Get a rooster or not get a rooster

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Stehiiboo, Oct 8, 2015.

  1. Stehiiboo

    Stehiiboo In the Brooder

    Mar 13, 2014
    I just got a coop with 7 hens last weekend. They are doing well and I've started free ranging them.

    We live on 10 acres and I've caught coyotes racoon and opossum on a trail cam. This was way back at the edge of our property and they've never come up closer as far as I can tell. We also have hawks.

    Now I wonder should I get a rooster or not... a lot of people say they're more trouble than they're worth but I know they will protect their flock even with their own life.

    If I should would it be okay to do it now? They're still adjusting to the new land and they did some picking on one hen earlier in the week when I had them locked up for a few days.

    I just don't want to stress them out even more by bringing in a rooster
  2. nchls school

    nchls school Songster

    Apr 22, 2015
    I would think this is the time to get a rooster if you're going to; while everything is new to the hens. Once they have adjusted to their new home they will be more aggressive towards a rooster; resulting in a bit more fighting.

    A rooster can not protect the hens from the predators you mention. He would just be another tasty morsel. A rooster may try to protect the hens, but it's a losing battle.
  3. Stehiiboo

    Stehiiboo In the Brooder

    Mar 13, 2014
    Well they have all been living together since they were chicks and they're almost 2 now. So I think they're already used to each other and then the coop is the one they've lived in forevr. It's just in a new yard.

    Would that change anything?
  4. nchls school

    nchls school Songster

    Apr 22, 2015
    Then it probably doesn't matter when the rooster is added since the coop is the same.
  5. 123RedBeard

    123RedBeard Songster

    Oct 20, 2014
    The rooster "may" alert, and give the hens a chance to fly up to safety (if they really can fly) or to hide in the bushes, or someplace that would give them cover, and not been seen/eaten.

    However for a first time chicken owner, it may be best to wait abit, and just get use to hens ... Maybe next spring or summer, re-evaluate and see if you really want one ... With that few hens, a rooster may over mate the hens, depends on the individual rooster, some just can't seem to ever stop!
  6. Bonz

    Bonz In the Brooder

    Feb 6, 2015
    If your going to free range a rooster is a must. He may not be able to do much against a fox or something bigger but their great at giving warnings and giving hens a chance to get away. I have a few big roo's who have actually teamed up to chase a way a couple of Hawks, mind you not very big Hawks. Best rule to free ranging is be there when your chickens are out and free ranging.
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Roosters are usually the first to go missing in free ranging as they will run out to confront predators or try to protect hens, but once they are gone, that's it, it's more of a sacrificial warning system for predators, so you know you have a problem, but he is worthless for any night time predators.
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    If you're going to free range, you're going to lose birds unless you have a combo of electric fence and properly managed dogs.

    Yep, a rooster will alert the hens. but that's only going to help if they have someplace they can get away from the predator. Some roosters will sacrifice themselves to a predator, some will run and hide faster than the pullets. An older rooster is a better bet for a flock protector, younger than a year or so and he's not going to be much good at this job.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by