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Roosters

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
This may seem like a silly question but I have to ask. We have been raising chickens for about three years now, never ever had or wanted a rooster. We free range so we know the predators is a part of free ranging. Does a rooster help with predators or no?
post #2 of 9

In most instances a rooster serves primarily as a warning system.  Some roosters (American games among them) will attempt to physically protect their flocks.

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Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
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post #3 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by sourland View Post
 

In most instances a rooster serves primarily as a warning system.  Some roosters (American games among them) will attempt to physically protect their flocks.


Ditto

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post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
So do you feel having a rooster is beneficial?
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by rsneddon10 View Post

So do you feel having a rooster is beneficial?


In my experience no - the squirrels seem to spark off alarm in my flock. I used to have a roo, but my flock seems a lot more at peace without one (and i certainly am). Of course, if you wish to breed chickens, then possibly, but you could always purchase fertile eggs or one day old chicks. Other members have different views, this is just mine. 

 

CT

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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #6 of 9
To me, the only reason you need a rooster is if you want fertile eggs. Everything else is personal preference. A lot of times if you don’t have a rooster the dominant hen will take on some of his chores.

Is having a rooster beneficial? I don’t have a lot of faith in a rooster actually protecting his flock. There are benefits. A rooster can be an early warning system, especially against hawks, but maybe the dominant hen will do that. Not all roosters are good but I find many roosters will put themselves between the flock and a perceived danger, maybe even go check it out. But once a danger is identified it’s much more likely my roosters will try to lead the flock to safety instead of acting as a rear guard. I’ve had two serious dog attacks and the roosters survived unscathed both times.

Where I find more of a benefit is that a good rooster helps keep peace in his flock. Not all roosters are good but a good rooster will break up fights between other chickens. If you have baby chickens in the flock the dominant rooster will sometimes help Mama raise them and help take care of them. I’ve seen that several times. If you have adolescent cockerels in your flock and they start harassing the adult hens, all the hens do is run toward the dominant rooster. He takes care of junior. The rooster is not that protective of the pullets the same age as that cockerel, they are pretty much on their own, but he does take care of his hens. A good rooster often helps when you integrate, cutting down on some of the fighting. Not all roosters are good though.

I always suggest you keep as few roosters as you can and still meet your goals. It’s not that you are guaranteed problems with roosters, more that the more roosters you have the more likely you are to have problems. I also believe that a lot of the problems that people have with roosters are more perceived problems than actual problems. The biggest problem to me is when a rooster becomes human aggressive. If that happens you need to deal with it severely and aggressively. No hesitation and no sympathy.

It is possible you may have a bad rooster they over-mates the hens or causes bare backs, whether you have one rooster with one hen or one rooster with over 20 hens. There are no magic rations for hens to roosters that avoid these potential problems. But I firmly believe the vast majority of these problems are when people confuse cockerels and pullets with roosters and hens. Adolescent cockerels have hormones running out of control and the pullets mature later so they don’t have any idea what is going on. It can get really rough. As one of our forum members says this phase is not for the faint of heart to watch. But if you can get through that phase they normally mature into a pretty peaceful flock. Or bring in a mature rooster with mature hens.

I keep a rooster because I want fertile eggs. Fertile eggs are part of my goals. If I did not want fertile eggs I would not be feeding a rooster.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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post #7 of 9

I have a Rooster.  My own dogs have tried to attack my chickens (before they learned how to live with them) and the Rooster got int he way and protected the hens and took the fight on himself.  Lost his tail feathers in the process (twice I might add).  Of course, the dogs don't bother the chickens anymore either.

 

Also, I do want fertile eggs.  I am getting 5 more roosters as I am getting several chicken breeds to produce my own Red Sex Link chickens (Golden Comets, Cinnamon Queens, etc.) and I want to be able to produce my own breed replacements.  So, at least one rooster per breed along with a few Rhode Island Red Roosters.  But like said before, if I did not want to produce my own eggs for my own continued breeding, I most likely would not feed a rooster. 

post #8 of 9

As already stated, a rooster is more of an alarm system than protector. He's more likely just to be a speed bump, slowing the predator down as he gets eaten, thereby possibly allowing more hens to get out of harm's way. 

Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

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Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

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post #9 of 9

You've been given great advice here.   It's a fact that roosters have saved the lives of many chickens.  Some have actually paid with their own lives.  But, are they really PROTECTION you can depend on?  I don't think so.   

 

I know roosters are not productive unless you want fertile eggs.  However, one of the reasons I keep chickens is because I love the way they look!  I had a Blue Birchen Marans rooster that was the most beautiful bird.  I would have kept him around even if I never bred him at all.  You'd have to look far and wide to find birds as beautiful as some of the roosters in the breeds we have today.

 

I raised pigeons and didn't eat any.  The grandkids thought it was very cool to drive hours away and release them and they would find their way home.  Old Paw Paw enjoyed it also!  I've had Rat Terriers, Jack Russell Terriers and the unstoppable Jagd Terriers and certainly never ate any of them.  Sometimes we just keep things around for no better reason than we just like them.  When we lived on our farm up in Cajun country, my Dad and my Grandfather were not too crazy about raising anything unless it paid it's way.  Of course, we would manage to get them to agree to some animals as pets.
 

Married 46 years. Great wife, 4 sons, 13 grandchildren! 

 

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Married 46 years. Great wife, 4 sons, 13 grandchildren! 

 

He who laughs last thinks slowest!


Give me ambiguity or give me something else.   

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