Can a Rooster live alone? (Found a rooster, can't find him a home...)

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by afhschott, Nov 14, 2019.

  1. afhschott

    afhschott In the Brooder

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    Hello Everyone,
    I am new to the website, having found a rooster in our backyard 6 days ago. After combing our neighborhood for any owners of lost chickens, followed by calling every chicken sanctuary across the state ( we are in Clemmons, NC), none of which has room for another rooster, it appears we may have a pet. This is fine- we don't want him to go to animal control after realizing roosters are incredibly hard to re-home, we'll keep him. On that note though......I have a few questions, as we embark on being chicken owners:
    1. Can a rooster live alone?
    2. Can a rooster live alone, outside (in a well-insulated/ventilated) coop?
    3. Will he be happy alone?
    4. If not, do we really need to find 8-10 hens for him to make his life complete?
    5. Do PET chickens need vaccinations? We have small kids next door, and needless to say, the chicken being so sweet, they want to pet him. I want to ensure everyone is safe. We don't know anything about him, or any illnesses/diseases he may harbor- any reasons to be concerned ?
    6. Random: If anyone can identify his breed, it would be much-appreciated! He is docile, sweet, and clearly had a loving family and was handled prior to winding up in our yard. He falls asleep in our arms when held, just the sweetest guy.

    We currently are housing him inside/in our garage in a massive dog crate, and went to tractor supply to ask questions and get him the right food... so far, so good. Next step- building a coop.

    Thank you all for any help!!
     

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  2. 2 many chickens

    2 many chickens Songster

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    They don't need any vaccinations. Never gotten anything from my birds and I've had them for 6 years. Chickens are social animals, I would get about two hens for him. He doesn't need 8 to 10. Also, he looks kind of like my Leghorn rooster. Is this guy kind of small?
     
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  3. chrissynemetz

    chrissynemetz I want a hippopotamus for Christmas

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    Welcome to BYC!! :frow
    He could live alone in a draft free, well ventilated coop, but chickens are always happier with a flock. The number of hens would really depend on the rooster's temperament. Some boys are fine with a few ladies, some need more. The idea is to give him enough hens that he doesn't over mate them.
    You might want to check him over for mites and lice. But they don't need any vaccinations to be safe as pets. My grandkids play with my chickens all the time. I just have them wash their hands when they're done. :)
    I'm not sure about the breed, he's a handsome fella though. :love
    Have you ever had chickens before?
     
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  4. Peepsi

    Peepsi Songster

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    I don't think any chicken really likes being alone. Chickens, like most birds, are flock animals, and need at least a few of their kind around them to feel safe (unless, of course, you make him a House Rooster, and you are home all day, but that is a difficult route to go). I think he deserves to be around other chickens. So if you're going to keep him, you'll have to build a predator-proof coop and run, get other chickens, quarantine them, introduce them slowly to him using the see-but-don't touch method, etc.

    Do you even know if you can have chickens in your area? Some cities do not allow roosters, only hens.

    Most chicken diseases are not zoonotic. Your rooster will not need any vaccinations to keep him safe from infecting humans. Some people get their chickens vaccinated against chicken diseases, such as Marek's, Newcastle, Pox, Coccidosis, etc. to help the chicken, but not to keep the humans safe (there are a few chicken diseases that people can get, but it's very rare, if you're not a poultry worker in a large operation).

    However, Roosters can be dangerous around small children. You say he's docile and calm, but you have not seen how he reacts to a toddler grabbing him. One mistake is all it takes for him to seriously injure a toddler or small child.

    Keeping chickens is a time-consuming, and (can be) expensive hobby. You have to make sure you really want chickens. This is a big decision that should not be taken lightly, and certainly not because you just found a chicken in your yard.

    If you weren't prepared to have chickens already, I'd said let this big guy go. I know roosters are hard to home, but have you checked the Buy/Sell/Trade forums here? There are lots of chicken owners in NC who are on this board, who may want your rooster.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forums/chickens-8-weeks-older.35/

    I'm sure I forgot something, but this is a start. Hopefully others will chime in with their advice.
     
  5. LizzzyJo

    LizzzyJo Songster

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    I would say that he can live alone as long as he gets attention. Do you have other animals? A little dog house would be much better for him than a dog crate. He shouldn't be in drafts. If he's not contained, he will likely go wandering off in search of some ladies. He looks like a little bantam to me, but a photo with size comparable objects would be helpful. How's the crowing? No real need for vaccinations to protect people. They are for the bird's protection. If he starts to get aggressive keep him away from the neighbor kids ASAP. If he starts too get lonely/mad - you will certainly know it! He will TELL you.
     
  6. Skippersnh

    Skippersnh Songster

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    I would get 3 hens and call it a flock
     
  7. Duck_life

    Duck_life Duck Addict

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    He needs a lot of attention for him to live alone, he is a rooster so he lives to protect his HENS. You'd need to give him a LOT of attention, 3-4 hens would work for him if you're planning on adding for him, if you will barely be home or an't give full attention I'd suggest adding to the flock or giving him for free off craigslist.
     
  8. Keeperofmunchkins

    Keeperofmunchkins Songster

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    I concur that a rooster, or any chicken for that matter, will never really be happy alone. They are flock animals which gives them many kinds of mental stimulation including the feeling of 'safety in numbers'. Roosters who have never even seen a hen have been known to tidbit with treats, ie. Vocalising to show they have found something good for their hens to come and eat. They crave company. They really do not know how to live alone.

    That being said, they do not necessarily need the company of hens. Many people keep multiple roos together, because they seldom fight with no females around. Solo chickens can also bond with other animals including humans.
     
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  9. Shadrach

    Shadrach Roosterist

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    Hello afhschott.
    Welcome to BYC.
    There's a twist of fate for you. get a rooster dumped on you and the next thing you're thinking about keeping chickens.:)
    You don't need to get him a whole harem.:) I would try to find him one or two hens of his breed.
    From that point on you a have some choices; you can confiscate any eggs and have say a trio as mainly pets. A good option for a while at least.
    Later, if you like keeping chickens you have a breeder, hatchery and mum ready and waiting assuming one of the hens goes broody. You can then decide to expand your 'flock' if you wish.
     
  10. Naser

    Naser Songster

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    :welcome
    Don't spend big money for one rooster, the best thing you can do for him is let him free range if you have a garden, if you wrap the dog crate with black or any opaque plastic to protect him from draft and to make him feel safe inside his home, the best food for him is starter or grower crumb or pellets, Yes he can live alone. remember his other options are much worse.
    I think he is white leghorn cross with a brown coloured parent, looking at his spurs he is not young, at least two years old, could be more.
     
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