Top 15 Types of Roosters for Your Hens, Coop, and Farm

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Choosing the ideal type of rooster is crucial for any homesteader, so don’t be tempted to grab the first one you see being re-homed in your local area! Different rooster breeds have varying personality traits that will bring harmony to your flock or cause absolute chaos. And if you intend on breeding from your coop, then the choice of rooster becomes even more vital.

So – which rooster is best for your flock? And does your henhouse need a rooster? Or is it better off without them?

We are about to analyze several rooster options – for all situations.

Sound good?

Then let’s continue!

Do You Need a Rooster for Your Hens?

determined and focused red rooster watching for invaders
Should your flock have a rooster? It depends. The main thing to remember is that your hens do not require roosters to make eggs. And many homesteaders swear that roosters are loud and annoying. However, many of our farming colleagues keep one or two roosters – for protection, egg fertilization, and entertainment. Roosters are fun to watch! And we also believe they can help maintain order in your flock.

It’s a quandary many chicken owners face – should you get a rooster, or will your flock of hens manage just fine without one? After all, a rooster isn’t necessary for your girls to lay eggs, so why would you need one?

You will meet some chicken keepers who would never be without a rooster. And others who would never get a rooster again!* Roosters are only necessary for breeding purposes, but they bring other advantages to your flock.

(*I’m firmly in the first group, while my husband is in the second – he hates the noise!)

Advantages of Having a Rooster

The most obvious advantage of having a rooster is that you can breed chicks from your hens. The ability to produce new birds is a low-cost way of expanding your flock and replacing older laying hens, and doing so can also provide you with a regular supply of meat chickens. Chicken keepers without a rooster can buy fertile eggs for incubation, but a rooster will offer them for free!

A good rooster can also help with flock management and safety. If you watch a rooster in action, you will see that its dedication to nearby hens is never-ending – these boys know how to look after their ladies! He will remain forever vigilant and alert for predators. He’ll also spend time searching out tasty morsels, which he shares proudly.

Regarding flock dynamics, the rooster is not necessarily in charge. The lead hen sits at the top of the pecking order. The rooster is more like a security guard and team leader, keeping the flock together and ushering them from place to place. If he spots a potential threat, he will call out an alarm which sends his flock scurrying for cover.

During an attack from a predator, the rooster will fight to the very end to defend his hens. He may not always come out on top of these conflicts, but it is often enough to buy precious time for the rest of the flock to seek cover.

Disadvantages of Having a Rooster

So, if roosters do such an excellent job for flock safety and management, why wouldn’t you get one? The main problem lies with their protective instincts – a rooster can become overprotective of his flock and act aggressively towards people or other animals.

When I was a child, we had free-range chickens in our yard, and we once raised a clutch of three chicks that all turned out to be aggressive roosters. Boy, oh boy, these roosters were the meanest! They would run at any human that crossed their path, flying towards you with their legs outstretched. Safe to say we didn’t keep them around for long, but they were enough to put me off roosters for a long time.

The other big problem with roosters is the noise. When we first got a backyard rooster, we read that they only crow around 20 times a day – well, that is blatantly not true! Our boy gets in this daily quota before the sun has popped over the horizon and continues throughout the day to ensure we’ve all got the message.

The amount a rooster will crow can vary between individuals, but many homesteaders object to this early morning and noisy wake-up call. So, if you’ve got other houses nearby, obtaining a rooster may not be ideal for promoting harmonious neighborly relations.

Top 15 Types of Roosters for Your Hens

So, you’ve decided a rooster would be the perfect addition to your flock, but how do you choose the right one? Every breed of rooster has its quirks and personality traits, making them more suitable for different situations.

For example, a rooster in a small tame flock kept in a coop needs to be a friendly chap around humans, while one joining a free-range group of hens should have strong protective instincts.

Your choice of rooster will also depend on what you want to use him for – are you planning on rearing chicks? Do you want to breed purebred chickens, productive laying hens or fast-growing meat chicks? If you’ve already got a flock of purebred hens, it makes sense to consider looking for a cockerel of the same breed.

Today we shall look at a range of roosters to suit every situation and to help you choose the right one for your flock. Then I’ll try and pick an ultimate winner, which could be an almost impossible choice!

