Pet Chickens


Roosters are amazing creatures. They are so gallant. Of course it's important to start with a breed that is gentle, because all of that testosterone could make a rooster an aggressive animal.

I've had experiences with Rhode Island Red roosters and they were all aggressive. This makes it hard to even enter the cage. Every time I'd go to check for eggs or change water or add food for them all, I'd have to fight off the rooster(s).

Many years ago I received 2 "pullets" from a friend. They both turned out to be roosters. But they were a small breed, Japanese roosters. They were beautiful and not agressive at all. They were much smaller than the hens and had to jump upon the hens to mate with them. They did not do damage to the hen's backs.

Now I have my Fang, my Australorp rooster. He is HUGE and black with bright red comb and big hanging wattles. He is so friendly. He will sit on my lap and even fall asleep there. When I enter the yard, he comes over and likes to be petted. His feathers are not only black, they are irredescent. He is truly beautiful.

My other rooster is a Plymouth Bard Rock bird, his name is Guido. He is not as friendly and a few times has tried to attack me. He not only pecks with his beak (not painful) but he uses his wings to lift himself off the ground and then comes at me with his feet. That's how roosters attack. As they mature they grow spurs on their legs just above their feet. These spurs are hard like a bone and protrude several inches depending on the breed. My Japanese roosters had very long and sharp spurs, but since they weren't aggressive it didn't matter. Roosters use this feet attacking method to defend and protect themselves and thier hens from predators.

I handled both of my roosters a lot as chicks. Some breeds of birds are just more friendly than others. To help the situation now, I continue to handle them both, lifting, hugging and kissing them regularly. I feed them treats from my palm.   They are very gentle when eating from my hand. 
When I throw grain or treats on the ground to the roosters, they do not eat it. They make a clicking sound to get the hen's attention, and save the food for the hens. If there is any danger or something they are just not sure of, the hens get behind the roosters and the roosters willingly put themselves between the threat and the hens. 

Having 2 roosters is not a good idea if you have a small flock or keep them in a small caged area. The roosters are in constant competition with each other and want to attack each other. Fang is much larger than Guido and so I know who will win that fight. Most of the time I keep them separate from each other. For awhile now I've kept both roosters away from the hens to give time for the hen's backs to heal.

I know people who refuse to keep roosters with their hens because they don't like what the roosters do to the hen's backs. The hens don't like it either. But I find the hens do like having the roosters around, they just don't like being mounted regularly. They often would run from the roosters, but the roosters would catch them and mating happened. 

I have several hens with bare backs, no feathers left. A bird expert I know has told me if the damage was severe, then the feathers will never grow back. I don't mind having bare backed chickens, they are still such sweet girls. But the problem is that the feathers protect them from the sun, and the bare backs tend to get sunburned. Some feathers are starting to grow back. The roosters are added to the flock at sunset when they are ready to roost. No mating occurs when it's bedtime.

Some people like to keep roosters even without hens. They like to hear the roosters crowing. I love it also. Each rooster's crow varies a little bit and you can tell who it is that is crowing by the way it sounds. Many people think that roosters crow at daybreak and that's it. Not so. Roosters crow anytime they have the urge. They always crow just before dawn and then on and off through the day.     Four in the afternoon is a popular time, but if it's cloudy or bad weather, they seem to like to crow around 2 p.m. also. I can get them both going by imitating a crow and then they both start crowing. I've even recorded their crowing on my cell phone so now I have a Rooster Ringtone.  

FANG - 1 Year Old. 

Fang is an Australorp Rooster. Australorps are a LARGE breed bird.

This breed has black irridescent feathers. They have brown eyes that look almost human. Fang is very intelligent and very friendly. He comes up to us to get petted. He will follow us when we walk. He is very gentle when eating from our fingers or palms. Because of his size, he is rough on the hens who are a small breed bird.

GUIDO - 1 Year Old

Guido is a Plymouth Bard Rock Rooster. This breed is somewhat small but not as friendly as some other breeds. Their feathers are arranged so they appear to have a herringbone pattern in black and whilte. This breed has orange eyes.