyard in time to see a large hawk fly away. Standing alone in the center of the yard, he was prepared to sacrifice himself for the safety of the girls. All the girls were safe under a large tree, Roy on the other hand was injured. Had I not heard his cry and come to his rescue, it pains me to think what would have happened to him. Luckily he recovered from the hawk inflicted injuries and lived for several more years as a decorated war hero. It was on this day that I learned the true value of a rooster. You can read his story here.

2. Tend to nutritional needs of the hens:

Silkie Roosters: Devros and Micky Smith, watching over their hens as they eat the bugs that they found for the girls.

In addition to protectors of the flock, a rooster will hunt for his girls. He will actively look for food, things such as a big bug, juicy worm, or vegetation for them to eat. Once he finds something of value, he will call the girls over to eat it. He will stand watch as the girls partake of his hard work. He will only eat what is left, he is self sacrificing, looking out for the nutrition of his hens. It is by evolutionary design that he knows the girls need the extra nutrition for the procreation of the flock (laying eggs). If not much turns up on his hunt, he will lead the girls to the feeder in the coop when he feels that it is time for them to eat. Again, he will eat after the girls have had their fill, looking out for their needs first.

3. Breaking up any squabbles in the ranks:

White Crested Polish Rooster, Lestat leading his girls to the backyard shed for some scratch before roosting time.

Chickens are very highly socially organized creatures, contrary to what many people think. A flock of chickens are organized into a hierarchy, each member knowing his or her place. The term “pecking order” is derived form this complex social system and for good reason. At the top of the pecking order is typically the alpha rooster, under him will be the subjugated roosters in the flock. The roosters determine who is the alpha by competing for this position.

In the social hierarchy after the roosters will be the alpha hen. This is the hen that has earned her right to be at the top of the order, directly under the roosters. The alpha hen is usually a little bossy in regards to the other hens in the flock. As for the rest of the members, position is established by literally “pecking” one another on the the back, indicating the the “pecker” is above the “peckie”. This behavior flows from the alpha hen all the way to the bottom of the order. Each flock meember pecking another on the back, indicating their position in the order.

Once the order is established, all activities within the flock revolve around the order. Simple activities such as the order in which the flock exits the coop in the morning, and the order in which they return. As long as all individuals stick to the order as established, all is peaceful in the flock. However, at times one or more members will challenge another member for a change in status.

In cases such as these, a confrontation generally ensues. It is in times such as these that a rooster will step in, inspect and cease any unrest amongst the hens. Not only are fights disruptive to flock dynamics, at times injuries can be sustained. It is the job of the rooster to see to it that peace is instilled within the ranks. A rooster will also act as a protector of any members that are unfairly picked on. If there is a hen that is smaller than the rest or at the bottom of the pecking order, he will see to it that she is not picked on insensately.

4. Procreation of the flock:

White Crested Polish Bantam Roosters: Caster and Pollux leading their girls to a shade tree in the corner of the yard for a mid afternoon nap.

In addition to protection, finding food, and keeping order in the ranks, a rooster will service the flock through the act of mating. A rooster will mate with the hens in order to pass on his genes to the subsequent generations of chicks.

There is a common misconception that hens will not lay eggs unless a rooster is present in the flock, this is obviously false. A hen will lay eggs regardless if a rooster is present or not. The eggs laid in the absence of a rooster will of course not be fertile, but there will be eggs nonetheless.

If you want to grow your flock, a rooster is a must. However, if you cannot have a rooster due to city ordinances or other zoning restrictions, you will still receive farm fresh eggs from your hens without any issues.

Dracula and Frankenstien (Easter Egger Roosters) keeping an eye on their girls as they search for bugs in the dewy grass.

If there is more than one rooster in the flock, the boys will divide the hens amongst them. When free ranging they will then divide the roaming area into jurisdictions. Each rooster will know the boundary lines and which hens belong on which rooster team. It is possible to keep more than one rooster in a flock, providing the flock is large enough to sustain multiple roosters. To learn how I keep more that I rooster in my flock click here.

