Should I have a rooster in my flock? That is the question! When we first got chickens, we didn’t have a rooster. I had no idea how useful they were to the flock. Yes, you can have a flock without a rooster but read below to see why you might like or dislike having a rooster. They are more helpful than you would imagine. If you are new to chickens, also check out Should I Let My Chickens Free Range.
Should I have a Rooster In My Flock?
Although, sometimes roosters are overly aggressive. Finding the right rooster for you, your family, and your hens are very important. I have a rooster now, who is soooo pretty. Just look at him… but he might just be dinner soon. He is a good rooster but he keeps spurring me and my family, which is no bueno! Bad Boy!
Pros For Having a Rooster
- Alerts hens – to predators like dogs or hawks. Hens will have their heads down looking for food, or they will be laying around soaking up the sun and taking a dust bath. Oblivious to the fact that there is a hawk above head. That is where the rooster comes in. The rooster often will have his head on a swivel.
- Morning alarm – for humans. This could be good or bad depending on your situation.
- Provides fertilized eggs – Do you want baby chicks? You will need a rooster if you want to avoid buying chicks.
- Food alert! Roosters have an alerting noise to tell the girls when he’s found something yummy to eat. He might also do this falsely, to try to hump them. Check out What do chickens eat to see what we feed our chickens.
- Follow the leader – When you don’t have a rooster, a hen will have to step up and be head honcho. In the chicken pecking order, someone has to be in charge. Hens don’t always do as good as a job that a rooster.
- Peacemaker – He can break up fights between the hens.
- Stupid stopper – I know funny right? Seriously though. One of my hens decided she was going to attack the dog. The rooster stopped her before she could be dog dinner. My dog is really good with the chickens and even lets them lay on her. I don’t think she would take kindly to them attacking though!
- Beauty – I initially got my rooster because let’s face it… He is the most beautiful chicken I have ever laid my eyes on. He just happened to be for sale, lol.
- Entertainment – Hens are pretty entertaining but roosters seem to liven these girls personalities somehow. I don’t know how they do it, but I love just watching them. They love greeting me and begging for treats!
Cons for Having a Rooster
- Morning alarm – Yep, waking up at the crack of dawn to my rooster making his presence known is not exactly the highlight of my day. I don’t want to wake up before the sun, no thanks, dude!
- Attack! Yes, some roosters attack. They have what we call spurs. The older they get the bigger the spurs. They can be really dangerous! My rooster’s spurs are pretty small and he got me on the back of my leg. It is a pretty good puncture wound. If he attacked a kid, he wouldn’t get them on the leg, depending on their height, you might be looking at a head wound on a child. This is a big one to think about!
- battles with the neighbor’s roosters. I don’t mind this too much. If you have neighbors, they might not like all the noise. Thankfully, my neighbor who doesn’t have chickens said he enjoys hearing them. He must be a saint, lol. Although, I enjoy them too.
- Hard on hens – If you have too many roosters or not enough hens, sometimes roosters will be rough on them and even wound hens when mating with them. Try to even out the numbers. Have at least 5 hens before adding a rooster. One rooster will love up to 10-12 hens, if you get more than that, then think about getting a second rooster. If you even out your flock appropriately and you are still having problems, the rooster might just have to become dinner soon.
So, you can decide what is better for you and your girls. We love our roo, but if he doesn’t stop spurring us, he may just end up being dinner. I may have to replace him with a more docile rooster eventually. He’s a Sexlink, and from what I hear they are usually pretty aggressive and will only get worse with age.
Also check out Do I have to have a rooster, from the Praire Homestead.
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