Many people only ever hear of the disadvantages and problems a rooster can cause especially in an urban environment where loud noises like crowing can be a worry; but, there are several reasons why keeping a rooster is a good idea if local council laws in your area permit.
1. Protection - Roosters are very protective of their flock (remember those old cartoons with the big rooster beating up the naughty cat or dog trying to get the hens) well, it's not so dramatic as that, however a rooster can be quite aggressive when riled up.
Recently, our rooster lost a good chunk of his tail feathers whilst attacking a large goanna trying to steal some eggs. If you live in an area with birds of prey and you free-range your flock roosters are extremely handy at spotting attack from the air and will warn the flock and even find a place hide everyone (like back in the coop) until the threat is over.
If you're worried about your rooster being aggressive towards you or other family members, it does help greatly if you raise your rooster yourself from chick. That way, your rooster will more likely be human friendly and won't pose a problem or scare the kids. Our current rooster is very family friendly - he's a good boy who does a top job protecting the flock without terrifying the family during egg collection.
Having said that, roosters generally aren't "dangerous" and the spurs on their feet or wing spikes may cause a small scratch at worse on a person if it really got to that stage and a rooster had a free shot. Realistically, roosters are no match for a human and won't attack front on and if they do it's usually from behind and merely a kick with a swoosh from the wings to give a nice fright but that's about it...
2. Food gathering - Roosters inherently look to find food for the flock and this is particularly evident in a free-ranging environment where the area is left to grow a little wild with a good variety of plants.
On our property, we have a species of native clumping grass which produces a seed head full of long thorns and at the base of these thorns small berries are formed. The hens love the berries but can't reach the fruit; however, the rooster has a larger beak and is able to pick the berries out from between the thorns and then throw them on the ground for the hens to get.
It seems to me that besides protection the other main job of a rooster is finding food and he rarely eats first, in fact, he will often go without and happily call the hens over with his high pitched excited clucking whenever he finds a worm or something good to eat letting the girls have their fill before he gets a turn.
3. Discipline - Pecking order within a flock of hens is important and a hen can remember her place in a flock of a hundred other birds. Even so, fights do happen and a rooster is the perfect mediator to quell the tempers when the girls get angry. If there's a fight he will jump between the offending parties and growl keeping them separated and ensuring both know not to continue.
If a hen steps out of place or goes somewhere not approved the rooster will dance in a circle around her shuffling his feet and growling his disapproval. If she still doesn't pay attention then he will peck or bully her until she submits but it doesn't often come to that.
4. Teaching - Roosters are good fathers and they do pay attention to new hatchlings often showing them where to safely go and what to eat. I've seen our rooster oversee the hen and her clutch and be quite gentle with the chicks.
If there's a new gadget or feeder introduced to the pen the rooster is often the first one to inspect it and figure out how it works then excitedly show the hens.
5. Breeding - Naturally, you can't make chicks without a rooster to fertilise those eggs so if you intend to refresh your layers and turn some of those eggs into new stock then you'll need a good healthy boy around to service the hens.
6. Beauty - Roosters are beautiful to look at and it's totally acceptable to keep them just for aesthetics alone as their whisky tail feathers and shiny, flashy colours are amazing.
I love looking at all the pretty boy roosters at the show poultry pavilion standing proudly in the their cages as the people walk past - what a magnificent bird!
Yep, a rooster is true gentleman of the chicken world and that's my 6 reasons why you should keep a rooster in your flock.
Dear Guest, this is our Articles section and it's for our members who would like to write their own article or blog about anything they want relating to self-sufficiency & healthy living. Writing is fun and creative so have a go at it!
Recent User Reviews
To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!