Roosters will have “favorite” hens, these are hens that he prefers to mate with the most. Different attributes make a particular hen a favorite. Hens that are easily submissive to his approaches, hens that the rooster deems as most fertile, or hens that are larger and lay larger eggs will most likely make the favorites list. These hens run the risk of sustaining the most injuries during mating. For these reasons, it is the owners responsibility to provide provisions to make this process easier on the hens. For example, an easy protective measure to incorporate in a flock is that of a hen saddle.

Miss Sweet Pea (Buff Orpington Hen) wearing a hens saddle to protect her wing and back feathers from the trending of the rooster. In addition to providing needed protection, hen saddles can serve as easy identification of the hens in a flock. Each has its own pattern or color, allowing hens to stand out amongst each other.
The Kuntry Klucker Crew sporting the latest in Hen Fashions.

Hen Saddles provide protection from the trending of the rooster during mating. In addition to keeping your roosters nails trimmed, hen saddles help protect the wing and back feathers of hens that are mated often. They are vey easy to make and require nothing more than thick fabric, a little elastic and basic sewing skills (needle and thread) a sewing machine is not required. Although simple in design, they provide much needed protection to your hens. In addition to the practicality they can also serve as an easy form of identification. If you use different colors of fabric, hen saddles allow hens to stand out amongst each other.

Another method to protect against over mating is to separate a rooster from the hens for a period of time. During the molting period and particularly when the ladies are having a dreadfully tough molt, I will separate the roosters from the flock for a period of time. This allows the hens who are missing more feathers than usual to recover from the molt easier. By restricting the mating process till after their new feathers have grown in reduces further injury to the hens. While spending a little time away from the hens I will check the boys into a bachelor pen. To see how I incorporate bachelor pens in my flock click here.

5. Singing the song of his people.

Lestat (White Crested Polish Rooster) greeting the morning.

There is just something about a rooster’s crow that has an indescrible purity to it. In the busy, rat-race-pace of our lives, we are often not still enough to appreciate the purity and stillness of a quiet morning, interrupted by a roosters song. Breaking the silence, the crow of a rooster is a sound of a by gone era. A sound from our past when the crow of a rooster was a part of the audio landscape. A time when farming was not just a hobby, but a way of life, your animals were how you survived. The crow of a rooster symbolizes a beginning, the start of another day. A time when working the land and plowing the fields was how one survived. Its a sound from the past, a past that has been lost to the progression of time.

Dracula (Easter Egger Rooster)

In the stillness of the early morning hours, I like to sit on the back porch, morning coffee in hand, and listen to my boys sing the song of their people. It’s a song of the ancients, a song that traces back to a time when their great ancestors roamed the earth. It’s a song that not only reminds us of their past but ours. A song that fills the air declaring a new day has begun. It’s a song that in our day and time rings with a purity that money cannot buy, but few will hear. It’s a song that reminds us of a simpler time. He reminids us that there is abundant wealth in simplicity. In our day and time, its a lesson that we all need.

Caster and Pollux (White Crested Polish Bantam Roosters) Watching over their girls as they peck at the freshly thawed ground.

A rooster is selfless, often sacrificing himself to save his friends. A fearless warrior with a big heart. A natural born singer of the ancient songs. A dancer, a true gentleman. The most beautiful and unwanted of all the creatures.

Roy (Buff Orpington Rooster) inspecting the new addition to the backyard. Frosty the Snowman.

Roosters are amazing creatures and worthy of our admiration and respect.

Roy the Rooster

It is my gaol to present a fresh look at roosters. Gone are the days of the barnyard terrors of yesterday, meet the roosters of today. Roosters are amazing creatues, your partner in caring for your flock.

