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How often do you change out your fertile rooster?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Polly the farmers wife, Dec 25, 2008.

  1. Polly the farmers wife

    Polly the farmers wife In the Brooder

    Nov 25, 2008
    I am wondering how often you should change out your productive rooster. I was told by an older family member that it should be every 2 years. I know hens lay well for about 2.5 yeasrs. What about your rooster? Should you be keeping one of his offspring in the wings so to speak? Let me know your opinions please? This year (2009) will be the first year that I will be keeping roosters for fertilizing my eggs. Thanks for the help.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2008

  2. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

    Mar 29, 2008
    Riverside/Norco, CA
    no matter how long you plan to keep them, I would ALWAYS have a spare on the side, just in case. "Just in case" happens fairly often, if you read the Emergencies and Diseases or Predator and Pests sections. Some people on here speak of roosters they have had for six or eight years with no problem with fertility. Breeding older birds can help you to select for birds that are disease resistant, have good immune systems and good survival skills. I would not overlook an older bird, especially a roo. Now hens that have dropped way back on laying... practicality says they are less likely to be kept around, not cost effective.
  3. Polly the farmers wife

    Polly the farmers wife In the Brooder

    Nov 25, 2008
    That makes a lot of sense!
  4. AtRendeAcres

    AtRendeAcres Songster

    May 23, 2007
    Clarion County
    If you saying productive for breeding!
    The books I have read on breeding suggest the rooster is not fertile after 7 years!

    Protecting the flock is another story (I have never had a Roo last that long) but, if he has lasted that long I would think he is very smart!

    As onthestop mentioned is always a good idea to have a second or spare Roo!
  5. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I agree you should always have a spare roo. I learned the hard way when my only Marans roo was injured and couldn't do his job anymore. Luckily I had just hatched a few of his eggs and had a couple little roos in those chicks, but I had to wait months before they were old enough to replace him.
  6. glowworm

    glowworm Songster

    Jun 10, 2008
    SacraTomato, CA
    I don't breed Chickens, but I do know a lot about breeding animals in general. The answer to your question depends on what you are trying to achieve:

    If you want just chicks, I don't think it matters how long you keep your rooster. If he's doing the job right, keep him. If something happens to him, you will always be able to find a rooster somewhere else.

    But if you want to create "your line" of the breed you have selected, you will need to keep a son of your rooster, then a son of that rooster, etc. etc. selecting for the traits, physical and temperment, that you would like in your breed of chicken. After a few generations you will want to bring in new blood too (could just add some new pullets).
  7. Blisschick

    Blisschick not rusty

    Feb 20, 2007
    Shepherd, Texas
    Always keep a spare or two. I have a relatively young roo (a little over 2 years) that suddenly, for no apparent reason, became practially infertile. I lost both my back-ups before I found out he wasn't doing his job. I managed to find a breeder to replace him with two new boys, but in the meantime, I hatched out some replacements to give me a broader choice of a back up for my back ups. DH thinks it's crazy to have that many spares, but you never know what might happen.

  8. key west chick

    key west chick Songster

    May 31, 2008
    Gainesville, GA
    My one and only Key West roo is almost 7 and still going strong!

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