1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Could I pick your brains about a rooster??

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by juliemom25, May 10, 2009.

  1. juliemom25

    juliemom25 Chillin' With My Peeps

    106
    0
    119
    Apr 4, 2009
    Hey there,

    I would really love some advice...... We have 25 7 week old chicks that we bought as sexed pullets. I was pretty much counting on a roo or two, but I think we have all girls (go figure). We will obviously keep an eye out for late bloomers, but if they are girls, what should we do about a rooster? We want a rooster. Also, we just picked up 6 assorted Bantams at TSC the are only like 3 days old. We may have a roo or two (or 6 I guess) in there. I guess though I don't know if I like the idea of our only rooster be a smallish bantam. So, here's my questions:

    1. If we want to get a standard size rooster, at what point would we introduce him?
    2. How old should the rooster be?
    3. Any recommendations on breed? Besides our Bantams, our main flock is RIR, Australorps, BO, EE's and New Hampshire Reds. We are not sure we will allow and chicks to hatch, bit if we do it would be nice if they were nice looking.
    4. Is one rooster enough? Our chickens will be some free range and I would like a rooster that is helpful in managing/protecting the flock.

    Thank you so much in advance. I have really been stewing about all this and I know zero people IRL that can answer these questions!

    Julie
     
  2. Mourningdove

    Mourningdove Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 17, 2008
    Cleveland, Tn.
    If I were you I would get a BO and an EE for your standards! 1 rooster to 10-12 hens! I have a NH Red and he's mean!
     
  3. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
    128
    281
    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Quote:I'd wait until you knew for sure that none of your other chicks were roos, around 9-12 weeks. Then you could begin looking around for a husband for them, if indeed they are all girls.
    2. How old should the rooster be?

    I'd recommend anywhere between 4 months - 1 year. At 4 months he'll be just beginning his "manhood" and you want him vigorous for a long time, so not much older than 1 year.
    3. Any recommendations on breed? Besides our Bantams, our main flock is RIR, Australorps, BO, EE's and New Hampshire Reds. We are not sure we will allow and chicks to hatch, bit if we do it would be nice if they were nice looking.

    There really are no ugly mixes, any kind of roo would make lovely mixed-breed birds with your girls. You could even get a mixed-breed roo.
    The main thing is to find a roo that is mannerly. One that won't ever spur you from behind, one you don't have to worry having children around, one that is not aggressive towards any person.
    You should be able to find a roo for free, or for very little cost. Many people have extra roos they hope to re-home, take your time and ask around.
    4. Is one rooster enough? Our chickens will be some free range and I would like a rooster that is helpful in managing/protecting the flock.

    A good ratio is 1:10-12, so you could have 2 roos with that number of hens. You might even be able to have 1 standard & 1 bantam rooster together. Don't assume that the standard sized one will be the boss of the flock.​
     
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    113
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I agree with Sunny Side Up. I'm also a big believer in not babying a roo. Provide him with food, water and shelter and then let him be. I pick my rooster up once a week for his routine health checks and that's it.
    He's just a tad bit afraid of me and I like him that way.
     
  5. sherrydeanne

    sherrydeanne Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would consider getting an EE roo (or two) simply because if you want to just hatch pure EE's it's easy to pick out the blue/green eggs to hatch [​IMG]
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    19,946
    3,104
    476
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I think you are getting great advice here. Here are the odds of getting at least one rooster with your bantams, over 98%. Of the full-sized hens you got, I think only the BO's or Australorp's have much chance of going broody, but about any bantam will.

    6 male 0 female - 1 in 64 or 1.6%
    5 male 1 female - 6 in 64 or 9.4%
    4 male 2 female - 15 in 64 or 23.4%
    3 male 3 female - 20 in 64 or 31.3%
    2 male 4 female - 15 in 64 or 23.4%
    1 male 5 female - 6 in 64 or 9.4%
    0 male 6 female - 1 in 64 or 1.6%


    1. If we want to get a standard size rooster, at what point would we introduce him?

    I agree with Sunny-side-up to wait until you know for certain you don't have any. Then, when you get a rooster, you want to quarantine him for about a month to see if he has any diseases before you introduce him to your flock. By then, your hens should be on the verge of laying, at least within a few weeks. That timing should work out well.

