Should we get a rooster?

hokankai

Songster
10 Years
May 18, 2010
2,735
92
246
SW WA
We've got 8 girls and possibly a couple more on the way (our coop can house 12) this spring. I was wondering if we should add a rooster to our flock? We don't want chicks necessarily, but I've been having dreams of my girls getting attacked by hawks. Will a rooster help? We let the girls wander our property while we're home, otherwise they are kept in a predator proof run.
 

chicknmania

Free Ranging
14 Years
Jan 26, 2007
5,884
1,248
522
central Ohio
A rooster will absolutely help with protection, though it takes them a little while to gain experience. But we have several roosters for our flock of about forty. They will pair up and go out with a group of hens, and it is interesting to see that the roosters do appear to cooperate with each other to provide protection for the entire flock. They will stand looking around, looking in opposite directions, for danger, while the hens forage. They also will stand guard for the hens while they are laying. But one rooster will help a great deal and of course, you don't have to deal with competing roosters that way. Plus, they are fun to watch as they flirt with the hens, show them food, and do all the other funny things that roosters do.
 

7L Farm

Songster
9 Years
Jul 22, 2010
4,635
80
231
Anderson, Texas
I said I'd never get a roo. But I now have one with my eleven girls. Theres no guarantee about him totally protecting the flock but he does his best to protect & provide for them. As mentioned a rooster is like adding another station on your TV thats for sure.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
11 Years
Nov 12, 2009
9,140
12,015
636
western South Dakota
I kept a rooster out of my last hatching. It is the first rooster that I have ever had, and he is about 7 months old now. We have had a bit of a tough winter, so mine have mostly stayed penned up in the run. So far, it has been ok, I have not see a lot of the roo behavior that they talk about,
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but think it will come with age. With the spring, mine will be doing quite a bit more free ranging, and I am hopeful of another broody to raise some chicks.

What I have noticed here on this website, is that roo's are either wonderful
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or horrible
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, go from wonderful to horrible in an instant, or stay wonderful all their lives. If you keep one, imho, you have to acknowledge that you may have to get rid of him, and there really is no sure fire way to predict or produce a roo with behavior that you want.

MrsK
 

dawg53

Humble
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Nov 27, 2008
28,045
15,126
956
Glen St Mary, Florida
I made the mistake of not having a rooster for over a year. I lost one of my big Barred Rock hens to a hawk this past January. I immediately got an older experienced rooster from a BYC friend and 'Sarge' has been a blessing. He's a walking radar screen, always watching for predators. He's not mean to his hens and takes good care of them. I wont go without a rooster again.
 

hokankai

Songster
10 Years
May 18, 2010
2,735
92
246
SW WA
Yeah, I really don't want to have to worry about them all the time, even though I probably will anyway
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. But of course, when I'm actually looking into getting a rooster I can't find one!
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dawg53

Humble
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Nov 27, 2008
28,045
15,126
956
Glen St Mary, Florida
Quote:
You can check in the 'chicken swap meet' section here on BYC to see if there's one close to where you live. Check craigslist...just be careful and practice biosecurity if you decide to get a roo.
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chicknmania

Free Ranging
14 Years
Jan 26, 2007
5,884
1,248
522
central Ohio
What I think a big thing is towards having a nice rooster, is spending time with them. I mean I don't know what else to attribute it to, but we try to spend a few minutes of every day just socializing with all the birds in our flock, talking to them, admiring them, bringing treats, handling them. We don't do it as much in the winter, of course, but we do in the summer, usually a lot b/c we are outside more. We have, or have had, roos of all different ages and breeds, and we have only had one who was aggressive (he challenged a skunk once and paid the ultimate price) and one who bit when he was young. Whenever he would bite i would pick him up and pet him. He is two years old now and one of the tamest, nicest, friendliest roosters we have. But they are all friendly. We don't have a mean one in the bunch, and we have a few. I think people who have problems with mean ones are intimidated by them, and instead of addressing the problem they avoid it, which just makes things worse. At least, I think that's true in a lot of cases.
 

gryeyes

Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers
10 Years
Sep 22, 2009
15,506
430
358
My slice of heaven in Somerset, CA
I am probably not the best person to respond to this thread, because I have a surfeit of Roos. Like, well, lots of them. I appear to be very good at hatching out male chicks. The current ratio of roosters/cockerels to hens/ pullets in my flock is pretty close to one to one.
I love 'em. The mature roosters have their own gals, except that the dominant rooster can mount any of 'em. The juveniles hang out together. Everybody gets along, now that Carl showed the one upstart he wasn't going to wrest the dominant role from him. Lots of feathers flew, but nobody was injured. Kellogg just stays out of Carl's way.

I will always have at least one rooster. If you have a great roo, he's invaluable as well as really interesting to observe, for all the reasons already mentioned in previous posts.
 
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piccolini

Songster
10 Years
Mar 15, 2009
143
2
119
Camino, CA
Since getting my first large breed rooster a year ago we have not lost a single hen to predators! I love mine to death! Just be sure to get a friendly one
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