Adding a Rooster to the Flock
Until recently, our flock of chickens had only of hens. However, we ran into a little problem with the neighbor’s dog and I decided to see if a rooster would help minimize the damage. I figured a rooster might make it a little more challenging for the dog to sneak off with my hens. For me, it is important my chicken’s free range. While this comes with a higher risk of exactly the problem we are having, in my opinion, the benefits in egg quality are worth it.
I put an ad on our local classified looking for a rooster. As expected, I got many people eager to give me a rooster. Turns out lots of folks have unwanted roosters. I can’t imagine why! The rooster I picked up was the second rooster in that particular flock and causing a lot of problems for the dominant rooster in their flock. They were happy to send him on his way.
This rooster is an Ameraucana. Ameraucanas lay blue eggs. Because I am always a fan of a novelty such as a blue egg, I will probably let one of my chickens sit on a clutch of eggs if it works out.
Considerations for Keeping a Rooster
- Each rooster needs about eight hens to keep him occupied. If you only have a few hens, a rooster will be really rough on them.
- I think this one is obvious, but roosters are noisy. They crow.
- Roosters fertilize chicken eggs. Pretty basic. Because we go to the coup and gather eggs twice per day fertilized eggs are not a problem. However, if you collect eggs infrequently there is a potential for a major ick factor.
- Chickens have a pecking order. A Rooster will usually assume the dominant position within the flock. Some feel chickens do better with a rooster to assume that position. Prior to introducing the Rooster to the flock, a particular hen was clearly the leader of the flock.
- Hens lay just fine without a rooster, so it is really up to you.