Should I add a Rooster or only hens?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by JennyReidy74, Jan 16, 2017.

  1. JennyReidy74

    JennyReidy74 Just Hatched

    Jan 16, 2017
    Orange County NY
    I am about to be a first time chicken owner. I have 25 chicks on the way in February, some I'll keep, some will go to friends. I plan to keep about 14 chickens. I have one brown leghorn rooster on order but I am not sure if I should go through with it. I'm worried about him being aggressive and most of all will he ruin my hens' backs? I want them as pets first and egg layers second. I wanted a rooster for the crowing and the look but I don't want hens with gouged out back feathers...
    I appreciate everyone's input!
  2. IdyllwildAcres

    IdyllwildAcres Overrun With Chickens

    I would give it a go without the roo, then decide after a year.

    Good luck

  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    With that number of pullets, his amorous attentions should not cause any feather loss. I do agree with the above post however - maybe wait for a while before getting a cockerel. Knowing how to deal with / manage cockerels will be less of a learning curve, once you understand keeping chickens, in general.
  4. aldarita

    aldarita Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 2, 2012
    Brenham TX
    I would first keep hens for a while and after you have some experience with chicken keeping I would add a roo if that is still what you want. There are many pros and cons about having roosters, it all has to do with the dynamics of your flock and the setting you have, oh and I may add, it's about how lucky you are getting a good rooster.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC!

    Give the cockerel a try if you want, but be ready to isolate him at a moments notice(have another enclosure ready).
    Don't baby or cuddle up on cock/erel behaviors so you don't make the usual mistakes and you may end up with a great cockbird.

    There are many, many things to learn the first year of keeping chickens, having a male will add to that.
    If you are not willing to learn about their behaviors and change your own accordingly, it may be better to stick with all females at first.
  6. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    I agree with everyone else that there is a lot to learn with chickens without adding a male into the equation. There will always be a "favorite" for mating, and she may get some feather loss. Also, to a new person, chicken mating can look mean.

    Now with that said, a good rooster is a true asset in the flock. They keep watch over the hens for protection, and if need be, give their life in that protection. I got my first male about a year after I started with chickens, and have had at least one male in both flocks until recently when I lost them to a bobcat. My Barnevelder males were not only excellent at protecting the flock, but also protecting babies with broodies from others in the flock. My males were the only ones the broodies would allow near the babies. One would bring the hen pieces of grape leaves to feed to the babies.
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    A lot depends on your yard set up, your neighborhood, if you would be comfortable culling any extra males. IMO, unless you intend to eventually hatch chicks, you're better without the roo. While you may enjoy the crowing... perhaps your neighbors... not so much! Roosters don't just crow in the morning. They go on crowing jags often, all day long, starting before sunrise. A crowing jag will consist of 3 to 7 or more consecutive crows. They love to breed their hens. Often every 10 minutes, my roo will be mounting a hen during the spring and summer. Got kids? While roos and kids have been growing up on farms together for generations, young children do add an extra concern to roo ownership. And you need to know how to manage a roo. IMO, if a roo is in the flock, you need MORE than the minimally recommended 4 s.f./bird in coop and 10 s.f./bird in the run. Go visit someone who has a flock with a roo. Spend 1/2 hour or longer watching him interact with his flock. Observe how watchful he is when you approach HIS girls. This will help you to make an informed decision.
  8. JennyReidy74

    JennyReidy74 Just Hatched

    Jan 16, 2017
    Orange County NY
    Thank you everyone. I decided to wait on the Rooster (unless it becomes a mistake in the sexing process) I appreciate the advice!

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