Most likely, you'll get "lucky" and end up with a rooster(or three... don't ask ) out of a batch of chickens. Lots of folks won't be able to keep roosters because of their town's laws, but if you plan to keep a rooster as a pet or as part of your backyard flock, you'll need to do a few things.
(Picture above: My Golden Campine rooster, [still pondering name ideas]King Speckle.)
For anyone who wants to know, this is a MYTH: Roosters only crow in the morning.
This is a myth, as I said above. Roosters will crow all day and sometimes at night. Why does a rooster crow? Usually it is because he wants to "show off" in front of another rooster (or you), OR he senses the presence of a predator.
Don't be alarmed. A "predator" could be anything from a domestic cat, dog, wild bird, or an actual predator. The point? It's perfectly normal that a rooster will crow several times a day.
If you plan to keep a rooster, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Just because a rooster is "pretty" doesn't mean it'll be good to keep him in your flock. There are lots of instances where it would be best for a rooster to go to a crock pot. Not all roosters are mean. Some can be very friendly--sometimes even friendlier than some of your hens!
1. A Friendly Attitude
A friendly attitude is one thing you want to look for. Not only should the rooster be friendly to you, but also to your hens.
Do's and Don'ts:
Don't ever act afraid of your rooste, young or old.
Don't challenge the rooster (young or old) by correcting him improperly.
Don't baby your rooster (even if he is an actual baby).
Do handle your cockerel/rooster as much as you can.
Do keep at least eight+ hens with him or out of sight from hens completely.
2. Correcting Your Rooster
NEVER, and I repeat, NEVER corect your rooster in any of the below ways:
*spraying with water
*or any other "correction methods" that may seem appropriate at the time.
So, you may ask... How in the world do I correct my rooster's wrongful behavior then?
Typically, when your rooster misbehaves, picking him up and holding him till he calms down (around five-ten minutes or more) will suffice for correction. This does not mean that he's going to take being picked up and held as a correction every time you do so. Simply by adding the word "no" when holding for correction helps.
3. Wrongful Behavior
You can't take every action your rooster makes as bad behavior. You can't keep a rooster from doing his "duties" as a rooster.
Don't let a rooster try to mate with a hen in front of you. This is one way he is challenging your authority. This doesn't necessarily mean kick him or simply knock him off. Just pay no atention to his attempt to challenge your authority.
Once again, don't act afraid of your rooster. This is one of the most important things to keep in mind when raising a rooster.
One example of this can be from this story:
(Seen in background of this picture: One of my three, yes three Partridge Rock roosters)
Every time my father or brother would go into the "rooster run", they'd act afraid and unsteady. The rooster knew that they were afraid. He also knew that he could challenge them because of this. He continually attacked them every single time they would enter his "territory" and they would try to "correct" him with a kick or smack with a stick. Whereas, when I entered the "rooster run", I walked in unafraid. I showed my authority, but not by "kicking" or attacking the rooster in return. I was not seen as a threat to the roosters, so they did not attempt to challenge me. There was only one instance where one of the roosters attacked me. I picked him up and held onto him till he grew calm and knew he was being corrrected, then I put him down again. Sure enough, he never attacked me again.
4. Start at an Early Age
(In the above picture is my Barred Plymouth Rock rooster, Wings)
If you are lucky, you'll be the one raising the rooster. Wings is the fourth rooster I've raised and by far the most friendly one out of all five roosters I've ever had. This is most likely because I took more action when he was little.
(If you bought an adult or mature rooster, ignore this section and go straight to #5)
*Hold your cockerel as much as possible. (You want him to be as friendly as can be)
*Don't correct him using any methods other than holding.
*Don't baby him.
5. Mature/Adult Roosters
Before buying an adult/mature rooster, make sure he's friendly (with hens and you). There usually isn't much you can do to "fix" an older rooster's bad behavior. That's why it's best to start young.
(Above picture: My Barred Plymouth Rock, Wings as a happy, healthy, friendly, and mature rooster.)
With proper care and treatment, a rooster can be a wonderful addition to your backyard flock. In worst case scenarios, at least you'll have something to eat for supper.
Another rooster myth: A rooster is needed to get eggs from your hens.
This is NOT true unless you'll be wanting hatching eggs (fertile eggs). Your hens will lay eggs no matter what.
6. Rooster Housing: Keep Everyone Happy
Can you keep multiple roosters in the same coop/run or flock together?
Yes. Usually if the roosters grew up together, they will get along better than those who didn't. If you're keeping roosters together with hens, keep in mind the proper hen to rooster ratio (eight+ hens per rooster).
If you decide to keep your roosters together without hens, a place where the hens aren't visible is the best choice for a "rooster coop". This keeps fighting to a minimum. Roosters are bound to fight sometimes, but if it gets extremel agressive, it is advised to separate them.
Thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment if you see something that needs corrected (spelling errors, etc.).
Feel free to join in the rooster discussion HERE: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...part-of-your-backyard-flock-discussion-thread