Once you decide on the type and the amount of chickens you’ll have, you’ll probably wonder if you should also get a rooster. Maybe you got a male chick by mistake and are wondering how good or bad would he be for your flock. The short answer? It depends. Having a rooster has its pros and cons, however more people are deciding that a rooster would be a great addition to their flock. Want to know why?
A guide and protector
A good rooster will automatically become the shepherd of your flock. He’ll break up fights between chickens, keeping them safe. He will supervise the area, alerting chickens when there’s food and guiding them around. One of the main benefits of roosters besides egg fertilization is how tirelessly they’ll protect their flock, which is specially valuable if you have free range chickens. They’ll warn their flock when sensing danger and defend them relentlessly against predators from the ground and from the air.
More free chickens
The main reason why people decide to get a rooster is for their reproductive capabilities. He’ll mate with most or all of your chickens. But what about the fertilized eggs? Can you still eat those? Well yes you can! You can eat them just as you eat the unfertilized ones. Having a rooster doesn’t mean losing your access to fresh eggs!
Beautiful sight and sounds
Watching your flock being guided by a rooster can be quite entertaining. Like hens, they all have their own personalities and quirks. It’s fun to see them guide the chickens around and find food for them. Plus, their bright and beautiful feathers will quickly make them one of your most beautiful chickens in your flock. And if you enjoy the cackle of your hens, you’ll probably enjoy the rooster’s crow, a classic sound of a beautiful rural place.
Cons: When you shouldn’t have a rooster
Keep in mind that, unlike hens, roosters can’t usually be pets. And while once in a blue moon you’ll find a friendly rooster, they generally are more interested in their flock than in being your friend. Some can become overprotective and attack people and even other chickens. If you have kids, they’ll have to learn to be careful of an unfriendly rooster and not approach him the same way they approach the hens.
Even if you don’t mind the constant crowing, your neighbors might. If you live very close to your neighbors or if they’ve complained about the constant cackling from your flock, a rooster may not be for you. You should also check your neighborhood’s rules and the municipal regulations. Some directly prohibit roosters due to the noise they can make.
Also remember that they will try to mate constantly and if you don’t have enough chickens, they’ll wear your flock down, causing them stress, affecting their egg production and probably even harming them due to the rooster’s insistence of mating. Don’t get a rooster if your flock has less than ten chickens.
At the end of the day remember that your hens will produce eggs with or without a rooster. Some farmers actually prefer to keep an all female flock and buy new hens while some like their chickens to hatch their own eggs. At the end of the day, the decision is yours!