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New to keeping a rooster...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chicklet77, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. chicklet77

    chicklet77 Hatching

    Aug 8, 2013
    I recently added 3 pullets to my existing flock of 2 adult hens (we lost 5 of our originals to a bobcat). I ended up with a rooster and I am interested in keeping him on at least for the mean time. I have read that it may not be a good idea to have a roo if the hen ratio is low like mine, at only 4. Also I did not hand raise the pullets so the new chickens are a bit skittish. I am not able to hold any of my chickens at this point. I lost all of my best hens to the bobcat.... I do have children the youngest is 2.5 both kids enjoy going into the backyard and gathering eggs, feeding,etc. I would love to get some fertile eggs and incubate to teach my kids the process of egg hatching. I am a bit nervous about the rooster because I haven't handled him much at all. He is still small at only 4 months, he has not shown any aggression yet and is still timid of the adult hens. I know this will change as he gets older, but I am just looking for advise and others experience, especially with such a small flock of hens. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks!

  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Free Ranging Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    I wouldn't worry too much about the hens. If they start showing signs of stress or over-mating, then you might want to consider getting rid of him. Your small kids is another matter to consider. I'd definitely watch that rooster for ANY sign of aggression, and get rid of him at the VERY FIRST inkling. You don't want your kids being hurt by him. Not ALL roosters attack kids, but you want to be sure that your kids are safe. There are those who will tell you to get rid of him now since you have small children. This, of course, will have to be your call. But I would watch him. If you do get rid of him, you can always purchase fertile eggs from someone so your kids can see the hatching process.
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    My advice is to not make a pet of the rooster. That usually doesn't work well and the rooster thinks he's dominant over the humans. It's bad to have a rooster think he's the boss of you.

    Don't ever, ever leave your kids around him unsupervised. Kids excite roosters, they're noisy and fast and unpredictable and this gets roosters all worked up. The roo often waits until the kid's back is turned and tears into them.

    Work on letting him know you're his boss. To me, this basically means having him move away from me each time I walk toward him. I do this with all my animals...chickens, dogs, goats, horses. Everyone knows to move out of my way when I walk through their area, I'm the boss. Watch your birds, your submissive hens will move away from a dominant hen when she walks around. I do this all the time and I've only had 1 rooster actively challenge me in 20 years of chicken keeping, at least a dozen roosters. So, I must be doing something right. If he gets to the point of actively challenging you, I'd say get rid of him. Some folks try "retraining" a rooster, but with littles I would never chance it, I'd never be able to trust him.
    2 people like this.
  4. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Songster

    Sep 4, 2013
    Lower Alabama
    All the "they say" about ratios, etc are general '1 size fits all' recommendations, your mileage may vary according to your driving conditions. Having a rooster doesn't mean you must have 10 hens, it means if you're breeding chickens 1/10 is the ratio it takes for the average rooster to keep an average flock of average breeder hens fertile.

    Regardless of sex, breed, or temperament, any chickens are too scratchy & pecky to be around toddlers. At any time they're apt to jump on your head and start scratching or reach up and peck you in the eyeball.

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