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Should You Keep Roosters? Why Or Why Not?


When roosters mate, it can cause injury or even death to some pullets or hens. What are your choices? What can be done?
If you have extra space in your coop area, you can separate the roosters from hens and only let them mate occasionally. A rooster should mate only when fertile eggs are needed. Too much mating risks your hens lives and can cause damage or death. So you should allow mating when you wish to have a batch of baby chicks. Some people do want to eat fertile eggs all the time, so its your preference.
So when breeding chickens, put your rooster in the hen pen for no more than 3 days. Then remove the rooster for a rest period. The eggs from the chickens will all be fertile for up to three weeks. One rooster should service up to 15 hens. Do not place pullets under16 weeks old with roosters. It can be too dangerous!
Yes rooster are very protective of hens and there are advantages to roosters living with hens if they are free ranging. The roosters look out for hawks and other predators and will cluck to the hens to run for cover if a predator is observed. Some roosters will fight to the death to protect their flocks.
What are some disadvantages to keeping roosters? the obvious one is the crowing factor. If you live in suburbs or the city, then its not a good idea to have roosters at all. Some male cockerels (roosters) are very territorial and can hurt small children or even someone collecting eggs or walking. Roosters will over-mate hens to the point of killing them. So this is the best reason of all to consider if you want roosters at all.

Rooster spurs can be long and dangerous to chickens and people. A docile rooster can even "turn" on you and attack at anytime you are arround his hens




The hen in this picture was "overmated" by the rooster


Egg Candling- Looking for embryos in eggs. This egg is fertile and has a small embryo


  • Use the hot potato method soften the spur with potato then twist the softened spur and remove
  • Use nail trimmers for small spurs
  • A hacksaw for large long spurs
  • Grip roosters leg and "twist" off spur
  • Grab spur with pliars and twist
  • Be sure to cover stump with "blood stop" or an antibotic