rooster is the
best one we’ve ever had. He didn’t succumb to spring
hormones and start chasing
me, he doesn’t overmate
his hens, but
he does get the job done. I originally chose him on the
basis of intelligence — he was often the first to figure out the
pophole when moving to a new pasture — and he’s definitely lived
up to that potential for aiding in pasture rotation. Yet,
while I’d like to keep 2012/2013 Rooster forever, we’ll need a
virile young cock to ensure our eggs hatch next year, so one of
his sons is slated to become the flock’s patriarch this
fall. But who?
I suspect that most
people simply pick their prettiest rooster, but I’m well aware
that a rooster is going to provide 50% of the genetic material for
next year’s flock. Plus, his behavior will determine whether
predators eat our hens and whether I’m afraid to walk into the
pasture. So it seems worth thinking a bit harder about which
cockerel to keep.
Two of our young
cockerels are currently harassing our pullets to the point they’re
afraid to hang out with the flock — those guys are definitely
going in the pot. At the other extreme, the rooster pictured
above seems to play well with others, and his mother was clearly a
Rhode Island Red hen (a breed that produces the best layers in our
flock). I want to work harder to increase the laying
abilities of our chickens, so I suspect this speckled rooster
might be a good choice for our keeper.
Plus, he’s the
prettiest cockerel by far….
roosters, hens, and chicks of all ages.