Should we keep a rooster? If so, why?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mags2009, Jun 12, 2010.

  1. mags2009

    mags2009 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 8, 2009
    Wisconsin
    We hatched some shipped eggs about 3 weeks ago. Black Copper Marans, Blue Ameracaunas, and Welsummers. I know a few are roosters. We already have 9 hens that are about a year old. Could we keep one of the roos? I love that they are so beautiful, not sure if I want to wake up at 4 am, but wouldn't mind incubating our own eggs, or letting a broody. Would a roo do ok with an already existing flock? Also, if so, can you sell me on why roos are good to have? I have always heard that they are mean to you or the hens? I love my hens, and don't want them harmed. Thanks. We are new chicken people so please excuse my lack of knowledge.
     
  2. Rebel Rooster

    Rebel Rooster I Will Love! :)

    Jun 29, 2009
    Central SC
    My Coop
    Well... In my opinion, if it's OK in your area to have roos, I would! I have several, (I'm a breeder) I just let the whole flock out of breeding pens into the pasture of my backyard this evening! The roo will maintain some order in the flock... especially as he matures, and (if he's a good roo) he will look after the girls, even when you're not around... [​IMG]
     
  3. mags2009

    mags2009 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, we can have roosters, we only have one year-round neighbor, as we live near a lake and only have summer residents mostly, anyway, our neighbor WANTS us to have a roo. It's ok with an existing flock?
     
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Sure. He will grow INTO his role. There may be some adjustments by the existing flock, but Nature sets the rules: A rooster gets to be the boss of a flock.
     
  5. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Before I got our first chicks, I just knew I didn't want a rooster. But then one of the chicks we raised turned out to be a roo, and we were attached to him by the time his...ehr...nonconformity became apparent, so we tried keeping him even though it's against the law where we live. We were hoping none of our neighbors would mind.

    Unfortunately, this spring one of our neighbors did complain, so we had to rehome "Beaky." In the year that we had him, I became absolutely convinced that it's preferable, if possible, to have a rooster with your flock. Of course, Beaky was a very gentlemanly rooster, friendly to us and gentle with his hens. I wouldn't keep a rooster who was agressive or mean. Roosters tend to be showier and more handsome than the hens, and have the personalities to match their looks. It was always entertaining to watch him as he strutted around the yard with his wives.

    It's natural for hens to be with a rooster. The rooster is in charge of watching for predators, and it's much safer to free range with a rooster on guard. He may not be able to fight off a predator, but he's more likely to spot one and warn the rest of the flock.

    We miss Beaky; our flock isn't quite right without him.
     
  6. cerridwenn

    cerridwenn Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 24, 2010
    Farmington, NM
    if you want to have roosters and there are no issues with keeping one, why not? not all breeds of chicken have mean roosters. well of course every individual animal is unique just as every person is unique. however it is common for some breeds to be very aggressive (which to us usually appears mean). since you know what your breeds are, i would get on the three breed threads that you have and ask what common behavior is for that kind of rooster. my rooster came as a "free rare breed" and i got very lucky that he is a gold-laced wyandotte (as near as i can tell so far) because the roosters in that breed are expected to be pretty laid back and since i didn't want any roos at all, if i have to have one i'm glad it's not one of the ones that are usually aggressive. as for adding to the flock, there is an adjustment period but as long as your chickens have plenty of space they should get used to each other within a few days i would think. if he turns mean, you can always eat him (not meaning to be offensive if you take that the wrong way, it's what we did with roos when i was growing up) or separate him if you want to keep him for breeding.
     
  7. darkmatter

    darkmatter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 10, 2009
    Quote:A Roo completes the flock, I have a variable # of chickens and keep about 1 Roo per 10 hens. The dominant Roo is usually the oldest. I choose what Roo I want to keep from my own incubated eggs and send the rest to freezer camp. Each year I save another one or two so to have a dominant Roo and younger replacements on standby, so to speak. One Roo I had lasted about 5 years as the dominant "Cock of the walk" till the effort to out perform the younger ones gave him an apparent heart attack. (Died happy, I guess). I only keep the friendly get along with Roos---If I give a mulberry to a good Roo, he will drop it and call the hens over to eat it. If the young Roo is fighting and chasing the hens instead of doing the courtship dance (you'll know it when you see it), then its off to freezer camp.
     
  8. mags2009

    mags2009 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, it would be interesting, since my hens think "I'm" the rooster, and they squat everytime they see me!! Would I still be able to pet my hens, and pick them up as I do now? or would a rooster chase me for doing that? Also, how tame do roos get? can you pet them? do they always chase you? I know, very much a newbie, so bear with me please! Also, would we only want one rooster for 15 hens?
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2010
  9. mags2009

    mags2009 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 8, 2009
    Wisconsin
    bump!
     
  10. Penturner

    Penturner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 1, 2010
    Reno Nevada
    My Roo runs around me and makes a lot of noise when I pick up his hen. But he does not get aggressive toward me. I also recognize that he is worried I am a threat to her and is trying to figure out just what to do about it. he is clucking and making a bit of a fuss. So just like I deal with her nervousness I deal with his. Once he figured out I am not going to hurt her he seems to not mind at all. I also have very friendly chickens.
     

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