ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Trouble with Roosters: How To Plan for Backyard Chickens

Updated on December 14, 2014
Surprise! It's a Rooster!
Surprise! It's a Rooster!

[Buy White Dorking Rooster Poster]

Are you prepared for surprise roosters? What decisions will you make if one of your chicks turns out to be a rooster?

No matter where you get your chicks, whether from a hatchery, feedstore, or home raised, half of all chickens are roosters. And this leads to some ethical and practical issues that you'll need to plan for.

So you're going to raise your own backyard chickens! You may have several reasons: to produce your own healthy food, or to raise your food humanely, or because chickens make entertaining and beautiful pets. Or because you want to be more self-sufficient, and able to grow some of your own food in an urban homestead.

You've pored over lovely books and articles, all telling you how easy, how simple it is to raise poultry in your backyard hobby farm and gather all the delicious eggs. And if you get one rooster, you can hatch your own chicks, too!

But are you ready for roosters? Read on!

Best Chicken Reference

Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens, 3rd Edition: Care, Feeding, Facilities
Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens, 3rd Edition: Care, Feeding, Facilities

Gail Damerow is a noted expert on keeping small-scale farm animals. Her advice is always practical and complete.

This book has all the information you need, from choosing breeds and hatching chicks to building coops and keeping the birds healthy and safe from predators.

Excellent chapters on butchering, cleaning, and storing the meat; preserving chicken health; managing laying hens; collecting and storing eggs; and building feeders and shelters. New chapters in this edition on training chickens and running a hobby farm.

 
Source

So What's Wrong with Roosters?

The rooster question is something that new backyard chicken owners are often unprepared for. They are usually accustomed to mammals, which are easy to differentiate by sex when young, and whose males are easy to castrate. Neutered male dogs, cats, horses, and goats make fine pets or work animals, and the neutering isn't too difficult or expensive.

But chickens are birds, and birds are different.

If you order chicks by mail from a hatchery, you'll get new-hatched babies. You can specify the sex and order all hens. But sexing tiny chicks is a difficult art, and no one can guarantee that some boys won't slip in. Also if you get a free bonus chick, that will always be a cockerel (baby rooster). Why? Because the hatchery has way too many male chicks. Few people order them, and most of the cockerels are disposed of as soon as they are sexed.

So you get four or five chicks in your backyard suburban chicken coop, your kids give them names and lavish them with love, all is great. Until maybe one or more of them starts to crow...Then you have some decisions to make. Your potential problems are:

  1. It may not be legal to keep roosters in your area, due to the noise.
  2. Roosters are often quite aggressive to each other, and sometimes to humans.
  3. Birds can't be easily neutered - it's major surgery.
  4. Roosters and hens together may make more chickens than you can keep.

Then What Are Roosters Good For?

If you want to breed your own backyard chickens, a rooster is essential for every dozen or so hens. (They'll lay perfectly good eggs without him, just not fertile ones.)

Roosters help with the huge problem that everything wants to eat chickens. They watch out for trouble and sound an alarm to send the hens scurrying for cover. They'll attack predators, and sometimes drive them away, or at least buy time for the hens to escape. And as a bonus, they hunt for bugs and other goodies and call the hens over to eat first.

And roosters are beautiful! They look great strutting around the backyard, and sound great crowing (at least I think so - your neighbors may not!) If you want to get into showing chickens, you'll want some roosters.

There's also the growing fashion of keeping chickens as pets. If you train your rooster to be gentle, he can make a nice companion.

At the other end of the spectrum, roosters make good eating. Lots of people buy or raise mixed-sex flocks, keeping the hens for eggs and butchering the roosters for meat.

Coq au Vin Recipe

Coq au Vin ("Rooster in wine") is a modern version of an old recipe for cooking roosters. As mature roosters tend to be tougher and gamier than hens, they need to be stewed for a long time in flavorful broth. It's also a good way to cook an old laying hen.


Source

Cook Time

Prep Time: 1/2 hour

Total Time: 7 1/2 hours

Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 rooster plucked cleaned and jointed
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 T. flour
  • 4 slices bacon chopped
  • 3 T. butter or olive oil divided
  • 3 carrots chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 c. chicken broth
  • 3 c. red wine
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 2 tsp parsley
  • 8 oz mushrooms chopped

Instructions

  1. Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper. Lightly coat all over with flour.
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until golden and just crisp, 3 minutes. Drain bacon on paper towels and set aside. Discard drippings and wipe out skillet. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in same skillet over medium high heat.
  3. Add chicken and cook until lightly browned all over, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a large plate as done and set aside.Â
  4. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon butter or oil in same skillet. Add carrots, onions, celery, and garlic and cook until vegetables just begin to soften.
  5. Transfer vegetables and broth to crock pot. Arrange chicken on top. Sprinkle bacon over chicken. Add wine, parsley, and thyme.
  6. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours. Add mushrooms in last half hour. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Serve over brown rice or egg noodles, with potatoes on the side.