If you have any questions regarding roosters or keeping chickens, please leave a comment. You can also drop me a line at kuntryklucker@gmail.com, I make it a priority to respond within 24 hours. If you have time, visit us on facebook.

In addition to The Kuntry Klucker, I maintain a sister blog, “Knowledge of the Spheres”. Dedicated to my other passion in life astronomy, astrophysics, and anything space. If this subject matter interests you, please drop by.

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

~ The Kuntry Klucker Crew ~

Keeping Multiple Roosters in Your Backyard Flock.

Contrary to popular opinion, keeping multiple roosters in a flock is possible. It is a misconception that only one rooster is best to oversee your flock. However, in order for multiple roosters to live peacefully, several requirements need to be meet. In this post, I am going to show you how my 13 roosters cohabitate while presiding over their girls. I will demonstrate these principles featuring my gents.

Smoug and Lestat:

The Kuntry Klucker

Smoug and Lestat live in the Kuntry Klucker. Each of the boys have thier assigned hens and know which hens belong to whom. While they roost in the Kuntry Klucker at night, they free range during the day. The largest of my roosters, this rooster duo get along very well. Confrontations are minimual, giving way to mutual respect. Smoug and Lestat are at the top of the pecking order in the flock, assumming the Alpha and Beta positions. The remaining subjugated roosters answer to these gents. Despite their size and position, they are gentlemen, good to the ladies, and kind to their humans. Neither of these boys have ever shown any signs of aggression.

Enigma and Link:

Athena: White Crested Polish Hen, perching on feed can outside of Henwarts.

Enigma and link roost in Henwarts. Henwarts is home to our white crested polish, silver lace polish and bantam cochin flock.

Enigma: is a Motted Cochin, he is the smallest and oldest of The Kuntry Klucker boys. At 7 years old, he is the senior rooster on the Farm. He is civil with Link, but prefers to put distance between himself and Link while free ranging. He watches over the White Crested Polish hens that reside in Henwarts. Link: watches over the Silver Lace Polish and Bantam Cochin hens whom also reside in Henwarts.

Link and Fi: Silver Lace Polish Hen and Rooster.

Additionally, Enigma has adopted a few of the Buff Orpington Hens that roost in the Kuntry Klucker. The Buff ladies are too big to roost in Henwarts thus, they reconviene while free ranging. Despite his small stature, he makes up for it with a big heart and lively personality.

Enigma watching over Aphrodite (White Crested Polish Hen) and the “golden girls” (Buff Orpington Hens).

Devros and Micky Smith:

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Devros and Micky Smither: (Silkie Roosters) looking after their Silkie hens.

Devros and Micky Smith: Devros and Micky Smith are our resident Silkie Roosters. This duo share responsibility of looking after the Silkie hens that live in the TARDIS. This duo are peas in a pod, they do everything togher. If ever I have seen a rooster bromance, these two are it, never straying far from one another. As expected, there is no confrontations between these two gents, they are the best of friends.

Honorable Mention: I have a few other roosters that roam the Kuntry Klucker Farm. These boys do not necessarily lead a harem, rather they assist in other matters of flock maintenance. These boys roost with the TARDIS crew.

Pantaphobia: Pantaphobia is a White Crested Polish Rooster, as his name suggests, he is afraid of everything. He is our resident useless rooster, to read his unique story, click here.

Pantaphobia: White Crested Polish Rooster

Supreme: Supreme is a Splash Silkie Rooster. Although not assigned a harem of hens, he assists Devros and Micky Smith with overseeing the Silkie hens.

Pantaphobia and Supreme are another rooster duo that relish each others company. They can be seen browsing the yard together in search of delectables, be it bugs, worms or greens.

Bachelor Pen: If you have kept count, I am a few gents short of my quota of 13. The rest of my boys reside in a bachelor pen. The Coop De Ville is home to several White Crested Polish Breeding Roosters. These boys reside together in harmony. To see how I utalize a bachelor pen for roosters, please click here.