    2. How old should the rooster be?

    I agree he needs to be young and vigorous. I'd tend to go with one about a year old. If you get a rooster that is not yet confident in his manhood, the hens will pick on him mercilessly. If he is confident, he will immediately establish dominance so there is less violence with the hens. Any way you go, you will have issues with the bantam roosters, but it makes it easier with the hens.

    3. Any recommendations on breed? Besides our Bantams, our main flock is RIR, Australorps, BO, EE's and New Hampshire Reds. We are not sure we will allow and chicks to hatch, bit if we do it would be nice if they were nice looking.

    Again, I agree. Any rooster will give you good looking chicks.

    4. Is one rooster enough? Our chickens will be some free range and I would like a rooster that is helpful in managing/protecting the flock.

    You need at least two.
     
  7. juliemom25

    juliemom25 Chillin' With My Peeps

    106
    0
    119
    Apr 4, 2009
    Thank you so much for the replies! I knew I could get an answer from you guys! I still have a couple questions:

    1. If I get roo that is 4 to 12 months, how can I be sure he is nice to people? It is extremely important to me that he does not attack our 9 and 11 yr old when they tend to the chickens. Also, he needs to leave our 3 preschoolers alone if they happen to be playing in the yard together (we have a nine acre yard, so it's not like they will be right on top of one another). I also, don't want just a pussy cat either. I want him to be protective. How do we find a rooster that is like that?

    2. Should we even keep a Bantam Roo? I don't plan to allow any Bantam eggs to hatch. Also, would mixing standard roo with a bantam hen (or visa versa) be bad, if we did allow chicks to hatch?

    3. I don't understand this comment:

    "Of the full-sized hens you got, I think only the BO's or Australorp's have much chance of going broody, but about any bantam will."

    We are very new to chickens, so I am sure I am showing my ignorance here, but what do you mean? I know "going broody" is where they will sit on fertilized eggs to hatch them, but don't all hens do that at some point? Why would any bantam go broody?

    Thank you so much for enlightening me on these issues. We are very excited about our chickens and we want to be as knowledgeable as we can!

    Julie
     
  8. Mominator

    Mominator Out Of The Brooder

    59
    0
    39
    Jun 9, 2008
    Killingworth, CT
    Where are you, Julie? I have a 5-week old silver-laced wyandotte roo looking for a home!

    Sandy
     
  9. thedeacon

    thedeacon Chillin' With My Peeps

    202
    0
    119
    Nov 14, 2008
    Midwest
    Don't get a RIR roo. I have never seen one that won't attack.

    Broodyness has been breed out of many of the standard breeds but not out of the bantam.

    Since you are free ranging you need the roos to not only breed but to protec the flock. Beleive it or not, but roos really to protect them by calling them to safety when danger approaches: hawks, coons, fox ect. Get 2 roos of the same breed of the hens you like best. That way if you breed you will have some purbreeds and some mutts.
     
  10. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
    128
    281
    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Quote:I think the older he is when you get him the more established his temperment will be. Hopefully you can find folks you can trust when obtaining your roo. Explain exactly what you're looking for, ask them if you can return him if he misbehaves. Have a Plan B for any rooster you get, just in case.

    2. Should we even keep a Bantam Roo? I don't plan to allow any Bantam eggs to hatch. Also, would mixing standard roo with a bantam hen (or visa versa) be bad, if we did allow chicks to hatch?

    Bantam & standard birds can mix in your flock, can even breed and hatch mid-sized birds. The only concern is sometimes a standard roo can be rough on a bantam hen, but not always.

    3. I know "going broody" is where they will sit on fertilized eggs to hatch them, but don't all hens do that at some point? Why would any bantam go broody?

    Many breeds that are used for producing eggs have been selectively bred to eliminate that broody instinct. If you want a hen to make eggs you don't want her knocking off work a few times a year to set on a nest and raise a family. But in breeds that are more ornamental, or old-fashioned heritage breeds, it isn't as important to eliminate that. Bantams are bred for size & color, and most have their broody instincts firmly in place.​
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by