In Defense of Roosters

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by majortaylor, Feb 21, 2016.

  1. majortaylor

    majortaylor Chirping

    Aug 23, 2015
    Ok, we all know you need a roo of you want to have baby chicks, but many people think roosters should be destined to the stew pot if they're not going to breed. But here are some unusual reasons why they make a wonderful edition to any flock!

    1: feeding-
    A good rooster will care and tend to his ladies and one of their big needs is food. I don't know if you've noticed but laying hens are constantly looking for food, I mean all the time! A rooster will make a signaling call to his ladies that he's found something tasty and hold onto it until they come snatch it from him. I've noticed my rooster is often the first to try things and if he likes it, will give it to his flock before he eats. Not only that, he gets them excited about food that they might pass on. Since having a rooster, I've noticed my ladies greenery intake is on the up, which means better eggs for me!

    2: foraging-
    So we've established that he finds good food for his hens, now let's talk about foraging. My hens can rip up an area of ground like no ones business. And while I like them turning the soil from time to time, they do get into areas that don't need their 'help'. With a good rooster who finds food for the hens, they tend not to dig as much. Now don't get me wrong, a roo will scratch as well, but he tends to be more selective. I've had hens that were terrible foragers but after adding a rooster to the bunch, they kept a better eye on the ground and greens then hand outs from me.

    3: cohesion-
    We all know that a rooster is often the head of a flock and will keep squabbles between the ladies down to a minimum, but if that wasn't enough they also keep the flock together. My group free range in our garden during the day and occasionally we let them out back to another garden. My roo will call the group together if there are any stragglers and does the job of wondering where so and so is, for me. Once in awhile a door will blow open and they'll all go wandering down the street or alley way, but there is my rooster, keeping them together, like kids on a field trip.

    4: chicks-
    If you want chicks, you need a rooster, simple science, but did you know that even the tiniest roo can do the 'job'? I have a small Serama rooster who was add to the flock to breed with his Serama bride, but his eye also wandered to the larger ladies. While I watched him try with the Polish hen and Naked Neck, I thought, silly rooster, you're way too small! Boy, was I wrong, cracking open some eggs from these two larger ladies, I found the familiar bullseye for fertility. While some might find this a disadvantage, it's important to be aware of. Neither of my NN or Polish are bantam or on the small side. So I guess Jurassic Park was right- nature finds a way.

    5: fun-
    A lot of us have chickens not just for meat or egg purposes, but as pets. I will count myself guilty of thinking of chickens as 'just birds' before I brought my two ladies home for the first time. The were bought as egg producers and garden helpers, which they are, but have become so much more. After I got my first rooster I discovered their personality was indeed as individual as the hens, but in a different way. They have a variety of calls and sounds they make and are so observant. Sure, some roosters can be aggressive, just as some hens can be. I've found them to be as entertaining as the hens, but in a whole new way. So if you love chicken tv as much as I do, don't cross roosters off your list just because you've heard the horror stories. They can be sweet and I often think of mine as a little gentleman.

    Do you have roosters and what might you tell someone who was thinking about getting one?

  2. b.hromada

    b.hromada Flock Mistress

    I love how you have described roosters! I wish I could have one, but, here where I live, we're not even supposed to have hens! [​IMG] So far so good for like 7 years now!! Keep on enjoying your chickens, they're amazing little critters! [​IMG]
  3. majortaylor

    majortaylor Chirping

    Aug 23, 2015
    Thank you for the kind words! We're a bit naughty and were not allowed to have roosters in my town, but his crow is small and our neighbors are friends, so like you with your hens, we've gotten away with it!
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockwit Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    I think, and from personal experience, one of the reasons roos get a bad rap relates to the inexperience of the owner. If you know what the early warning signs are of potential aggression, they can be nipped in the bud pronto (water pistol being my preferred method), but a failure to see those signs usually ends up with them heading for the crockpot.

  5. eimearodowd

    eimearodowd In the Brooder

    Feb 21, 2016
    I wish I could get a rooster, but I'm not allowed [​IMG]. Secretly hoping that they sex one of our pullets wrong and I get to keep the little guy[​IMG].

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by