Most of the time having a rooster is not exactly a choice, but more of an “oops, it is a boy”.
However if you do get the opportunity to keep a rooster it is something that you should seriously consider.
If you can get them young and train them well enough they can be a blessing for your flock. It is true enough that some roosters are mean and aggressive, but the vast majority will simply need to be taught and handled appropriately.
What follows is a list of 15 rooster breeds that we feel are a good fit for most flocks. They are low on the aggression scale, will help to protect your flock and will allow you to breed your own chicks.
Keep reading to learn more…
Contents and Quick Navigation
- 15. Faverolles
- 14. Orpington
- 13. Langshan
- 12. Java
- 11. Welsummer
- 10. Silkie
- 9. Australorp
- 8. Sussex
- 7. Polish
- 6. Rhode Island Red
- 5. Brahma
- 4. Barbu D’Uccle
- 3. Delaware
- 2. Plymouth Rock
- 1. New Hampshire
- Benefits Of Having A Rooster In Your Flock
- How To Introduce A Rooster To A Flock Of Hens
- Tips To Help You Raise A Good Rooster
The Faverolles are slowly making a comeback.
This is a good thing since this breed is a very useful breed for homesteads.
Faverolles roosters are especially handsome with a stunning plumage.
He is also a great custodian of the flock.
Faverolles love to forage so you will often see the rooster watching over his flock as they pick up tasty tidbits from the yard. He is constantly alert for any signs of danger and will sound the alarm to let the flock know.
The Faverolles breed is known as an inquisitive and friendly breed and this extends to the roosters too. The roosters should be calm and non-aggressive towards humans.
Orpington hens and roosters are both known for their gentleness.
Buff Orpington especially are well known for this.
Roosters are protective of their flock and will escort them everywhere to help them find tidbits and will also watch out for predators.
They are laid back and mellow with humans too. They will eat from your hand but only after the ladies have eaten first.
Orpington roosters are loud when sounding the alarm and are fearless in facing an enemy despite their reputation for being gentle.
All these things makes them a backyard favorite for many folks who want to have a mellow rooster.
The Langshan is a large heritage breed that weighs around 10lb once they are fully mature.
Although they are slow to mature their black plumage is beautiful and well worth the wait.
Langshan roosters tend to be gentle with their hens and will remain vigilant at all times.
They will stand guard over their flock and raise an alarm if help is needed. They are an active breed and love to forage if allowed. Langshans are docile and gentle with their handlers too – an aggressive Langshan is very rare.
The Java is an old and not so popular breed.
They are an American bred and are very regal to look at.
Roosters are large and can weigh up to 9½ lb.
They are very watchful of their hens and you will notice they will keep their flock close by in order to protect them. Java Roosters are gentle, quite docile and get on well with humans. They are not known to be mean or vicious but will fight to protect their flock.
Overall the Java rooster is a good provider and an attentive mate.
Welsummer roosters seem to have a more laid back approach to their flock.
They do not necessarily keep the girls close but allow them to wander off if they wish. The rooster will periodically dash to one of the wanderers to make sure everything is alright and then race back to the flock.
My Welsummer is constantly running around the yard checking on his girls – I do not know where he finds the energy!
Wellies are friendly with their humans and will feed from your hand. If you want to learn more about this breed then read our Welsummer Chicken article.
Silkie roosters are not known for being aggressive.
They are calm, friendly and docile – some roosters have been known to become lap roosters!
You can expect them to take good care of their hens and to be quite attentive to the flock’s needs.
However as a flock defender they do leave a little to be desired. They can certainly sound the alarm and get the flock moving towards safety but they are unlikely to attempt to fight off any attack themselves.
They are more a rooster to for fairly secure surroundings where they can easily care for the ladies.
Australorp roosters are very good with their hens and are also respectful of people.
They do a pretty good job of being watchful and are big enough to be a bit intimidating to some predators even though they are not a high energy breed.
