Unsure if I need a rooster or not?

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

  1. DuckGirl77

    DuckGirl77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is helpful to have a rooster sometimes; I like having one because he does provide some amount of protection for the girls. I would keep him if you are worried about predators and are getting more hens, but that's just me.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I fully agree with all those that said you do not need a rooster unless you want fertile eggs. That’s the only reason, everything else is personal choice.

    If you wish you can remove his spurs but that won’t do any good unless you remove his claws also. He grabs with his claws. Look how sharp they are. Guess what is causing the vast majority of the damage.

    Some people honestly believe that a rooster will keep the hens safe. Some have seen a rooster protect his flock. That has not been my experience. Some roosters will fight some predators and even give their life for the flock. The vast majority of mine are more apt to lead the flock to safety instead of acting as a rear guard. While each animal is an individual, I do not believe most roosters offer that much protection.

    Some flocks with over 20 hens and one rooster have hens with damage. Some flocks with only one or two hens and one rooster do not have damaged feathers. There are so many variables here. Sometimes the hen is more the cause than the rooster. Still, if a rooster that age cut a hen, he needs to go. It’s not always the hen’s fault.
     
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  3. DuckGirl77

    DuckGirl77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, many roosters, at least ones that I have had, would not help any if a predator came along, but the one I have now is different from all the others that I have had except one. I have found that really good roosters are few and far between, or else there's someone at the hatchery making sure I'm not getting any good ones [​IMG]! I keep a rooster for some other reasons, too, though, like for fertile eggs and to make sure the hens stay in the pen: if one gets out, I'll find out from him!
    If all the rooster does though is stress out the hens and make noise, he's not worth keeping.
     
  4. ImNotYogi

    ImNotYogi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I started my flock last April and ended up with a rooster. I had some concern since they're all the same age and I worried about him stressing the hens out from being in that "teenager" phase but he's been really good. Probably doesn't hurt that he's an Easter egger. This is my first flock so I don't have anything else to compare to but he seems like a wonderful rooster. Calls the girls for treats/food, keeps an eye out for predators, and has even tried helping them find nice spots to lay eggs. I don't know how much protection a rooster can truly provide other than getting the hens to safety himself or giving them enough time to get away by fighting a predator. My only experience with even a potential attack happened a few months back when a neighbors dog kept escaping from the yard so I'd only let them out of the coop while I was home and able to walk around with them. The dog started trotting towards them while my back was turn. The rooster sounded the alarm and the hens took off in one direction while he ran towards the dog. He probably would have died if I wasn't there to chase her off but it was nice knowing he's willing to defend his girls. If a dog is on a lead he'll keep the hens away from them and he's smart enough to know if something is a real danger or not. So he's not needlessly putting himself in danger by running towards a dog on a leash.

    I've read that a dominant hen will take the rooster role if one is absent. So, ultimately, I think a rooster is personal choice and if other variables allow it to happen. Such as area you're in, flock size, and rooster's personality. I feel like I've hit the jackpot with this one so far though.
     
  5. DuckGirl77

    DuckGirl77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree. Having a rooster works well for me personally. Interestingly enough, mine is also an Easter Egger.
     
  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    I'm not Yogi, If every rooster was like yours, I would convince people to KEEP them rather than rehome. His picture should be under the definition of good rooster.[​IMG]
     
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  7. Galaxy11

    Galaxy11 Out Of The Brooder

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    Whoa, lots of replies.

    Cutting off his spurs won't work, I know that. It is his claws; his spurs aren't even all the way out yet.

    I will not be having a big flock, as I only have a family of 3. There would be too many eggs, although we could sell them... I also won't be hatching any eggs, probably never. So he is useless.

    As soon as the run is ready for my girls, I'll sell him.

    Thanks everyone! c:
     
  8. varidgerunner

    varidgerunner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Some roosters are heavy and clumsy. Some are just hard on the hens because of their attitudes. If you have ever had a good rooster, you wouldn't be asking if you needed a rooster. A good one should lead hens to food, keep a lookout, and lead hens to safety, from behind. Then die trying to defend them. Some can be quite successful with the smaller predators. And a good one should never display human aggression.

    True, a hen can assume the role of flock leader, but hens can make for poor leaders. A boss hen can tear up your other hens worse than a rooster ever thought about.
     
  9. varidgerunner

    varidgerunner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sometimes hens getting rooster worn is not as much a fault of the rooster as a sign that your feather quality is not good. Feather quality and diet are related.
     
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I certainly agree. And sometimes that nutritional deficiency is related to the specific hen, not the entire flock. I think it can be genetic too. For whatever reason, genetic or not, some hens just don’t process the nutrients for feather quality properly. You can have a flock with good feather quality except for one hen. The rooster may not be tearing her up because she is his favorite, it may be her poor feather quality. I generally find that if I remove a hen that has feather problems, I don’t hatch pullets that have feather problems.

    I try to look at problems as either individual problems or flock-wide problems. That way I don’t treat a flock for an individual’s problem.
     

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