How Can You Tell He's a Rooster?

[Buy Hen and Rooster Poster]

Looking Like a Rooster

Cockerels and pullets (young roosters and hens) can be difficult to tell apart for several months. Cockerels will begin to develop a more upright posture, but they don't stay upright long enough for you to separate them, so you have to look at their physical details.

The young cockerels will start growing their rooster feathers at about 3-4 months. Their necks will become longer, with a ruff of long, thin feathers (the hackle feathers). Across the back, at the base of the tail, are the long, thin saddle feathers. The tailfeathers will grow out longer and more curved than a hen's sheaf of short, straight tailfeathers. In many breeds, the rooster's tailfeathers are pointed at the end, while a hen's are rounded.

The roosters' combs (on top of their heads) and wattles (those red things dangling under their beaks) will be larger and longer than a hen's of the same breed. The size and shape of combs and wattles vary a lot by breed, so you need to compare the birds in your flock to see the difference.

Acting Like a Rooster

After the rooster feathers make their appearance, a day will come when you hear a dreadful choking sound from the coop. When you rush out to perform a chicken Heimlich maneuver, you'll discover a cockerel trying to learn to crow. It will take him a few weeks to get the hang of it.

He'll begin to act like a rooster as he matures further. One distinctive sign is the "rooster dance", a cute little sideways shuffle with a dropped wing, that he dances around the hens and rival roosters to make them submit. If he does it to you, walk at him until he backs up. You don't want him deciding that you're a rival, because he's also growing big claws and spurs right now.

And finally, he'll start leaping on the pullets. The younger ones will scream and run away, but mature hens will often squat down. The rooster jumps with his full weight and claws onto the hen's back, which is why it's important to make sure that you have enough hens for each rooster. Overmated hens may have bare, even clawed backs, and may spend too much time hiding to even eat. These are signs that you definitely have a rooster problem.

Making Your Rooster Plan

Consider all the alternatives above, in light of your own means, morals, and level of squeamishness. Are you looking for a pet? Can you bear to kill (and eat) something you've raised? Can you bear to sell it to someone who's going to eat it?

One rooster per dozen or so hens is a good ratio for a flock guardian. If your hens are in an uncovered pen or free-ranging, he can be a life-saver. Your eggs will be fertile and the hens (if they're a breed that still broods) will exert all their wiles to raise some chicks. This is great if you want a sustainable flock!

If you want to try slaughter, Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens is an excellent resource. But if you plan to do that, tell the kids from the beginning and don't let them name the potential dinners!

If you want to sell or give away your excess roosters, advertise on Craigslist and local classified papers. Some people specify their roosters must be kept as pets, while most others don't ask questions. Decide ahead of time which camp you're going to be in.

Some people keep all their roosters in a bachelor pen for life, to keep them from overmating the hens. This is fine if you can afford it, but realize that you may have to separate them if they start fighting, and feeding all those separate birds is a lot of extra work.

Others keep them as pets, even as house pets. There are more avian vets these days, and lots of products you can buy for pet chickens. Just be aware that this option can be as expensive as you want it to be. Decide ahead of time how much you want to spend.

Source

Training a Farm Rooster

Roosters come in a wide range of personalities. Some breeds are more likely to be aggressive than others, but since chickens have not been bred as pets, roosters of any breed may be aggressive towards humans. They instinctively attack perceived rivals and threats, and they sometimes aren't bright enough to know that the person who feeds them isn't either one.

If you just want him to keep his distance, you have to establish yourself as the Head Rooster, the one lesser roosters move aside for.

Training should begin as soon as you can tell you've got a young rooster. It's simple: never move aside for him, never back up. Don't fight, don't chase, don't kick him aside. There is never any reason to hurt your rooster! But stride confidently towards him until he backs up. Do this regularly, every day while he's growing up.

As he begins to mature, he may challenge you. This starts as a cute little dance, circling you with a funny shuffle and maybe a dropped wing. Don't laugh - if you stand still or back up, he'll be Head Rooster. Walk briskly towards him until he cuts it out and backs up.

