Many people keep roosters for one or more reasons whereas others don't even know why they have one. Some people won't have a flock without one and others refuse to have one. The question is, do you really need a rooster in your flock?
Benefits of a Rooster:
- They can be a protector of your flock. Roosters will usually give a warning call about a predator and often fend them off if they attack. My rooster did this the other day when a magpie swooped down and he chased it off. If you do not have a rooster the alpha hen will usually take this role.
- They fertilise your eggs. This is basically the main reason that most people keep roosters, so that they can have fertilised eggs and have baby chicks. If you require fertilised eggs then yes you will need a rooster or you can buy them from breeders/hatcheries.
- They can take care of your hens. Some roosters will break up fights between hens, show them where the food is, show them where to lay their eggs and just be a gentleman. This is not true of all roosters though.
Disadvantages of a Rooster:
- A lot of roosters have the reputation of being aggressive to humans. This can be dangerous especially for young children. You cannot determine how a rooster will turn out when he matures but there are ways that can stimulate this behaviour and there are ways to bypass this behaviour. Some aggressive roosters have been trained to not be aggressive but the majority remain this way.
- They crow and at an early hour. When a rooster has come to maturing age - this can be anywhere between 10 weeks old and 8 months old or longer - they feel the need to crow very loudly as soon as light starts to shine through. This is why many suburban areas do not allow roosters.
- They can cause your hens stress. Some roosters choose specifics hens or when you don't have enough hens and overbreed them causing them to have bare-backs and sometimes bloody combs. They can also cause injuries, internal and external, from their spurs and other things. This can be distressing for both you and your hens.
If you are considering getting a rooster for your flock or you already have a rooster in your flock, consider the reasons to have one. If your hens are stressed out and are getting overbred, do you think it is fair to them? Remember you DO NOT NEED A ROOSTER IN YOUR FLOCK FOR YOUR HENS TO LAY EGGS! They will lay regardless of a roosters presence or not. I love my rooster and the reason I have him is because i am planning on breeding so I will need fertile eggs. Mine is not aggressive and takes care of my hens. I know why i need a rooster.... do you?
My beautiful Blue Australorp Rooster