We have a rooster but do not want baby chicks.


8 Years
Apr 16, 2011
Hopefully the post title is not too confusing. We are new to chickens, in fact this is our first post. Anywho 4 weeks ago we received 10, 1 week old black astrolops. They are doing fantastic. From what we can tell in the group there is not a rooster. We purchased a 3 month old black astrolop rooster and a hen from someone local. We thought it would be good to have a rooster for protection for the hens. What we didnt' realize is now in the future this rooster may fertilize some of the eggs. We really are not wanting to get into the chick hatching side of things, although it may happen. how can we tell if eggs are being fertilized, or is there any way we can prevent the rooster from fertilizing eggs? Lastly do we really need a rooster around to help protect the hens?
As long as you don't have a hen setting on the eggs for the right length of time, you won't get chicks. If the rooster has access to all of the hens, all of your eggs will probably be fertilized. The only way to prevent it is to prevent him from mating with the hens. Usually by being in a separate pen. The fertilized eggs look and taste the same. Just gather them daily (or so) and no baby chicks will be inside. You do not HAVE to have a rooster for protection. Only need him if you want your own fertilized eggs to hatch.
you don't need a rooster, but they are helpful if they don't get mean. they will always have an eye on the sky and for other dangers. they are helpful to the hens in finding food. they also round out the chicken social dynamics.

you don't need them, though. also, fertilized eggs are no different to eat the nonfertilized eggs. most people see a fleck of blood and assume it's a fertile egg, when that fleck of blood has nothing to do with fertilization (there are pictures on here of how to tell fert. vs unfert.). the chick doesn't even start to form until the hen starts sitting on them, and even if she was, a day isn't going to make a difference.

some here have purchased home capo kits, allowing you to do surgery and neuter your rooster. he will be different afterwards, and some have reported they sometimes go broody.

or, the last option : dinner table
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You don't have to have a roo. It just helps to resupply the stock after dogs, cars, hawks, etc. take their toll. But as long as you have a rooster, if a hen does set and hatch eggs, soon as she comes back around with em he'll kill them off. If you do have a hen go broody you can always just take the eggs away 2x a day to stop them from forming babies. They'll get out of the broody mode after a while. If you have them long enough, you will want chicks though.
Collect your eggs daily = no chicks. As was mentioned, fertilized eggs taste no different than unfertilized. Most folks (who don't know what to look for) would never know they were fertilized.
Before I had a rooster, my girls did fine free ranging. They were very good a keeping an eye out for hawks, with my lead hen being the look-out/warning caller. They would automatically head in toward a sheltered area. We do have a rooster now, because we like to hear his crow - not for protection. He keeps them much closer together than when they were on their own, but I don't know that they're any safer with him.
You can tell if the eggs are being fertilized by the telltale bullseye on the yoke.

If you have a rooster, the eggs will be fertile.

No need to let them sit on the eggs, as long as you collect them daily there will be no chicks.

Fertile eggs eat just as good as non fertile.
Watch the rooster.
(Or you can crack the eggs and look at the blastodisc.)

Turn the rooster into a capon or keep him separate from the hens.

That depends on what predators you expect. If the hens are in a secure enclosure, that will protect them. Roosters can't really do much against determined predators anyway.
Just reading along, as i tend to do a lot of, you're saying that a rooster will kill the chicks once mama rejoins the flock? Like a tom cat will kill kittens to make mama go back into heat?
Cockerels are usually caponized very young, I'm not sure, much younger than 3 months. There are threads about it in the meat birds section. It is not a simple or entirely safe procedure.

I prefer having a rooster for the balance it gives the flock, along with the protection, and because I do want to be able to produce my own replacements here. When I've been without one I've had a hen take on the role of the rooster, trying to crow, not laying, even climbing on the hens' backs and grabbing neck feathers. I've never cracked an egg and found a developing chick. You would have to have a hen setting on them for several days without your knowing it, then collect the eggs and crack them to eat.

I've never had a rooster kill off chicks. There are two roos, four week-old chicks, and four half grown chicks in my flock at the moment. I've seen roosters help the mamas protect the chicks. Actually I don't recall reading about a roo kill off chicks. Perhaps this is more likely in certain breeds, or something.
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Hi Toolmaan! And Welcome!
From back to front...
You don't need a rooster to protect your hens.
You can't prevent him from mating the hens and fertilizing eggs unless you pen them seperately.
Collect eggs daily and you'll never have to deal with fertile eggs developing or chicks hatching.
Good luck with your Australorps, I've read they are great birds but never had any myself.


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