I taught my own roosters to stay three feet away from me, so I never have to worry about bending over. I carried a stick or plastic bag with me and waggled it in their faces until they backed out of range. Done consistently, they learned to stay back from me, without being frightened.

If you have children, teach them to do this also, while the roosters are little. But don't let the kids chase them, as frightening them may cause an attack. The kids need to be calm and decisive. And don't leave small children unsupervised with the rooster - an excited rooster can leap two or three feet in the air, and leads with his sharp claws.

Training a Pet Rooster

If you want to keep the rooster as a pet, start picking him up and cuddling him while he's little. Carry him around under your arm. If he's hard to catch, get him after he's gone to roost and gotten sleepy. Feed him treats while you're holding him so that he comes to look forward to being held. Drop treats near your feet when you're sitting outside, to lure him closer.

This will give you a good outdoor pet or flock guardian. But many people now want more - they want an indoor chicken. Which presents an interesting problem, as chickens poop copiously wherever they happen to be standing. Folks use to cope with lots of towels on the furniture and Febreze. But now there is an alternative! Now there are chicken diapers!

Yes, chicken diapers. You can buy chicken diapers. In various colors and patterns. And then you can diaper your chicken.

And did you know that you can train him to do tricks? Yes, chickens can learn very elaborate tricks and routines, which is a big help if you want to keep them indoors.

Clicker Training a Chicken

Surprise!

What would you do if you ended up with a surprise rooster?

See results

Scroll down to leave a comment!

© 2012 Valerie Proctor Davis

Comments: What do you think about roosters?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 4 years ago

      Handsome birds, but it's me for the Coq au Vin, thanks!

    • Valerie P Davis profile image
      Author

      Valerie Proctor Davis 4 years ago from Birmingham, Alabama

      @flycatcherrr: Ah, yes, most of our batch of roosters ended up in the crockpot with an array of veggies! They came out very tasty. :)

    • BestGamesQuest profile image

      BestGamesQuest 4 years ago

      Great article! Roosters can certainly be a pain in the you-know-what!

    • Valerie P Davis profile image
      Author

      Valerie Proctor Davis 4 years ago from Birmingham, Alabama

      @BestGamesQuest: They sure can be! Especially when there's more than one - I once had two attack me at the same time.

    • earlymorningglow profile image

      earlymorningglow 4 years ago

      A friend of mine is about to get into breading roosters - have recommended this to him. Great, informative lens!

    • Valerie P Davis profile image
      Author

      Valerie Proctor Davis 4 years ago from Birmingham, Alabama

      @jolou: Chickens make interesting pets - some of my Buff Orpington hens come up to be held. I make 'em stay out in the yard and eat bugs, though!

    • Valerie P Davis profile image
      Author

      Valerie Proctor Davis 4 years ago from Birmingham, Alabama

      @earlymorningglow: Thanks for the recommendation!

    • BLemley profile image

      Beverly Lemley 4 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      Very interesting and informative! Now I will be more appreciative of someone's flock. It sounds like a lot of work ~ and worry! But I love to hear them crowing, as I pretty much from farmers that had to raise them to live. I don't like hearing all of their tales, though, about how they went from free-range to stovetop range! SquidAngel blessed! B : )

    • Valerie P Davis profile image
      Author

      Valerie Proctor Davis 4 years ago from Birmingham, Alabama

      @BLemley: Thank you!

    • Rosetta Slone profile image

      Rosetta Slone 4 years ago from Under a coconut tree

      We have a farm with several roosters. They're beautiful and I love to hear them crow (yes, even at 5am!). Once they start getting into trouble and starting fights, we choose a couple and butcher them. Rooster is delicious and I love knowing our meat comes from a good source.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 4 years ago

      This is your first lens? Where have you been? This lens is Excellent -clever, personal and well laid out. Besides the fact that you made me seriously want to consider vegetarianism, this lens totally did its function. Pinned on my board "Cool Critters," and blessed.

    • Steph Tietjen profile image

      Stephanie Tietjen 4 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico

      I keep chickens and this definitely is a problem especially in the city limits. We can keep chickens, but there is a noise ordinance. My latest batch of chicks resulted in 1 rooster and 5 hens. I hated to bring him back to the feed store, but he was getting so loud. I still think about him. Excellent lens.

