do I need a roo?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by coldinnh, Jul 10, 2010.

  1. coldinnh

    coldinnh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do I need a roo to act as a watchdog? Was reading Backyards Chicken Mag (actually it was Chickens by Hobby Farms) and they talked about roos... I only have pullets (I think) when will my chicks no longer be chicks? We got them 5/10/10... so two months tomorrow. How long before they lay? Do I have about 3-4 months to go before I get an egg? That's winter here in NH... brrr...maybe no eggs until spring [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2010
  2. oldchickenlady

    oldchickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2010
    Cabot, AR
    If you plan on free ranging your chickens for extended periods without supervision, or if you want to hatch fertile eggs, it would be nice to have a roo. However if your chickens will be in a run with minimal, supervised free ranging, I wouldn't think a roo would be necessary for protection. My girls are out all day, more than 12 hours when I work, so even though I bought sexed chicks one still turned out to be a roo and I am glad to have him.
     
  3. math ace

    math ace Overrun With Chickens

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    Pullets are girls who have not laid an egg yet. As soon as they lay an egg, they become hens
     
  4. math ace

    math ace Overrun With Chickens

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    Hens will start laying between 5 - 7 months depending on breed, daylight hours, etc
     
  5. pennie1

    pennie1 Redneck Silkie

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    Depending on the breed, if you have them in a nice weather tight coop with lots of bedding and keep a light on, they may still begin to lay on time which is between 20 and 24 wks. I always have a batch of RIR's that come to age in about the latter part of Sept. or Oct. & I always have eggs all winter long. I'm in northern WI and we usually have snow in Oct.

    I always have at least 1 roo. You will probably get addicted, and their is nothing more fun than hatching your own eggs (accept when you are getting chased by a very protective mother).
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2010
  6. ThePolishPrincess

    ThePolishPrincess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Realistically, you don't need a rooster. There are certain boys who will do a good job warning hens of predators and keeping them at bay/keeping the hens alert and happy. But most of them don't do any more good than any of the hens can do for themselves. If you want chicks in the future, then yes, you need a rooster to fertilize eggs.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2010
  7. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Personally I love to have roosters around. Their feathers are always so much more flamboyant, they are bigger than the hens, and I like crowing (I live in the country so nobody complains.....it is considered normal).

    Provided that the rooster is of nice nature, they are an asset to your flock,

    sandie
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    You need a rooster if you want fertile eggs. Otherwise you do not need one. It comes down to personal preference.

    Pullets can start laying as early as 16 weeks, but that is rare. I had 23 pullets, hatched mid-May last year. The first one started laying at 18 weeks. At 20 weeks, two more started. Two weeks later two more started, so at the end of 22 weeks I had 5 laying and 18 not laying. All I had left were laying at 27 weeks, but I had been eating the ones not laying as we went along so I don't know how long it would have taken the last one to start. Mine did lay throughout the winter as young pullets will often do, but I expect them to stop this year when they molt.

    Good luck!
     
  9. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Exactly I wouldn't free range without a rooster or two to keep the hens in line and watch for predators. On the other hand there are some people that seem to think one needs a rooster to have chickens lay--these people have never been to a commercial chicken farm/factory. Also it may depend on where you live--some places allow people to keep chickens but ban roosters. So check because if you're trying to hide your chickens, a rooster is a dead give-a-way.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2010
  10. coldinnh

    coldinnh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't think I want fertilzed eggs yet, besides I have too many breeds to get just one roo for pure breeding... will capon do the job of a roo? Or will they capon be more of a.... hmmmm... well less macho?
     

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