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What To Expect When You Keep A Rooster In Your Flock

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Deciding to keep a rooster in your flock can be a tough decision!  

But if you’re planning on raising a dual purpose flock, or even better heritage breed chickens, they are a must!  (Unfortunately there’s no immaculate conception with chickens!)

But you may not being raising your chickens for meat and eggs like us, so there are a lot of things to consider when deciding to keep a rooster in your flock.

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We have always had at least one rooster in the flock and I think about the pros and cons quite a bit!  So let’s take a look at it that way.  Pros and cons.

So, do you like good news or bad news first??  Let’s start with the good news!

What are the pros when you keep a rooster in your flock?

Having a rooster does not mean that you’re doomed to look over your shoulder every time you walk out your door.  Not all roosters are determined to terrify and attack!

We’ve had a lot of roosters over the years, at the very least 20.  (Raising your own chickens from eggs, you unfortunately are not guaranteed all hens.)

And I can safely say that we’ve only ever had one that seemed to be out to get us.

Now, I’m sure our luck will run out soon enough, but I’m liking the odds of 20:1.

Roosters have jobs, and they’re good at them!  And giving them a job takes a job away from you!  (Who doesn’t like less work??)

Job number one is to fertilize your eggs!  You can’t hatch chicks if your eggs aren’t fertile.  And if you don’t have fertile eggs, that means you have the buy them!

(Have a broody hen?  Check out what it’s like letting a broody hen brood!)

Job number two is to protect your flock!  You can’t imagine how much time this saves you and how great they are at doing their job.

Living in a rural area we have a lot of predators.  So, when we first got our chickens we were a bit obsessive about watching over them.

But, after watching how well our rooster did  alerting the flock of danger, we realized he was better than we were!  He noticed things that we never would have noticed and through different sounds he was able to warn them and everyone ran for cover.

They add a new channel to your chicken TV.  Yep, chicken TV.

When you get chickens you’ll realize that you could just spend hours watching them!  They have amazing personalities and your rooster will add a new dimension to your entertainment.

So there are a few pros for you, and they are worth it for us.  But, will the cons change your mind?

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What are the cons when you keep a rooster in your flock?

As I mentioned before, you might not be doomed to a crazy, battle prone rooster.  But, you might be…

Our first rooster was nuts.  He and I seemed to have an agreement, but every time my husband walked by there ended up being a 5 to 10 minute battle between the two of them.

And Lord forbid one of the dogs turn their back!  Poor Layla would run off and hide, and Maggie would grab him by the leg and throw him around with me screaming at the two of them and trying to break them apart!

I can hear the neighbors comments in my head, right now!  Needless to say we said goodbye to him when he went after a child.  (Check out how to butcher bad roosters here.)

Their crow is LOUD!  And it’s not just in the morning.  They crow all day long!

And if you make the mistake of letting them out at 7, because you’ve been up since 5 so everyone should be up (shouldn’t they??), and your neighbor has their window open I promise you’ll hear about it.

Watching them mate isn’t so bad when they’ve grown up a bit and have developed their swagger.  But young roosters have none and they will make you want to cry for your hens!

Now imagine having four or five of them all come of age at the same time and decide they each have a crush on the same girl!

This is when you know it’s time for freezer camp.  And I promise even vegetarians have no problem saying goodbye, just ask my friend Kara!

After frequent mating, your hens may develop bald patches on their backs.  I promise they’re not sick!

It will grow back and you can help protect them with a chicken saddle!

It’s a tough call but we wouldn’t change our minds.  Do you think you’re ready for a rooster?? Tell me in the comments!


Friday 12th of June 2020

I have barred rocks. Every rooster has been in attack mode 24/7. The first rooster stalked a neighbor..would track her along fence as she walked past. If she dared come into yard he would lurk and attack. Gone bird. The second and third ones attacked everybody.gone.the one have now is currently in a big dog cage waiting for final solution after ripping visitors pants. Is it the breed? I need a rooster.


Friday 12th of June 2020

What horrible luck! I have not raised Barred Rocks so it might be the breed?? We've had the best luck with Buff Orpington Roos. I've also been very adamant about asserting dominance with all of our roos after our first! Good luck!

Amber Bradshaw

Tuesday 7th of November 2017

I can't wait to have roosters again- or chickens for that matter. I live in a area where ALL roosters are against the law in the COUNTY. After that infringement, they banned chickens from my street. Yep, street. The street behind us can have them. Insane.


Thursday 31st of August 2017

I love my Rooster! My flock is coming of age to lay and get laid ! haha I have 1 rooster and 6 hens, he has his choice between the ladies and he chooses them all, all day everyday! At the moment I cuss him out for chasing after the hens as they run for their lives trying not to get mounted, I'm hoping they find their footing once their hormones aren't so raging! I didn't purposely get a rooster though as I'm only interested in eggs. He's beautiful though, he has charged at my son which is a big NO NO but it's a learning experience for all of us. I can only imagine what my neighbors say about living next to a rooster now! Once egg production is up, I will probably send them eggs as a peace offering if they last until that time! haha

Padraigen Colo Native

Thursday 7th of December 2017

Get a few more hens please 6 is not enough


Tuesday 8th of August 2017

I never knew chickens were so interesting until we got a rooster and a couple older hens from a lady who was getting rid of some unproductive stock. The rooster is a delightful gentleman. He looks after his ladies well and is a VERY good parent to the poults and whatever you call teenage roosters. I had let our black hen brood on a dozen eggs this spring. She hatched ten but we lost 4 to a mama rat before we knew what was happening...(pen is now rat proof). We found her nest of little babies and poor husband had to kill them, I was too squeamish. We then fed those little rats to the flock. You've never seen such chicken happiness.. Karma is a bitch. Eventually Miss Broody decided she was done with those chicks and Lucille took over the mothering ... She's the old hen with red feathers. We've 4 little roosters and 2 poults. One of the little roosters seems to be the boss and breaks up any sparring. He never instigates a squabble and we will keep him...a gentleman like his papa. Sorry to ramble on but I don't get to share my chicken love with people...their eyes glaze over when I start!!

Stacey Smith

Monday 7th of August 2017

After 5 years of backyard chicken keeping, we have our first rooster. We ordered 6 EXPENSIVE Svart Hona Eggs from across the country. Unfortunately, the post office lost them for 2 day and only 1 hatched. It was obvious very early on he was a little roo BUT my son in law fell in LOVE with little "Solo". He is - so far - a very friendly and good mannered rooster. He has been handled every day since he hatched and also has become very familiar and very attached to his "fur brother", our 1 year old pit bull Atlas. He is 6 months old now and has been integrated into the main flock along with 4 young Americana and 2 buff orphington hens we bought as chicks as soon as we realized he would be the only one hatched from his clutch. Our oldest ladies give him no respect at all and he is a small rooster so he takes their abuse, especially our "queen bee", a 4 year old light Brahma named Ethel who is more than twice his size. So far his crow isn't TOO loud (except the other night when he decided 2AM was a good time to start!) and our neighbors don't mind far!