How to Manage Extra Roosters in Your Flock.

Roosters, you either love them or hate them, there 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 spring chick pick-up at 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. šŸ˜Š

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

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 standby is an asset. If you free-range your flock, it is possible to lose 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 their flocks will have multiple roosters on guard. For example, I free-range my flock daily. Daily, I have 7 to 8 roosters 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 injuries from an aerial attack 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 one coop, I re-homed roosters that I could not keep. This is what it sounds like, finding a new home for your surplus roosters. In my experience, it’s 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 online, it is possible that he will be used for illegal cock fighting. So, it’s best to take care to find a good owner for your extra boys. If you know a friend who has a large farm, they may 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, it’s easy to find a 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 is 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 corner of the United States. A simple google search or Facebook group search will yield plenty of options. Many of these clubs offer trading/swapping/rehoming services. By connecting with other keepers in your area, you will be able to easily find a good home for your extra boys.

3.  Sell them.

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

On my farm, I raise 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 I end up with, I find that I can sell them to others who want to breed. It is these circumstances that allow me to sell one or more of my surplus boys. The same goes for my White Crested Polish, Silver Lace Polishes, 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, additionally, you have to order a mandatory minimum and then pay to ship. For those who want to expand their flock themselves, this saves a lot of money. So really, it’s a win-win-win situation. They win, I win, and the roosters win 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 their natural lives. For those who can process extra roosters, a 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 on 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.

I am a published author, multi-disciplinary writer, and blog contributor. If you like this blog, please visit some of my other sites.

Knowledge of the Spheres – Exploriing the Celestial Spheres!

Coffee and Coelophysis – A blog about Dinosaurs!

Chicken Math University – Adventures in Homeschooling!

If you enjoyed this post, please peck the subscribe button. As always, thanks for reading!! Till next time, keep on crowing!

~  The Kuntry Klucker Crew ~

Smaug (Silver Lace Wyandotte Rooster)

10 Reasons Roosters Rule!

Forget their bad rap, let’s take a fresh look at Roosters.

Lestat: White Crested Polish Standard Rooster

For those who have followed me, you know that I have two central passions within the backyard chicken movement, conservation of Heritage Breeds and Roosters. Roosters have acquired a bad rap that they are not totally deserving of. Much of this reputation started in our grandparent’s day when keeping chickens was a basic way of life. The breeds available for this purpose were few and most were considered game birds by our breed standard today. The rooster was a bit cantankerous and aggressive. Not of their own volition, but due to the lack of breeding for demeanor, temperament, and docile attributes.

The backyard chicken hobby has come a long way since the day of our grandparents, starring the nightmare bird that tormented us. Much has been done in the way of breeding that has produced roosters that are much more docile and friendly. Make no mistake, a rooster has a job to do, and he takes it seriously, but as a general rule many breeds today possess roosters that are much better suited for the backyard chicken hobby way of life. I went into the hobby carrying with me the traumas of the dreaded backyard bird on my grandparents’ farm. I have since then learned much about these creatures and come to appreciate and admire them.

Roy: Buff Orpington Rooster

The first rooster that I had was Roy. Roy was a Buff Orpington rooster that came with the first batch of chicks that I ordered. I was terrified to have a rooster, but nonetheless went forward with raising him alongside the other chickens in the clutch. I feared that Roy would grow up to be the vindictive bird so often elapsed from generations past. All I had was my working knowledge and many negative associations attributed to roosters.

As Roy grew into an adult rooster, he showed me another side of roosters, a side that I never thought possible. He showed me that roosters are effectuate, approachable, friendly and even docile. I was blown away by the unchartered path the Roy was taking me down. Not only was he not aggressive, but he was also a gentleman. When I brought treats to the backyard, he would feed the girls. When I came to visit the flock, he was more often than not my welcoming committee. Through Roy, I was able to witness the selfless service he offered to my hens. Even giving his life if necessary.

