Thoughts on Adding a Rooster? ?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Iggygal, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. Iggygal

    Iggygal New Egg

    Sep 7, 2016
    Santa Clarita, California
    Hi Everyone,
    We have 8 hens right now that are 1 1/2 years old. We are planning on getting about 5 more early next year. One of our Araucana is going through a hard molt right now and got bullied. We separated her from the rest until she is done molting. Both of our Araucanas are the lowest in the pecking order with our girls. Our Rhode Island Red and Wellsummer are on the top.
    We have been thinking of adding a rooster to our flock to help with the pecking order. We were thinking of adding one when we get the new chicks next year. The rooster will grow up with the new chicks next year will he only be loyal to the new chicks or will he establish himself at the top of the pecking order with all of the chickens new and original (older)? We will have 13-15 chickens after we add the new chicks is 1 rooster enough for all of them?
    Thank you for your help/feedback in advance.
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    One will be just fine
  3. rebrascora

    rebrascora Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    Hi and welcome

    Personally I think adding a rooster can cause more aggravation rather than less. Adolescent roosters are a pain.... their hormones rage and they try to mate with hens whether they submit or not.... think rape and is not pleasant to watch and there are often posts on here about young pullets being scalped by cockerels and needing emergency treatment to quite serious injuries.
    Pecking order is pecking order and some will be at the bottom. Yes a good mature rooster may intervene in hen's squabbles but it's not guaranteed. A juvenile one is unlikely to, as their hormones drive him to be more interested in mating than social skills. It can take months or even longer for them to settle down and develop the skills needed to be a flock leader.
    Adding more chicks will probably mean that your araucanas are no longer be bottom.... but of course the younger chicks will be, so expect them to take some flack from the older girls. Having plenty of space, hiding places, feeding and watering stations and roosts both in the run and in the hen house will help to alleviate serious bullying more than getting a rooster in my opinion.
    Removing the bully, if one is a more serious offender, is also better than isolating the victim unless the victim has injuries that need to heal. Otherwise they just get bullied again when they are returned to the flock. Isolating the bully can knock them down a peg or two and even things out a bit.

    It may also happen that you accidentally get a cockerel in with your pullet chick order, sexing not being 100% accurate, so I wouldn't deliberately purchase one anyway. If you still decide you really want one, adult roosters can often be picked up for free and you have a better way of knowing temperament if they are adult when you get them.

    Good luck whatever you decide.


    1 person likes this.
  4. Roosters are great if you understand them...They do not always stop fighting amongst hens...Sometimes they start them by tidbiting to entice a hen to come see what treat he found...Two hens run over, usually the dominant ones and a fight starts...
    Unless you want to raise chicks? No need for a Roo..Roosters have two things on their minds, breeding and protecting....Lots of breeding goes on and if he sees you below him in the pecking order? He will keep you away from his ladies too..
    This year I planned to keep a Rooster but after my last attempts my husband said no way! I have been attacked one too many times by Roosters that I thought I raised properly....No touching, no allowing him to dance around me.....The last one was a horrid bugger..

    You can try it, but I do not recommend a Rooster..Your hens will be happier being hens..
    1 person likes this.
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    I'm with rebrascora. I'm not sure what you're expecting from the rooster. Can you be more specific about the behaviors your birds are exhibiting, and what you expect the rooster to change?

    Usually, if there are issues in the flock dynamic, adding a bird isn't the solution. Space is often the source of the tension, and adding another bird will just complicate things.

    How many birds do you have, and how much space? Do they free range at all?

    If you're determined to try a rooster, adding a youngster is going to be a long haul. He'll need to be a good 6 months before he establishes himself as a leader, and even then the mature hens may take a while to accept him as they'll still see him as the little punk who cowered in the corner a few months ago.
  6. Iggygal

    Iggygal New Egg

    Sep 7, 2016
    Santa Clarita, California
    Thank you all for good information. I appreciate it.
    We have 8 hens right now, and we are panning on adding a few more hens next year. We have one araucana going through a hard molt right now. She was , picked on too much. They were chasing and pecking at her even if she went to lay down. I know she was more at risk while she goes through her molt. I ended up separating her until shes done with her molt. We were wondering if we should add a rooster to help with the pecking order especially since we will be adding a new girls next year. Our other question was if we did get a rooster with next years batch of chicks will he only be loyal to the new chicks or would he get along with the original girls? We just wanted to know if he would help with the new girls or if it is just too much to add a rooster. We do not plan on breeding.
  7. rebrascora

    rebrascora Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    You may not plan on breeding but he definitely will!!!
    If he is a young cockerel the older birds will probably not submit to him until he is big and strong enough to physically force them and it will get pretty rough.. In the mean time he will probably focus his attentions on the younger pullets and terrorise the life out of them. Really, having a rooster is going to cause your hens far more aggravation than solve problems....especially a young rooster.

    I really don't understand what you are meaning by referring to loyalty. I think you are perhaps placing a human condition on a chicken where it is not appropriate. His interest will be in breeding whatever hens he can. Yes he will learn manners and courtship skills with time and practice, but his primary goal is to procreate and he will have raging hormones that drive him to that purpose with no more noble instincts to temper it..
  8. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 25, 2015

    Just because someones rooster helps keeps things calm doesnt mean yours will.
    The hens are more likely not to like him or be "Loyal" to him.Takes awhile for older mature hens to earn a Younger roosters trust.Usually wilk teach them some respect and how to be nice and how to really get hens to like them.

    He will (Adventually), begin taking care of his whole harem but it may take a few months or days after he makes it clear to everyone,he rules the roost.
  9. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Welcome! I've found production reds, and this includes hatchery RIRs, to be feather picking difficult flock members; is she your problem girl? If your molting hen is out of site, she will be MORE abused when she returns. Have her in view, in the coop somehow. Sometimes it's best to get rid of the most aggressive hen to bring peace to the flock. I love having roosters, and have had many; the good, the bad, and the really bad. You must be willing to manage your new cockerel(s) for good behavior, and cull any that grow into human aggressive jerks. Some breed types are more likely to produce nice boys than others, but is in an individual thing. Mary

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