These roosters are large and can weigh up to 10lb.
Sometimes Australorps can chase after children however this is not common and should not be considered the rule. It has more to do with the particular strain of bird and how they have been raised. Overall they are watchful while guarding their girls, attentive to the flock needs and are usually pretty mellow towards people.
The ancient Sussex breed has been around since before the middle ages!
Both hens and roosters are curious, friendly and confident with a mellow disposition.
Sussex roosters are friendly towards their humans too and will happily feed from your hand if you have raised them from chicks.
He is the perfect gentlemen rooster breed.
If he senses danger he will sound the alarm and get the flock to safety. He may even stand and fight the attacker.
The Polish chicken’s unusual feather head makes them a backyard favorite.
While the hens usually have a pom-pom head appearance, the boys look more like punk rockers than anything else. Their head feathers usually stand straight up and give them a spiky appearance. However these head feathers can cause visual problems so the Polish should be kept in secure areas where predators can not reach them.
If you are not going to show your chickens at events then you can trim their head feathers.
Polish roosters will do their best to protect their flock but they are not known for aggression or dominance.
He will sound the alarm long and loud though.
6. Rhode Island Red
The Rhode Island Red rooster has a bit of a reputation for being aggressive.
Even hens can be a bit pushy and aggressive.
They know what they want and go out to get it, both hens and roosters.
The roosters will not tolerate anyone messing around with their hens. If you have raised them from chicks they can be handled quite easily.
You can expect Rhode Island Red roosters to keep their flock close and to constantly be on alert for anything unusual. They will sound the alarm and make sure the flock is safely away from danger. They will even put up a fight if necessary to save the flock.
Just make sure to keep small children away from them (especially during mating season).
The Brahma rooster is a gentle giant of a bird.
These boys can stand nearly two feet tall so their size is very intimidating.
Despite their size they are gentle and very attentive to their hens. They are so gentle and docile that they can actually be picked on by other birds so keep an eye open if you have some assertive breeds – this rooster is best in a non-mixed flock.
Brahmas are a little slow to mature but these beautiful chickens are well worth the wait. Once they have bonded with you they will become very relaxed in your company.
4. Barbu D’Uccle
A Barbu D’Uccle rooster may be tiny but he is a handsome and plucky little thing.
He likes to keep a tight rein on his hens and will make sure they are all near him for protection. He will find tidbits for them, escort them around the yard and be a very attentive little fellow.
They are great protectors and alarm raisers.
These roosters will have no concern for their own safety. My rooster George has taken off after dogs, cats and standard roosters that have come too close to his flock!
Just remember that during the breeding season they can become a little protective of their girls. Things will settle down once the breeding season has finished. This is nothing that cannot be dealt with using common sense.
Delaware roosters are well known to be docile and gentle with their humans.
They can become aggressive when they are startled but on the whole they are gentle boys – the only exception to this is during the mating season (but this is to be expected of any rooster).
This rooster breed is very watchful of their flock and will keep them close.
If they sense a threat they will sound the alarm loudly and take the hens to safety.
They will stand and fight if necessary.
2. Plymouth Rock
Plymouth Rocks are old favorites.
Lots of backyard chicken keepers love this hardworking and popular bird. They are very well suited to homestead or farming life.
Plymouth Rock roosters are dedicated to their flock and are diligent in their attention to the hens. They will escort their girls around the yard keeping an ever watchful eye for trouble.
These roosters are good with humans too.
They have a good reputation for being calm and dependable and are frequently the rooster of choice for backyard flocks.
1. New Hampshire
The New Hampshire breed was developed from Rhode Island Reds.
While the Rhode Island roosters have a bit of a reputation for aggression, the New Hampshire boys do not.
New Hampshire roosters are calm and friendly birds.
They are great flock masters and will care for their ladies. As an added bonus this breed is friendly and calm towards their humans too.
New Hampshires are always ready to sound the alarm and protect their flock from danger.