Roy the Rooster

One early spring day, I was in the house going about my regular activities. Due to the temped weather, I had the windows open. Out of the silence of my otherwise quiet day, I heard Roy crowing. This crow was different, instead of his usual “just checking in” crow, this crow had a timbre of urgency. Throwing on my boots and rushing to the backyard, I saw a scene before me that I was not prepared for. In the middle of the backyard stood Roy, he had sounded the alarm because a large raptor had laid siege upon the flock. All the girls were safely hidden under a tree, but Roy was alone in the backyard preparing to take on the hawk alone, thus giving his life for his hens. As I approached the backyard and took in the reality of what was unfolding, I too took action and grabbed the closest thing to me waving it in the air. With my hoe in hand, I approached Roy, striking the Raptor, scaring it, it flew over the fence scratching into the distance. Once Roy was freed from the predators’ talons, I saw that he was injured. He sustained injuries to his head and back. I cared for him, nursing him back to health, returned him to the flock where he lived on several more years as a decorated war hero. I learned that day the ultimate value of a rooster. Roy showed me that a rooster is more than a reputation that hinged from a long-ago era. A rooster is a sentient being that gives more than he will ever receive. Even giving his life when necessary.

Roy’s Grave: Under this white butterfly bush is Roy’s final resting place. Although gone, I can still hear his crow echoing in the voices of rooster that I care for today.

Roy has long since passed, buried under a white butterfly bush in my backyard, but he is not gone. I still hear his crow echoing in my backyard amplified in the 13 roosters that I now have the honor to care for. He was the first of many roosters that I now own and will own in the future.

The lessons I learned from my Rooster Teacher will never fade. I take what Roy has taught me and now advocate for roosters. Roosters are amongst the most abused and forgotten creatures, a singer of the songs of the ancients, with a heart of gold, he cares for and even surrenders his life for his friends.

This post is dedicated to Roy and his legacy, but most importantly it’s the story of my journey with roosters. Proof that roosters are indeed sentient beings worthy of admiration and respect. Here are my top 10 Reasons why Roosters Rock.

  1. Protection:
Enigma (Mottled Cochin Rooster) keeping watch as the girls dig in the fresh hay for delectibles.

The most common attribute possessed by roosters is that of protection. When free ranging, a rooster will keep an eye to the sky, looking out for any danger that may threaten the flock. When a danger is detected, he will sound the alarm, send the girls running for cover and if needed give his life for his flock. This is what I witnessed on that fateful day when Roy sounded the alarm. Had I not been home, I often cringe at what would have been. But luckily, I was there to save Roy’s life just as he was preparing to save the life of my girls.

It is often said that a rooster is a better watch dog than a watch dog. After owning many roosters, I have to concur. Roosters will keep you up to date all on that goes on in the backyard or chicken yard. They are a real live and up to date news service on the condition of their surroundings. If there are multiple roosters in a flock, they will check in with each other, crowing communicating the “all clear here”, echoed by a “clear here too”. This banter will go on throughout the day as the boys on duty keep the flock updated on the air traffic in the area or other important announcements. I delight in hearing my boys check in with each other, I feel good knowing that the guys are on duty.

2. Crowing

Lestat: (White Crested Standard Rooster) announcing my arrival to the backyard as I prepare to mow the grass.

Singing the song of his people, a rooster’s crow is an ancient song, a song of a world long forgotten in time. He sings the ancient song long before our time, a time when his larger ancestors roamed the earth. His is a song from a world that long ago existed before his song was drowned out by our modern way of life. His song is a song of purity, the reminiscence of a day when life was hard but simple. A time when a rooster’s crow ushered in the beginning of a new day. Greeting the sun, setting the world around him in motion. Our modern life drowns out the sounds of nature and the past. His song has a purity that money cannot buy but few will hear. His song is a relic of the ancients, linking us to his past and to ours.

3. A Dancer:

Dracula: (Easter Egger Rooster) shaking is waddles, showing that he is a real “stud”.

A rooster is a gentleman. Before he mates with a hen, he courts her with a shuffle dance. As he approaches her in anticipation of a date he will dance for her, shuffling his feet, displaying his wings and at times shaking his waddles, the ultimate display of a rooster “stud”. If she accepts, he will then mate with her and then make plans for his next date. Watching this mating dance within my own flock by my roosters is such a delight. I never thought that roosters could have such killer moves, but nonetheless, my backyard is a dance floor with some of the best dancers I have seen. I never get tired of watching my boys dance for my hens.

4. Fertilized Eggs

Buff Orpington chicks sitting atop eggs collected from my backyard.

