Are you considering adding a rooster to your existing flock? Ask a homesteader his or her thoughts on the benefits of roosters, and you’re likely to get a diverse response.
Because it not only serves as an excellent guard for a flock but also allows you to incubate your own eggs (since they’ll be fertilized), many people choose to keep a rooster. Keeping a rooster in your backyard flock comes with its own set of difficulties, such as the risk of aggression, but it also has a lot of benefits.
Pros to Keeping a Rooster
The most superficial motivation for keeping roosters is that they are stunning! Their tail feathers and distinctive plumage are two more reasons to admire these birds. In addition to their lovely hues, they have a lot of appeal.
Witnessing the peculiar and lovely courting ceremonies that take place between a rooster and a hen is one of the most amazing aspects of owning one. It’s really fun to observe!
2. Baby Chicks
You can’t have fertilized eggs without a rooster, so another good reason to consider getting one is.
Many non-chicken keepers wrongly believe that all eggs can grow baby chicks. That isn’t the case! Baby chicks must be fertilized in order to be born from eggs, and this is only possible through the help of a rooster.
Keeping a rooster in your flock may help you produce chicks. You just need a rooster in the coop, whether you want to incubate your own eggs or let a broody hen do the job for you.
Some individuals think that fertilized eggs provide more nourishment than unfertilized ones. Remember that fertilized eggs are no less secure, nourishing, or delectable than unfertilized ones. Science hasn’t proven this yet, but it’s a good point to keep in mind.
3. Maintains the Flock Hierarchy
A rooster may help keep the pecking order in check if you have one. The pecking order is a term that refers to the delicate balance that exists within a flock.
The hierarchy may be disrupted very easily without a rooster. Those who are lower down in the pecking order may find Hens who are at the pinnacle of it to be cruel. Hens may peck one another ferociously, resulting in their death in many cases.
Because he will always be at the top, having a rooster in the flock can help balance out the pecking order. He won’t be as prone to assault or torment the hens as other domineering hens might be, though.
Many chicken keepers mistakenly believe that roosters are naturally aggressive, which is a bad thing. Yet, roosters with an aggressive temperament have a valid reason for it: their sole purpose in life is to keep the hens safe from any perceived dangers.
There is no better way to keep your flock safe from dangers than adding a rooster. Whether it’s a weasel or a coyote, a hawk or an owl, there is no other option. When he detects danger, not only will he yell and fuss, but he’ll also fiercely protect the flock. The domineering rooster in many flocks will not flee for safety until his hens are secure and comfortable.
A rooster may be useful if your fowls are wandering about the property. After all, he has a territory to patrol, so not only will he keep the girls close to home but he will also prevent them from straying.
5. Built-in Alarm Clock
This attribute is considered unfavorable by many people, although it is loved by others. Your own personal alarm clock may be a rooster!
Crow for a variety of reasons, roosters do. It’s usually done to let other roosters know that the area is theirs. They’ll also mark their hens with it. Crowing is often used as a threat or predator warning signal.
What all roosters have in common, though, is that they crow at daybreak. A rooster is the best option if you want an alarm clock that never needs charging or resetting.
6. Seeks Out Food
How does a rooster take care of his hen? A rooster will often assume the role of finding food for his flock, leaving the rest of the flock informed when there are delicious treats nearby.
When you go out with some treats, is your rooster the first one to greet you? This is something you may have noticed in your own flock. That is because it is his responsibility to inform the hens that there is food to be eaten, and he wants to be at the front of the line for some treats.
7. Can Also Be Food
Roosters are just as valuable, if not more so, than hens when it comes to raising meat birds. They are not only comparable to hens in terms of being butchered and consumed, but they are often preferred.
Roosters have hormones that speed up their ability to gain weight more quickly, which is why they do. If you decide to raise roosters, you may get more bang for your buck by getting more meat per bird.
Cons to Consider Before Adding a Rooster
Raising a rooster is a fun activity, but there are certain difficulties. You should consider the following factors before deciding to keep roosters in your backyard flock.
You may not be permitted to keep a rooster in your municipality. Some roosters ownership restrictions are in place, while others are not.
It’s critical to understand the rules in your own municipality, particularly since many communities ban homeowners from keeping fowl.
Just because you are concerned about possible aggression doesn’t mean you should rule out the option of keeping a rooster. For starters, not all roosters are aggressive. Some breeds are particularly docile, and individual birds may vary dramatically in how docile they are.
Pick a rooster with a calm or even friendly temperament by researching the various chicken breeds.
It’s definitely worth the effort to try to maintain a rooster, but having a back-up strategy in case it becomes too dangerous. Keeping just one rooster is a common technique for reducing aggression in a flock. You may also need to find a new home for your rooster, or send it to the stewpot, on other occasions.
3. Stocking Density
As a follow-up to the argument I made above, if you only have one rooster, you are considerably less likely to notice signs of aggression than if you have multiple. When multiple roosters are duking it out for the top of the pecking order, you’re going to hear a lot of arguing.
Just be aware of proper stocking densities if you decide to keep various roosters. It’s generally advised that no more than one rooster be kept per six hens, although this is debatable. To determine an appropriate stocking density, just keep an eye on the dynamics of your flock.
A rooster will be your own personal alarm clock, which is one of the greatest advantages of owning one! This is a significant disadvantage, however. Having a rooster comes with the risk of seriously annoying your neighbors, not only because it means you’ll have to put up with crowing early in the morning, but also because it means you’ll be loud. Before you pick up your new roo, make sure they are on board.
Also, roosters don’t limit their crowing to the early hours of the day. Whether they perceive a threat (real or not) or something annoys them, they’ll make noises whenever they want.
Consider where your rooster will be placed on your property, too, if it’s worth your time. You may want to relocate the roosters as far away from your property line as feasible if you have a huge lot, for example, to avoid bothering your neighbors.
Keeping a rooster isn’t always a disadvantage, but it’s something to think about. Just like the rest of the flock, the average rooster lives for about five to eight years. To ensure the health and survival of your flock, you’ll want to prepare accordingly.
6. Health Needs
A rooster is treated the same as any other chicken when it comes to care. If he becomes too aggressive, you may have to consider removing his spurs.
You should also make sure that your rooster has a separate feed or that your girls get their calcium supplements through oyster shells rather than a special layer feed if you’re keeping your rooster with a flock of laying hens.
Because he won’t be laying any eggs, too much calcium in a rooster’s diet can cause serious renal problems, so it’s best to keep it to a bare minimum.
Deciding if a Rooster is Right for You
Free roosters are far more common than free hens, as any chicken keeper can attest. Since roosters are so noisy and might be aggressive, many individuals think that keeping them is not worth the effort.
Despite these minor flaws, raising roosters has a slew of benefits. Adding one to your backyard flock right now might be a good idea.