To Roo or not to roo that is the ?.

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by ssmith41068, Oct 19, 2019.

  1. ssmith41068

    ssmith41068 Chirping

    Aug 10, 2019
    Warsaw, Indiana
    Hello everyone, I live in the country and my nearest neighbor is probably half mile away so I have been thinking about adding a Roo to my mix. I guess I'm not sure how I should go about adding one. I have one flock but two groups, LOL! My first group are buff orpingtons and red sex linked they are six and half months old. My second group are a mix of EE, production reds and not sure about my little peanut, some type of cross breed. Any way they are two and half months old. They all free range together but at night group one goes to the coop and group two goes to their little house. Not sure I'm ready to put all in the coop together yet!! But that is another story. I guess I'm asking for thoughts on adding a rooster. I believe it would be a good thing but not sure if I should see about getting a chick and hope it is a cockerel or get a young cockerel maybe the age of my group one's. I don't know.....please help????
  2. ValerieJ

    ValerieJ Crossing the Road

    Jul 24, 2016
    Washington State
    There are always people looking to rehome a nice cockerel because they have more than one. If you decide to raise a cockerel chick, then it needs to have a couple brooding mates. So it depends on your space availability for integrating them. By the time you want to put them in a look don't touch coop, you may be ready to integrate the others into the same coop.

    If you bring a cockerel in from another flock, be sure to quarantine him for a month to watch for any disease or parasite problems. Then put him in a look no touch pen for a week or two before putting him directly in with your flock.
  3. honanbm

    honanbm Guess it's just you and me, chicken hat

    May 25, 2015
    Western Washington
    I guess that depends on why you want a rooster. Are you wanting to hatch your own eggs? Flock guardian? Because they're beautiful (and they are beautiful)?

    I have never had luck adding an adult rooster to my flock. I have tried a few times, and I will never do so again. One was a gentleman to the ladies, but attacked every person he saw. Not ok. Another was fine with people, but extremely aggressive with the hens, severely injuring one and constantly harassing the others. Most of this comes down to the way these roosters were raised. If you can find a vetted rooster that was raised correctly, adding a mature (2 years or older) roo from a clean flock is a fantastic option. If the option is a "friendly, hand raised" Craigslist rooster, I'd not go there.

    Personally, I think that raising your own rooster is much better option. That way, you can do things properly, and not have to worry about the background of the bird you are adding to your flock. As @ValerieJ pointed out, you'll want to raise him with his own little group of ladies.

    Honestly, I only keep a rooster around because I want to hatch my own birds. If I didn't, I wouldn't have one. They are not likely to die for your hens, nor should they be expected to do so. They sure are lovely to have in the flock, though!

    My tiny rooster, Millie, with his hatch-mate, Beetle. Gotta love a tiny rooster! 20190927_163457.jpg
  4. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    Get a Cockerel about 7 months old and one that isn't cocky. He will fit in the flock.
    Eggs2chicks and ssmith41068 like this.
  5. Shadrach

    Shadrach Roosterist

    Jul 31, 2018
    Catalonia, Spain
    My Coop
    @honanbm has imo given you good advice.
    You've got a bit of a problem. The advice not to introduce either a rooster or cockerel is sound imo. You may be lucky but I doubt it. Any newly introduced male is going to want to establish his position in the flock. This often means aggression and often to the keeper who may be seen as a direct challenge to his authority.
    However, you need fertile eggs to hatch a rooster in the flock. You also need a broody hen.
    If your hens go broody (?) then you have a couple of workable options. You can get fertile eggs; you'll need to be quick, or you can buy some chicks, preferably of the same breed as the broody hen and hope that one is a male.
    The hen may reject the chicks. Lots of people do manage to introduce strange chicks to broody mums.
    It's an interesting problem.:) and one of the reasons I suggest that people interested in keeping chickens acquire a young breeding pair as a starting point.
  6. room onthebroom

    room onthebroom Animal-a-holic

    May 4, 2015

    You have exactly the opposite problem of me. We've only hatched twice. Both times we were hoping for pullets & both times we hatched cockerels.

    If it were me I would choose hatching my own. Hatching chicks (either in an incubator or under a broody) is one of the greatest chicken experiences I've ever had. If your luck is anything like mine, you'll be guaranteed at least one cockerel.

    There are plenty of reputable breeders on here who could sell you some hatching eggs.
  7. ssmith41068

    ssmith41068 Chirping

    Aug 10, 2019
    Warsaw, Indiana
    I have been thinking I want to find one that needs rehomed, because if I get too many more I will need to build a bigger coop!! I have a place for quarantine and I also have a look don't touch space, so I guess all I need to do now is find the right cockerel for my girls.
  8. ssmith41068

    ssmith41068 Chirping

    Aug 10, 2019
    Warsaw, Indiana
    Thanks for the advice. I wasn't going the craigslist route! I have heard way to many horror stories about that. I would like to find some one close to my area that has too many cockerels that I could go and look at, observe their behavior, if possible. Your little guys are adorable!!
    honanbm, ValerieJ and Eggs2chicks like this.
  9. ssmith41068

    ssmith41068 Chirping

    Aug 10, 2019
    Warsaw, Indiana
    Thank you everyone for the advice. I have a lot to think about and plan before deciding what to do. I mainly wanted a roo because they ARE beautiful and for added protection for my girls. Right at the moment, I don't have any broody girls. I don't know if that will change. I guess I wait and see.
  10. SueT

    SueT Crossing the Road

    May 27, 2015
    SW MO
    A lot of the BYC pundits suggest you not have a rooster in your first year keeping chickens, especially if you have children. Roosters\cockerels can become aggressive and quickly make things difficult for you and your flock. There are lots of threads and articles about how to raise good roosters\cockerels, and more than I can count about dealing w one that has gone bad. It's a good idea to read some of them before jumping in over your head.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019

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