Linked close to number 3 (dancing) is fertilized eggs. When a rooster mates with a hen, it is his aim to pass long his genes to the subsequent generation of chicks. If you want to procreate your flock, fertilized eggs are a must. Not only that, but if you sale your fertilized eggs you can make a small profit on the side. For example, when the covid-19 pandemic hit the US, lot of people wanted to keep chickens. Seeking to be independent from the supply chain, many began seeking a more self-sufficient way of life. A lot of people reached out to me asking if I would sale some of my hens or chicks. Being that it was January when covid impacted my area, chick season was a bit far off yet. However, I did have fertilize eggs that I could sale and start their flocks. As a result, I earned a profit by selling fertilized eggs from my flock. All the proceeds went right back to the girls whether be it feed, treats, or other things they benefited from.

5. Hunting for his Hens:

Devros and Micky Smith (Silkie Roosters) standing watch as their hens eats the bugs they found.

A rooster will hunt for his girls. When free ranging, a rooster will actively look for things to offer his hens. When he finds something of value, he will call his girls over to partake of his hard work. When they heed his call, he will then pick up the morsel and drop it, showing them what he found for them. As they eat, he will keep watch looking out for any danger deemed to be a threat to the flock. If his hunts come up empty, he will lead his girls to the feeder when he feels that it’s time for them to eat. After the girls have had their fill, only then will he eat if there are any remaining morsels. It is by evolutionary design that he knows the girls need the extra nutrition for the procreation of the flock (egg laying).

Roosters are known for this chivalrous behavior. I spend much time watching my boys as they hunt and call over their girls as the proudly watch as they eagerly eat his find. This was a behavior that I least expected to see in my roosters. Even when I bring treats to the backyard for the flock, the boys will be up front ready to receive the treats to distribute amongst their appointed hens. I will often give the treats to the roosters and watch them feed their ladies. In this process, the roosters have learned that I am the supplier of sustenance and will often squabble in anticipation of getting the first hand out to offer to their hens. When multiple roosters are in the flock, this behavior is even more interesting to witness.

6. Keeping his friends close and his enemies closer:

Enigma (Mottled Cochin Rooster) keeping his girls close as the roam the backyard for snacks.

When out free ranging, the presence of a rooster in a flock will keep the girls from wondering too far. In my backyard, the boys have divided the yard into jurisdictions. Each head of the flock knowing where the boundary lines are, and which girls belong on which rooster team. Given that my backyard is large providing much roaming space, each rooster keeps his girls within their section of the vast yard. When the girls start to wonder too far from their coop or into “enemy territory”, he will herd them back to home base. When roosting time approaches, he will also herd them to the coop in preparation for night fall. I have multiple coops in my backyard, each rooster knows which coop is his and will see to it that all his girls are accounted for before I lock up. If I find one of the roosters wondering in the backyard, I know that one or more of his girls are in the wrong coops. I assist him with finding his missing hen in one of the other coops, put her on the ground and let him lead her to the correct coop for roosting (it is apparently a violation of the rooster code for him to enter a suspect coop in search of his hen). I have often times gone to lock up the coops for the night and found one, sometimes more of my boys waiting for my assistance. They know that as I lock up coops, I will discover any misplaced hens and reunite them with the correct flock and corresponding head of flock management.

7. Keeping order in the ranks:

Caster and Pollux (White Crested Polish Bantam Roosters) leading their girls to a shade tree near the coop for a mid-afternoon nap.

As the head of the flock, a rooster will keep order in the ranks. Contrary to popular belief, chickens are very intelligent and highly organized creatures. Phrases that we often use in our everyday language are derived from the complex social structure of chickens such as, “pecking order” and for good reason. The social hierarchy of a flock is established by literally pecking another member on the back indicating placement in the social order (the pecker is above the peckie). Starting with the alpha rooster, below him are the subjugated roosters in the flock, then flowing throughout all the hens to the last member at the bottom of the pecking order. All activities are then performed around this order, such mundane flock activities as who roosts were at night, the order in which the flock leaves the coop and the order in which they return.

As predicted, there are often squabbles amongst the hens when someone acts out of turn or challenges another member to renegotiate their position. When this happens, a conflict often ensues. During these times, a rooster will step in and quell any disruption within the ranks, establishing peace once again in the order. Left in isolation, conflicts among the flock can result in injuries to the contenders. It is a rooster’s job to see to it that no injuries are sustained by breaking up any fights that may break out among the hens. Once order is reestablished, the flock can then carry on about their day hopefully without further disruptions.