    • Isabellas-cabin profile image

      Isabellas-cabin 4 years ago

      I have one rooster right now. I am not looking to get another one for a long time. This rooster was one I ordered to guarantee the protection of my hens.

    • MissKanti profile image

      MissKanti 4 years ago

      I enjoyed reading about your experience raising chickens. I know it takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Thanks for sharing!

    • Valerie P Davis profile image
      Author

      Valerie Proctor Davis 4 years ago from Birmingham, Alabama

      @MissKanti: Thanks for the comment!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 4 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I like looking at roosters at the county fair. Having to rid myself of roosters is probably a good reason that we don't raise chickens (though are neighborhood doesn't allow it). Great lens - really enjoyed this!

    • Valerie P Davis profile image
      Author

      Valerie Proctor Davis 4 years ago from Birmingham, Alabama

      @Rosetta Slone: Yes, they have a much better flavor than store-bought chickens!

    • Valerie P Davis profile image
      Author

      Valerie Proctor Davis 4 years ago from Birmingham, Alabama

      @Gypzeerose: Thank you so much for the blessing and the pin!

    • Valerie P Davis profile image
      Author

      Valerie Proctor Davis 4 years ago from Birmingham, Alabama

      @Steph Tietjen: The feed store took him back? How interesting - I wonder if they'll all do that.

    • Valerie P Davis profile image
      Author

      Valerie Proctor Davis 4 years ago from Birmingham, Alabama

      @Isabellas-cabin: They do make good alarms, don't they?

    • Valerie P Davis profile image
      Author

      Valerie Proctor Davis 4 years ago from Birmingham, Alabama

      @SusanDeppner: Thank you - and thanks for the blessing!

    • profile image

      Aunt-Mollie 4 years ago

      Aunt Mollie's know people who have been attacked by roosters. For such beautiful creatures they can be quite vicious! It's good that you have written this article giving advice.

    • Valerie P Davis profile image
      Author

      Valerie Proctor Davis 4 years ago from Birmingham, Alabama

      @Aunt-Mollie: Oh, yes, my first rooster spurred me on the shin and left a long scar. It's pretty frightening!

    • rawwwwwws lm profile image

      rawwwwwws lm 4 years ago

      They are awesome! Blessed!

    • Valerie P Davis profile image
      Author

      Valerie Proctor Davis 4 years ago from Birmingham, Alabama

      @rawwwwwws lm: Thank you so much!

    • VicPalombo profile image

      VicPalombo 4 years ago

      I really enjoyed your lens. Roosters always scared me a little ...

    • profile image

      infoprogirl 4 years ago

      Very informative lens. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Greate lense m8. Thanks for sharing...

    • profile image

      snrklz 4 years ago

      Chicken diapers... That is hysterical! :D

    • ERiverDogs profile image

      ERiverDogs 4 years ago

      Without roosters you don't get hens.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      Never knew there were chicken diapers. Great lens.

    • profile image

      olmpal 4 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD! My parents used to grow chickens when I was a kid. They only kept one rooster and used the young ones for food.

    • waihou profile image

      waihou 4 years ago

      Congratulations!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      congratulations for LOTD thanks for sharing

    • SusanRDavis profile image

      Susan R. Davis 4 years ago from Vancouver

      Chicken diapers? What will they think of next?

    • profile image

      sailor_man 4 years ago

      I prefer beef

    • VeseliDan profile image

      VeseliDan 4 years ago

      I don't know if I would like to have a rooster as a pet. I thin I prefer dogs and cats. *blessed*

    • HonoluluMom profile image

      HonoluluMom 4 years ago

      Well...if you live in certain parts on this island you'll hear them all the time. It can get pretty annoying. I feel bad after reading this, though. Kinda makes you want to adopt a rooster.

    • Valerie P Davis profile image
      Author

      Valerie Proctor Davis 4 years ago from Birmingham, Alabama

      @SusanRDavis: I guess you haven't seen the bride and groom costumes for chickens? LOL!

    • IncomeFromHomeT profile image

      IncomeFromHomeT 4 years ago

      Chicken diapers . . . dang, that's funny!

      I love the sound of roosters, but then I'm usually up before they are. I can understand that those who like to sleep in might get annoyed. However, I get annoyed at city people who move to the country and then get the country villages to pass laws against keeping chickens because they don't like the sound of roosters!

    • FlynntheCat1 profile image

      FlynntheCat1 4 years ago

      I want chickens... my flatmates don't, though! (And jeez yes on the rooster attacks. I was jumped on by a large rooster when I was five; it knocked me right over and scratched at me until my dad took a stick to it).