Some roosters are good all-rounders. Their adaptability makes them more popular with backyard chicken keepers.

Plymouth Rock Rooster

fancy barred rock rooster exploring a backyard foraging for food
We’re starting our list of roosters for your hens with one of our favorites. It’s a Plymouth Rock rooster! Most homesteaders know about the Barred Plymouth Rock chickens. But there are also other varieties – including Silver Penciled, Partridge, Blue, Columbian, and White.
Description:Excellent overall farmyard companions. Not overly aggressive.
Varieties:White, buff, barred, silver-penciled, blue.
Rooster Weight:Eight to ten pounds.
Society:Plymouth Rock Fancier’s Club
Plymouth Rock Rooster Profile

Plymouth Rock hens have long been a popular choice for backyard chicken keepers, as they are calm birds that are easy to care for and produce a reasonable quantity of eggs. Luckily, the roosters seemingly have the same friendly personalities as the hens. So Plymouth Rock roosters will give you little trouble.

These roosters are an excellent choice if you have Barred Plymouth Rock hens or a mixed flock, as they mingle well with all types and breeds of chicken. They cope well with being confined to a coop and are relatively good at protecting a free-range flock. Female offspring of your Plymouth Rocks will be good egg-layers, while the males make reasonable-sized meat birds.

Buff Orpington Rooster

three reddish chickens exploring their backyard homestead
Here you see a tough-looking Buff Orpington rooster watching over his hens. Buff Orpingtons are excellent choices for homesteaders enduring cold wintry weather. They’re also famous for being calm and diplomatic friendly giants.
Description:Large bird with fluffy feathers. They are more cold-hardy than other breeds.
Varieties:Black, white, buff, blue.
Rooster Weight:Ten to eleven pounds.
Society:United Orpington Club
Buff Orpington Rooster Profile

Buff Orpington roosters are a beautiful sight – especially considering their plump golden-feathered bodies and graceful stature! If you choose a Buff Orpington rooster, you can expect a gentle-natured boy that is easy to tame. He will also fiercely protect his flock should a predator approach the hens.

Buff Orpingtons are an excellent dual-purpose breed, so their offspring can get used for egg and meat production. This classic rooster breed can be quite noisy, especially if they sense danger, so not a good option if you like a quiet life!

Silkie Rooster

silkie hens and rooster foraging for lunch in the grass
Silkie roosters aren’t the mightiest or most towering guardians for your flock. Nor are Silkie hens the most prominent egg layers. But they make up for it with fun, gregarious attitudes – and whacky yet adorable feathers.
Description:A friendly ornamental breed. Not good egg-layers. They have soft fluffy feathers – with a wild hairstyle.
Varieties:Black, blue, buff, white, and gray.
Rooster Weight:Around two to four pounds.
Society:American Silkie Bantam Club
Silkie Rooster Profile

The Silkie might not appear to be a fierce protector of hens. But looks can be deceiving! These little roosters are fantastic alarm raisers should they sense any abnormal activity, alerting you to any problems in the coop. Silkie roosters are popular with fans of small-breed chickens and will cope well with being coop-confined.

Read More!

Jumbo-Sized Roosters

Heavier isn’t always better regarding roosters, but some fabulous large breeds of chickens produce incredible roosters. The advantage of a heavy-hitting rooster is they are often better equipped to fight off predators, and their offspring are a better size if meat production is your goal.

If you’re considering one of these larger breeds, make sure your hens are big enough to cope with his attentions – a weighty rooster can inadvertently injure smaller hens when he mates with them. Stick to hens of the same breed or others of comparable size.

Brahma Rooster

massive rooster patrolling the backyard looking for baddies
Brahma roosters are one of our top picks for homesteaders wanting to impress and delight all spectators. These fancy, regal roosters have attractive feathers to match their excellent temperaments. The Brahma rooster’s commanding-yet-friendly nature will help maintain peace and tranquility in your flock.
Description:Beautiful, large, calm birds. They do well in the cold weather.
Varieties:Light, dark, buff.
Rooster Weight:Around 11 to 12 pounds.
Society:American Brahma Club
Brahma Rooster Profile

Brahmas are the gentle giants of the chicken world – these enormous birds show tender devotion to their hens and are rarely hostile or aggressive towards humans. These active foragers will give their all to keeping their ladies happy, constantly searching out the tastiest food for them to eat.

Because of their size and elite foraging instincts, Brahma roosters will fare better in a more spacious run or free-range setup. They are good dual-purpose birds, so this active breed will keep you well supplied with eggs. And any surplus offspring can get reared for meat.

Jersey Giant Rooster

thick black rooster exploring the backyard and searching for a snack
Jersey Giant roosters are massive, rugged birds that make capable companions. They’re likely to be the heaviest chicken on your entire homestead. And, much like the Brahma and Buff Orpington, Jersey Giants are well-behaved, docile, and friendly.
Description:Jersey Giants are one of the heftiest chickens on the farm. They are good-natured. They also grow somewhat slowly.
Varieties:Black, white.
Rooster Weight:Around 13 to 14 pounds.
Society:National Jersey Giant Club
Jersey Giant Rooster Profile

The name says it all – Jersey Giant roosters are massive! Despite their size, they are very friendly and docile birds with calm personalities and are a good choice if you have a flock of plump chickens. The black feathers of Jersey Giants are not particularly striking, but they are still an impressive sight as they strut around your homestead.

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Protective Roosters

If the aim of getting a rooster is protection for your flock, some breeds have much stronger instincts than others. This protective instinct can lead to aggressive tendencies, particularly during the mating season.

The key here is to get your rooster when he is younger, so you can ensure he is tame and does not see humans as a threat. Then, when the time comes for him to look after a flock of his own, he’ll chase away the predators rather than you and your family!

Welsummer Rooster

large rooster and hens foraging in the straw and soil
Here you see a prominent Welsummer rooster watching over his ladies. The Welsummer roosters are an excellent choice – they’re winter-hardy, protective, and decently sized. We also love Welsummer hens! They lay delicious, gorgeous-looking eggs that are dark brown and often speckled.
Description:Friendly and alert birds. They also have reputations as being intelligent and cold-hardy.
Rooster Weight:Seven to eight pounds.
Society:Welsummer Club of North America
Welsummer Rooster Profile

Welsummers are medium-sized roosters with beautiful plumage with lovely hues of gold, reddish-brown, and black. They have a docile temperament but blatantly protective instincts, making a Welsummer rooster an excellent flock leader for a group of free-ranging hens.

Barbu D’Uccle Rooster

beautiful farmyard chicken with magnificent and fancy feathers
Barbu D’Uccles make a lovely rooster companion if you want something unusual – and fancy. You may find that no two Barbu D’Uccles look identical, as twenty-eight color varieties exist – including blue quail, cuckoo, millefleur, lavender, black mottled, white, silver, and many more. Barbu D’Uccle roosters also have adorably feathered feet. However, the one photographed here has his hock and toes tucked in the grass.
Description:Small yet beautiful birds with heavily feathered feet.
Varieties:Blue, millefleur, cuckoo, lavender, black, black mottled, white, quail, and more.
Rooster Weight:Up to two pounds.
Society:Belgian d’Uccle and Booted Bantam Club
Barbu D’Uccle Rooster Profile

With their diverse color variations and funky beards and boots, Belgian Barbu D’Uccles are a fun addition to any homestead! Although the hens are not famously renowned for their egg-laying potential, many people like to keep them just for their distinctive appearance. And to keep your backyard flock of pretty little birds safe, you can’t go wrong with a fiercely protective Barbu D’uccle rooster!

Rhode Island Red Rooster

a rhode island red rooster perching on a rural farmyard fence
We can’t forget about Rhode Island Red roosters. These well-known birds hail from Massachusetts and Rhode Island. They are winter-hardy, and the hens are excellent egg layers. Rhode Island Reds also make lovely meat birds. However, we must warn you that the Rhode Island Red roosters have a reputation for getting a little testy! But they’re perfect for free-range coops where your hens need a steadfast bodyguard.
Description:Excellent dual-purpose chickens. They tolerate cold weather. Some males are aggressive.
Varieties:Rose comb, single comb.
Rooster Weight:Eight to nine pounds.
Society:Rhode Island Red of America
Rhode Island Red Rooster Profile

Rhode Island Reds have long been a popular choice with homesteaders, as they are a fabulous dual-purpose breed with few health problems and are easy to keep. While Rhode Island Red hens have calm temperaments, the roosters are less so due to their strong protective instincts. Their protective nature can lead to aggression in some birds, so ensure your Rhode Island rooster gets plenty of human interaction before he gets too old.

