rooster questions


13 Years
Mar 5, 2010
Hi, I have had hens for years now but no roosters. I just found out today that one of my "hens" is in fact a rooster. I have some rhode island reds, buff orpingtons, barred rocks and a couple araucanas. The rooster is a buff orpington. My chickens are all free range. I may be silly but I dont want any fertilized eggs to eat. Just sounds really yuck to me, but I wouldnt mind having some chicks but dont know anything about it. I guess my first question is, what would be the easiest way to accomplish this? Should I separate my rooster and give him his own coop and just put in a buff orpington hen with him? when should I do this? Also, would I have to use an incubator? Maybe I should just get rid of the rooster? Not sure what to do. My life was much more simple before we had a rooster lol
IMO, if you free range there's going to come a time when you are very happy to have a rooster. You can't offer a free range flock better protection or a better provider than a rooster to tell them where all the goodies are to eat and to let them know things aren't safe.
Roosters are great. I love to hear them crow and the macho attitude is the same from the toughest to the gentlest. Fertile eggs are no different than unfertil in either appearance or taste. If you want purebred Orp chicks, you can pen him with a hen or two, save their eggs in a cool spot in the house(not refridgerated) and place them under the first Orp hen to get broody. I date my eggs with a pencil and use the freshest ones for the broody. What you do with the older ones is up to you, but boiled eggs are a great treat and good source of protein for the birds. Here`s a great broody article. Good luck...........Pop
All I eat are fertilized eggs. They taste like eggs. lolol
I like Roo's. I have a bunch. And IF your free ranging, a Roo will keep an eye out for potential danger, the girls feel much more protected and thus are happier. I had a hawk a few weeks ago come done and snap the neck of a BCM hen. But, I had two Marans Roo's that ran him off the dead girl. She was decent size. made an unexpected meal. But, the boys worked together and ran off the hawk. They live in side by side pens, with a homemade gate that I made outta long branches, and they easily can clear the 5' livestock fence between them. the ONLY times I find them together is when a Hawk has attacked. It has happened twice. So IF I was you, I would have two Roo's. IF you free range.
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Roosters are great free-range flock protectors. There is nothing wrong with a fertilized egg. It's the same as a non-fertilized one just with a greater potential to become a chick if incubated right. You could get an incubator or borrow one. Or wait for one of your hens to go broody. Don't separte your rooster from the rest of your flock, he could give you sex-links, by crossing him over your BR hens, and even more great things a roo can do for you!
I know it does you absolutely no good to tell you that the eggs taste the same, store the same, and have the same nutritional value whether they are fertilized or not. It is in your mind and that is just the way it is. And don't feel bad about it. When I was young and invincible heights did not concern me at all. Now my concern with heights is not always "rational".

There are many different ways you could proceed. You really have to decide what your goals are. The only real reason for you to keep the rooster is to have fertilized eggs to hatch your own eggs. If you decide you don't want to hatch your own eggs, then get rid of the rooster.

If you do want to hatch your own eggs there are so many different ways you could go. If you don't want to eat fertilized eggs, yes, you need to isolate the rooster.

There is no way to know if one of your hens will eventually go broody. Whether you have a rooster or not has no bearing that. The Buff Orpington's have a reputation of going broody, but there is no guarantee one will. If you want to guarantee hatching eggs, you need to get an incubator.

If you do leave one or more hens with the roster in his pen to keep him company, what are you going to do with those fertilized eggs? You can only store them for so long for incubation before they start to lose fertility.

If you hatch chicks, about half will be roosters. What will you do with them?

My goals and set-up are different from yours. I cannot tell you what to do. I will tell you that with a Buff Orp rooster, the Buff Orp hens will give you Buff Orp chicks, the RIR hens will give you red chicks but probably a little lighter that that the RIR's, the Barred Rocks will give you black sex link chicks with the roosters barred and the hens mostly black but with some reddish-buff around the neck. I am not sure what the Araucanas will give you, probably some sort of Easter Egger.
How long have you had this rooster? Chances are you're already eating fertilized eggs
My DH didn't want anything to do with fertilized eggs, but it was inevitable... He doesn't even think about it anymore. Now he has moved on to being grossed out by cracking open the duck eggs

As other have stated, roos are excellent for free range flocks. Mine have saved my girls more than once
I'm squeemish as all heck! I too have a problem eating fertile eggs! I leave my rooster in with my girls and pick off the 'fertile' part before I eat the egg(or if frying them I cook it and just remember where the blastoderm is and pick it off after cooking!). I posted about it before I got my rooster to see what everyone elses views are:

I couldn't imagine not having a rooster! He really whipped my girls into order. and I have hatching eggs in an easy homemade 'bator!

Also I personally wouldn't segragate the roo, or leave him with only a couple girls for too long. What if he's too rough with them and picks feathers? You can do 2 flocks though(who doesn't want MORE CHICKENS!!!
)! Maybe give him like 6 girls of his own and then keep your own flock rooster-less!! (Thats my future plans! breeding pens/coops and 1 coop with NO roosters!!) Also if you do separate him now the others eggs will be fertile for around 3 weeks! just so you know!
wow thank you all for the wonderful advice. I will be thinking about this. You are right Ridgerunner, it is all in my head. If I know they are fertile I wont eat them lol. Doesnt matter what they taste like. My hens have not been laying any eggs since before winter unless they are laying somewhere else, they usually lay in their nest boxes. They should start laying again soon though I am assuming. As for having a rooster, I love all the crowing and the protection they give, although we have two big dogs that the chickens follow around. I will think about all this and let you know what I decide. Thanks again for all the great comments.
welp, I have decided to keep my rooster! I have a couple questions though. If I take some eggs into the house and put them in a cool place, about how long can they last that way till they go bad before I put them under a broody hen? Also, if I get another rooster, does it matter what kind since they will all be free ranging? In other words, if I were to get a barred rock rooster what would that make with my BO, RIR, and Americana hens? Or what if I get an Americana rooster?

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