Benefits Of Having A Rooster In Your Flock
Having a rooster in your flock brings a few advantages that might surprise you.
We have put together the main points and advantages of adding a rooster to your flock below:
- In nature, the natural chicken flock has one alpha male, perhaps a couple of subordinate boys and around ten or so hens. This keeps the size of the flock manageable and the rooster can provide adequate protection for his ladies.
- Although humans have altered the flock dynamic a bit, a rooster will still help to protect the hens. He may not fight off foxes or large predators but his main use is as an alarm call. While the girls are grazing he will be watchful of the surrounding areas and alert them to any dangers.
- He will help to keep the peace in the flock. Sometimes a minor squabble between hens can reach boiling point and you can have a couple of brawling hens on your hands. A good rooster should step in and stop the trouble before it escalates into a real fight.
- Perhaps the biggest benefit is that you will no longer have to buy chicks. A rooster will happily service your hens all day long and if allowed the girls may sit on eggs and produce you some fine offspring. A few breeds of rooster are even known to assist in chick rearing with the mother.
How To Introduce A Rooster To A Flock Of Hens
Introducing your rooster is to your hens correctly is very important if you want your hens to accept him.
A few quick ground rules:
- Your rooster should be the same age as your hens.
- It is not advisable to have a bantam rooster for standard hens.
- Your new rooster should not be aggressive towards hens or people.
When you first get your rooster you will need to keep him in a separate area near to the girls.
Ideally quarantine should be for 30 days or so, but many folks do not follow this rule. You will need to check him over for parasites, any wounds or other anomalies. Once you are satisfied he is healthy and clean then you are ready.
I have always put my boys in the hen’s coop at night time. You can put him up on the perch or simply leave him in the henhouse. I usually wait for around 20 minutes or so to make sure all appears well before I lock them down.
The next day it seems like the roo has always been there.
The majority of the girls will accept him without question however there will always be one independent hen who does not like him – no matter what.
Different folks have different methods for introduction, you can read The Complete Guide To Introducing New Chickens To Your Flock for more ideas.
Tips To Help You Raise A Good Rooster
- You should get your rooster as a chick or young cockerel as they are easier to train.
- Handle them daily for a few minutes at least – they need to understand that this is ok and that you won’t hurt them.
- If he misbehaves then pick him up and sit with him for a while until he calms down. Or remove him from the situtation.
- Do not let young children chase after the flock – the roosters will see this as a threat and will respond accordingly.
- Never try to make him fear you – this will create a bad situation.
- Talk to him and hand feed him at times.
- Resist the urge to look at him face to face as this can be seen as a challenge. Instead approach slightly from the side.
- Remember the breeding season is a time of high hormonal stresses so all roosters may be a bit more assertive and protective at this time.
We have listed a wide range of rooster breeds here – from the cuddly Silkie rooster to the more aggressive Rhode Island Red.
Hopefully there is something suitable among our choices for your flock.
Just remember that some roosters are just plain mean and no amount of training or time will change that. The only options for such a bird is to re-home him with someone who knows how to care for him or place him in a solitary pen.
Let us know in the comments section below which rooster you have in your flock…
I have a Rhode Island Red. He was an oops it’s a boy. But he’s gorgeous and not aggressive. Thank god because I have had some mean roosters and they didn’t last long. I just subscribed as I was looking for info on how to treat an egg bound hen. Boy oh boy I just can’t get her to pass that egg. We’re on day 3. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I have been doing the warm Epson salt baths and adding calcium to her food, massaging her abdomen. But no egg yet.. I enjoyed reading about roosters tonight!!
I have an article here which should help you Gail 🙂
Let me know if you’re still stuck after reading it.
I have a mixed flock of 15 hens; Deleware, Rhode Island Red, Olive Egger, Sapphire Gems and White Leghorns. I’m looking at adding a rooster to the flock, but I’m not sure what breed I should go with.