Are roosters really necessary?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Seth N, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. Seth N

    Seth N New Egg

    Apr 19, 2017
    Good afternoon. I have an Easter Egger rooster and was thinking about getting rid of him, mainly because I don't want to spend money feeding him if he isn't serving a purpose, and also because he has been growing aggressive. It seems like everyone I talk to that owns chickens tells me that I should keep the rooster because he'll protect the hens from predators and keep them in line. But it seems like my hens get attacked just as much as they did when I had no rooster at all. I don't want to keep him if he's not doing anything beneficial, but I don't want to get rid of him if he really is protecting my hens. I was leaning towards getting rid of him, but some people I've talked to recently have begun to change my mind. I don't want fertilized eggs to hatch, so the only reason I would keep him is for protection. What would be your advice? Thanks.
  2. AmySellersARt

    AmySellersARt Out Of The Brooder

    Hello Seth. I'm new to BYC... so I'm a bit nervous to give my feedback... but here goes.
    I see you have adorable goats, right? Do you have something (or someone) protecting them? Perhaps if the goats are being protected, maybe the hens are being protected too?
    I have guard dogs to protect my goats (which keeps the coop safe). I have separated my roosters to keep them from being over-bearing on the hens!
    Several of my neighbors have never owned Roosters and they have all the eggs they can handle!
    Hope this helps?! Good Luck!
  3. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    A rooster is not essential. A rooster is not a reliable protection measure. Yes, he sounds the alarm, and he may try (and fail) to defend the flock, but he should not be your primary flock security. If you've got a predation problem, you need a secure coop and run. If you free range, you have to accept the risks that come with it. You might never loose a bird, or a flock can be wiped out within a few hours, with or without a rooster.
    1 person likes this.
  4. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2013
    So true. If you don't need a rooster, there is no reason for keeping a rooster. In many circumstances a rooster is unnecessary. That said, I think a nice rooster is eye candy and I am able to hatch chicks when I wish. If this isn't your case, then your rooster is excess.
    And yes, I have had several roosters who gave their lives defending their flock.
  5. Seth N

    Seth N New Egg

    Apr 19, 2017
    Amy, Thanks for the advice. I do have goats, but I don't have guard dogs to protect them because the goats haven't had problems with predators (yet). So the chickens aren't guarded, but I've only lost two or three over the two years I've had them. I think I probably will get rid of the rooster. Thanks again. Also what breed(s) of goats do you have?
    Junebuggena, thanks for the advice. I do have a secure coop for them and the goats seem to scare away some of the pests, so I suppose they're well protected enough.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
  6. Seth N

    Seth N New Egg

    Apr 19, 2017
    Dekel18042, you're right, he looks nice but isn't practical. Thanks for the advice.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
  7. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop

    X2 on all counts. The only reason you "need" a rooster is if you want fertile eggs from your hens.....plenty of reasons to choose to keep, or not keep, a rooster sound beyond that, but that is the only reason one is necessary
  8. AmySellersARt

    AmySellersARt Out Of The Brooder

    Hey Seth, thanks for the kind response. I have to admit I'm a bit jealous that you don't have a need for guardians. My first experiences included chicken hawks taking flight with a hen, another by a fox.... and yes we have spotted Coyotes in the pasture! Our farm is built like for knox.... but we are still on guard! I have 4 little Nigerian dwarf goats... and one little goat that is a mix of something we can't figure out. He is much smaller than the Nigerians (who are supposed to be the smallest breed!).[​IMG]
    My friend Kathy (pictured) is next to our little alien, "Sprout". Do you have any idea what he could be?
  9. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I will throw out the other advice, based on my own experience. A lot may depend on what predators you have and the age of your rooster. Your area and set up can have a big influence. I have seldom lost a bird with a rooster in the flock during the daytime. If the rooster was at least a year old. They are no good at all against night time predators, but I have had very good luck in the day time. I live on a remote ranch, on the prairie. My chickens are close to a hill side with a lot of trees and bushes. He works for me. I do not free range every day, but I often do so.

    Until a rooster is a year old, they want all the joy and none of the responsibility. But by a year, give or take, they can add a lot to your flock. The flock dynamics do change. The hens are not as friendly, they look more to him.

    That being said, I would not keep anything that is aggressive.

    Mrs K
  10. kingchickies

    kingchickies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 6, 2017
    Looks like pygmy to me. I love pygmys

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