The Rooster’s Warning Calls and What it’s Worth

Every single one of our chickens had a blast foraging in the sunshine today, except one. Do you notice which one it is?DSCN1284 The rooster, of course! While the hens’ eyes were focused on the ground, our one black australorp rooster, stood upright and alert. Engraved in his genetics, is the instinct to protect his girls by constantly looking out for danger and uttering a warning cry when predators are near. For this reason, many farmers will keep one or two roosters in the flock.

One of our barred rock hens, a really great dual purpose, all- American breed. Old breeds like these, are bred to be great foragers because they existed during the pre-battery cage era.

One of our barred rock hens:  a really great dual purpose, all- American breed. This breed started out in 1874 New England, during the good ole’ days where “chicken feed” was usually old dinner scraps and whatever the chickens could dig up….. Bred to be great foragers and hardy birds!

The Sky-Predator Warning Call- What I’ve observed, this call  is a very high-pitched screeching noise. Whether the potential assailant is a hawk… or a plane that looks like a hawk, the rooster shouts the warning and instantly, the girls duck and run into the coop. As crazy as it sounds, I actually think he’s  mimicking the hawk’s cry.

The Ground Predator Warning Call- This call sounds more like a deep garble. More often than not, the rooster will utter this sound as a false alarm, sparked by a sudden movement or a strange noise.

So is it Worth Getting a Rooster?

The answer is tricky. When a rooster is not present in the flock, I’ve watched hens actually grow more aware of danger and pay more attention to their surroundings than they did when the rooster was present. Animals aren’t too different from us: Don’t we all rise up to the occasion when the need presents itself? So is it worth getting a rooster?  I’ll let you decide for yourself…DSCN1269

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One thought on “The Rooster’s Warning Calls and What it’s Worth

  1. Our neighbor’s rooster was kicked out of his flock by his younger son. He landed in our yard where we renamed him Big Bird. He is worth his weight in gold. It has been fascinating to see the social interaction and how he really does protect the girls.

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