I feel like this is the question that literally no one is asking and yet, there are times in the
chicken tending journey where the thought inevitably crosses our minds …
Should I get a rooster?
Or, if you weren’t proactively considering whether or not you should get a rooster, you may be in a position of pondering what should I do with the rooster I got?
My short and sweet answer is: Heck yeah! You should totally get a rooster!
You should totally get a rooster if …
I mean, if you are not in town and you love the natural sound of the Cock-a-Doodle-DO’ing at … well randomly throughout the night, but most certainly as the sun begins to rise. Absolutely, you should get yourself a rooster.
Or … If you’re looking to upset the neighbours and you are wondering how fast the township you live in will respond to the noise complaints of residents hell bent on never allowing backyard chickens in their slice of paradise, then do it, get yourself a rooster.
It’s even great if you’re hoping to train, in an unconventional way, for a 100 meter dash and you figured that a rooster run is the way to go about it.
Maybe you just want to see how quickly you can light up the Facebook comments in your community’s little page as people gripe over what they can only assume is a large scale community’s chicken facility within city limits. How dare someone want to enjoy some beautiful and quirky animals that also poop breakfast!
If you answered yes to any of the above than I think you know what I’m about to say.
One hundred percent, you should get a rooster.
Why Should I Get a Rooster?
In all honesty, I love my rooster and I couldn’t imagine chicken keeping without him.
Here are some practical reasons that a rooster is an excellent addition to your backyard flock and, if you find the right one, why you will love your little Cock-a-Dilly.
- Roosters Fertilize Eggs: Yup, basic biology lesson right here, you need a rooster and a hen to get yourself fertilized eggs and homegrown chicks. While hens will lay you wonderful and tasty eggs without the presence of a rooster, if you want fertilized eggs or some “free” chicks you are going to need yourself a handsome stud (check out some of ours here).
- Roosters Provide Excellent Defence: There is a natural way about the animal kingdom and roosters know what’s up. When it comes to alerting the flock and defending the ladies, a rooster is the way to go (I mean, unless you can get yourself a guard goose those things can literally sleep with one eye open).That being said, and I am going to share with you an embarrassing but also, I mean, I can’t blame the fella, story …
We started our backyard chicken tending journey with some barnyard specials, straight run, hope for the best and expect the worst, birds that my kids absolutely adored. As the odds had it, we ended up with a roo or two. The fella we decided to keep was a fierce defender of the flock, and was known as our training partner in the 100 meter dash.
He was an excellent protector and had saved our hens on a couple of accounts from a hawk and even a fox. He knew his role and he did it well, sometimes too well as my children found out, they are now near Olympic athletes and ready for the sprinting competition so little harm ..no foul.
After losing him, we realized we enjoyed having a rooster but wanted something more … manageable with small children. Enter Colonel Sanders, a tiny Serama Rooster who, doesn’t exactly understand the role of the rooster. Not only is he ineffective at job one (fertilizing the flock) because he is so small and our flock is standard size, but he is also a horrible protector. He can get solid flight and so when trouble arises, he gets the stink out of there.
I don’t entirely blame him, he is pint sized, but … if you’re looking for something other than a wacky alarm clock, Colonel Sanders is not your guy. Back to why you should get a rooster.
- Roosters Keep the Peace in the Henhouse: I mean, if you have ever heard of the pecking order and have heard it compared, ladies night with a bunch of hens just clucking about, you know that the ladies can get a little nasty with one another. Roosters act as a mediator in the flock and control the pecking order because, big or small, a rooster finds himself at the top of the flock which puts the ladies at ease. In reality, there is no bad reason to have a rooster in your flock, whether you want one for practical reasons or you just want a show piece (like our little man), a rooster is a fun and fancy addition to your chicken tending life. Now, I know the next question, is there anything that can be done about the volume of the crow? Sure, a smaller rooster is quieter and I have known hens to out egg song my roosters best crow, but small roosters aren’t always practical (as we can see with the example of Colonel who neither reproduces, despite his valiant efforts, nor defends the flock).
If you decide to get a larger rooster or you find yourself with a straight run flock and happen upon more than one roo, a no crow collar is a great solution to the noise complaints and Facebook rants. We did this with our big guy, Bolt, and – while it doesn’t eliminate the full crow – it does reduce the overall volume of their songs making them much more tolerable.
^^ Don’t go after me on the no crow collar, we swore by it and it was a much better solution than freezer camp, though I will never judge someone for their choice to honour the bird by feeding their family with it, we’ve made that decision a number of times.
At the end of the day, so long as you are not in town and you are permitted to have a rooster, I would say that the are an excellent addition to the flock. AND, if you decide to have a rooster you will need to come back for the “How to Make a Rooster Like Me” post where we discuss avoiding the rooster run.
Let me know, if you have a rooster, what’s his name and can you run faster than him?