What are the pros and cons of having a rooster?
- They protect the flock. Roosters protect their hens from predators, sounding the alarm when threats appear and defend their own distinct territories.
- They complete the natural order of the flock. In the words of White Oak Pastures: “Roosters allow a more natural pecking order to develop within the flock. A flock with a rooster has a designated alpha. A flock comprised of only hens, however, will see birds jostling for the alpha position and this causes more discontent amongst the layers. Our hens will also feel more secure with the rooster on the look out. They are now able to dedicate more of their time to contently forage, secure in the fact that the rooster is on the alert on their behalf. This will be better for the hens and the land. We want our hens to live in as natural a social dynamic as possible, and be as content as possible.”
- They’re beautiful. Roosters look great strutting around the backyard, and sound great crowing (at least I think so — your neighbors may not!)
- They have a lot of personality. Roosters are amusing to watch and here are some clips I have pulled from YouTube:
- You need one if you want to naturally hatch baby chicks. You need one if you want to hatch chicks naturally.
- Zoning laws. Roosters are subject to noise ordinances in some towns and cities. You need to know the law applies in your part of the world, so you don’t break it. In Canada, roosters are not allowed in any city.
- They can be noisy. There’s a misconception that roosters only crow when the sun comes up; they crow day and night whenever they feel like it. So, if you live in close quarters, your neighbor might complain.
- They can be aggressive and are not suited to be around small pets and children. Roosters’ spurs can grow very long and be a danger to children, other pets, hens and even to other roosters. Read more: How to trim or remove rooster spurs
- They can wear out hens. Chicken sex isn’t consensual, and if you have too many roosters and too few hens (one rooster can take care of 10 to 12 hens), your hens will start to show the wear: broken feathers, bare backs/necks, or even injuries. So keep your roo to hen ratio in the healthy zone.
This is what will happen if the ratio of roosters to hens in a flock is too high.