When you own chickens, caring for them and collecting the eggs is just the beginning. Eventually, you’ll consider a bigger and better coop, fenced area to let them wander, and whether or not to get a rooster. Should you get one? We’ve compiled some of the best reasons for and against introducing a rooster to your flock.
If you want to add new chickens to your flock, a rooster makes it possible. Of course, this means you’ll need to double-check eggs before you collect them for your kitchen. Be sure to invest in an incubator to help your hens with brooding.
Positive: replace and grow your flock
Negative: carefully check eggs before consumption and help hens with brooding
Better Pecking Order
Almost anyone with a rooster will tell you that their hens are happier with a rooster. This is likely because the rooster will take over the responsibility as the dominant member of the flock. When there are just hens, one of them takes on the leading role. This can cause aggressive behaviors.
Positive: happier, well-cared-for flock
Negative: a virile rooster can harm hens due to rigorous and frequent mating
A good rooster will continually scan the environment for intruders, including flying predators. When they see something that doesn’t belong, they’ll crow to warn the chickens, attack the threat, or both.
Positive: safer environment for your hens
Negative: noise and aggressive behavior as roosters can turn on pets and children
Things to Consider Before Adding a Rooster to Your Flock
- Check if your neighborhood or city has specific noise ordinances, or if roosters are not allowed in your town.
- Ensure there are no fewer than eight chickens for one rooster. Anything less than that, and a virile rooster can cause serious damage to the hens. A good ratio is 8 to 10 hens per rooster.
- To avoid aggression toward pets and people, buy a docile breed of rooster and raise it from a chick. Be sure not to coddle or baby the rooster while it is young as this can backfire and cause the rooster to assert dominance over you.
- Roosters do not just crow in the morning or when predators approach. They can, and often do, make noise all day long.
Proud to be Your Chicken Headquarters
You’ll find everything you need to care for and raise your chickens, and a rooster, at your Northwest owned and operated Coastal. Look for more information on chickens, including how-to videos, articles on egg laying, egg storage, molting, and a helpful chart to pick the right breed at coastalfarm.com.