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Do We Need A Rooster?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by NCnarrator, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. NCnarrator

    NCnarrator Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We're getting ready to start our first flock of chickens. We're looking at 6-10 chickens for the purpose of eggs. I know we don't need a rooster to get eggs, but I've seen some suggestions that a rooster is a good idea even if you're planning on collecting eggs every day and NOT planning to have chicks. What I can't seems to figure out is why! LOL So what's the deal? Should we get a rooster even through we don't want chicks?
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    [​IMG] A rooster can serve as an alarm system to warn the hens of impending danger. They are pretty and interesting to watch as they interact with the flock. If your hens are not to be free ranged, there can be more drawbacks than positives when keeping a rooster.
     
  3. darin367

    darin367 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    it's been my experience that a flock is much happier with a rooster..... they alert the girls to danger, find food for them just to name a few....... like sourland said, watching them is wayyyyyy more fun/interesting when theres a roo in the mix...... for some odd reason, everyone gets more attached to a roo!!!!!!!!!! more personality i guess....
     
  4. SarahBeth9394

    SarahBeth9394 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 23, 2008
    Mine don't have a rooster and they are just fine. They have a good coop and run so they are protected. And I don't have to worry about a neighbor making a noise complaint. You don't need a rooster and it makes no difference to the hens either. Only get one if you really want one, you don't mind hearing 4:30 am crowing on a warm summer morning when you have your window open, and your zoning laws don't say anything about noise nuisance which is a separate law than the ones regarding chickens.
     
  5. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've had a couple of roosters. The first was mean to people. You did not want to turn your back on him. When out in the yard, we would hear him running up from behind. He would challenge us just about every time he seen us. That gets old after a while, so he had to go. The second rooster, we got him with our second batch of chicks. Was good with people, but he developed a great dislike for one of my older hens from my first group of birds. He attacked her and drove her away from food and the other birds. I'm sure he would have eventually killed her if he wasn't removed.
    I have found, the hens do well without a rooster around. Things seem more peaceful. No more screaming hens from unwanted rooster lust. No more bare backed hens. They look after themselves well, if a hawk flies over, one of them will put out the alarm, and they will scatter to cover. I've had a couple of fox attacks (Before I built the chickens their own electrified playpen), And so much for the rooster laying down his life for the hens, The rooster was, in BOTH cases, one of the survivors. Roosters can be cool to have and watch, especially when he'd call over a hen to get some food that he found. But they can bring some aggravation too.
    Jack
     
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    They are peacemakers between the hens, or can be. I've seen several of mine break up hen fights by literally jumping between them. They are much more apt to see trouble than the hens are, in my experience, however, sometimes I think that hens with a rooster become a bit lazy at watching out for themselves. Roosters will watch the skies and area about 80% of the time, while the hens spend about that same amount of time stuffing their faces with their butts to the sky, LOL.

    They can develop a dislike for a particular hen; I know my own Delaware rooster, who is really awesome and my good buddy, doesn't like the barred hens, especially one of them, but I keep him because he is completely non-human-aggressive. I'll be adding one or two from chicks I'm raising to his flock for back up (not Delawares, who are too motivated to breed-Isaac has 24 hens to himself) while on range.

    I have had chickens for over 6 years, live in the woods on a mtn with every predator you can imagine (except those peculiar to only the North) and have never had a predator loss, even free ranging all that time. I credit my roosters for that. There are great roosters and there are not-so-great roosters, certainly. If you get a great one, you'll be sold.

    I don't keep roosters here who are aggressive to people, no need for that (the D'Anver bantams can be fiesty, but they weigh less than 2 lbs, LOL). They do crow even at night sometimes, but that doesn't bother me.


    Here is an extreme story of how great a rooster really can be, though he is a very rare fellow: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/521876/why-have-a-rooster-new-pg-10-video-pg-13
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2012
  7. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

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    The noise of them crowing should not be an issue because a hen can make just as much noise, if not more, with their cackling and egg songs. So, check ordinances for where you are regarding roosters. But, the crowing is far outweighed by the benefit.

    As Speckledhen stated, the girls become lazy and wandering around all day with their butts in the air and heads down. The roo is the one who spots trouble, alarms and warns the girls. They find good treats for them, break up fights and some roos even encourage egg laying and monitor the nest boxes...I know Speckledhen's two boys do that as does my Lancelot.

    Roos are just incredible...I would not have a flock without a roo or two. Just recently I had a Rottweiller get into my coop. The dog was met by 7 roos and a few feisty hens. Not all of them survived but they fought protecting the flock and did save the flock. A good roo will give his life protecting the flock, no matter what the predator is. They get the girls to safety, guard them and fight till their last breath. That is their job.

    So the decision is truly yours but if you ever have a good roo you will never want to be without one. I have a rooster for every pen. :)
     
  8. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    I think roosters might be something that you can add later. When you are first getting started, I think it is best to start with just hens. Get your feet wet, get the hang of it. Then later, you might want a rooster. If you have small children, I would say no rooster. Can't really trust them with small quick moving kids. I have had two roosters, both were, are good with humans. But I had hens for about 4 years before I had a roo.

    If you decide to get a roo, know before hand that you may have to get rid of him, as in cull. Very nice ones go mean, read this forum, and you will see that.

    I do let mine free range, and for years, was always losing 1 every so often to a predator, and (knock on wood) since he has become full grown, I have not lost one, but he is a nearly two year old roo.

    mrsk
     
  9. tlagnhoj

    tlagnhoj Out Of The Brooder

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    If your hens are free-ranging, then I would strongly suggest a rooster for hired thug capabilities he provides. But if they are not, I don't believe a rooster is needed. And whether or not the flock will benefit (or whether the rooster will provide more benefits than drawbacks), is situation dependent.
     
  10. NCnarrator

    NCnarrator Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the input, everyone! The chickens won't be free-ranging - while we have some nice big spaces, our property fronts a busy 2-lane highway. I've nearly fricasseed a few chickens driving along it myself, which never fails to make me use words my kids shouldn't probably hear me say. I don't want one of my chickens causing a three-car pileup in front of my house, or getting fricasseed by a Ford. Since enclosing the pasture effectively is cost prohibitive, the chickens won't be free range any time soon.

    I think we're going to start with the 6 or so chickens and go from there!
     

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