Pros and Cons of getting a rooster?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by MattalynsBarn, Jun 11, 2010.

  1. MattalynsBarn

    MattalynsBarn Songster

    Jun 11, 2010
    Here's my predicament: do we get a rooster or not? This is will be our first try with chickens, and we're only getting 5 of them. We live in the woods with hawks, owls, snakes, coyotes, fox (and much more) but we also have a German Shepard/Golden Retriever mix dog (who has met chickens before and as far as we can tell won't be a threat, however he has quite the nose for rodents and other wild animals). One of our friends has at least 29 birds and she doesn't recommend getting a rooster, saying that they're temperamental and can do more harm than good if we're going to have such a small flock. Also, we really would like eggs and if we get a rooster that will be one less hen we have the space for. So what are the pros and cons of roosters?

    Thank you much

    Also the breeds I'd like to get are Easter Eggers and Sussex, any advice? Here are the possible combination's:

    5 EE (5 hens or 4 hens and 1 roo)

    3 EE hens and 2 Sussex hens

    1 EE roo 2 EE hens and 2 Sussex hens.

    Again, Thanks!
  2. FlashPointFarm

    FlashPointFarm Songster

    Jan 24, 2009
    Are they going to free range? I would advise getting a rooster if there is a predator problem, they really do help watch out for their girls!
  3. i love, love, love my roos, so i would say do it!

    i knew i wanted to raise my own chicks, so roos were a must, but i really do like them. they are beautiful and hilarious. whenever we've had a problem (like the two times the cows knocked the chicken run down), the boys have most definitely been an asset, keeping the girls together and herding them to a safe place. but, to be completely honest, i love them because they are so darn charming- they dance and sing and strut around like they are the biggest studs in the world. i just can't imagine my chicken yard without them.

    but, here's the catch. i bought straight run chicks knowing i would have too many roos. i always planned to see which roos i liked and put the others in the freezer. i don't think i'd order only one roo and just hope for the best. some of the ones we processed were MEAN which is why they had to go. the ones that got to stay had wonderful temperaments towards me AND the hens- it had to be both or they couldn't stick around.

    if you know you can only house 5, i would suggest ordering maybe 3 roos. by the time they start to get crowded in your coop, you should know which one is a keeper and hopefully you can find another home for the others. a local BYCer bought one of my spare roos off me- he was too beautiful to process but was afraid of me, so he had to go.

    good luck with your decision.

    eta: oh and [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2010
  4. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    [​IMG] from South Florida!

    I do love my roosters, they are beautiful and interesting birds. I think they add balance to the flock. While there are some aggressive roosters that have their best purpose on a plate, there are many mannerly gentlemen roosters. BUT if you only have room for 5 chickens, and don't plan on hatching chicks or processing chickens, you should just keep hens. That will give you about 25-30 eggs a week when they're laying at their peak.

    I think roosters are good for sounding warnings when danger threatens, especially during the daytime. While there are some exceptions, I think most roosters cannot be relied upon to assertively defend the hens from predators. And at nighttime roosters are as oblivious as the hens to threats. You're better off building good secure coops & pens to protect your flock from predators.

    I like both EEs & Sussexes, go ahead & get a few of each. That way your egg basket will be filled with both green & brown eggs.
  5. Karrie13

    Karrie13 Songster

    May 1, 2009
    When I first got my girls I didn't have a rooster, and the laying hens don't have a protector yet... but they will. I have a few roosters growing out now but unfortunately all but one is a silkie. I was really hoping for a couple of FBCM boys but I am very sure only one of the 4 is a boy. I love hearing them learning how to crow it is absolutely adorable! I do seem to have one chronic crower though, my daughters white silkie cockerel. He crows in the morning, when he sees you, when you feed them, when you water them, when he sees the big girls, or any other time of the day that it strikes his fancy. Luckily the other two don’t crow nearly as often and the younger ones haven’t started yet.

    I am loving my boys right now and they are all still gentle, one was doing a stomping dance around a hen the other day, I am guessing this is a mating dance he is trying to perform. Very cute! Maybe you could make your coop/run a little bigger to still allow you to have 5 girls? I think 5-9 girls for one rooster would be a good ratio. Mine will be more like 20- 1 until I can get some more chicks.

    Protect your flock
    Help the girls find food
    Settle hen spats (there will be plenty)
    They are Beautiful (especially the EE boys)

    Some can be aggressive
    Don’t lay an egg
  6. MattalynsBarn

    MattalynsBarn Songster

    Jun 11, 2010
    Wow! Thanks guys! No, they're not going to be free range. The thing is, we already have a dog pen in place (the past owners of the house put it in) It is very secure and is 16x16(ish). I really like the idea of having a rooster, and if 16x16 is enough for 6 birds I could probably talk my parents into it seeing as I'll be doing everything but building the coop. Do you think if I raise the rooster from a chick that he'll be less likely to be ill-tempered? Or will that not have that much affect on him?
  7. that run is plenty big. the "experts" call for 10 sqft/chicken, so 6 chickens would need 60 sqft. a 16x16 run gives you 256 sqft. of course, the more outside room you give them, the better, so i wouldn't overdo it.

    a few questions:

    -how big will your coop be? (the "experts" call for 4sqft/chicken, so 6 chickens would need 24 sqft)
    -where are you located? general info is fine, just so we can get an idea about how much time they will be indoors

    the more time the chickens will be cooped up (in bad winter weather, for example) the more floor space you should try to give them. i'd aim for 6-8 sqft/chicken in cold, wet Northern states, but here in the South 2-4 sqft/chicken is usually plenty.

    it doesn't seem to matter much whether you raise them from chicks or not. i raised all my first chickens from day olds- some roos were the DEVIL (seriously mean) and others are just wonderful. it helps to handle them a lot because even the nice ones can hurt you if they are scared. the 4 i have now will let me walk up and pick them up no problems, which is really handy when you are checking them for injuries etc.
  8. since you think you want EEs (which are really great), here's a picture of The Scarlet Pimpernel, my EE roo. i seriously love him.

  9. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Oh, you have the space for a few chickens and a rooster!

    I am biased because I love my rooster, Carl. I didn't want one, but he was an accidental roo, supposedly a pullet when I bought my original batch o' chicks. By the time I was sure he wasn't a pullet, I did NOT want to get rid of him. And look at him now!

    Front view:

    Side view:

    Back view with a couple of his ladies:

    And a close-up of his head:

    He's an EE.

    One of the positive aspects of roosters is simply that they're eye candy for your yard. [​IMG] Plus, they settle squabbles between the hens, AND their courting behavior is adorable!
  10. MattalynsBarn

    MattalynsBarn Songster

    Jun 11, 2010

    That's an image I just made of the idea for the whole area.

    Wow! I'm always impressed at how beautiful the EE's are. I think what we're going to *try* to do is get 3 EE's and 2 Sussex, all hens, then after we've got the hang of the chickens (aka after the hens convince my dad that he want's a roo) then we'll get a rooster. Any suggestions on what breed of rooster to avoid? Or to find?

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: