Putting together a list of our favorite roosters is quite daunting!
When choosing a rooster, you need to remember that their primary job is procreation and guarding the flock. Many do not enjoy being cuddled or even picked up – this is their nature not a fault.
I have never had good success in importing a rooster to the flock – they come with baggage and attitude. If you are very lucky, you may get a rooster that enjoys lap time with you and that is fabulous that he will do that.
Training them to be people friendly is easier to accomplish if you can start when they are chicks. This is the way to nip bad behavior before it has time to blossom and encourage good behavior with rewards.
So here we go – our favorite rooster breeds!
They can stand over two feet tall, so can be intimidating to small children, but the roosters are quite docile and are not known to be aggressive. The size of these boys alone is enough to intimidate smaller predators! Brahmas are gentle and attentive to their girls, trusting with their keepers and a joy to watch as they stride across the grass.
They are slow to mature, but are certainly worth the wait. Despite their size, they can be picked on by other breeds because they are so docile, so careful breed management is a must with these birds.
Barbu D’Uccles may be pint-sized, but he has good looks and just a little attitude! George, my rooster, is good with the ladies finding them tidbits and watching over them while they eat.
He is also a great early warning system letting the girls run for cover while he stays and checks out the situation. He has been known to take on a rooster much bigger than himself – and win!
In the mating season he can be a bit feisty, but that is to be expected and it is not out of place, remember this with any rooster you may have.
Once mating season is done, he settles back into his routine, allowing me to pick him up and fuss him (not in front of the girls though).
Another good looking boy in the barnyard – the Welsummer. His plumage is stunning especially in the sunlight.
They are generally mellow towards humans; mine will often feed from my hand and sit near me in the field. My Welsummer rooster spends a great deal of time racing between different groups of ladies to try and ensure they are all safe and well fed.
He is very good with the ladies – they seem to like to pluck his chest feathers which he tolerates to the point of bald spots!
They are great alarm raisers, constantly on the alert for anything abnormal and always the last one in the barn for safety.
His wattles and comb may need some attention in winter since they are quite pendulous.
The Australorp rooster may look plain black, but in the right light his plumage turns a beautiful beetle green hue, giving him a regal look.
Australorp roosters are not known for aggression. In fact, like the hens they can initially be shy, but once they warm up to you they are usually calm and friendly, often seeking you out to supply treats for the girls and him.
Dedicated to the welfare of the flock, they can be seen patrolling their area, finding tasty morsels for the girls and keeping an ‘eye to the sky’ for any trouble.
This is another rooster that has pronounce comb and wattles and so may need some close attention during the bitter winter months.
Langshans are one of the gentle giants of poultry, they are also quite uncommon. Roosters are known to be gentle and non-aggressive; since they stand 24-32 inches high, that’s a good thing! Despite their height, they only weigh around 9lbs.
They come in black, white, splash and sometimes blue colors.
Good with the flock and the keeper, love to forage and the rooster is always on guard for trouble.
These birds are slow to mature, but well worth the wait; the black plumage of the boys’ is stunning in the sunlight. They have a majestic demeanor, never in a hurry to go anywhere – unless there is food involved.
The Faverolles rooster is a very handsome and dignified bird. The rooster looks nothing like the ladies so he really does stand out quite elegantly in his plumage (look at the picture!).
They are curious and friendly towards their keeper and environment. They care for the ladies well and are good guardians of the flock.
In general they love to forage in the yard, so they are constantly on the lookout for danger and call the girls if they think there is something amiss.
Let us introduce you to the fluff balls of the poultry world; Cochins!
It seems the standard sized roosters are good natured fellows; their bantam counterparts, not so much.
The roosters can become so tame that they will take to your lap and even perhaps enjoy being a house chicken rather than a ‘yardbird’.
This type of disposition doesn’t really make great guardian stock, so if you want a rooster that will guard your flock, you had best choose something a bit more assertive than a Cochin.
If you want a rooster than can be picked up by the kids – this may be the boy for you.
Everyone’s favorite fluffy hen, but what about the roosters?
They are said to be very laid back and non-aggressive, even friendly towards their keepers. They have a docile nature, but don’t let that fool you.
Buff Orpingtons have been known to give up their lives defending their flock and do a great job of ‘protect and watch’ for the ladies.
They make great flock guardians and will readily raise the alarm if they perceive danger. They are attentive to their ladies and can be see keeping a watchful eye over the flock while they are grazing.
Although one of Americas’ oldest breeds, the Java doesn’t get much attention anymore.
They come in three colors: black, white and mottled. The roosters are quite big, but they are gentle giants.
Javas love to forage in the yard with their ladies, taking care to keep them safe and out of harm’s way. They are usually non-aggressive towards their keepers and can even become quite friendly in some instances and are very tolerant of being handled.
They are slower to mature than some of the most recent breeds, but the wait is worthwhile. The rooster averages around 9½ lb.
The favorite breed for many, Plymouth Rocks come by their popularity honestly. They are one of the ‘workhorse’ breeds of poultry. These are likely the kind of bird Grandma used to raise.
Plymouth Rock roosters are often sought out by folks looking for a rooster. They have a reputation of being calm and dependable. Stately and impressive looking, this rooster is a definite bonus to your flock.
They have great camouflage and they look gorgeous in their black and white barred plumage. The roosters are very protective of their flock and usually smart enough to not give the keeper any trouble.
The Sebright bantams have tons of personality, are almost non-stop talkers and enjoy human interaction.
Roosters can of course be protective of their ladies, but if you handle them frequently from the start, this should not be a stumbling block to your relationship.
Sebrights are best contained for their own safety, but that doesn’t stop the boys from being alert to their surroundings and sounding the alarm if necessary.
These are beautiful little birds!
Who can resist the hairdo of the Polish? Even the roosters sport some outrageous feather heads!
Polish roosters aren’t known for aggression and may in fact be quite timid if the feathers interfere with their vision. They are very respectful to the girls and in fact would be pushed around by the ladies!
If they are raised from chicks they may become your best friends while looking out for the flock too. Although they are fairly good at taking care of the hens and sounding the alarm, you really should not rely on them to keep predators at bay.
To ensure they can see well, either trim the head feathers or ‘top knot’ them. A bird that cannot see well can be timid or overly jumpy.
The Delaware was once immensely popular here in the US but remains almost unknown to the outside world. Unfortunately they are now listed as ‘watch’ status by the ALBC.
A lovely bird, the roosters look quite imperious in their white feathers with a sprinkling of black on the neck and tails.
They are said to be fairly docile unless they get frightened in which case they can get aggressive, but generally they are not aggressive to their keepers. Delawares are good with the girls, being ever watchful and alert for danger, raising the alarm and shepherding the flock to safety.
An added bonus for these boys – if you mate them with a New Hampshire or Rhode Island Red hen, you will get sex-linked chicks.
I hope you enjoyed these rooster breeds and pictures!
It is worth saying again that the temperament and disposition of a bird can vary greatly depending on which ‘line’.
Some breeders prefer a more assertive bird while others breed for more gentle birds. You will need to do your homework and find out what your local breeder aims for in a bird.
If you are able to see the parent stock, especially the rooster, you will be able to form an opinion on whether or not you want that particular cockerel. Read our article here, for insight into what makes a rooster tick and how to deal with them
I’m sure some of you will be upset that we haven’t mentioned your particular rooster breed, but there are so many to choose from! Apologies to the boys we missed – maybe there will be a next time.
Let us know in the comments section below your favorite breed of rooster and share your pictures…