Unsure if I need a rooster or not?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Galaxy11, May 6, 2016.

  1. Galaxy11

    Galaxy11 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 14, 2016
    I have 2 hens, both around 1 year of age, and a rooster who is the same age. He is siblings with one of my hens. He is a Silver-Penciled Plymouth Rock, and his name is Storm.

    Before my current "flock," I had 1 hen and 1 rooster. Both my last rooster and my current have been destroying my hens' backs. I have tried separating them (that definitely didn't work), buying hen aprons, etc., nothing has worked. He even slipped off Trinity and cut her side open (it has healed now though).

    He does keep an eye out, but it seems to me he's a scaredy-cat; I don't see what good he'd do if something attacked my hens. I'm questioning whether I really need him or not. He does find food for them, and keeps an eye out for hawks, but Trinity got attacked by a hawk a few months ago and all Storm did was run around trying to get out of the garden. I ended up having to save her by scaring the hawk away.

    My hens also free-range but are soon going to be limited to a fenced-in area, with their coop on my barn, and since they won't be running around everywhere, I think Storm would be unnecessary.

    I also plan on getting more hens after their free-range area is done, but no more than 10 hens total. I think in the area they will be at they don't need a rooster. Oh and also, we don't breed; we're raising hens for eggs (because they're way better than store-bought)!

    What would you suggest...? I've read lots of articles and it seems 50/50. I'm just not sure.

    (I apologize for my poor English, I've got writer's block right now, lol.)
  2. OrganicFarmWife

    OrganicFarmWife Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 21, 2015
    No where Nebraska
    You have to few hens for your Rooster, that is why he has made them balding on their backs, over breeding. You also cannot open expect a Rooster to fight off a predator, at best he will just be the first to die. Some roosters are better at getting himself and the rest of your flock to safety, which may have been what he was trying to do.
    No you do not need a Rooster. They help, as you observed they keep watch and alert to danger, they also keep the hens togeather, safety in numbers. But no you definitely do not need a Rooster.
  3. mossyroo

    mossyroo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 23, 2014
    Mossy Head, FL
    Unless you want eggs for hatching, I'd say thee roo can go. The only thing mine ever did to protect the flock was lead the retreat - unless my DW was out there. They liked going after her. If you do decide to keep him and go for the extra hens, that will help save their backs by spreading the wealth.
  4. DanEP

    DanEP Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2010
    Cadiz Ky
    Getting more hens will help but many roosters will still have their favorites which will still be bare backed from breeding. If your not breeding and he is cutting up your girls still at a year old I'd cull him. the girls will be just fine without him. One of the girls will take over the job as lookout.
    1 person likes this.
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    I don't see that you need the rooster at all. He's basically a big ol freeloader [​IMG], although I'm thinking he's some nice eye candy. You may have good luck finding a buyer for him, being a not-so-common breed and not human aggressive.
  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I agree with Donrae as usual. I have a rooster, and I like him. However, I have had a hen only flock and they are a very nice, low tension flock, and generally speaking much more human friendly. In my experience, my roos tend to move so as to be between me and the flock. He looks to me for food, they look to him. When you just have an all hen flock, and one that is protected in a run, they will look to you for food, and be more friendly.

    You just want eggs, let the rooster go, you will be quite happy with this, and so will your girls.

    Mrs K
    1 person likes this.
  7. AllynTal

    AllynTal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 22, 2014
    Mississippi Gulf Coast
    I can't imagine what the 50-percent saying you need the rooster think you need him for. The only thing you need a rooster for is to fertilize eggs. If you aren't planning to hatch eggs, the roo can go. Sell him, give him away, eat him or caponize him.

    Edit: Scratch caponize. He's a bit big for that.
    Last edited: May 7, 2016
  8. ChickenMammX4

    ChickenMammX4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2015
    SW Ohio
    We don't have a rooster, I really don't want to deal with one that may decide he runs the show especially with young grandchildren nearby. Our hens are in a run, so well protected. Every one gets along and none are aggressive, makes life much nicer!
    1 person likes this.
  9. galefrances

    galefrances Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2012
    Newstead, NY
    If I had my way I would have never kept my rooster. This is my first experience with one and I just hate having him. One hen has all her back feathers gone and last night when I was checking the girls I found one with gashes on each side of her back. My DH was the one that wanted him because he's so handsome. He's a speckled Sussex. No amount of handsome is worth my girls getting hurt.

    If you have a choice I'd say get rid of him.
  10. Weehopper

    Weehopper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 26, 2015
    Saw off his spurs. You can wrap him up in a towel, and have someone hold him while you saw the Spurs off. Get the smallest hacksaw you can find, and brace his leg from underneath (to hold it firmly while you saw). The spur is like a fingernail. It may bleed, but that's ok. Saw about halfway down the spur. Keep either blood stop powder or corn starch on hand for a blood stopper. If possible do your trimming during the last quarter or dark of the moon. Less blood flow that way. They call that "when the moon is in the sign of the feet." And, you might think about getting a few more hens to keep mr frisky happy [​IMG]

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