Up until recently, I'd never considered the possibility of raising/owning a rooster or two. Fact is, I was set against it. Of course, I don't even own chickens - yet. But I was thinking about the future when I do. I didn't want the bother of having to watch out for the old boy so he didn't flog me. Because none of the eggs the hens would lay would be fertile, I'd have to order new chicks every year to raise for meat.
Not very sustainable, is it?
I like the site, http://www.homestead.org/. They have some forums on which I posted a question about aggressive roosters. Was it possible to have a rooster that wasn't a menace? How many hens per rooster? BOY did I get some responses! This thread is still getting responses a week or more after I posted it. People have given me all kinds of advice on rooster-to-hen ratio and what to do with a mean rooster, as well as some stories of their own adventures. If you'd like to read the thread, click here.
So what's the verdict? Well, first of all, I need to read up and select a breed that is typically known for gentleness. Buff Orps are a good start. However, chickens all have different personalities just like we do. So even the gentlest breed of bird can have its crack-pot. Some would advocate a good quick grab of the neck and shake for any roo that showed his colors with me. Others say a mean roo is a tasty roo and never tried to flog anybody when it came out of the stewpot.
I think I will try it. I figure if I can get three broody hens to sit on clutches of 5 to 8 eggs, once a year, I could quite easily raise enough meat to put into my freezer. Why spend money, time, and effort with a brooder and chicks, when a momma hen will do all the work for me, not only hatching the eggs, but raising the babies too? Of course, I am very idealistic at times.
FYI. The rooster in the picture above is a Dorking. This ancient breed was brought to England by the Romans. It is a heavy bird with a large, square frame, single or rose comb, and fifth toe. The American Poultry Association recognizes Silver-Gray, Colored, Red, and White Dorkings. The British also recognize a Cuckoo variety (from Feathersite.com). They are a decent layer of medium white eggs and are a dual purpose breed (meet and eggs). I know, I know... more than you cared to know.
On another note, Grant, my youngest, has been sick the past two days. Some vomiting and a little fever the other night. He's acting fine now (which means loud and playful), but he was acting that way yesterday too, before he got sick twice last night. Yech.Got some flurries here the past two days but the sun's shining now. It's supposed to get really cold in the next week. Yep, it's January.