A week ago, we had over 1000 Roosters on one of our farms, a large number of roosters however you look at it. Experience says there are many advantages and disadvantages when keeping roosters, and the perspective depends on what it is that you are trying to produce. When you want to produce fertile eggs or little chicks, you definitely need roosters.
Let’s have a detailed look at a few advantages and disadvantages of keeping roosters.
Advantages of keeping roosters
1. Fertile Eggs
The need for fertile eggs is one of the reasons to keep roosters. When you have fertilized eggs, and hatch them with a reputable hatcher, you can be sure to get some fluffy chickens in a few short weeks, and your flock will keep growing. Faithful Hatchery has gotten 100% hatch rates and continues to get good hatch rates. You can order our hatching services here.
If you keep your chickens for business, you will understand why it’s very important for your flock to grow steadily. Having at least one rooster among your hens makes this possible. You want to have your flock grow, and to achieve this, you need roosters to get fertile eggs, that will hatch into healthy chicks that will grow into beautiful hens and roosters.
So, whether your chickens are for business or personal purposes, it is hugely beneficial to have roosters.
Roosters are known for their protective nature, they protect the hens at all times, be it from a wild cat, that stray dog that either wants to steal the eggs or chickens for food, or curious people who get to close. This is very important especially when the hens have chicks.
Interestingly, roosters have different crows that they use to communicate with other chickens and the farmer that there’s danger.
Like sheep without a shepherd, when hens are alone without a rooster, they tend to fight amongst themselves for dominance, to find out who the strongest is, the one who will be the head of the flock.
When a rooster is among the flock they know he is the one in control so there’s always peace and harmony and no competition unless you have a large number of Roosters in the flock. The hens are much happier when roosters are around.
Roosters are the ones that crow in the morning to welcome a new day. Many people living on farms use this as their alarm clock most of the days. Roosters have amazing internal clocks and tend to stick to it. Their crowing can also act as an alert to warn the owner that there’s a trespasser coming for the chickens.
If you would like to buy a rooster, check out our shopping page.
Disadvantages of keeping roosters
1. Noise Pollution
Chickens are noisy creatures, roosters especially and as much as the crowing of the roosters helps you as a farmer, sometimes it can be a little overwhelming. Living in close proximity to others and keeping roosters might prove challenging. Many people living in the cities cannot keep chickens, because of their noise which cannot be controlled. People living in urban areas in South Africa are not allowed to keep roosters.
2. Rough and Aggressive
Roosters can be so rough on the hens – especially if there are too many roosters with too few hens. Eight hens for every rooster is a good ratio to keep. This will ensure that most of your eggs are fertile, your hens aren’t damaged and your feed costs aren’t too high.
Hens can become fearful of the roosters, which can affect and hinder the laying of eggs. Sometimes the roosters seek out the broken eggs, and peck at the little chicks, leaving them bruised, hurt and unhealthy looking.
Roosters have also been known to be aggressive towards humans as well – is it because of their defensive attitude towards the flock? It is difficult to say, but farmers have been injured by the rooster’s spur when they were trying to give the chickens food and water.
Fights, fights, fights… whether its children or chickens, there is always something going on… This is something to be aware of whenever you have more than one rooster there is potential for a skirmish. When a new rooster is presented to the flock during daytime, all the other roosters might kill him.
The suggestion at this point, is one rooster for 8 hens, because, unless yours is a special case, you will still want a rooster in your coop.
Maybe you have the secret formula, and you know your flock. Let us know what your formula is, and please feel free to share your advantages and disadvantages of keeping roosters in the comment section.
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