8. Beauty:

Frankenstein (Easter Egger Rooster) accompanying his girls in the garden as they look for bugs and worms in the soil.

Before I had roosters, I never stopped and examined them. What I have found is that although all my girls are stunning, my boys are just absolutely beautiful. From the iconic 80’s hair band atop my Polish boys’ heads to the elaborately long tails and stunning colorations, my boys are just beautiful. They take pride in their crests and long tails to. When molting season is upon them and my boys lose their tails, I can almost visibly see their egos affected.

They will strut their stuff in the backyard while shaking their waddles just to let everyone know they are the heart throbs of the backyard. My boys take great care in their looks, I assist them in making sure they stay pest free, aiding them in their grooming regiment. I have a few that are the pride of my backyard and know it. When multiple roosters are in the flock, the eye candy appeal is even more enticing. They just add a beauty to my backyard flock that is hard to miss. I thoroughly enjoy watching my backyard studs as they strut their stuff and care for the hens.

9. Fun!

The chicken yard Spring 2020! The roosters add a lot of fun and dynamic to the over landscape of the backyard.

Roosters create an interesting dynamic in the flock. As they each care for their section of the hens in their agreed upon jurisdiction, things can sometimes become entertaining. Occasionally a hen or two will wonder off too far, so the associated rooster needs to fetch them while keeping an eye on the rest of the flock.Ā 

Or this scenario, a hen or two will cheat on a rooster by mating with a rival rooster in another part of the yard. Or a young rooster who has yet to establish his harem works to try and siphon off a few hens from other roosters. This often leaves the backyard in a state of confusion for a few days. My boys are very well behaved, so fights are usually limited to short durations. Typically, when two roosters start to squabble, one or more of the other roosters will hear the disruption and break up the confrontation. Basically, backyard life is never boring with roosters around.Ā 

Even funnier still is when I bring new items into the backyard. Last year we put in a grape arbor in our backyard which entailed many items coming to the backyard, all needed inspection by the boys. An auger to dig the post holes, large timbers to frame the arbor, more wood to create the canopy, and finally the grape plants themselves. The boys each had to make sure it passed inspection before they felt comfortable with the hens going near it. The year earlier we put in a large backyard garden shed. That too had to pass rooster inspection. This year we plan to give them a break. I cannot imagine my flock without my boys, they are a great joy and bring much happiness to my soul.

10. Balance

Dracula (Easter Egger Rooster) and his ladies enjoying hunting a pecking on a freshly cut green lawn.

When I observe my flock free ranging in my backyard, I see a balance. The Yin Yang, the Yi Jing, all in balance flowing as nature designed and intended. Many city locations will not allow roosters due to the noise issue related to crowing. However, many city chicken keepers are posing challenges to this discriminatory precedent being allowed one rooster. Roosters whether in a fenced backyard or a pasture bring a completion to the flock that is often missed when a rooster is absent. I am thankful for every summer eve that I am able to sit at watch my flock as they bring to an end the day’s activity. I cannot imagine my life without my boys, they have taught me so much.

I hope that this post has brought some clarification to the subject of roosters. It is my aim to challenge the stigma, the bad rap that is often unfairly attached to roosters, and to instead present them as the amazing creatures that they are. Yes, the roosters of our grandparent’s era were bad barnyard birds. They were often closely related to the game cock which is a very aggressive species. But as the backyard chicken movement has taken hold in this country, so has the demand for a bird that fit this purpose. No longer needed to sustain a family farm, chickens today are assuming the role of a family pet much like a dog. The poultry industry has responded by providing more and more breeds that are docile and even downright lovable.Ā Sometimes a rooster can be so docile that he is for all explicit purposes useless. Pantaphobia, one of our white crested polish roosters, is so docile that he fits this description. To read his story, click here.

Take the Silkie for example. Silkies are known the world over as the teddy bears of the chicken world. They live up to this reputation as lovable, furry feathered friends that are great to have around kids. One of my sons has a flock of Silkies, he is very attached, absolutely loves, and cares for them. There are many other examples such as the Silkie that meet the needs of the backyard chicken hobbyist. 

