Why have a rooster?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Utard, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. Utard

    Utard Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am considering moving to an area that would have tons of room for chickens. I plan on having a 8'x12' walkin coop with an area outside that will be fenced to protect from all predators (will fencing on top). Size? Maybe 15'x30'. Then a third area with side fence but not protected from above. This area could be as large as 1 acre.

    I plan on having chickens for eggs and meat chickens.

    So I am wondering why I would want roosters? The hens can provide all my needs.

    So is there a benefit for them? Would they protect the flock from smaller predators? All I know if he ever attacks me he will make a nice stew :)
     
  2. maxpedley

    maxpedley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are good for eating, they will fertilise your eggs, keep your hens happy and in order and will fend off some predators but will always tell their hens if there are any predators around
     
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Whether you get a rooster or not depends on your goals for your flock. Do you want to hatch out and raise your own chicks to supplement your flock from year to year? If so, a rooster would be quite helpful. Otherwise you'll be buying day-old chicks from the hatchery or farm supply store every spring, or taking your chances on buying hatching eggs. That's really the only reason a person would NEED a rooster. If there is no rooster in the flock, a dominant hen will often take over guard duty, and keep the others in line. You've already stated that they'd be in an enclosed run, so protection isn't really an issue. Hens are perfectly capable of finding their own food or treats so you don't NEED a rooster for that (although it is fun to bring down kitchen scraps and watch a good rooster call to the hens and feed his favorites) A rooster could fend off a smaller predator, but wouldn't stand a chance against a coyote, fox, dog, some birds of prey, or other larger animals. Let us know what you decide!
     
  4. Utard

    Utard Chillin' With My Peeps

    It just seems to me dealing with the whole, fertilize the eggs and incubate them thing would be a bit of a pain? Just seems if I have access to chicks in the spring would be a lot easier and cheaper? At $3-4 per chick.

    I was thinking each spring I could get 10 chicks of one breed. Then next year get 10 chicks of a different breed. Each year the males would culled when ready. Figuring 10-20% so 1-2 new males per year? Then after lets say 3-4 years of laying those older hens would be culled. I was thinking having a new different breed each year would be an easy way to keep track of how old they are getting?
     
  5. maxpedley

    maxpedley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Personally I would go for crosses where you keep different breeds and interbreed them. Crosses usually grow quicker and lay more eggs than purebreeds.
     
  6. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Getting fertilized eggs would be no problem at all if you keep your rooster with the flock [​IMG]. Incubating does take some attention, but a good broody hen would take care of that with no problem. Of course, there is no guarantee that a hen would go broody when you want her to, or at all.... If you prefer to buy chicks in the spring, that's entirely up to you. There is no wrong answer here.

    If you get 10 chicks each spring and buy straight run, you'd better plan for at least 50% males. It happens. A lot. By buying a new breed every year, keeping therm for 3-4 years, you know you could potentially have up to 30-40 chickens running around. Are you prepared for that? Do you have enough space and shelter? I'm glad you have a plan for extra roosters. Too many people don't. I think buying a new breed every year would be a way to keep track of how old they're getting. It would also give you a chance to find out what breeds you like, and what breeds maybe don't' meet your goals for your flock.
     
  7. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    I keep a rooster to wake up my neighbor in the morning.

    Actually he's not much of a noise maker. Few crows each morning and then only if trouble is about or they are out of feed/water etc. he alarms for me to give attention to the situation. Of course good for hatching eggs and the cockerels hatched are good for meat. Not to mention the little girls here are wary of him so it keeps them from going into the run and wreaking havoc trying to grab hens to hold and pet.
     
  8. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Egghead_Jr brings up some good points. Do you have neighbors that would be close by and bothered by a crowing rooster? Do you have small children that would be living with you or visiting? Not that every rooster is a threat to children, but it's definitely something to think about. My nearest neighbors are a mile away, so a crowing rooster isn't a problem, and the little kids that come here and visit don't go by the chickens without adult supervision. The rooster and hens magically disappear when they hear the kids coming (they can hear them from a long way, so there is enough time to pull off that little trick) so there really is no threat there.
     
  9. Whoops

    Whoops Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I want a rooster because one of the reasons I wanted to get chickens was to try to transition a bit from being a consumer to a producer. If I don't have a rooster and buy chicks, I am still a consumer. I am still supporting some animal husbandry practices I find appalling. And, you still need the brooder for bought chicks. You have to deal with the integration issues and the potential new diseases or health issues brought into your flock with every spring.

    Shipping chicks produces a lot of waste. There is the packaging, the transportation costs, the inevitable losses, the stress of getting to the post office to pick them up.

    Another reason I want a rooster is that I want to promote a breed that I like and help it gain a stronger foothold.

    But, those are my reasons. They may or may not apply to you.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. memphis

    memphis Overrun With Chickens

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