    • justramblin profile image

      justramblin 4 years ago

      I love roosters. We cheer for the U of SC Gamecocks. I really enjoyed your story and look forward to reading more about your flock and seeing more photos of them. I bet you have lots of good tales to tell. Nice job, and congrats on your lens of the day award! Well done.

    • eilval profile image

      Eileen 4 years ago from Western Cape , South Africa

      Interesting info - congrats on LOTD !

    • Anthony Altorenna profile image

      Anthony Altorenna 4 years ago from Connecticut

      We've had a few roosters over the years in our small backyard flock of chickens. Their plumage is beautiful, but their crowing wears out their welcome. One rooster in particular crowed at anytime during the night, and after being woken up at routinely 3:00 AM, he now lives at a large farm.

    • Ahdilarum profile image

      Ahdilarum 4 years ago

      nice to hear that this lens selected as LOTD

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 4 years ago

      So nice to see this interesting lens on the front page in the upper left hand corner! Congrats on the LOTD.

    • profile image

      pestmanagementsydney 4 years ago

      Interesting ...

    • poldepc lm profile image

      poldepc lm 4 years ago

      congrats on the LOTD

    • sidcandid1 profile image

      sidcandid1 4 years ago

      Many Congratulations on being chosen for Lens of the Day

    • irminia profile image

      irminia 4 years ago

      Roosters are such perfect gentlemen :) It's so interesting to watch them how they first let the hens eat. Roster hurries in the middle, pecks a piece of food, but only to show it or throw it to the hens. Congratulations on the nice lens!

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 4 years ago from Jersey Shore

      Every year someone lets a couple of roosters loose in our small seashore community-they run around crowing at dawn until the animal warden can capture them(which takes weeks-they are fast!)I think they are cute -- nice lens ~~Blessed~~

    • sockii profile image

      Nicole Pellegrini 4 years ago from New Jersey

      I enjoy roosters! My mom has one who is basically a pet (though outdoors, thank goodness). Every time I come to visit he comes running up the driveway to say hello, likes to be held and have his head stroked. Of course, I've encountered some nasty ones as well that didn't deserve a fate beyond the stew pot!

    • sunlightseer profile image

      sunlightseer 4 years ago

      If I had a place to keep them, I would have chickens and hope to when we move. You've told me things I didn't know like the fact that one is likely to have too many roosters. Good info ahead of time to decide what to do. And how to train a rooster so he knows you're the head rooster. All good information. Nice, fun to read lens. Congrats on LOTD.

    • profile image

      JoshK47 4 years ago

      Good read - very interesting, indeed! Blessed by a SquidAngel, and congrats on your LotD! :)

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 4 years ago from USA

      Congratulations this lens was selected as today's Lens of the Day. You can read all about it here: http://hq.squidoo.com/lotd/lens-of-the-day-the-tro...

    • profile image

      ikepius 4 years ago

      Very nice. Our neighbors used to have a rooster called Signal. He used to make a noise whenever there was danger. I did not know keeping chickens was becoming a fashion.

    • weakbond profile image

      Nnadi bonaventure Chima 4 years ago from Johanesburg

      Great lens ,congrats on LOTD

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 4 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD! Nice lens! I never knew there were chicken diapers.

      Most every Rooster I have ever met hasn't been nice to me. I do like waking up from the sound of a crowing rooster, we have strict laws here in town on having farm animals in a private homes.

    • Fox Music profile image

      Fox Music 4 years ago

      Congratulations for Lens of the Day on this remarkable lens "The Trouble with Roosters: How To Plan Your Backyard Chicken Flock"

    • Im Horse Crazy profile image

      Im Horse Crazy 4 years ago

      Love this lens! I have a heart for all animals! I absolutely love the pictures in you lens! You definitely earned lens of the day!

    • Rosaquid profile image

      Rosaquid 4 years ago

      I don't like the noise. But they are beautiful creatures. I would love to have roosters if I lived on a very large farm. Congratulations on your Lens of the Day award. I enjoyed your information, especially the part about training roosters. Interesting!

    • Alessandro Zambon profile image

      Alessandro Zamboni 4 years ago from Italy

      Roosters are lovely creatures, and they add more to any garden.

      If someone has the space to keep, they are a good alternative to get fresh eggs each and every day in exchange of their care.

