chicken question - rooster or not to rooster...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by dtzackus, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. dtzackus

    dtzackus New Egg

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    Apr 2, 2009
    Cumbola, PA
    Hello, I am in the process of building my chicken coop. The structure is going to be 4 ft by 4 ft and have a 14 ft by 4 ft area to play in.

    I am considering starting out with 2 or 3 hens and a rooster, since I am going to start out with just chickens that lay eggs, should I get a rooster or not? Also, I live in NE PA (Schuylkill County) and what would be a good egg laying breed that would be able to survive the cold winters we get. I also am going to have the chickens have free range of our land (2 acres) and surrounded by a pond on two sides. I have read that chickens will tend to go to bed in their coop and hang out during the day in yard once they get used to the new surroundings.

    Thanks for any advice,

    Dan
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Hi Dan and welcome to BYC.
    Once chickens are introduced to their new coop it's a good idea to keep them locked in it for a week or so, that way they know it's home and where they should return in the evenings to roost.
    I free range, but I wouldn't if I didn't have a rooster to help protect my hens.
     
  3. Cats Critters

    Cats Critters Completely Indecisive

  4. bantamfan

    bantamfan Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 20, 2008
    Chickens without a rooster isn't the same, they're not only a hoot to watch, but do protect the hens. Then if you decide to raise a few to replace aging hens, you can do it. I'm predgeidist, as I love roosters most of all. Free ranging won't make much difference in feed consumption with a non laying rooster either.
     
  5. Hen-son

    Hen-son New Egg

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    Mar 4, 2009
    We are also in PA and we choose Light Brahma's because they are a winter hardy bird. Ours were hatched mid August and made it thru this winter just fine. They are free range and even came out in the snow! Our roo definitely protects them.
     
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:I second the brahmas. No matter the weather they're out in it and do just fine. Do real well in the hot humid days of summer too.
     
  7. Pollo Posada

    Pollo Posada Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 25, 2009
    Mount Airy, MD
    At first I didn't want a roo but accidentally ended up with one anyway. I was Stressed Out when he started to crow. I was worried about the neighbors. It turns out the one that is closest to me actually likes the crowing! He said "It makes me smile". Wow - the crowing in the morning is really the only down side of having him for me. As long as you can accept a wake up call at like 6 a.m. and the neighbors are cool with it, I say get one!

    Our roo, Chicken Joe, is hilarious. He is a trip with watch - prancing around and showing off. I like watching him alert the girls to birds flying over ahead (also a few dangerous butterflies) and letting them know when he finds worms.

    I also free range mine. However, I kept them in their coop and caged run for 3 weeks until they knew where home was. You should really consider a roo if you plan on leaving them run about. He will look out for predators.

    Good luck. [​IMG]
     

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