Reasons to keep a rooster?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ace6175, Oct 19, 2009.

  1. ace6175

    ace6175 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2009
    What is the best reason to keep a rooster - besides fertilized eggs (which I can get from my neighbor)?
    My rooster is pretty good, warns the hens when the hawk is around, tells them when there's a treat, even lured them into the nest box to lay eggs when they first started. Today, I noticed a bald spot on my Austrolorpe's head, must be from when he is mounting her. I looked at the rest of the hens, and there were a couple that were missing some feathers as well, also the Leghorns have large combs, and it looks like he has been grabbing their combs!
    I like to have a rooster to protect the flock, but beginning to wonder if it's worth it! My hens are only 6 months old & seem like they are getting beat up.
    Any advice?
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    All the reasons you mentioned are the same reasons I keep a rooster. My roo got better at mating with age and doesn't tear the hens up as much now. His two favorite girls wear saddles. The roo stays.
  3. doublebow

    doublebow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2009
    My roosters did protect the ladies and break up fights when I introduced new girls. They were very chivalrous. Ladies first and all that. However I had to sell them last summer and the favorite hen has still not re-grown all her feathers! If I get another rooster I will make sure to have saddles for the favorite hens.
  4. buck431397

    buck431397 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 29, 2009
    Pilesgrove, NJ
    because if you have a good rooster, he will be the most amazing chicken you will ever have![​IMG]
  5. ace6175

    ace6175 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2009
    I'm thinking about putting horseradish on the hen's heads & combs - maybe that would break him of his habit of pulling out their feathers. Would it be bad for the hens?
  6. chickensioux

    chickensioux Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    I'm not sure chickens have taste buds like we do. It may not make a difference. Then again, he may love it.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2009
  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:I agree. It could backfire on you. He'll start riding the hens every time he wants a treat of horseradish. I wouldn't put it past a roo. [​IMG]
  8. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    My rooster is the most interesting member of the flock. He walks with me and talks to me, sometimes he sits (er stands) in my lap.
    Today I was on the ground watching the babies (3 week olds) and he put his head down next to them - they pecked his beak and wattles through the fence and he just looked at them. I thought he might at least get offended by the pecking, but he's so sweet to other chickens.

    He doesn't much trust any other people besides me though [​IMG]
  9. catfish/okie

    catfish/okie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:It may run down and get in their eyes and blind them.
  10. lovemyprettybirds

    lovemyprettybirds Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 22, 2009
    I think the best reasons for keeping roosters other than what you already mentioned, are love and admiration for their beauty and charisma.

    Here is how I've managed to deal with mine: In the morning, I let the boys (just the boys) out to free-range until dusk. Most of the girls don't even try to go out anymore. They seem to appreciate getting the roosters out of the house. During the day, I keep the coop door closed so the boys can't harass the girls, and the hens can lay their eggs and enjoy the attached covered run all day. At night, I open the coop door and the boys file in. I stay in the coop until everyone is on their roost and things are quiet. When a rooster grabs a hen or a younger chicken, I knock them off and tell them "no". Call me crazy if you want, but the roosters seem to respect this (afterall, I am much bigger than they are), and after about a week or two of this routine, most of them react appropriately to the word "no." All it takes is the word "no" and the evil eye and they go to their roost without anymore harassment attempts.

    The problem is that I can't live with them 24 hours a day. I know that when I'm not around and the roosters have access to hens and younger, smaller chickens, they are probably being bullies. That is why I've decided to thin my rooster population down a little.

    I doubt if the horseradish will work. However, I hope you find an agreeable solution for your rooster issue.

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