In this post it was my aim to take a fresh look at roosters. Gone are the days of our grandparent’s barnyard rooster that terrorized us as kids. Meet the roosters of today and start your adventure with backyard chickens.

I am a published author, multi-disciplinary writer and blog contributor. If you enjoyed this blog, please visit some of my other sites.

Knowledge of the Spheres – Exploding the Celestial Spheres

Coffee and Coelophysis – A blog about dinosaurs!

Chicken Math University – Adventures in Homeschooling.

If you enjoyed this post, please peck the subscribe button. 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 grandparent’s 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 firsthand 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 from 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 regard to the other hens in the flock. As for the rest of the members, position is established by literally “pecking” one another on the back, indicating the “pecker” is above the “peckie”. This behavior flows from the alpha hen all the way to the bottom of the order. Each flock member 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 of whether 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 owner’s 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 very 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 indiscernible 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 rooster’s 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 reminds us that there is abundant wealth in simplicity. In our day and time, it’s 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 goal 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 creatures, 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 am a published author, multi-disciplinary writer and blog contributor. If you enjoy this blog, visit some of my other sitew.

Knowledge of the Spheres – Exploring the Celestial Spheres!

Coffee and Coelophysis – A blog about Dinosaurs!

Chicken Math University – Adventures in Homeschooling.

If you liked this post, peck the subscribe button. As always, thanks for reading. Till next time, keep on crowing!!

~ The Kuntry Klucker Crew ~

5 Reasons To Love Buff Orpingtons.

Buff Orpingtons are a Heritage Breed kept by the generations of yesteryear. As a result, Buff Orpingtons are staple for homesteader and backyard chicken enthusiasts alike. There are many aspects about the Buff Orpington that make them an excellent backyard companion, I will list my top 5.

1. Great Egg Layers:

Buff Orpingtons and all Orpingtons are prolific layers of large to X-large light brown eggs. A single hen can lay up to 3-5 eggs a week, making her yearly output 156-260 eggs a year. They are hearty and will often lay through the winter, only ceasing during molt. I have 3 of these lovely ā€œgolden girlsā€ remaining of my original flock of 17. 10 years on they still lay eggs. Their rate has dropped as they have aged into their twilight years but amazingly, these lovely ladies still lay eggs.

2. Buff Orpingtons are great mothers:

When you think of a mother hen raising a clutch of baby chickens the thought will often conjure the image of a Buff Orpington. Buff Orpingtons are renowned for making great mothers. As a breed characteristic, hens are very broody, wanting nothing more than to raise chicks. I have one particular Buff Momma Hen, Miss Katie who has raised several clutches for me. She even adopted a little White Crested Polish chick that was failing to thrive. Raising her as her own, she did what I could not do. If you are one who likes to grow your flock from your parent stock, Buff Orpingtons are a great asset to have on your farm. They will incubate, hatch and raise the baby chicks for you. Teaching them all that there is to know about being a chicken. You as the keeper will witness the wonder of nature, as your Buff Orpington momma hen raised the young.

3. Friendly, calm and docile disposition:

When starting with backyard chickens, typically new keepers want a docile breed. This is one of the reasons that Buff Orpingtons are a great choice for beginners. They are hearty, resilient and very docile. Even the roosters are well behaved gents. Buff Orpingtons are known as ā€œthe golden retrieversā€ of the chicken world and for good reason. They are very calm and loyal.

When I first started keeping chickens, Buff Orpingtons were the breed that I started with. 10 years on, I still have 3 of these lovely ā€œgolden girlsā€. Buff Orpingtons are a great breed for new backyard chicken enthusiasts for several reasons. They are a very patient, calm and friendly breed. Orpingtons enjoy interacting with their keepers and are not flighty. They bare confinement well but are very resourceful when allowed to free range. Due to their large size, they are unable to fly making it very easy to keep them confined to a backyard or fenced in chicken run. They are hearty and do well in warm climates as well and cool climates. They have very few inherent illness or other breed specific issues that presuppose them to health issues. All in all, they make a great breed to begin your backyard chicken adventure. Since they are very popular, they are readily available at most farm and feed stores.

They often build strong bonds with their keepers, making them great backyard companions. Buff Orpingtons are very friendly, approachable and social. Often, they follow their keeper around the yard, clucking and squawking events of their day. Buff Orpingtons are known to be lap chickens due to their desire for attention from their keepers. If you want a pet that makes you breakfast, then Buff Orpingtons are the breed for you.

