Roosters--to have or not to have

Chickies

In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 24, 2008
54
0
39
Northeast Florida
ok, we're going to have a free-range flock of chickens (we only have a few chicks right now, but will be getting more) and from what i've found on the internet, it says to have 2 roosters. my mother-in-law, who has raised chickens before, said not to have a rooster, because, a) they're mean and will attack my 4 year old, b) i shouldn't sell fertilized eggs, and c) they force the hens to lay in the woods instead of in the nest boxes. her advice was to just buy new pullets every spring (which seems to me would get pricey. i'd like a self-perpetuating flock, which requires a rooster, but i also don't want the problems my mother-in-law described.
i know that there are mild(er)-mannered roosters, but i'd like people's opinions on selling/eating fertilized eggs and if a rooster influences where the hens lay
thanks!
 

sara

Title Needed Here
12 Years
Jun 25, 2007
4,503
10
241
at the covered bridge, PA
Oh you should definately have a rooster, everyone needs a little Cockadoodledo!

Seriously, we eat fertilized eggs. There is nothing wrong with that. Some roosters can be mean, but they aren't all. I have 5 roosters right now, and none have an aggresive bone in their bodies. I have had really nasty RIR roosters. The roosters will not make the hens lay in the woods and not in their boxes.

My two year old is near my roosters all the time, of course I am with him. The roosters don't go after him.

Have fun with whatever you decide too do.
 

Beekissed

Free Ranging
12 Years
Feb 14, 2008
22,974
4,926
602
This world is not my home.
I have never had a nasty rooster, personally, and I recommend having a roo if you freerange. My RIR keeps track of all the hens, gives warning if a hawk flies over, chases the cat away when he gets tired of being "stalked" for the 50th time (LOL) and finds food for his ladies. I wouldn't be without one. I'd just handle him alot when you get him as a chick, let him know who is the alpha leader at your house and watch him around your child. If he does okay, then I wouldn't worry. I have never heard of roosters forcing hens to lay in the woods....old wive's tale of some kind?

As for fertilized eggs, we can't tell the difference! We gather ours and sell or use them right away, so no "blood spot" is in evidence. Most intelligent folks know there is no difference in taste. Noone has ever asked if mine are "fertilized" when they buy them.
 

wynedot55

Songster
12 Years
Mar 28, 2007
1,295
8
181
i would NOT have a rooster round a 4yr old at all.ive been flogged alot by roosters in my life.an by that i mean 2 or 3 times a day for a year or less.an mind you i wasnt scared of the rooster.id stand my ground an he would still flogg me.i even used a 2 by 4 on him.an it would slow him down for a min.then he would go back to flogging me.i finallt told dad the rooster must die.i cant work having to fight him.so dad got the shotgun.an my bro went to because he didnt think the roo would flogg him.so he thew a boad at the roo.well that roo jumped an flogged him good.dad finally got the roo off him an put a slug in that rooster.an we wasnt 4yr old kids.we both was in our teens.that roo wouldve torn a 4yr old up good.
 

mangled

Songster
11 Years
12 Years
Jan 25, 2008
1,467
8
196
The Wilds of Western PA
We have a good business of selling fertilized eggs. Most folks don't seem to mind.

We had a 2 roos freeranging with our girls. The one roo got too rough, so we put him in the batchelors pen. After that, which was yesterday, our BO roo attacked our 2 year old this morning. It hasn't been a good day. My boy's okay, but it scared him good.

This is a roo I have had no troubles with in the past. He's good to the girls. Suddenly, today, he took a strong dislike to my youngest, and that I won't tolerate. So now all four roos are in the batchelor's pen, and I got a few roos to cull.

Good luck with your decision-
Em
 

Alexis

Songster
11 Years
Jan 28, 2008
450
24
143
Philomath, Oregon
We just went through this decision as well. We had never had roosters until this year, but so far so good. We adopted a flock that had 2 roosters and we got half the flock two weeks before the other half. The worst problem we've had is that the roosters are now fighting over territory. I had to separate them for awhile.

We sell fertilized eggs. Nobody cares.

They do not EVER act aggressive towards me or my four kids (ages 5-12 yrs) and they are SO eager to care for the hens and watch out for them that I wouldn't give them up now if you asked me to! (Although I have considered going with just ONE to keep the peace). I have heard that RIR are the most notoriously aggressive. Both of my roos are RIR, and they are wonderful.

It's mostly all in natural temperament combined with their environment. I imagine that roosters who aren't handled properly have aggression issues. Roosters who are aggressive wouldn't make it to adulthood in my coop!
 

fallenweeble

Songster
12 Years
Dec 4, 2007
865
6
151
it probably depends a lot on the breed - what type of chickens are you planning on raising?
then again, each individual roo is going to be different and you might end up getting a "nice" roo from a breed known for having "mean" roos and/or a "mean" roo from a breed known for having "nice" ones.
maybe the question is this, would you be willing to cull or re-home a roo that showed aggression toward your 4 year old or would that be too traumatic for you/your kids etc? if it would be too hard/traumatic probably best not to get a roo but if you think you could handle that then i say give it a go. i have a silkie roo and he is a very sweet guy and it is fun to watch him with his "girls." he greatly enriches our chicken experience!
good luck!
 

lavacaw

Songster
12 Years
Feb 4, 2008
350
7
154
South Central Texas
I have always had roosters but for the first time I have one that is attacking people. He got me and and I smacked him upside the head with a soft house slipper and he wouldn't even look at me for three days. Now my grandchildren are here and he is going after them. Sunday I put him in a cage and this weekend he will be the chicken in chicken and dumplings. I have a smaller, younger rooster that will be taking his place. Roosters are not necessary for eggs and that is the primary reason I have chickens.
 

rufus

Crowing
12 Years
May 17, 2007
3,216
145
254
Little kids and dogs don't belong in the chicken yard. Firstly, because it isn't safe for little kids and secondly they step in stuff.

Dogs will always have the instinct to hunt birds and eat poop. Things are a lot nicer if they are left on the otherside of the wire.

Roosters can get mean, but you have to just make sure you are meaner than them. Never run from them; run at them.
Kick the stuffing out of them if they give you a problem. Then chase them around the chicken yard for a while.

Keep a nice assortment of sticks at the gate of the chicken yard.

Life is too short to take guff from a chicken.

Rufus
 

a2ms4chickens

Songster
12 Years
Dec 16, 2007
687
6
141
Tucson, AZ
I have a bantam RIR rooster who is very good with his girls. He tries to protect them from my dog who barks at them through the gate, he finds them food, and I like to hear him crow (though I would like it if he crowed after 5:00am.)

Every once in awhile, he will try to be the boss, but we remind him with a push from our foot, who the alpha is. He is also a softy who likes to be held and talked to.

I also have 4 show roosters who are pretty good with their girls, they have never tried to attack us unless we are late feeding them, then they will try to peck our hands. (They are either looking for food, or they are letting us know that they are not happy that we are late feeding them.) However, they are all bantam roosters.

If you decide to get a rooster, I would only get one, and keep an eye on him.

Good luck!!
 

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