Rooster questions Sorry, long.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Sherry, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. Sherry

    Sherry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    7 laying hens, one rooster and 3 guineas were all living in the coop/run together. 4 of the hens wouldn't leave the roost. One hen has horrible treading on her back and was trying to hide under the coop. I was getting maybe two eggs per week and finding smashed eggs in the nest boxes.

    I relocated the guineas to a different coop. The rooster went for dumplings. All the laying hens are now off the roost, on the floor of the coop or out in the run. Much happier it seems. In the past two days I've gotten 8 eggs.

    I figured the ratio of 1 roo to 7 hens was not enough. I have 10 one week old pullets that will eventually go in with the big girls.

    A ratio of 1 to 17 has to be better. I'm not interested in hatching or breeding...do I even need a rooster? The run is fenced in and covered. I had a total of 4 roosters (3 in seperate coop), since they "went away" I sure do miss hearing the crowing all day long.

    If I do put in a new roo, will it re-stress the original 7? They seem so happy now without one. A new one won't be added until the 10 babies are ready to go in the coop.

    Sorry this is so long. I'm not sure this makes sense. :|
     
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    No, you don't need a rooster at all unless you just want one. I like mine because he's like a big bodyguard/alarm for the girls, but if you don't want chicks from your hens, you can do without one. I added my rooster when my girls were almost a year old and they seem to actually like him around. You could add one when you have more adult hens later on and the ratio is better.
     
  3. Sherry

    Sherry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you. The girls seem relieved and relaxed now that the roo is gone. [​IMG] But I sure miss him. It's too blasted quiet now. [​IMG]
     
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Gosh, I'd miss the crowing of my boys if something happened to them. I like it!
     
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Yeah, you don't need one but one is nice to have around... at least I think so.

    Your rooster problems could have very well been just that rooster. Some roos are better than others to their girls. My current rooster is very gentlemanly while I've had some who would force any hen he could get a hold of.

    If you get an adult rooster, the hens will treat him as a whole different bird until things are established in the pecking order.
     
  6. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

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    You just happened to have a rooster who was quite excessive in breeding the hens. I had and have many times, a rooster or even two with just 4 hens.. no breeding damage. But then I pay attention to see if the rooster is an excessive breeder or not.. with those I tend to have the hens with no rooster most of the time and just put him in for a hour or two then take him out.

    Sometimes it's a cockerel who is intent on breeding way too much yet when he matures he cools it down and is a "good rooster".

    I have had a few roosters that never chased or forced hens, they always waited until a hen willingly squatted and only then would he breed them. I did notice those roosters tend to be popular with hens, especially if he also courts and "food calls" the hens a lot. Those roosters would do very well with even just one or two hens in a pen.

    You do not need a rooster, just realize it was that rooster who was a bit unusual. I would be very surprised to have a rooster who damaged and terrorized 7 hens that much. Kicked him out too!
     
  7. akcskye

    akcskye Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No, you only need a rooster if you plan to hatch your own chicks.

    They'll lay eggs regardless if you feed laying scratch.

    I don't know if they'll lay without laying scratch (aka: egg ration) consistently...but all of my ladies are fed that in addition to other natural things...and out of 6, I get 4 to 6 a day (they've dropped the 4 then 2 then 4, and on and on cycle now).
     
  8. raindrop

    raindrop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with the above advice. Having a rooster is good, and the hens seem to like having one around but only if it is a good rooster.
    My "free and unusual chick" from MM a few years ago was HORRIBLE to the girls, he chased them and they would hide in the chicken coop or nest boxes all day. I had another, much nicer rooster that I got on purpose so I kept him instead and ate the stupid one.
    The right rooster is out there!
     
  9. new2chickens

    new2chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 2 hens and one rooster. He calls them if I bring out a tasty treat and won't eat until both of them have eaten. He courts them. I have never seen him mate one though! I have 4 or 5 pullets that are a week old that will be moving in eventually. I typically get 2 eggs a day from the hens! I was given the 3 adults...they came with a second rooster that I think might have been younger as he was always trying to mate one of the hens. He had to find a new home.

    Sarah
     
  10. Sherry

    Sherry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The one I had was awful. He would get the girls several times a day. 4 of them got to where they would not come off the the roost. Now they are out and about and seem so much happier.
     

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