Because our buff orpington roo was scratching the feathers off the hens backs, and winter was/is on the way, I gave him to a friend that also has chickens. I am interested to know everybody's opinion of what roosters (of the small breeds) are the friendliest toward humans. He will not be for breeding, just to comfort the hens and crow for them. I have had silkies in the past so I'm already leaning in that direction. I will hand raise him from a chick (hopefully can find/buy a chick.) Any ideas?
The friendliest small rooster breed
My bantam Araucana and Black Mottled D'Uccle Roo's are as friendly as can be
Thank you DonnaB, I"ll look those up. I'm guessing it will probably be spring before they are available at the hatcheries. Have you (or anybody ) ever ordered from the web site "Chickensaspets" ?
never heard of them but Ideal Poultry is right there in Tx
I had a Easter egger type males that were not very nice to most of the other chickens. They never attacked me, but attacked my other chickens. I will say that my Faverolle is a really nice roo. I also have a New Hampshire roo that is pretty calm too. Other males I have are Wyandotte and Plymouth Rock and they are nice chickens. All the roos I have now don't attack me and for the most part are not too bad to the girls. I guess they know that they will meet the same fate as the Easter eggers if they act up too much.
Ideal Poultry is not a good place to buy silkies. That is where my first ones came from and their silkies are not pretty, not pretty at all.
I have to say that silkie roosters are the easiest on their ladies
mine were very pretty but didn't have the excessive top knot. I didn't want that. If you want pets they are nice. If you want show quality then you need to buy from a breeder
Do roosters get more gentle with the hens as they get older? These two accidental roosters that I have are my first; they are less than a year old and seem to pull out excessive numbers of feathers. However they are very gentle when handled by me.
All the roosters (except silkies) we've had always get rougher on the hens as time goes by. I was hoping the Buff Orpington rooster would be different but he wasn't. I just won't stand for my hens to have bare skin in the winter with the cold spells we have in north Texas. I've seen the cloth "saddles" that the British make for their hens to keep the roosters from scratching the hens' feathers out, but that just seems like too much of a hassle and uncomfortable for the hen to have something strapped on her all the time. So, time to find a gentleman rooster.....
(I appreciate the input you all have given, thanks.)
CountryGardens, I guess "comforting the hens" is a bit of a stretch : ) But the hens seem to be more at ease when there is a rooster standing guard while they scratch around (eat.) We have a couple types of hawks that come around here looking for a meal. Roosters are good about sounding the alarm, and then the guineas start up a fuss, and the dog barks, and then I come running out of the house to shoo the dragon (in their eyes) away.
My Turkens and Cochins are the nicest of my roos. The Faverolles are young, but seem quite personable, as well. The Silkies are a bit more standoffish, but still easy to handle, and friendly to a point. Other than the Silkies, only the cochins have been banties
Ladypearl - maybe you can think about getting a couple geese instead. They don't need too much more than chickens. They just need a deep pan of water to clean their beaks with and they can eat chicken food (although I feed mine Purina Flock Raiser). Mine are always on alert and seem to keep everyone safe so far, but I also have a pond for my ducks and geese to use to get away from predators.
Okay, I'll look into the Chochins, catmad. Thank you
It would be neat to have a couple of ducks or geese (and their eggs are quite good I've heard.) But they also say they like to play in their drinking water and make it a mess. Now if we had a pond like you do titanium, and could keep'em separate from the chickens, then that would work. Thanks for the idea, though.
geese are way messier, big honkin' poops everywhere in the yard and mess their pen up over night
We have Canadian geese everywhere. No more swimming in the lakes around here. It's like a barnyard on the beaches. They don't even go away in the winter anymore. Only to places the water don't freeze.
Wouldn't want that mess in my yard!
Yes, they do make a mess. Large greenish black poo, but mine stay down by the lake most of the time. I have Canadian geese, mallards and some mixed domestic ducks currently. Some are permanently here and some that come and go.
The water is used to clean their beaks because they like to noodle around in the grass and mud and get dirt in their nostrils - they have to use that to clear that out. They only use the pan I have up by the house infrequently so I only have to dump it once a week. Without the pond I would say you probably have to dump it ever few days.
