You Need a Rooster in Your Flock (No, Really!)
Wondering if you need a rooster in your flock? The answer is a huge, resounding, yes!
So, if you’ve never raised a rooster, it may be time to consider giving one of your straight run roos a chance to be the fowl he was meant to be.
But, if you’re like me, the thought of raising a rooster scares you.
“They can be mean, they will chase me, and they are loud! Why would I keep a rooster?”
If you live in a neighborhood where you can keep chickens, it’s likely you aren’t allowed to have a roo in the city.
Rooster regulations are meant to keep the peace amongst neighbors.
Wars have started over the sound of crowing at sunup (or pretty much all day for that matter)…and who doesn’t love that?
With that being said, if you’ve got the space, and the ability, you should have a rooster, and here’s why:
1. You Need A Rooster Because They’re Beautiful
Yes, this is one of the more obvious reasons people love roosters. Their plumage is stunning!
During a “rooster dance,” feather patterns, and hints of iridescence, are mesmerizing. Raising a rooster to maturity is a fascinating development to witness.
From hatch day to early demonstrations of dominance-from awkward teenage days and first embarrassing attempts at crowing, you’ll be filled with pride as your chick turns into a handsome, stoic, rooster.
2. Roosters Are Entertaining
You were wondering if I would come back to this, weren’t you? The rooster dance? Well, it’s a jig roosters perform for his hen before mating.
He might also dance to keep his hens in line or show another rooster that these are his ladies. During the dance, the roo thrusts his wing outward and shuffles quickly around his hen.
3. Roosters Crow to Protect Their Flock
Crowing isn’t a reason that will convince every chicken lover to give their roosters a chance. However, if you’re head-over-heels in love with chickens, and fascinated by their vocal abilities, you may grow to love the sound of a rooster crowing.
Roosters crow early morning (outside your bedroom window, of course) and will continue throughout the day.
Roos crow to warn the ladies of impending doom.
And they crow to warn another rooster against “checking out” his girlfriend.
Roosters also crow to call their ladies over when a tasty snack has been discovered.
Most importantly, roosters crow to intimidate predators and protect their hens.
4. Roosters are Warriors
Chivalry isn’t dead in the eyes of a roo.
He’s a mighty warrior, with eyes to the sky, ready at a moment’s notice. If danger is near, he alerts his hens with body language and impressive vocals. He’s willing to take a “bullet” for his hens as they scratch and eat…completely unaware of their surroundings.
If a predator is near, your rooster will puff up and ruffle his feathers to make himself appear larger to predators.
Often, this display of flapping and fluffing is enough to deter aerial predators from swooping in for a chicken dinner.
5. Roosters Are Chivalrous
When observing a rooster and his hens, you’ll notice the hen’s main focus is food. She doesn’t have time to watch for predators and roos knows this.
Roosters will happily miss out on tasty treats to keep watch over his hens while they peck away at something delicious.
In fact, if a roo happens across a pile of mealworms, or strategically placed bread crumbs, he’ll cluck to his hens and they come running, 100 miles an hour.
As they feast, the protective rooster remains upright, always watching for any threats to his lovely ladies.
6. Roosters Are Baby Makers
You don’t need a rooster to get fresh eggs from your ladies, but you do need him to experience the joy of incubating and hatching your own eggs.
You won’t have to order new chicks every year when you have a rooster to get the job done. Planning to replace old layers, any lost hens or roosters, is a cinch.
If you’re someone who enjoys genetics or showing your poultry, you have complete creative control over your flock when you have a rooster to fertilize eggs.
Think Twice About Sending Your Roo To Freezer Camp
Unless there are laws against keeping roosters in town, there’s no reason you shouldn’t keep a rooster.
If you provide enough space, plenty of hens per rooster, and learn to love crowing, he will be no bother.
Not all roos will be as angelic as described; a lot of it will have to do with the breed as well as the handling you may, or may not, have done while he was a chick. If you end up with a bratty boy, well, you know what to do.
However, don’t let one bad egg be the reason you don’t give another roo a chance in the future.
Since adding a rooster to my flock, I’ve not lost a single hen to a hawk attack, nor have they wandered off.
My hens are at peace and fatter than ever.
Unfortunately, I have lost a rooster or two because, well, he gave his life for his hens. I’m always devastated when I lose a hen to a hawk, but losing a rooster is like losing the hero of your favorite novel or tv show.
Because, let’s face it, watching a flock of chickens is more entertaining than the newest binge-worthy show. And when the hero dies in our story, a little piece of our hearts break too.