4. Great to have around children:

Due to their calm, docile and friendly temperament, Buff Orpingtons are a great breed to have around children. If kids are going to take apart in the chicken chores or upkeep of the flock, these golden girls make a great breed to have. Due to their large size, they are easy for kids to pick up and hold. Orpingtons are not flighty, making them the perfect pet chicken and easy to bond with. As layers of large to X-large eggs, they are easy for children to collect and hold. My boys will often pick up our Buff hens and place them on their laps for some bonding time. Buff Orpingtons love to be held, further making these big balls of fluff and feathers a great breed to have around kids.

5. Great garden helpers:

If you love to garden whether it be veggie or flower, a flock of Buff Orpingtons will be your best friends. With their innate ability to forage for worms, bugs, and other delectables, they rid your gardens of pests and other unwanted nuisances. As they till at the soil in search for worms, they aerate the soil, bringing many benefits to the plants.

As your garden matures, the flock will patrol the gardens, picking bugs off the plants to dine on. Basically, your backyard flock will be your own personal extermination crew. This allows you to grow organic produce, eliminating the need of chemicals. As a result, you will enjoy eating fresh organic produce grown in your garden.

In addition to tilling, aerating, and extermination, your backyard garden flock you provide the added benefit of compost. Due to the high concentration of nitrogen contained in chicken poo, your girls will provide you with excellent fertilizer.

Chicken manure is far superior to cow or horse manure due to the gizzard. The gizzard grinds everything the chicken consumed down to a singularity, producing a pure source of fuel for your garden. Cows and horses on the other hand do not process everything they eat, passing weed seeds into their manure. Many novice gardeners are often surprised at the abundance of weeds in their gardens after spreading cow or horse manure. Due to the absence of a gizzard, these very fertile weed seeds are then introduced to your garden.

Additionally, most of the manure sold at garden stores are sourced from factory farms. The chemicals that are fed to the animals are passed into their manure, which is then introduce to your garden. By using the compost provided by your own backyard flock, you can be assured that fertilizer spread on your garden is organic, beneficial for both you and your plants.

Orpingtons is all purpose breed that is great for many functions on the homestead or backyard farm. They are a great breed for beginners as well as seasoned keepers alike. Due to their always enduring personalities, I will always have a small flock of Buff Orpingtons on my farm. They lay well, are great with kids and make a great companion in gardening, providing compost for my plants. If well cared for, these golden girls can live to the age of 10 and beyond. Of the original 17 chicks that I started with; I still have 3 of these believed ladies. I donā€™t know how much time they have left, but I do know that they will spend their twilight years basking in the sunā€™s rays, chasing butterflies and digging for worms.

I hope that this post breed profile on Buff Orpingtons was helpful. In choosing your beginner flock, temperament is very important. If you want friendly, calm and loyal chickens, Buff Orpingtons are a breed to consider.

If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments. You can also drop me a line a kuntryklucker@gmail.com.

I am a published author, multi-disciplinary writer and blog contributor. If you like this blog, please visit some of my other sites

Knowledge of the Spheres – Exploring the Celestial Spheres!

Coffee and Coelophysis – A blog about Dinosaurs!

Chicken Math University – Adventures in Homeschooling.

If you liked this post, peck the subscribe button. 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

Smaug and Lestat live in the Kuntry Klucker. Each of the boys have their 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 minimal, giving way to mutual respect. Smaug and Lestat are at the top of the pecking order in the flock, assuming 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 who 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 reconvene 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:

IMG_4954
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 together. 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 other’s 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 utilize 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 amplest 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 brings 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 roosters, roosters, or chickens in general, feel free to leave a comment. You can also drop me a line at kuntryklucker@gmail.com

I am a published author, multi-disciplinary writer and blog contributor. If you like this post, please visit some of my other sites.

Knowledge of the Spheres – Exploring the Celestial Spheres!

Coffee and Coelophysis – A blog about Dinosaurs.

Chicken Math University – Adventures in Homeschooling.

If you liked this post, peck the subscribe button. As always, thanks for reading. Till next time, keep on crowing.

~ The Kuntry Klucker Crew ~