To successfully keep multiple roosters in your flock, several requirements need to be meet. I will list and explain these necessary prerequisites below.

The Kuntry Klucker Farm flock grazing on a freshly cut lawn.
  1. Ample Space

The first thing to consider in keeping multiple roosters is space. Roosters, if several are present in a flock, will divide free ranging space into jurisdictions. Each rooster will look after a portion of the girls in “his” specified territory. Each rooster will know the boundaries of his dominion. If a gent member should step outside his bounds, a confrontation will ensue. To ensure that your roosters will live peacefully with one another, they must have ample space to roam.

The flock making their way to the garden shed for a handout of crached corn and scratch grains.

2. Several feeding and water stations

When free ranging, it is the job of a rooster to look for food for his ladies. He will actively hunt for bugs, seeds, or weeds for them to dine on. If his hunt turns up empty, he will lead them to the feeder and water. With each rooster leading a section of the hens, multiple feeding and watering stations are mandatory. If these resources are too few, the boys will fight over these necessities. Each of my coops have their own food and water. Additionally, I have other feed/water stations available in the yard. With ampless access to food and water, my boys live peacefully, made possible by adequate sustenance.

3. Sufficient number of hens

The roosters and hens will decide amongst themselves who belongs on which rooster team. For this to be possible, there needs to be enough hens to go around. It is typical for one rooster to manage and service anywhere from 6-10 hens individually. If there are not enough hens to divide amongst the boys, serious problems can arise.

If there are too many roosters for too few hens, the hens can become injured through over mating. The hens will be mated too often which can cause feather loss, wounds on her back, and other injuries by aggressive mating by too many roosters. If there are too few hens, fighting amongst the roosters will be more frequent as they compete for the hens.

To combat this problem, there are a few solutions that can be implemented. If you want to keep all your boys, you can establish a Bachelor Pen for excess roosters. This too is achieved through adequate flock maintenance. When done right, all members live peacefully in their bachelor digs.

I hope that you have found this post helpful in managing roosters in your flock. If you live in the city, roosters are most likely not permitted. However, those that live in the county or country have more options when it comes to roosters.

I am of the persuasion that roosters are an amazing creature. I value them for the part they play in the social structure of a flock. In the past, I have sustained a span of several years where I did not have a rooster. During this time, I learned the true value of a rooster and the balance his presence bring to my flock.

Roosters are not the blood thirsty vicious creature of the past. When raised with care, they make a very admirable addition to the backyard setting.

If you have any questions about keeping multiple rooster, roosters, or chickens in general, feel free to leave a comment. You can also drop me a line at kuntryklucker@gmail.com

If you have time, drop by and visit the girls on facebook.

In addition to The Kuntry Klucker, I maintain a sister blog, “Knowledge of the Spheres”. If the subject 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 ~

Bachelor Pens for Roosters

When faced with surplus roosters, many people panic, unsure what to do. They know of several options from days of old freezer camp (butchering surplus roosters), rehoming, or just hoping for the best. Might I suggest another approach. A bachelor pen.

The Coop De Ville is the bachelor pen on The Kuntry Klucker Farm. I have a passion for roosters and keep all roosters that I aquire. It is a mistake to assuem that roosters cannot live together peacefully. Roosters are more than capable to cohabitate, but there are few guidlines to adhere to in order to achieve success.

In this post, I will detail how to successfully implement the use of a bachelor pen for excess roosters.

The Coop De Ville, bachelor pen. Pollux (White Crested Polish Rooster) greeting the day.

A rooster is a selfless creature, often sacrificing himself to save the lives of his girls. A fearless warrior with a heart of gold. Majestic and beautiful, a natural born singer who writes his own songs. A dancer, who loves to waltz for those he cares about. A true gentlemen. And sadly the most abused, unwanted, and forgotten of all the creatures.

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Roy (Buff Orpington Rooster). My first gent and rooster teacher.

