Originally Posted by flying8farms
So this is my first year raising laying hens. I decided not to have a rooster at this time. But I am quickly realizing that eventually after more coops are built I want to start breeding certain types of chickens. So I have a few questions about Roosters for those who have them.....
1. If I just borrowed a rooster to breed my hens, do I have to do a slow integration to the flock or van I just put him in with them
2. I have a mixed flock...with the rooster try to breed all of them? Or will I have to pen him with the Hens I want bred away from the ones I don't
3. If I decide to keep a rooster how will I know which eggs I gather are fertilized or not. I don't want to send a fertilized egg to someone for eating.
4. For those of you who keep roosters do you still eat the fertilized eggs?
Sorry if this all sounds silly
Welcome to the wonderful world of chicken-keeping! There are many different ways of flock management, it all depends on your goals for your flock. My answers to your questions are based on my experience of raising chickens, and how I manage my flock.
1. I would not "borrow" a rooster. That's a good way to introduce disease and parasites into your flock.
2. As stated above, your rooster will breed any hen he has access to.
3. In the Learning Center of the forum, there are good pictures of what a fertile vs. infertile egg looks like. Whether they're fertile or not shouldn't be a problem for eating as long as you collect the eggs daily.
4. Yes. Again, it's not a problem as long as you keep up with egg collection and they haven't been incubated for any amount of time.
Before you even get a rooster, I would encourage you to think strongly about your management plan after you start hatching out chicks. Mostly, what are you going to do with the extra roosters that you will inevitably wind up with? There are way too many threads here on the forum from people who end up with too many roosters, can't find anyone to take them, but can't bear to put them in the freezer. How about your lower quality hens? What are your plans for your old hens who aren't producing as well anymore? Will they be pets or livestock? (That will play a huge role as to how easy or difficult it will be to thin the flock if needed.)