    • Scotties-Rock profile image

      Clairissa 4 years ago from OREFIELD, PA

      Wonderful and informative lens. My husband and I are discussing raising chickens. Congrats on LotD! Angel Blessings.

    • mercin12 profile image

      mercin12 4 years ago

      You can buy straight runs, which includes roosters, but you can also just buy pullets, the females. They cost more but you avoid the rooster issue. Here is a quick link to a hatchery that sells pullets: http://www.mthealthy.com/product/GC-P

    • Country-Sunshine profile image

      Country Sunshine 4 years ago from Texas

      I love my roosters: Rojo, Pete and Pat! They take care of the girls so well. I can't imagine eating one.

      You are right; most places don't tell you about the problems with multiple roosters in a flock. It can be a bloody mess if you aren't prepared. Great article for anyone wanting to raise chickens.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 4 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Back to say congratulations on your very cool Lens of the Day!

    • Cam Marotta profile image

      Cam Marotta 4 years ago

      Congrats on LOTD! I'd love to do have my own roosters someday.

    • LizRobertson profile image

      LizRobertson 4 years ago

      Chicken Diapers? What a hoot!

    • BunnyFabulous profile image

      BunnyFabulous 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Fantastic lens! I really appreciate your going into all the ins and outs of keeping roosters. Lots of stuff I hadn't thought of. We'd consider raising chickens if we had the right setting, and this is great info. Congrats on LOTD!

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 4 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Congrats on LotD! Great article about roosters - our neighbor recently acquired one so we're quite familiar with the crowing. And I agree they are beautiful! Angel blessed

    • skefflingecho profile image

      skefflingecho 4 years ago from Tobermory Ontario

      Excellent lens, a worthy topic for new chicken owners to consider. Blessed.

      We have about 70 Chantecler, Ameraucana, Marans, Basque, Sumatra, Penedesencas and D'Uccle chickens overwinter and about 30 roosters go in the freezer each year that we have bred, and we sell the others for breeding or pets.

      I have older rooster pets that love to cuddle and lay their head on your shoulder, and I would never eat, but we always put any nasty ones in the freezer and never breed them. This seem to be less often now as we have selected for good temperament.

      Having sweet natured handsome roosters is one of the things I enjoy about having chickens (we are keeping 20 roosters and 50 hens this year), but you always have to consider the ratio of rooster to hens and keep them segregated if you have too many roosters to protect the hens to too much attention. They do well in bachelor coops with no access to hens and don't fight when raised together. Then you can put one or to in with the hens when you are ready to collect fertile eggs or have them free ranging as a guardian.

      Chicken have the most amazing behaviour, social system and communications when you watch them. Managing them socially and comfortably can be quite challenging, and may mean building extra housing!

    • nicenet profile image

      nicey 4 years ago

      Interesting lens and congrats. We stopped breeding hens in our backyard.After raising them they get picked up by strangers who eat them for their dinner.

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 4 years ago from La Verne, CA

      I love the colors roosters come in. I have a figurine rooster collection for the kitchen, but rooster diapers is a whole new thing to me. I suppose the diapers have liners that go straight to the compost bin or pile. Chicken droppings would be an added plus in the compost. This is fun reading.

    • profile image

      pawpaw911 4 years ago

      Great information. We have been thinking about getting some chickens. Will keep this in mind. Congratulations on LOTD.

    • MariannesWhims profile image

      Marianne Gardner 4 years ago from Pacific NW, USA

      We don't have chickens, but it's an important read for anyone who might start raising chickens. It was interesting, I enjoyed learning how you train a rooster from young. Nice lens. Congratulations on LOTD.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Well that training method sure makes sense because its all about pecking order for roosters and they need to know your the top rooster in this yard. You provide information about chicks that most of us would never know and I guess it stands to reason that half would be roosters in miniature. Your recipe solves the problem with deliciousness! You may have folks thinking of getting watch roosters if they don't care to have a dog.

    • profile image

      SkiLoverAlpine 4 years ago

      I can't believe there's actually a recipe for roosters!

    • writerkath profile image

      writerkath 4 years ago

      I never knew this about roosters! Congratulations on your wonderful LOTD! Just awesome!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Very educational Had no idea they could become pets. Congratulations on getting LotD!