I love roosters, I value their role in a backyard flock as protectors and caretakers of my hens. I have found myself in the past without roosters, needing them desperately.

When I first started keeping chickens, I was terrified of roosters. I did not want one at any cost. I prayed and hoped that my batch of chicks were all females. As fate would have it, I had three roosters, I panicked! What was I going to do with all these roosters? I could maybe stomach keeping just one, but the rest had to go. After some time and hard work, I found homes for the other two, keeping just one, Roy.

Roy showed me another side of rooster I did not expect, my rooster teacher. I owe him a debt of graditude. He was a gentleman with feathers, through him, I realized how wrong I was to fear roosters.

We often associate roosters as being aggressive, blood thirsty, nasty birds. We encountered these nightmare birds on our grandparents farm. In our grandparents day, chickens were kept a food, be it eggs or meat, an aggressive rooster was needed. These killer birds are categorized as game cocks by today’s breeding standards.

As the backyard chicken movement has exploded, breeders have responded, selecting for traits much for suited for the backyard or hobby farm setting. Behavioral traits such as calm, friendly, laid back and approachable. Gone are the days of the fearsom bird that roamed our grandparents farm, meet the roosters of today.

hiding behind the water

To my detriment, Roy passed on several year later due to illness. I was without a rooster for 5 years. Throughout the years, my girls over time to passed away. Till finally, I acquired more chicks. This time I was excited, as my chicks matured, some began to crow. I finally had roosters!! Now I have 13 roosters, a little more than what I was hoping for, but a surplus at last. I decided to keep all the boys, my solution, a Bachelor Pen.

Step to achieve a successful Bachelor Pen.

No access hens:

Roosters, when raised together are more corgial than you might expect. If raised together from chickhood, they can and do cohabitant together very well. A bachelor pen works if and only if, the residents have no access to the hens. This is pivotal to the success of housing roosters together. Roosters fight when presented with the need to achieve status, specifically in the presence of hens. Without access to hens, there is nothing to compete over. They can see the hens and the rest of the flock, but no contact can be permitted. This is the fundamental aspect of a bachelor pen. If the bachelor boys gain access to the hens, fighting and competition will ensue. Once bachelor residents engage in conflict, it is hard to reestablish peace.

Ample Space:

The Coop De Ville residnets preparing for the evening roost.

Besides no access to hen, the second key to a successsful bachelor pen is ample room. The Coop De Ville has a covered pen and a large outdoor recretation access area. Allowing the boys to spread out, providing room for healthy natural activity such as dust bathing. The bachelor boys have access to fresh air, sunshine, worms and bugs, much like the free ranging flock. While in the outdoor run area, the bachelor residents can interact and engage with the flock, but denied all contact.

Care for a Bachelor Pen:

Pollux (White Crested Polish Rooster) looking out the Coop De Ville’s (bachelor pen) window.

The care for a bachelor pen is the same as a coop with hens. The bachelor pen gets cleaned daily, supplied with fresh water, and feed. The only differece is that a bachelor coop/pen does not need laying boxes or nesting material. All other maintenance is the same. I service my bachelor pen residents as I do the primary flock. All bachelor boys get health checks and other regiments to maintain good health.

If you find yourself panicking because you have more roosters than you counted on, don’t freak out. It is not always possible to rehome extra roosters. In the early summer, the internet is flooded with unexpected spring roosters needing homes. Prepare a bachelor pen for them to live in. You don’t need to go to all the work of trying to franticly find a home or someone else to take him off your hands. Keep your boys, just put them in a separate coop/pen and enjoy the songs they sing for you.

Roosters are wonderful creatures, deserving much more than they are often dealt. You don’t have to get rid of your boys, the time may come when you will need a rooster. Whether for protection, predators or the need to populate your flock.

I hope that this post was helpful in offering another suggestion for excess roosters.

