New to here, new to chickens, do we need a rooster?


In the Brooder
8 Years
May 28, 2011
We live in Tustin, MI and are raising our first chickens.. We got 8 hens because the lady at the feed store said we didn't need a rooster. Some people with chickens said we should have one. Anyone know why we should or shouldn't have one? A friend of mine has three and offered us one.

We finished the coop today and the chickens love it.

This seems to be a great community and I am looking forward to "meeting" you all!
Welcome to BYC!

Technically, you do not need a rooster for your chickens to lay eggs. Occasionally there will be hens who try to fill the position of rooster and stop laying eggs. I've never had this problem, as I like to hatch my own babies.

What breeds did you get?
Roosters are only required if you want to have your own fertilized eggs to hatch. Otherwise, they are not "required." Some people like to have them for protecting the flock. I personally do not like the noise and have 6 hens with no roosters and they are perfectly happy. One hen is the "protector" and sounds the alarm when a hawk (or the cat) come close by.

Your eggs will taste exactly the same whether fertilized or not. And still a thousand times better than store bought!
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Thank you for the replies!

We got 2 rhode island reds, 2 leghorns, 2 new Hampshire reds and 2 ISA browns. We have since found out the ISAs are mutt chickens- and they are the prettiest ones!
from Alabama. Congrats on your hens & good luck
Consider carefully before getting a rooster. While there can be benefit's they can also be a royal pain in the butt! With my first flock years ago I had no roo and many days I wish my current flock was rooless!

With a small flock it seems a couple hens are always getting a little too much attention from him and need to wear saddles for feather loss.

Unless you hit the rooster lottery and get an exceptional roo chances are you'll have some fun times teaching him you are the boss and he is not to charge you and try to spur or flog you. This can go on indefinitly. If he is successful it is very painful! You will always need to keep an eye on him when you are with the chickens. I carry a barn rake for protection, just in case, and my roo is fairly decent! Most days.

You'll probably need to ocassionally trims those spurs too. They get really long and sharp and are hard on the hens.

And then yes, there is the crowing. I don't mind it, some people don't like it. Especially at 4:00 a.m. or right in your ear when your trying to clean the coop and he wants to make sure you know he's there!

If your going to free range a lot I'd probably get a rooster. Won't save the hens in an all out attack but may give them more time to get to safety.
Welcome to BYC, ISA browns aren't technically mutts, they are hybrids

Eh, I'd consider hybrids to be mutts, its not like their offspring will breed true or to any standards. Mutts with good traits though! : )
If you don't mind the sound of crowing (I happen to love it), then my suggestion would be to get a rooster. The flock dynamics are really interesting when there is a rooster involved. A good rooster, of course. One that takes care of the flock, stops squabbles, treats his ladies nicely, and adds some real beauty to the flock.

I like roosters so much I have not gotten rid of any which have hatched, so my large flock now has NINE sexually active roosters. It is too much, but they free range and the girls can mostly get away from being over-bred, but I do have a few ladies which need "hen arpons" to protect their backs.

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