Are hens happier with a rooster around?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by trackrunner, Oct 26, 2007.

  1. trackrunner

    trackrunner Hatching

    Oct 26, 2007
    I know you don't need a rooster for egg production, but wonder if the presence of a rooster makes for happier, more natural, less stressed hens, and would therefore make for better egg production. This is a science project in the works and any feedback would be helpful. Thanks.
  2. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Hmmm... I wonder about this too - seems like the rooster would create MORE stress around the hen house, not less with his constant, um, 'demands', plucking feathers, etc.

    But I don't have any direct experience. It's not like a bunch of hens together won't have squabbles with or without a roo and maybe having a roo keeps the hens more in line and less squabbling amongst themselves??

    Just thinking aloud here... [​IMG]
  3. jessupfamily

    jessupfamily Songster

    May 14, 2007
    SW Indiana
    This is not scientific, but it definitely made our girls happier! They started laying more and were quieter and just seemed calmer! We've had flocks started with a rooster and we've had a flock that didn't have a rooster. The flock without were laying sporadically and were really noisy and unsettled. When we finally brought our "Motorcycle" rooster here the girls were happier and started laying really good! Like I said it's not scientific, just our experience.
    Amy J.
  4. Frozen Feathers

    Frozen Feathers Songster

    May 4, 2007
    It probably depends on the rooster. If you have a mean, demanding rooster, one who wants to eat first, one who constantly mates etc. then it would add more stress. If you have a good rooster, one who finds food for the girls, mates only when necessary, or protects them for predators, then it should be less stressful for them. I don't know if it's less stressful then without a rooster, I should think it shouldn't matter. Mainly because if there's no rooster, one of the hens will act as the dictator. Or that's what I think anyway.
    Edit...because I forgot to complete my sentence. [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2007
  5. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    Apr 6, 2007
    I believe Angie is right that it depends on the rooster. Our hens are just
    over 6 months now and have been without a rooster for a week. The hens
    have had a couple little skats as they reestablish the pecking order. Overall
    they are about the same.

    The biggest difference I noticed is when I culled 2 hens that were spazzes.
    Not having them constantly frieking out the flock was a big help.

  6. rattylady

    rattylady Hatching

    Oct 21, 2007
    Yeah It might just depend but maybe the hens might be happy with a rooster I dont know!! [​IMG]
  7. bigzio

    bigzio Crowing

    Jan 20, 2007
    Hens in my opinion are happier without the constant badgering from the roo. If you are familiar with the old term " Hen House " , it was for a good a reason and that is the peaceful place for them alone to lay eggs and mingle together.
    If you have a seperate place for the roo to exist, then that works better.... The special roo we all want does exist, I have one but it took many to find him, they aren't the norm....

    Last edited: Oct 26, 2007
  8. Southern28Chick

    Southern28Chick Flew The Coop

    Apr 16, 2007
    My girls have always had a rooster so I'm not an expert BUT I think my girls feel safer with their big hunka man bird around than they would without him.

    I reckon I'm just lucky. After my baby roo I died I bought a 1 year old dominique roo. He's great! He protects his girls and he's nice to me. He's a good guy!
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2007
  9. Well, we have 6 girls and no we're the guy. When I walk by they often squat, I give 'em a nice scratch on the back, maybe pick 'em up, snuggle snuggle.

    Hmmmm, I suppose it may seem to an outsider that things are getting a bit odd around here...

    but the girls seem happy.[​IMG]
  10. Mulemom

    Mulemom Songster

    May 8, 2007
    Sacramento, CA
    I'm new to the chicken thing, but my friend has had hens for ten years, this last spring was the first year she had a roo and she says her egg production doubled.

    I just started getting eggs last week and my new roo gets here tomorrow. It could be interesting, but not very scientific since 24 hens are giving me about 6 eggs a day at this point.

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