This article is written to provide you with all the information on roosters that you will need to decide if you want, and how to house one. I don't have a lot of experience with roosters as other people have. But my rooster taught me many lessons, and also gave me a great passion for loving roosters. Included are some helpful links to other BYC member's articles. But before we begin I would appreciate if you read the article below about my rooster so you understand why I love roosters so much ...
Deciding If You Want A Rooster
Before you buy a rooster, or at least decide you will, you need to know if you can afford, house, or even want a rooster. Below I will go over each of these deciding factors.
Affording A Rooster
Sometimes it doesn't matter how bad you want a rooster, or even if you can house it, what really matters if you can feed it.
Roosters eat a lot of food! I would think they eat two or three times what the average hen would eat. Keep that in mind before buying one.
Roosters need lots of space in the place they roost, especially if they don't free range. But if they don't you still need to make sure they have enough space to live in for a week or two while your on vacation. I have done some research, and I think five square feet is uasally large enough for the average chicken .
Here's an article about how much space a chicken needs:
Do You Want Or Need A Rooster
Here are six benefits you get from having a rooster:Breeds
1. A rooster will do the best it can to protect your flock.
Full grown roosters will fight dogs, hawks, and other predators to the death to protect a flock. Although it doesn't always help, I believe it's much safer to have one.
2. Roosters will crow to alert the flock of any threats.
3. A rooster will fertilize your eggs.
This doesn't mean that your eating baby chicks. It means IF someone broods the egg it can hatch, but only if it's brooded, or incubated.
4. Roosters are very beautiful.
They are a great addition to any flock. Especially if you get chickens for looks.
5. A rooster does his best to keep their hens away from danger.
6. Roosters grow spurs used to attack predators, and can have an advantage to animals bigger or stronger then them.
Now what you need do, if you know that you can afford a rooster, is decide if you want one, (if you don't you can end up with a rooster you can't handle having anymore.) If you do, now you not only know you want one, but you know you can afford it, and can give one a good home.
Buying a rooster
Now you that you know you want one, your eager to go to the feed store and pick one up. But it's not that easy. First you need to have everything ready at home, then you need to decide what breed, and age you want.
There are so many breeds that it would be hard to pick one! So instead of naming, and telling you the characteristics of that breed I'll just suggest a link.
Here you can read about different breeds, or you can scroll down and answer the questions on the left side of the screen to find out what's best for you;
Below is a Welsumer rooster with his hen.
It really depends how old your hens are, if you have them yet.I think it would be best to get a rooster about the same age, unless your hens are full grown. Then I suggest intergrating a rooster that is almost full grown. But if you want, you can raise him yourself so he's more used to you. Especially if you have kids, or just want him to be well mannered. There are so many half grown roosters who need a good home because their owners can't keep them. I would tend to think it would be harder for him to convert, but if you meet him before buying, you can see if he's right for you. But if not you can end up with a rooster no one wants. Below I tell you how to tame your rooster.
Taming A Rooster
Here's some great links that tell you how to tame your rooster;
Although it's annoying at 6 in the morning, roosters only do this to warn the flock of any dangers unless he's young and is just practicing. To tell you the truth they crow anytime they feel threatened.
There are many different ways to stop a rooster from crowing.
Here are three ways:
1. People on BYC suggest putting your rooster in a small, dark cage at night until morning.
2.Have a doctor remove the roosters vocal cords.
3. Buy a rooster collar. (Learn more below.)
mypetchicken.com is the only place you can buy it. IT IS NOT A SHOCK COLLAR. The No-Crow Rooster Collar is made from mesh and Velcro, and fully adjusts to fit the rooster perfectly. They are worn with a pinky finger's width of space between the collar and your rooster's neck. The collar prevents roosters expelling the contents of their air sacs all at once, preventing them from unleashing a full-powered crow. While wearing the collar, they can still vocalize in all their normal ways--but the volume is limited. The collar is made to bend and flex with the rooster's neck so he can do everything he always does (eat, drink, dust bath, other vocalizations). It isn't tight enough to bother them, and it allows their necks total freedom and flexibility to expand.
(I didn't write this, it was copied from mypetchicken.com)
More information and a video on mypetchicken.com!
Determining If You Have A Rooster
If that doesn't help post pictures in the What Gender Or Breed Is This section, or here:
Below see the difference between a rooster's feathers and a hen's feather. Look closely at your chicken's feather when determining the gender.
How To Make Roosters Live Together
Parts Of A Rooster - What to recognize
Hackle feathers: These are the straight, pointy feathers that grow on a rooster's neck.
Saddle feathers: Are the very long, straight feathers that grow over and on the sides of the rooster's bottom.
Sickle feathers: Are the very long, curved feathers in the rooster's tail.
Main tail feathers: Are the same shape and style of a hen's tail that grows beneath the rooster's Sickle feathers.
Spurs: Are like a long, sharp nail or claw that grows on the back of the rooster's leg above the claws.
Here's more helpful pictures!
Why Is My Hen BaldIf your rooster mounts your hens often the back, wing, and head of your hen may become bald. Do not be alarmed, this is normal. If the wounds get infected, or won't heal you can buy a saddle to cover the back of hen' to allow it to heal. Below is a link to saddles that are for sale.