Many people don’t like roosters, and I get it. They are noisy, rough, kinda bullies and they are rough on hens, and that is just the start. Oh, goodness knows we have had roosters I did not like. We have had a fair share that simply had to go and by go many of the times that has meant to the freezer. Waste not, want not. But with all the trouble they are why should every flock still have a rooster? What if you don’t care to fertilize eggs? Should you still have a rooster? What are the benefits of having a rooster? Let me share why I think roosters are great, and why every flock needs a good rooster.
Let me introduce you to McDonald, named from the fact he made us think of the typical image of a rooster. If on Old McDonald’s farm he had a rooster, that rooster would look like this guy. So let me tell you about him. He is one of two roosters we have, both are great guys and have good personalities, we never have had either of them attack or act out to us. McDonald is the one I value more. Why?
We free-range our birds and we wouldn’t have it any other way. I love to look out just about any window and see chickens scratching and pecking. Our birds get used to life all around us, that might be kids on the swing set, or buggying around on bicycles or playing in the sandbox. We want to be part of the homestead life, not to just “have” chickens.
So why does a rooster matter, you say?
Why do you need a rooster
Roosters are like everything natural on this planet, they have a purpose. They act and behave the way they do because that is what they are designed to do. Part and a big part is mating, and yes a good rooster will do a lot of that. You want to fertilize your eggs, you want to hatch your own chickens you will need a rooster. I know this is common knowledge right?
That is not where the value or benefits of having a rooster stop.
Roosters true value
Why I love roosters and one thing that absolutely amazes me is the natural protector instinct. A chicken naturally has a lot of predators. Rightly so they are easy prey, they are generally scratching and pecking and living an easy chicken life. Owls, Hawks, foxes, skunks, coyote you name it, they want to make a meal from a meandering hen. What I notice is that my roosters and especially McDonald will always be alert to the skies and the surroundings. As hens are crossing a clearing where there is no tree covering McDonald will stand in the middle of the clearing until all hens have crossed, being completely alert and ready. If I go outside and I do not see a chicken in sight, I can almost always look around a see a hawk way up in the sky or an owl in a tree top. But not one chicken to be seen. They were rounded up and got to safety without any help from me. No sir’ee I am not needed I got a guard rooster on duty.
Now he isn’t always completely polite, if he wants the hens to get into the coop he has a way of letting them know. But he does his job well. In fact, he is one of many examples I have about why chickens are not as dumb as people often speak of them. He is smart, aware, confident, protective and most of the time patient, and still great with all the little people around here. We treat all the animals with respect, and they behave the same.
We let our roosters be roosters and do what they do best. Most certainly McDonald makes my job easier. We have plenty of predators, even owls that live in our big shed, but I don’t worry. Having a flock of chickens has become so easy, or at least a lot less worry of chickens getting killed when we have a good rooster, out there with his A game on. One of the amazing benefits of having a rooster is our flock is happy protected, and still free-range. They get to be out there searching for all the bugs and nutrients and dirt that needs to be scratched to their little chicken heart’s content.
I love being able to see the natural way of things, and roosters are no exception. A good rooster is an absolute value to a flock of chickens. Don’t mind the crowing, it is part of the way it works. Who cares about the chicken mating, that’s natural right? They are a little showy it’s their masculine nature. Roosters (or at least a good rooster) protect their own. A good rooster gives such peace of mind for a little flock of chickens, peace of mind that they are in good hands (or would that be rooster wings?) A good rooster, like McDonald, is worth his weight in gold ♡♡♡
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