When your hen is a rooster?!? (so many questions)

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by RedMoxie, Apr 22, 2018.

  1. RedMoxie

    RedMoxie Songster

    Dec 28, 2017
    So, we got 15 babies around Christmas. One of our Australorps started getting more and more pretty: comb getting redder, saddle feathers prominent, lush tail feathers. In retrospect, we should have seen it coming.

    Anyway, this morning *she* started crowing. And crowing. There was no practice crows that we heard over the last few months. Nothing, then today *her* full throated good morning had us jumping out of bed at 5 am and wondering about which neighbor would kill us first.

    I kind of love him--he is gentle and calm and completely beautiful. With the number of predators we have around here I also like the idea of a rooster. I was telling my husband that we should try a crow-collar, our lots are big so its possible that we can bring the volume down and not irritate everyone in our hood. But...

    We were hoping for a mountain of eggs every week--15 hens worth--and we have no idea how having a rooster will actually impact that. Will we be able to identify fertile eggs? Will we be risking cracking fertile eggs into our omelet pan? Is this easy to navigate, or do we just need to part with Bessy-is-Larry now?
  2. puffypoo

    puffypoo Like Machine

    Oct 3, 2015
    Western Massachussetts
    Fertile eggs are completely edible like non fertile eggs, so you should be just fine there.
    WVduckchick likes this.
  3. RedMoxie

    RedMoxie Songster

    Dec 28, 2017
    Thanks so much for the quick reply. Is there a window that they need to be eaten before becoming embryonic? I plan on giving egg baskets to the neighbors and dont want to risk them cracking open something slightly more biological looking? What is the window before they start to develop? Or are we okay if we collect eggs daily and refrigerate?
    puffypoo22 likes this.
  4. Cryss

    Cryss Crowing

    Nov 12, 2017
    Northwest New Jersey
    You won't know the difference as long as you collect the eggs daily.
    puffypoo22 and RedMoxie like this.
  5. Kathryn173

    Kathryn173 Songster

    Apr 26, 2014
    No time limit on them, the embryos won't start to develop until a hen goes broody and starts to sit on them. I only have fertile eggs and have never had any problems.
  6. TattooedChicks

    TattooedChicks Songster

    Jan 21, 2017
    Kansas City
    I also have roos with no crow collars and I collect my eggs daily, so far we have happy neighbors and yummy eggs that just happen to have little white bullseyes on the yolks. Extra convenient for when chick fever hits you too. ;)
  7. SueT

    SueT Free Ranging

    May 27, 2015
    SW MO
    There is nothing wrong w eating fertile eggs! No one will know the difference. People probably eat them all the time without realizing it..... Just last month someone posted that they put a Walmart egg in their incubator and it hatched!
    Brahma Chicken5000 and RedMoxie like this.
  8. WVduckchick

    WVduckchick For The Birds!

    Feb 9, 2015
    West Virginia
    My Coop
    Absolutely agree with the others. If you can keep the rooster, the eggs will still taste and function the same.
    Be aware that it's not abnormal to see random "things" inside eggs, whether you have a rooster or not. Tiny blood specks, "meat" spots, etc. It's not the rooster's fault, but hens do get glitches in their system on occasion.
    Brahma Chicken5000, RedMoxie and aart like this.
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    A fertile egg won't start to develop into an embryo until it is kept at ~100°F for a couple days.

    Yes, even if you leave them unwashed on the counter....unless your house is 100°F.
    RedMoxie and WVduckchick like this.
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I've never tried a no-crow collar so don't know how that will work.

    Others will disagree, but in my experience a rooster does little good against most predators. The biggest benefit is that he might be an early warning system against a few predators. But a lot of the predators are ambush type so he does not see them coming or they attack at night when he is on the roost and pretty helpless. When mine identify a threat they tend to lead the flock to safety instead of defend it. In the various predator attacks I've had (dogs, fox, hawk, and owl), my rooster has always escaped unscathed. There are times a rooster does help, but from what I've seen that help is often more romanticized than reality.

    It is possible a rooster will become human aggressive or will be rough on the hens, but again I find that the risk of that is often overstated, especially once they get through puberty. Things can be really unsettling watching a cockerel go through puberty. As someone on here said, watching them go through puberty is not for the faint of heart. Those things can happen and occasionally do happen, but most of the time they don't when you are dealing with adults.

    I don't know what your goals are but I generally recommend to only keep as many roosters as you need to meet your goals. The only reason you need a rooster is if you want fertile eggs, anything else is just personal preference. Many people that do not want fertile eggs would still not dream of having a flock without a rooster, others are extremely happy to not have a rooster anywhere near their flock. At the end of the day it is not going to affect how many eggs your hens lay. Others had covered the eating fertile eggs question.

    I don't know if the correct answer for you is 0 or 1 rooster. That has to be your call. But kind of reading between the lines I suspect it might be 0.

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