To see a video of my bachelor pens visit my youtube channel by clicking on the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vxwn5Y7fo7E

It is also possible to keep more than one rooster in your flock. To see how I manage more than one rooster in my flock with the hens please click here.

If you have any questions, feel free to post in the comment section. You can also drop me a line at kuntryklucker@gmail.com

If you have time, drop by and visit the Kuntry Klucker Crew on facebook.

In addition, to The Kuntry Klucker, I maintain a sister blog, “Knowledge of the Spheres”. If the subject 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 ~

Caster and Pollux (White Crested Polish Roosters) in the outdoor recreation area.

A Boy and his Rooster.

Some kids have dogs, cats, goldfish or guinea pigs as pets. My son however has a pet rooster. It did not start out this way but it has ended up this way. This is the story of a boy and his rooster.

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You see Roy, our resident backyard rooster has had a few set backs with his health in the past few years. This often requires me to separate him from the girls in order to tend to his needs and treat him individually. He came to our farm the way the other girls did when I ordered our chicks and that arrived in the mail as a small peeping box.

He however was different, he has always been rather fearless and bull headed. He hates my husband due to the fact that it is often he who pushes the lawn mower, which he hates. For the longest time I was the only one who could go out the the backyard and pick him up with out being threatened with a confrontation. Now the roles have totally reversed.

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This all started a few summers ago when Roy was attacked by a hawk. I never saw the hawk or the confrontation, I only saw the after effects. Roy apparently won the fight because he was alive when I found him although injured. The hawk attacked his head causing some pretty nasty wounds which I treated. He made a full physical recovery but not a neurological one. You see when the hawk attacked him it went after his head, his skull was not broken but I wonder if Roy hit his head or twisted his neck when the Hawk tried to lift him than dropped him (judging by his injuries and the crime scene).

Later that summer I went out to the backyard to check on the girls and found him passed out on the ground. After later assessment it was determined that he possibly had a stroke or some other health malfunction which caused him collapse. Ever since these two events he has had health issues and often has episodes where he cannot walk well and needs some special care.

I separate him from the girls because chickens have natural cannibalism habits which from an evolutionary perspective is beneficial in flock survival. You see a weak member exposes the whole flock to predators, so to counter the effect of this issue the flock will literally kill and eat the sick or injured member. This is all well and good except for one problem, the girls are domesticated and protected from most predators and are pets not food. Our rooster is no different. He is a our pet and a member of our backyard family, we just don’t eat family members no matter how sick.

So his life as a bachelor began. After some time of him living in a large dog kennel I finally purchased a small chicken coop for him to live in. It has been affectionally named “Roy’s Roost”. He has taken very well to his new digs and has improved quite a bit with all the loving care he has been receiving.

Now enter my son. Upon ordering this coop I had no intentions of selling out chicken care to my kids. However, once we got this coop put together my son took to it like a fly to sugar. He loved it!! It is small, easy to clean and maintain, and just his size. The resident rooster needing a bit of loving care has accepting my son as his nurse nightingale. The two have bonded and formed a close relationship. I take care of the Kuntry Klucker girls while my son takes care of Roy’s Roost.

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Roy looks forward to his boy coming out and taking care of him every day. He is wide awake, looking out the coop windows eagerly waiting for him. He clucks and coos to him and my son lovingly talks back. I never thought that my son would form a strong bond with our flock rooster, but behold it has happened. It is the sweetest thing to see the two of them out in the yard together.

Roy is doing much better, he has his good days and his bad days. Some days his legs give him trouble and some days he is out in the backyard with my kids playing. I don’t know how much time he has left with us, but I do know that till the very end he will be loved, spoiled, and adored by the boy who Roy has adopted as his caretaker.

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Some kids have dogs, cats, or goldfish as pets. My son has a rooster. This was the story of a boy and his rooster.

Thanks for reading, the girls and I will be back with more adventures and stores soon.

~The Kuntry Klucker Crew~

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