Most people decide to raise roosters alongside hens for different reasons. A rooster’s ability to fertilize eggs and provide order and protection to the flock is vital among them.
Roosters are beneficial to garden chicken owners, but they pose some challenges. These creatures can be aggressive, noisy, and less productive than hens.
Here are some pros and cons of keeping a rooster in your flock.
Pros of Having a Rooster in Your Flock
1. Roosters Can Provide Flock Protection
Chickens are one of the most endangered creatures to raise. They can’t effectively defend themselves unless there is a rooster in the flock. A superior rooster is all the time surveying the sky for hawks, owls, and other prey birds. They are also always on the look for other predators.
In addition, roosters that have acquired ownership of the flock will fight to the death to protect their females. They will frequently fight rats, raccoons, snakes, and other creatures that pose dangers to the flock. That makes them beneficial bodyguards, though that can also mean they are aggressive to strangers.
2. Roosters Provide Flock Control Against Bullying
The pecking instinct in a flock is a continuous fight for power. Two or three of the most aggressive and energetic hens will often bicker of the top hen in a flock without a rooster. That can cause aggressive behavior among your flock and can even lead to excessive bullying.
Although you can curb bullying in your flock with a few practices, a rooster will also help restrain bullying. Your rooster will watch for hens that are harassing smaller chicks and step in to stop the battle. A rooster will establish supremacy among the hens and prevent them from fighting for the top hen status in the flock.
3. Roosters Are a Beautiful Addition to the Flock
Like many bird species, roosters are far more pretty, brilliant, and attractive than their female cousins. The gleaming vivid colors of any rooster breed will gladden and add beauty to your flock.
Different from hens, roosters possess unique personalities. You may get to know your roosters while admiring their attractive feathers. A rooster will behave differently from hens, so you will spend time observing your rooster’s traits unfold, and at least they will be easy to spot.
4. They are a Good Source of Meat
Roosters provide high meat production for a sustainable household. Dual-purpose flocks give both large-sized chick and high egg production. That makes raising chickens extremely sustainable.
For cockerels (young male roosters), you can often slaughter them for meat at 12-16 weeks. Although they have not yet attained full size, they are still big enough for a tasty dinner and tender due to their age.
Although the slaughtering of your roosters might not appeal to you, it is a common and essential aspect of farm life. Nearly half of all chicks are roosters. Because roosters are in far low demand than hens, culling them is a life fact.
5. Helps in Eggs Fertilization
If you value sustainability, the need to raise your own chick is necessary. It drastically reduces the costs of expanding your flock and allows you to maintain productive hens without continuously having to buy new chicks.
And roosters are vital in this process. Without them, the eggs will never get fertilized or hatch into chicks. In most cases, roosters will fertilize the eggs, help to hatch and care for the young chicks.
Roosters can easily mate up to 30 times in a day. That means a single rooster can keep relatively a flock of hens engaged and their eggs fertilized.
6. Act as a Built-In Alarm Clock
Although a rooster’s crowing can be a nuisance to you or your neighbors, it can also be helpful. Most people discern this quirk negatively, but some love it. Your rooster may become your alarm clock at a particular time of the day or night.
For example, they can wake you up in the morning or remind you that it is time for lunch during the day.
Every rooster crow after reaching a particular age and often crow for different reasons. One is to show that he is supreme over his flock. Other roosters will, however, do the same to mark their hens or territory.
In addition, they frequently recur to crowing to signal the presence of a threat or predator.
7. Roosters Keep Hens at Ease, Enhancing Eggs Production
It is wild how a little estrogen can make your hen get alive in a little vibrant competition. Adding a new rooster can cause your hens to begin producing better suddenly.
Although it is just a temporary fix, a rooster can revamp an aged hen that doesn’t lay much. Hens have a finite number of eggs they can lay in their life. So, introducing a rooster can expedite laying those eggs, although he cannot make the hen lay more eggs than she carries.
In addition, roosters may keep hens laying heavily during the colder winter periods.
Usually, after the first to two years of egg production, hens may drastically reduce the eggs they lay for the next two to three years until they stop laying entirely. If you rare chickens for egg production, you are likely to cull or give them away when they have stopped laying. Surprisingly, a rooster can keep your chickens consistently laying until they have expended all their eggs.
Cons of Having a Rooster in Your Flock
1. Roosters Can Be Aggressive to People
Roosters may take their flock protection seriously. That means they will sometimes become aggressive to people, including you. It may also include kids, neighbors, and other people your rooster is not familiar with.
Most chicken breeds are often affectionate, and the roosters are not such aggressive. Some chicken breeds are known to be less aggressive to people. However, it is necessary to tame your rooster from young chicks.
Treat them well, cuddle and play with them while they are still young chicks if you want to have a much tamer rooster. Keep having regular interactions with your rooster to reduce his aggression towards people. However, you may still have issues if kids try to play with your hens.
2. Some Regions Prohibit Roosters
Since roosters are loud and quite aggressive, some regions prohibit roosters with city boundaries, even if they allow hens. In NYC, for instance, hens are legal, but roosters are illegal, together with turkeys, geese, and ducks. Violators face fines of $1,000.
It is advisable to check with your local code to be sure whether you can keep a rooster. It is rarely possible to raise a rooster secretly and not get caught. Roosters’ rowdy crowing will alert neighbors or anyone else passing near your home.
3. Over-Mating with Hens
Roosters are incredibly virile. They can mate quite frequently. However, over-mating hens may lead them to lose their plumage on the back and neck.
It can make them look picked on or tormented. It is crucial to provide your rooster with enough hens to keep the rooster engaged, so your hens get some rest. Do not keep a single rooster with just a few hens since the hens will pay the price of his thirst.
Make sure you provide at least 8 to 10 hens for a single rooster. However, a single rooster can easily mate with twice that number and keep the eggs fertile.
4. Crowing Noise
Roosters usually make loud crows which can be annoying. If you stay in an urban area, you may not want to keep a rooster since the loud crowing could bother your neighbors.
They begin crowing early in the morning, just before sunset, and may continue for some hours. Roosters often start crowing around mid-day as well as in the evening. In addition, they will crow when excited, surprised, or disturbed.
Keeping a rooster comes with pros and cons. They can provide order and protection to your flock, help diversify your hens’ diet, fertilize eggs, or act as a natural clock. However, they can also be a nuisance to you, your hens, and your neighbors.
Depending on your requirements and where you live, you can decide whether to keep a rooster or do away with it. Make an individual plan of what you want to achieve with your flock, and then you can make a well-thought decision of whether you can keep a rooster.
Featured Image Credit: klimkin, Pixabay