Good Overall Rooster Breeds

As a responsible chicken keeper, you must carefully consider any chickens you breed. A broody hen can hatch a clutch of a dozen or more eggs. And each chick can live for up to ten years. To give them the best possible chance of a good life, it pays to breed chicks that fit their intended purpose.

If you’ve got heritage breed hens, the best place to start is by looking into the characteristics of a rooster of the same breed. If the rooster fits the criteria in terms of temperament and behavior that you are looking for, then it’s a good choice. Purebred chicks are more likely to find a good home, and even the roosters will have a high demand.

The other aspect to consider is how you will use the offspring – do you want egg layers, meat birds, or one that can do both? We’ve already listed some excellent dual-purpose chicken breeds, but here are two options if you want to specialize in meat or eggs.

Australorp Rooster

mighty australorp rooster with black feathers
Here’s a close-up portrait of a little-known flock boss hailing from Australia. We’re talking about the mighty Australorp rooster! Australorps are most famous for their heavy-hitting egg-laying abilities. But the roosters make an excellent addition to your flock. They’re friendly, laid-back, low-fuss, outgoing, and kind-natured.
Description:Active dual-purpose chickens. The hens are excellent, record-breaking egg layers.
Varieties:Black, white, blue laced.
Rooster Weight:Eight to nine pounds.
Society:Australorp Club of Australia
Australorp Rooster Profile

Australorp chickens are famous for their prolific egg-laying abilities, averaging 200-300 eggs yearly. This high egg count makes an Australorp hen the ideal choice if maximum egg productivity is your goal. The roosters are also perfect for a lovely backyard specimen. They are docile and friendly but don’t rely on them for protective instincts to help keep your henhouse safe.

Bresse Rooster

excellent bress gallic rooster standing guard over a small farmyard
Here you see an alert and serious-looking Bresse rooster watching for predators and threats to his lovely hens. Bresse is a French breed known for delicious, succulent, marbled meat. The hens are capable of producing hundreds of delicious eggs yearly.
Description:Beautiful and elegant farm birds. One of the tastiest chickens originating from France.
Rooster Weight:Around seven pounds.
Society:American Bresse Breed Club
Bresse Rooster Profile

A Bresse rooster is an excellent choice for rearing chickens for meat. These beautiful birds are famous not only for the quantity of meat they produce but also for their incredible flavor. They are excellent foragers and are one of the few meat breeds that work well in a free-range system.

Other Types of Roosters to Consider for Your Flock

If none of the roosters listed so far whet your appetite, these less popular breeds are all worth considering:

Polish Rooster

gnarly white crested chicken with excellent feathers
We couldn’t finish our rooster list without at least one wild entry. The Polish rooster! These dazzling chickens are the punk-rockers of the farmyard world. They’re easily one of the niftiest-looking roosters – with impressive crests. Many Polish roosters also have excellent beards. Despite their name, nobody knows for sure where Polish chickens came from. They’re relatively energetic birds – and somewhat flighty.
Description:Flighty and active. One of the coolest-looking chickens. Their feather style is one of the best. Only silkies can compare!
Varieties:Bearded golden, bearded silver, bearded buff laced, and more.
Rooster Weight:Around seven pounds.
Society:Polish Breeders Club
Polish Rooster Profile

It would be worth having a Polish rooster for their flamboyant topknot of head feathers daily! They are incredibly friendly birds but get bullied by larger chicken breeds.

