Do hens prefer having a rooster

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by happymorrows, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. happymorrows

    happymorrows Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Morganton, NC
    I think I have finally decided that my aggressive rooster is going to be rehomed into the oven. I have a DD that I want to have good memories of chickens...and both eyes. My question is, do the hens prefer a rooster around? Does it increase productivity? I know they are supposed to protect against predators, but I have dogs for that. I eventually want to get another roo when DD gets older so we can hatch our own biddies, but in the mean time, do I need to find my ladies a new (nicer) Cassanova?
  2. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    Unless they are in a free-range situation and he's a good rooster (many are not) then I find having a cock-bird in with my hens except for when I'm wanting hatching eggs to be a liability.

    My policy on roosters jumping my kids is their first time is their last time. NONE of mine even look cross eyed at my children.
  3. Noncentzter

    Noncentzter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 17, 2009
    Southern Oregon Coast
    With as much commotion as my girls make when the rooster tries to woo them, I'd say that they would prefer to NOT have a rooster around! LOL
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I know my adult girls prefer having a rooster around. Dogs don't watch the skies for predators. My girls know that they can forage freely and that their roo is going to alert them at the first hint of trouble. Also, during a dog attack my rooster deliberately ran back and forth in front of the dogs, attempting to draw attention to himself and away from the hens. His actions gave the hens plenty of time to hide.
    My younger girls would probably prefer not to have their cockerel around right now, as he is a testosterone crazed fool. They are not all laying yet, so not willing to submit to his matings. Some of the pullets have started laying and he mates them without fuss. As much as he drives them crazy, I know that he is also excellent about watching out for dangers. He speaks and the girls listen.
    With two free range flocks I'll never be without a good roo.
  5. happymorrows

    happymorrows Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Morganton, NC
    A "good roo" is hopefully not too hard to find. Do yours come after you if you walk towards them? Also, he doesn't do anything when the neighbor's dog chases the chickens, but his is still young. I guess I just feel bad about culling him because he has a problem with me, but we are going to eat him so he won't go to waste, and I don't want him to hurt my little girl. Hopefully I'll be able to find a nice rooster that can also take care of the ladies.
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:If I take three steps towards either of my roosters, they take three steps back. They have a tad bit of fear of me and that's perfectly fine by me. I have never babied my roosters or even gone out of my way to handle these two. I provide them with food, water and shelter. That's it. My hens are for loving on. I give the cockerel a little bit more leaway, since he's young and still learning how to care for his girls. It takes awhile for them to mature and grow into their role as flock leader.
    You can read my BYC page for more info. on how I raise my roos. It's worked well for me.
  7. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I had one rooster who caused havok within my flock - although he was not people aggressive, my hens did NOT like him, so he was rehomed. The rooster I have now is a bantam (my girls are LF). They seem fine with him, and do stay with him most of the time. When I didn't have a rooster, the girls stayed around the lead hen. So I haven't seen a big difference in having a rooster or not. But DH likes the sound of a rooster crowing...
  8. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Quote:No it doesn't increase productivity. For the other, it comes down to opinion, assuming, of course, there are enough hens, he is a good roo, etc.

    Sometimes one of the hens will take on the role of roo if there isn't one. They may try to crow (now that is funny) and even climb on the other hens' backs. The "roo" hen may also stop laying. So that could be read as, they prefer a roo. For sure, though, hens without a roo do just fine.
  9. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    In my limited experience, there definitely can be an impact on productivity. Last year, I had four bantam pullets with one (illegal) rooster, and I was getting six and sometimes seven eggs a week from each of the hens. Amazing.

    We had to rehome our rooster this spring after a neighbor complained, so we let our hens go broody and raised some more chickens. We added six hens to our flock this way for a total of nine now. I'm now getting fewer eggs from 9 hens than I used to get from four hens with a rooster around.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2010
  10. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    My older hens hate having a roo around as they spent their first 3 years without one. They will barely submit to his attentions, and in fact beat the stuffing out of him when they were newly introduced. My younger pullets like him, but that's because they were all raised together. I prefer not to have roos around. I think he beats them up a little too much with his amorous ways. I need to keep him around for protection when the girls are free-ranging and to hatch some chicks, though. The only thing he has done to productivity is lessen it when he stressed out his 2 favorite girls with over-mating. They stopped laying for a bit when they needed to re-grow feathers on their bare backs.

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