A Good Rooster

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 didn’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 “hens” began to grow a comb larger than the others, and one day made this funny sound (cock-a-doodle-doo!)… well, you can guess what that meant!

It didn’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, “’Cause he’s dirty, and I just like the name Wilson!” as she explained to me one day.

After having him around for the past two years, I can now say that I’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 roosters…

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, he’ll cluck in a particular way and the hens will all come running to see what he has found. Then he’ll step aside and let the ladies enjoy.

When a good rooster loses sight of one of his hens, he will call her frantically until he hears a response and is able to locate her position.

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, you’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 he’ll test you a time or two. Maybe he’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 he’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!

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cpthegreat
11 years ago

And then there is the bad rooster – who spends more time concentrating on humans than hens. I was given a rooster that showed up in a friend’s yard. He must have been bred as a fighting rooster as he attacked me nearly every time I went out. I took to carrying a stick to beat him off. The third time he drew blood on my leg was the last time. Then he became a good rooster – the best rooster noodle soup I’ve ever had!

Laura Gerold
Laura Gerold
11 years ago

my mom has chicken n rooster statues outside of the house, and a rooster weathervane.

Cynthia D. Alexander Garrett
Cynthia D. Alexander Garrett
11 years ago

so true…my rooster has saved me from being late for work so many times when alarm clock did not work

Liz Wallis
Liz Wallis
11 years ago

I have a mean aggressive rooster who has clawed me so many times that I can’t go into the run any more when he’s outside. One of these days he is going to be chicken stew. No fertile eggs yet either. But he does go into alarm mode on a regular basis.

Terri Sanders Decker
Terri Sanders Decker
11 years ago

we love our “red rooster” he will sit in your lap, sit on the dog’s back, and ride on the steering wheel of our kawasaki mule…:)

Kathy Huszar Morash
Kathy Huszar Morash
11 years ago

I agree!!! But I am still learning to sleep through the early-morning wake-up call.

Mary Jane Plemons
Mary Jane Plemons
11 years ago

Our Americana rooster, Phil, takes excellent care of the girls. When they used to run loose, before the hawks and coyotes killed so many of them, he used to run to the front porch, wildly sounding the alarm, for us to come back to the chicken house to run off preditors. One day, hawks tore into the top of their yard, which had a nylon fruit net over it, and they killed almost all the chickens and guineas and left total devastation behind. After I heard it and ran to the rescue (too late), I found him and a three hens hiding under the chicken house, in total silence. I sat nearby and waited until they finally ventured out, and he ran to me “talking” excitedly about what happened, so upset. I talked to him for a long time, soothing him, until they went to roost, and I could shut off the yard until we could put heavy wire over it. We got him some more old hens from a commercial organic farm, until some young ones grow up. He has about 8 grown hens and 4 young pullets about half-grown now. I adore Phil.

Denise Sprague
11 years ago

I guess I don’t have a good rooster…try again next year..lol

Deb K Gholson
Deb K Gholson
11 years ago

I’ve got 8 babies running around because of our Clyde. And while he sleeps in the barn instead of the chicken house [mama raised HIM that way], no matter where he is in the yard of a mornin’, when he sees me he runs right over and follows me like a dog to the chicken house and greets his girls as soon as I open the door. :)

Jennifer Jones
Jennifer Jones
11 years ago

I think we lucked out with Jackson. He keeps watch over his girls, talks to us and is quite entertaining.

Susan Bell
11 years ago

I did not know roosters could be loving, always thought of them as mean ole things…thanks for the positive image, i like it! :-))

Wendy Cross-Finley
11 years ago

I have RIR’s, 1 cockerel (Moses) and 9 pullets. Moses really takes great care of his girls. We have hawks, eagles, skunks, coons, fox, and ring tail cats, not to mention coyotes, mtn lions and bears around here, even though they are locked up tight at night, the eagles and hawks fly during the day, and man can he get his girls inside where it’s safe fast! He kinda struts around me sometimes, so I strut back at him and remind him just who is alpha LOL I like to take him off the roost and hold him.. after his first show of indignation, he’ll settle down and lay his head on my chest :) Other than all the good things people have said about their roosters, does anyone else feel that having a rooster in the flock will make the girls lay earlier? Mine started laying at 4 mo 2 days old, but the other 13 pullets I raised for other people aren’t laying yet. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

Nancy from Mines Road, CA
Nancy from Mines Road, CA
11 years ago

Someone asked me recently why I had a rooster, and your beautifully written blog captures everything I hope a good rooster can be. I’m rather new to chickens, and my first two roosters, Chicken Soup and Thin Ice, were not good roosters and made awfully good chicken and dumplings, but my third, Prince Charming (who looks like Dirty Wilson), is looking promising. Thanks Kendra!

Joann Hatley Shull
10 years ago

We’ve just recently started letting our chickens “free range” and I too never realized how well our “Big Red” takes care of his girls. He’s a very good rooster, protective but not mean. I think he is so gentle with me because I raised him from a chick. He will actually come up and lay his head aginst my leg so I can reach down and pet him!

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