Before we ever owned chickens, I had no idea how useful a rooster would be. All I knew was that it would crow at the crack of dawn, and I really didnâ€™t want to be bothered by that! When we got our first hens, we had no intentions of getting a rooster. But when one of the â€œhensâ€ began to grow a comb larger than the others, and one day made this funny sound (cock-a-doodle-doo!)â€¦ well, you can guess what that meant!
It didnâ€™t take us long to fall in love with our rooster though. Our then 5-yr-old daughter used to carry him around like a baby. She named him Dirty Wilson, â€œâ€™Cause heâ€™s dirty, and I just like the name Wilson!â€ as she explained to me one day.
After having him around for the past two years, I can now say that Iâ€™d never want to have another flock without a rooster. They are good for so much more than an early morning wake-up call (which, by the way, you learn to sleep through!).
Here are a few things I have learned about roostersâ€¦
A good rooster warns his girls of danger. If a hawk is around, he will lead them into the woods for shelter.
A good rooster shares food with his ladies. When he discovers an extra special treat, heâ€™ll cluck in a particular way and the hens will all come running to see what he has found. Then heâ€™ll step aside and let the ladies enjoy.
A good rooster stands guard, and keeps a watch out while the hens peck and scratch in their own carefree manner.
Whenever one of his hens is in trouble, a good rooster will sound his alarm and alert everyone of the danger she is in. (I can always tell when the dog is outside chasing one of the hens, because Dirty Wilson has a fit!)
A good rooster will make it possible to have baby chicks on your homestead. Without him, youâ€™ll be stuck buying from an outside source.
And last but not least, a good rooster does not attack you when you least expect it. Okay, maybe heâ€™ll test you a time or two. Maybe heâ€™ll run up behind you and bump into the back of your foot to see if he can scare you. But a good rooster will quickly straighten up after a stern lecture. And heâ€™ll never really hurt you.
Yes, our Dirty Wilson is a good, good rooster. I hope he sticks around here for a very long time!