May have a rooster- now what?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by vtchick, Jul 29, 2008.

  1. vtchick

    vtchick Hatching

    Jun 30, 2008
    We have 13 pullets Black Sex linked adn RI Reds, or so we though. Pretty sure one is a rooster. it is taller, has a much larger comb that is bright red.

    Should we kill it or give it away? Is it a problem to keep it with the pullets who will eventually be laying hens? I realize that the rooster may fertilize some of the eggs (which i am assuming we can still eat).

    Anyone have experience in this? Do you think its fine tio keep them all together in an 8x8 coop. 12 hens and 1 rooster.
  2. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Crowing

    Mar 25, 2008
    Keep him if you don't mind having a roo in your flock! The fertilized eggs taste the same as the non-fertilized eggs. You will also have him to stand guard for your hens. I eventually want to get my flock to about 25 laying hens and 2 cockerels. I think your hen to roo ratio is just fine! I think it's always fun to listen to them crow also. [​IMG]

    [​IMG] !!!
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2008
  3. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    12 girls to one roo would be a fine ratio. That actually may be a few too many girls if you were wanting fertile eggs, but it's fine for eating eggs.

    Yes, you can eat the eggs, fertile or not. There is no obvious difference in appearance or taste between fertile and non-fertile. Just collect them daily and refrigerate them. There would be no development at all in the eggs.

    Now, having said all that.... your roo may not be a roo. Larger combs/wattles are indicitive of rooster, but not always. How OLD are they? By 15 weeks or so, the rooster would be showing a long arching tail feathers as compared to the girls. Until they crow, lay or develop the secondary sex characteristics like the male feather patterns, it can be very tricky to make a definitive decision on gender...
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Hi and welcome to BYC. You need 4 sq. feet of coop for each chicken, so with a total of 13 chickens you would need 52 sq. feet. An 8 x 8 coop will give you 64; so you're okay there.
    If you can keep a rooster where you live and want to keep one you will be fine. Your ratio of hens to roo is fine. A rooster does tend to tear up the backs of the hens during mating, so you might want to consider that. Keep your eggs gathered up and refrigerated and you won't be able to tell the difference between a fertilized one and a non-fertilized one.
    I love my two roosters. I have one that gave me some trouble when he reached "puberty", but it was dealt with and everything is fine now. So basically in your situation it's a matter of whether you think you'd enjoy having one or not. They are good for protecting the flock and fun to watch.
  5. vtchick

    vtchick Hatching

    Jun 30, 2008

    Thank you all for the responses- i'll just wait and see if "he" crows or not. i am trying to hold him at least once a day so that he is more comfortable and hopefully less aggressive.

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