If we didn't have ducks and geese I still wouldn't swim in my pond... too many weeds and slimy stuff on the bottom.
We have a lot of Canadian geese at the lakes and ponds here also. Do people eat them any more? Seems like with such large populations, serving them up for supper now and then would solve two problems at once.
I put my splash rooster in with my hens a few minutes. He immediately transformed from Clark Kent to Super Rooster. Wish I'd taken my camera.
I had a total of 4 roosters until I found homes for 2. The polish & silver laced wyandotte were rehomed. I kept my little cochin banturm 'cause he's been so nice. So far, he isn't battling with the older roo (a mix of buff orpington and jersey giant). They are both awfully nice, though the big guy is rather rough on the ladies.
So... I'd recommend the cochin bantum from my experience.
I've got a few questions.. How many girls for your roo? Are you sure they are not molting? I have a few that are molting like there's no tomorrow.. naked backs and there are no roos big enough to do that kind of damage in with them.
I have bantam Ameraucanas and Serama Roosters... Once in a great while I'll get a fertile egg from the big girls (layers) but never any naked backs until they started molting.. or once when they had lice, I had a couple with bare patches...
I had a Silver cochin bantam that would have bred a rock if he could.. he was terrible. Cute, but terrible. So I think it's a crap shoot.. there are good roos and bad roos in every breed.
Yeah, you know I've been thinking that too ZZ. It just depends on the individual animal - there's gentle and mean in every breed. I guess I was trying to narrow down to the ones that most people report as gentle to increase my chances of getting the kind of roo we are looking for.
I have eight buff O. hens and thankfully since the roo has been gone (about a month or a little longer) their feathers are coming in real nice. They did molt but the bare backs they had were not from molting. So I'm going to keep my eyes peeled for a batam chochin or a silkie that is available around here. Some sweet person told me about a silkie roo that is available but it is just too far from here to get him right now. Our feed store will have chicks in the spring or maybe I'll order some then.
A friend of mine made "aprons" for her hens. They seemed to help. Would you like the pattern?
I appreciate you offering the pattern Tammy, but I better pass. Got so much else on my plate right now, sewing is bottom of the list. Do you happen to have a picture you could post of some hens with the aprons on? Would like to see how they look on the bird. ( Maybe some others would like to see also.) (If you don't have a picture then don't bother with it.) Thanks, Sonna
Well those are cute! And the hens seem not to mind them from the look of the pictures. Do they stay on straight for the most part? I guess I'm wondering what the hen does when she wants to take a dust bath and is wearing one of those. (?)
Also, how long did it take you to make them? .
Thanks for letting me see them. I'm reconsidering now because it would be nice to have the rooster (buff 0.) around in the spring so we could have eggs to hatch. My friend would let me borrow him for a while. I'm still going to get a nicer roo to keep though.
I had ordered a few and then they wore out so I just took a pattern of one and make my own,it didn`t take long at all,mine are put on with snaps but the one that is the camafloge is velcro and it two pieces,because some of the hens have no feathers on their backs or wings.If you goggle hen savers you will come up with a site I think.If you get one then you can use it as a pattern and make your own.Yes they do stay on and they can still dist bath.Some hens don`t mind them at all and others it takes a day or so for them to start moving right.
Thanks for the pics. They don't look too complicated so maybe I could make a few and see if the hens will keep them on.
I have Turken hen who's worn one for over a year, probably closer to 2. Well, I did have to replace it this spring. She has a collection of roosters who dance attendance, so it's a neccesity. She has never seemed to mind it at all.
I make then with fabric glue and velcro. I do sew the velcro on, but the hems and seams of the actual garment are glued. If I had a sewing machine, I'd sew, but this works for now:)
Looking at the picture, I should mention that this is during a molt, and that I have yet to figure out how to put a hat on her....
I'm working on a winter version of denim, with more effective wing coverage.
http://www.louisescountrycloset.com/chicken-saddles/ Chesck this out,some cute saddles (hope I done this right)
I've made them myself and it took about 30-35 minutes from start to finish (once I got the hang of it)...including the cut-out and I am a novice when it comes to sewing. I also use Velcro instead of snaps. I got the pattern from here... http://backtobasicliving.com/blog/make-a-chicken-saddle/
here is a sample of one of the saddles I made...