Rooster ~ to add or not?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Catnip5, Nov 19, 2015.

  1. Catnip5

    Catnip5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Al! Ok, so there was a beautiful rooster needing a home from another state - it peaked my interest but has since been rehomed. However a quick glance on craigslist and there are loads of beautiful roos needing homes. A beautiful silkie roo the same age as my first flock of hens (almost 7 months) needs a home and he has caught my attention. Thing is all of my girls are standards - EE's, Wyandotte, Orpington, Brahma, Spitzhauben, Golden Comet, Cuckoo Maran & Austrolorps (a very mixed flock!).

    Would there be any benefit to adding this little guy? My guess is he wouldn't be much in the way of protection. Do they crow as loud and as much as a standard roo?

    I've got a 10x12x8 coop with an enclosed electric fence perimeter of 300 ft.

    Any feedback, thoughts pro and con is appreciated! Thanks!

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    Last edited: Nov 19, 2015
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    Personally, I'd look to add a standard sized roo to your flock. Nice assortment of birds, BTW. Would you be hatching chicks in the spring, if you had a roo, and a broody hen? All the more reason to get a LF. Before you go shopping for a roo, you might want to hop on over to the Sex Linked Information thread and do some homework there. Choose the right roo, and you'll be set up to breed your own sex linked chicks from some of your pullets.
     
  3. Catnip5

    Catnip5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the feedback LG. Actually I hadn't thought of hatching my own eggs yet...was going to order ffemale chicks - a Cream Leghorn and a couple others to round out my color basket. LF = ? (newbie here)

    I'll check out the link you mentioned. I just thought this little roo was adorable and might make a nice pal, if not a protector.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    LF is large fowl (standard) as opposed to bantam.

    The only reason you need a rooster is if you want fertile eggs. Anything else is just personal preference. Some people would not dream of having a flock without a rooster, others are extremely pleased to not have one. I always recommend that people keep as few roosters as they can and maintain their goals. That’s not because you are guaranteed problems with more roosters, just that problems are more likely with more roosters. For many people that minimum number is zero.

    I’m not a great believer in a rooster offering much protection. Part of their role is as a watchdog, especially looking in the sky. But often your dominant hen will take over that role in a flock without a rooster. And a rooster will often place himself between the flock and something suspicious and go check it out. There is some benefit in this. But more often than not, once a threat is identified, my roosters lead the flock to safety, not send them to safety while they guard the rear. Yes some roosters will attack some predators but don’t count on that happening. In my opinion roosters very marginally add to the flock protection.

    Each chicken, male or female, is an individual. Some roosters, bantam or large fowl, crow often and loud. Some not so much. It’s just luck with the one you get.

    Roosters can make great eye candy, many people like having them around. Some roosters are very well behaved around hens and people, some not so much. If you wish to try one, try one. You may or may not be back on Craigslist trying to get rid of him.

    Good luck!
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Great advice from RR on the 'why'.

    Also keep in mind the 'how'..... how you will handle integration of new birds into your flock?
    There are many aspects and possibilities, both pro and con, with integrating new chicks and/or older birds of either gender.
    But any integration is easier, and much more fun, if you plan ahead and prepare yourself with information.


    Consider medical quarantine:
    BYC Medical Quarantine Article
    Poultry Biosecurity
    BYC 'medical quarantine' search


    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
     
  6. Catnip5

    Catnip5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Whoa - had not even thought about quarantining this little fella. He's a cutie for sure and also the same age as my girls but true enough...he lives with a whole lot of other chickens so regardless of his age he could be carrying anything he caught within that flock. He certainly looks healthy as do the other birds but my girls come first. I have the grow-out coop but it's within the 300 foot fenced perimeter and so even separated they could be exposed and with winter coming he can't stay alone in there so... all food for thought but I think my spontaneous crush on this little bantam is going to have to end. I can't chance risking the health of my girls who are thriving. On a side note I just started feeding them fermented feed and they are happier than ever with the new menu. Probably best not to risk a newcomer. I plan on adding new chicks next year (3 maybe 4) and maybe among them I'll buy a male this time. This year is my first year...15 chicks born 5/18 & lost 3 to a fox before I put up the electric fencing. My dozen are happy and healthy and spoiled rotten. Probably best to leave well enough alone...

    Thanks for the advice and links. Medical Quarantining was the clincher...no can do in my current setup.
     
  7. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    I know you've made up your mind for now, but one last thought anyway. If and when you do decide to add a rooster to your flock it's probably better to add a standard size bird rather then a silkie or bantam. Chickens can be brutal to new comers and it's only that much harder if they are much smaller or look a lot different then the rest of the flock. Silkies often don't blend well with standard size hens as they are usually pretty docile and easily picked on.
     
  8. Catnip5

    Catnip5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Excellent points all! Thanks !!! Going to leave well enough alone this year and do some research over the winter.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    That would be best...the older girls will school him in manners and you only have one integration to deal with.
    The first year or so can be overwhelming, it's hard to be patient(especially with a chicken crush..haha!),
    but much easier and more fun (IMO) in the long run when you can be.
    The older I get, the less I like to deal with crises.... and the better I am at not creating them for myself.
     
  10. Catnip5

    Catnip5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Great advice aart! It's been an amazing adventure thus far and I've had my share of crisis with this first batch, namely in the form of a fox. Thanks to the forums here I was able to find a great solution I could live with. While things are nice and stable and the girls are all doing great I think I'll have enough drama with their introduction to their first Maine winter and the challenges that will arise as a result. By spring I should know a good deal more and can proceed accordingly.

    Happy to have such wise folks to intervene - haha chicken intervention? LOL! I do hope my first little rooster crush finds a good home...but it won't be mine. I'd prefer peace of mind for awhile and look forward to adding a few more chicks in the spring - whether a male is among them, we'll see. I don't want to end up the crazy chicken lady with too many to count, lol.
     

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