Java Rooster

black and white mottled java urban homestead chicken
Java roosters are another excellent bird for your small yard or farm. They usually get along fine with other chickens – and even the roosters are often calm, mellow, and relaxed. Several varieties exist, including white, reddish (auburn), black, and mottled. (The chicken depicted above is a Java hen – not a rooster! We couldn’t find a satisfactory Java rooster photo to share. But we’ll keep looking. Stay tuned!)
Description:Java chickens are usually calm and relaxed. They make excellent backyard birds.
Varieties:Mottled, black.
Rooster Weight:Around nine to ten pounds.
Society:Java Breeders of America
Java Rooster Profile

Java chickens are one of the oldest breeds in the United States and were the foundation stock for the Rhode Island Red. Java roosters are calm and good-natured and are an excellent choice if you are looking for dual-purpose birds.

Sussex Rooster

mighty sussex rooster watching over his small backyard flock
Sussex roosters make gallant flock guardians. Here you see a lovely yet confident Sussex rooster watching over several ISA Brown hens. We think the entire flock went out foraging for a snack. It looks like the rooster has his eyes on something!
Description:Fun farm birds. They are attractive, friendly, and alert.
Varieties:Brown, silver, speckled, red, buff.
Rooster Weight:Around nine to ten pounds.
Society:Sussex Club of Australia
Sussex Rooster Profile

I don’t know why Sussex chickens aren’t more popular, as the friendly temperament of this ancient breed makes them the ideal choice for backyard chicken keepers. Sussex roosters are as amicable as the hens and cope well with being confined to a reasonable-sized run.

Langshan Rooster

fancy langshan chicken with beautiful feathers
Here’s an excellent-looking Langshan rooster foraging on a beautiful backcountry pasture. Langshans are tall, active, and energetic. Three varieties exist – black, white, and blue. The black variety can have a dark-greenish sheen.
Description:Relatively tall chickens. Good dual-purpose breed for homesteaders and small farms.
Varieties:Blue, black, white.
Rooster Weight:Nine to ten pounds.
Society:American Langshan Club
Langshan Rooster Profile

Langshan chickens have fallen out of fashion, but they have some excellent advantages worthy of any farm or homestead. This giant chicken breed is incredibly hardy and will thrive in cold climates, and the roosters are generally friendly and good-natured.

Delaware Rooster

fancy delaware rooster strutting around the farmyard
We saved one of our favorite rooster breeds for last. The Delaware! Delaware chickens are famous for their alert yet gentle nature. They make entertaining pets – and some homesteaders insist that their Delaware chickens try to talk to them! (We haven’t seen this happen yet. But we’ve seen stranger things on the farm!)
Description:Delawares are beautiful chickens. They are also critically endangered. Consider raising some to help bolster their numbers!
Varieties:There is only one variety. They are white with black details.
Rooster Weight:Eight to nine pounds.
Society:Delaware Poultry Club United
Delaware Rooster Profile

Delaware hens are famed for their impressively large eggs, so a Delaware flock may be a worthwhile addition to your breeding program if supersized eggs are the goal. These active birds are excellent flock protectors, sounding alarm bells to protect from predators.

Which Is the Best Rooster for Your Flock?

Choosing the ultimate type of rooster is more complicated than it seems. But I’d have to go with the magnificent Brahma. This breed ticks all the boxes – gentle and protective foragers, perfect for meat and egg production. And yes, I might be slightly biased here, but Mary, our beautiful rooster, is a fine example of my favorite breed!

Mary will tend to his flock all day long and only takes time to relax when he’s sure they are all safe and well-fed. He keeps the hens together and quickly sounds the alarm when he senses a potential predator when free-ranging. Mary also breeds the most beautiful babies, and his offspring have now joined the flocks of several of our local friends.

And when it comes to bedtime, our hens all jostle for the prime perching position next to Mary, so we’re pretty sure they also agree that he is the best!


Thanks so much for reading our guide about the 15 best rooster types for your hens.

We love Brahma roosters the most. They’re protective, gentle, and pleasant. But your mileage may vary!

What about you and your flock?

  • Do you keep any roosters in your hen house?
  • If so – which rooster variety do you have?
  • Do your hens mind having the rooster around?
  • Does your rooster help keep your hens safe?

We’d love to hear your chicken-raising insights and rooster experience!

Thanks again for reading.

And have a great day!

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