Saturday, February 11, 2017

An awesome rooster

As anyone who follows our blog knows, we have three base breeds of Chickens The Australorp, Buff Orpington  and  my personal pick, the Buckeye. We have been pleased with all three breeds and they are crossing extremely well.
Today though, I want to talk about our Buckeye rooster Red.

He is an interesting fellow. Since we butchered the last set of Roosters, keeping "The Donald" and "Henry" as replacements for "Attack" and "Jim", he has now been pushed to the bottom of the Rooster hierarchy. That is until one of the young roosters decides to get too close to the chicks.
He is the best ever Father rooster! We read that Buckeye roosters help raise the chicks and he sure has been a delight to watch over the past season chick rearing. He was the only rooster that took an active part in parenting the chicks our hens hatched.

We had a hen hatch 10 chicks just before Christmas in some of our very coldest weather. She was moved from the barn to a nest box in the trophy room, when she hatched the chicks we had moved the nest box into the Utility building. She kept the tiny fluff balls under her for at least three full days before they ventured out from under the warmth of their Mom. The turkey already had her three poult's in the utility room and two of our special chickens , Henny Penny [Gimpy Leg] and Loopy Lou[Blind in one eye] were also enjoying the palatial living. Red somehow found them and moved in. He had been hiding during the day from the Buff X Australorps who are quite aggressive, we let him stay with the group. He immediately took to the poult's, clucking to them and showing then food. Frankly they did not think too much of him. The mother turkey seemed okay with his behavior though.
As the australorp hen started to take her chicks out more Red became even happier. He would roost on a barrel with one poult beside him and overlooking hen and her mob. Soon he was scratching for them and making come for food noises. He is very polite with the hen.
Due to the door being open as often as possible we have a mouse problem in the building. Now the Buckeye do hunt more than the other breeds, now it seems more of our poultry are very good mousers. We found a mouse nest, between the shavings bags we store in the building. Red was amazing, the mice were too big for the chicks to swallow, Red spent his time ripping the mice into small pieces for the chicks. He never took any for himself and fed all three hens as well.

He still hides from the more aggressive roosters but will stand his ground when there is any danger to the hen and her now well grown chicks. He also has a tendency to get feisty with me if the chicks are nearby, I do not mind this, he is doing his job.

We are both amazed and pleased at this rooster and his behavior. We plan to order more Buckeye a bit closer to spring. We feel this parenting trait is something we want to get more of. The Buckeye hens are suited to our farm management. We are still debating if we will get straight run Buckeye or just order roosters to introduce more Buckeye roosters to breed the hens.

So as I write this "Red" is standing in the doorway of the Utility building, his chicks are gathered around him, some trying to dust bathe. He is alert and watching. Occasionally pecking at something and then letting them eat whatever it is. He is an awesome Rooster!

God Bless you and Keep you


  1. Hey, Fiona. My roosters don't do anything for anybody but themselves. Maybe I have too many chickens....

    1. Just get out your axe and sharpen it where they can see it? We have 1 rooster for everh 12 hens.

  2. Very nice post. Love the picture of your Red Rooster. It is so wonderful to read how nice he is behaving:)

  3. Oh, I enjoyed this post! We had a Auracana rooster and he was so obnoxious and aggressive. He hurt the hens. When he started attacking me, that was just the last straw. I don't think we'll ever have chickens again, but if we ever do, I'll remember Buckeye. Hugs!

  4. He is a beautiful (handsome?) fella! My two stragglers look to be the same breed - Sumatra, but Bunny is much flashier.