When we started raising chickens 14 years ago, we had a couple of roosters who would tootle around the yard with the girls. I really knew nothing about chickens at the beginning. Chuck and Cluck were beautiful, majestic and mean. Yikes! Our time with them ended with a garden hose, a golf cart and our 2 year old thinking he was going to set them straight! Insert momma bear here. Chuck and Cluck found a new home. So, my knowledge of roosters was that they were beautiful but also big, scary and mean! Fast forward to now, I realize that not all roosters are this way and here are a few other myths we will debunk today.
1. Do I need a rooster to have my hens lay eggs?
This is a question I get quite often! The answer is no! You don’t need a rooster for your girls to lay eggs. Your hens are created to lay eggs all on their own! However, if you want baby chicks, you will need a rooster!
2. Are all roosters mean?
Absolutely not! I’ve had roosters since our first 2, Chuck and Cluck, and a few of them have been real snugglers. While it’s important to respect all chickens, I like to give the roosters the honor they deserve. They do an excellent job of protecting my hens. However, don’t get me wrong, they still understand that I’m queen of the coop. If they challenge my authority, they usually end up finding a new home. It’s hard to change aggressive behavior in a rooster once is starts.
3. Do roosters only crow at dawn?
I can absolutely assure you that roosters will crow the entire day on and off! This was a shock to me at first. However, we live in the country where it just adds to the ambiance in my opinion.
4. Do roosters molt?
A common myth is that roosters don’t go through the molting process like hens do. Molting is when chickens ditch their old, tired feathers for beautiful new ones. Roosters go through this process just like hens.
5. “You shouldn’t have more than 1 rooster in a flock”
While there is some truth to this statement, it completely depends on the size of your flock. I have a flock of 40 and had 2 roosters for a while. And honestly, I probably could have added another. The rule of thumb is 1 rooster per 10 hens. However, this is just a general rule and you will likely have “rooster wars” if you have too many. It will depend on the disposition of the roosters as well.
Having roosters is an adventure! I currently don’t have any in my flock and kind of miss having one around. Most cities that allow you to have chickens have limits on roosters. So, do your research to see if you’re able to have them. However, if you’re able, don’t let the idea of a rooster scare you. Give it a try! You may fall in love as quickly as I did!
Until next time,
–The Wing Lady