can it be done?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by groleau6, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. groleau6

    groleau6 In the Brooder

    Feb 3, 2014
    I haven't dealt with a chicken situation since I was four and staying with my great grandmother. I can't remember anything from then, so I guess I am an extreme newbie. My family and I are wanting to start raising once the warmer weather comes around. In Alabama, that's in about 3-5 more weeks [​IMG]but my question is, do I need a rooster? We aren't wanting to hatch our own just yet, we want to master the art of collecting, cleaning, handling, feeding, etc. before we try to raise any. With four children between the ages of 2 and 6, that could (but hope not) take awhile.
    Is the rooster needed to get the hens to drop their eggs like other male animals are needed for females to get interested? Or will they still have eggs without him? Is there some sort of trick to it? Like get older hens that have had chicks before?

  2. Scott H

    Scott H Songster

    Oct 29, 2012
    Twin Lakes, ID
    My Coop
    You do not need a rooster......
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road 5 Years

    Nov 7, 2012
    Roosters are definitely not needed, and with small children, it might be best if you don't have one as they can be very territorial, and may view small noisy quickly moving children as a threat to their harem. Roosters are only necessary if you want to hatch your own eggs. Your girls will lay eggs with or without a rooster, and often there is less chicken drama in a coop without a rooster. Roosters are handy for protecting the flock from predators, though a determined predator will take down a rooster, and often with a flock guarded by the rooster, he is the first to be taken down as he will go to the front of the line to face the predator. He will also warn the girls to flee for safety, keep them together when they are free ranging, break up any hen squabbles, find and share food goodies with his favorite girls. And he will crow frequently, not just in the morning.

    Your choices are to start with baby chicks and raise them, or get older chicks that no longer need a heat lamp, or get started pullets. My recommendation is for you to look at Henderson's chicken breed chart, choose which breed(s) you want, and be sure to choose docile breed(s). Chicks can be purchased from hatcheries, local feed stores, back yard flock keepers, poultry breeders. My recommendation is to get all of your birds from the same source and at the same time. It's difficult to add more at a later date. Provide a larger coop and run than recommended. Happy chickens have plenty of space. Use 1/2" hardware cloth for your coop. Chicken wire is only designed to keep chickens in. It won't keep a predator out.

    Read, read, read. Review a few chicken books to choose one that will best suit your learning style and questions. You'll want to research coop design, predator safety, breeds, how to raise chicks, feeding your chickens, free range vs. confinement vs. a combination style. Questions are good. It's great that you are doing the research before the purchase. Continue asking those questions so you will be ready when the time comes.
    2 people like this.
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Free Ranging Premium Member 8 Years

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.

    That's all I have to say - lazy gardener said everything else... :)

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