    • RawBill1 profile image

      Bill 4 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      I always thought that in future if I ever had chickens that I would not want a rooster at all, but having seen friends of mine lose many of their chickens over the years to snakes, goannas and foxes, I think I would keep one or two for the security factor. Congrats on LOTD. This is a really well done page. :-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I grew up on a farm and the chickens were my responsibility. If you are raising laying chickens for the eggs, you do not want a rooster. No rooster, no chicks in the eggs. No candling of the eggs is required. Roosters can be aggressive and noisy. They make a better pie than a pet, from my experience. Great lens!

    • OCDiscusFish profile image

      OCDiscusFish 4 years ago

      I think they are noisy but congratulations on your lens of the day!

    • hartworks lm profile image

      hartworks lm 4 years ago

      We do enjoy our rooster, though I wish I'd had your training tips earlier. Still, I naturally did something close to what you recommend and now I will do it even more deliberately.

      Our rooster is a delight to watch and we love how protective he is of the flock.

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 4 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      love your rooster lens. Now I want only hens. Congrats!

    • Mary Stephenson profile image

      Mary Stephenson 4 years ago from California

      My dad raised chickens when I was a kid. They were raised as food. He came to the time when it was no longer something that made sense. He had one mean old rooster and decided it was time for him to see his maker. My mother stewed a lot of the chickens and even this guy got to the pot. Nothing went to waste in our house, but I guess this rooster was one tough bird and even in the stew pot was too tough to eat! I had already left home and assumed by my dad's conversation that they must have actually thrown out the meat, so it must have been pretty awful.

    • Mark Shirbroun profile image

      Mark Shirbroun 4 years ago

      Diapers for birds... wow. I had no idea such things even existed!

    • dawnsnewbeginning profile image

      dawnsnewbeginning 4 years ago

      Chickens are good to rid your garden of unwanted bugs once the plants have grown taller than they are. Not before or they'll eat the plant!

    • profile image

      Margot_C 4 years ago

      I remember hearing them crow when I was a kid. Brings back fond memories, but I like my sleep too much these days.

    • ShariBerry profile image

      Sharon Berry 4 years ago from Michigan

      I think they are gorgeous!

    • profile image

      kayla_harris 4 years ago

      My family raise chickens all the time!

    • profile image

      tamjo5 4 years ago

      Great information! Diapers for chickens to funny. I now want to see if our township will allow for chickens. Great Lens.

    • profile image

      DebMartin 4 years ago

      I love chickens. I love the way they follow me around the yard, especially while I'm raking leaves. I've had very gentle roosters.

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 4 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      I've been considering getting chickens, but will probably try to avoid getting a rooster. Great information and tips. Congratulations on LOTD

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 4 years ago

      They're a great bird with a huge job. Imagine the job description for a rooster.

    • Heidi Vincent profile image

      Heidi Vincent 4 years ago from GRENADA

      Congratulations on winning the Lens of The Day (LOTD)!!!

    • profile image

      miaponzo 4 years ago

      Wow!!!!! I didn't know any of this stuff!!! Thanks! because I have actually been thinking for some time now to get some chickens.. but I'm a little scared, because here in Kuwait they attract mice! Blessed!

    • mrducksmrnot profile image

      mrducksmrnot 4 years ago

      Well done LOTD. Now about those diapers - I'm an ole hillbilly mountain man and I just will not spend money on diapers when I could use it for feed in the winter and for all those baby chicks soon to be hatched. Never heard tell of them until now. As for pets, the bantam golden seabrights make wonderful pets, even the rooster if you handle them daily so they get used to you. For everyone reading this lens, raising chickens is an enjoyable thing to do and creates chores for the little ones if they are old enough to do so. Love you lens. Well done.

    • Pinkmaddy LM profile image

      Pinkmaddy LM 4 years ago

      Who knew! I have often had the dream of having some chickens and would have never known this about roosters!

    • shellys-space profile image

      Shelly Sellers 4 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      My SIL has chickens who stop by from the neighbors and it is funny!

    • profile image

      soaringsis 4 years ago

      Congratulations on your LotD. Roosters are kind of strong headed and bossy. I did not know you could train them.

    • craftycollector profile image

      craftycollector 4 years ago

      The females don't behave properly without a good cockerel, and of course the eggs aren't fertilised. We always have roosters.

    • profile image

      faye durham 4 years ago

      I have mixed feelings about roosters. They can be aggressive but they do a great job protecting the chickens. Thanks for sharing how to train them for best results.

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 4 years ago from Shanghai, China

      I like them, but not as much as ducks. I love the ducks we have in China that live in houses. Some of the really intelligent breeds can even be house trained.

    • sjewula profile image

      sjewula 4 years ago

      Congrats on the LOTD! Great lens. Keep up the good work.

    • SandraWilson LM profile image

      SandraWilson LM 4 years ago

      We've had some gentle roosters and then some not so gentle. One rooster terrorized my oldest daughter. The best one we ever had was a Buff Orpington. I love Buffs and if I ever have anymore, that's what I want.

    • BackyardChickenK profile image

      BackyardChickenK 4 years ago

      Very nice lens! And congrats on LOTD! Yeah unfortunately, many cities that allow chickens don't allow roosters. But if you're in an area where they are allowed, it's nice to have one in the flock :)

    • spids1 profile image

      spids1 4 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD. Nice lens and great reading suggestions.

    • EMangl profile image

      EMangl 4 years ago

      roosters are great - being one in chinese horoscope, what else could i say?

      :-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Growing up on a farm with my grandparents, we had a few hundred hens and only 2 roosters - I never paid attention to the fact that my grandfather was selecting the young roosters for eating. They were not a problem for anyone except my younger brother - they attacked him whenever he went in the chicken yard - not sure why - maybe his size. Great information - Blessed.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Honestly, I hadn't ever given them much thought before reading this lens, but your engaging and knowledgeable writing style definitely kept my attention. Congratulations on your well-deserved LoTD and purple star. Blessed!

    • Teapixie LM profile image

      Tea Pixie 4 years ago

      I give chickens as Christmas gifts, through Oxfam! Now is the time to think about Christmas gifts, and Oxfam does a great job. Me and my friends don't have back yards, so we can't have chickens but giving chickens through Oxfam means that people in developing countries can start breading chickens - a business and a source of "Coq au Vin!" :)

      Great job on this, Mulewagon! I loved the adventure. ;)

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 4 years ago

      This is a very nice lens I love all the information about roosters, great job with using the countdown module too. Love it.

    • AtHomeSource LM profile image

      AtHomeSource LM 4 years ago

      I've never owned a rooster, we've had hens before though!

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image

      Kay 4 years ago

      Coq au Vin is one of my favorite things to make! You did a wonderful job on this page. Blessed!

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 4 years ago

      I admire roosters from afar - they look great on this lens :)

    • rooshoo profile image

      rooshoo 4 years ago

      This is a fascinating lens. I just watched this whole program the other night about the recent explosion in backyard chickens, this one couple had a whole business selling chickens online. They didn't talk to much about roosters though. Great lens.

    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 4 years ago from Kansas

      I guess my first mistake was backing up from our roosters. The next one was letting them chase me back to the house. Needless to say, our roosters do not live long at our house. We love chicken casserole.

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Mom taught me never to run from a rooster...to stand my ground and make loud noise. The rooster usually gets the drift that he needs to go the other way.

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 4 years ago from Australia

      We had chickens a few years ago - luckily they were all chickens! This was a fun visit. Blessings.

    • Two Crafty Paws profile image

      Two Crafty Paws 4 years ago

      We never had any, we only had chickens. Neighbors had (and still have) quite a few roosters some of them (usually the small breeds) were extremely vicious - I was quite scared of them when I was a kid.

    • Irrevocable profile image

      Irrevocable 4 years ago

      @darciefrench lm: haha, I have to agree with this comment - certainly after reading this lens! I have learnt a few things from this lens about them that I didn't know so thank you :)

    • InfoCoop profile image

      InfoCoop 4 years ago

      Great article! Having my chickens for farm fresh eggs is on my list of things to do when I retire and have some time to devote to it. Good to know about the roosters!

    • profile image

      lawyer-marketing 3 years ago

      Great and nice lens !

    • happy-birthday profile image

      Birthday Wishes 3 years ago from Here

      Nothing special... :-) Thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful lens!

    • mel-kav profile image

      mel-kav 3 years ago

      Poor little roosters, they are pretty - but annoying so early in the morning. My friend has backyard chickens - and they did wind up with a rooster once. They found a good home for it.

    • emailcash profile image

      emailcash 3 years ago

      Interesting lens! I was raised on a farm so I know what a rooster is and does but you did a great job of explaining roosters to those who don't know.

    • Tricia Deed profile image

      Tricia Deed 2 years ago from Orlando, Florida

      Great information about roosters and you did it in a fun way. I enjoyed your lens very much.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 23 months ago from Home Sweet Home

      i didn't know that rooster can be eaten!I thought only hens are meant to be KFC chicken!

    Click to Rate This Article