Cockerels suffer from a bad reputation. Noisy, aggressive and the potential cause of endless unwanted broods of chicks, it's not surprising that most people with hens may have never even considered adding one to their flock. However, there's more to cockerels than meets the eye and they can make a wonderful addition to any home with hens.
Like any animal, no two cockerels are exactly the same. They are not uniformly aggressive or constantly crowing; some are very gentle, almost timid, some are more feisty. While it is always polite and sensible to check with your neighbors in advance if they mind a potentially early rising resident, some cockerels have a lot more to say than others. It all ultimately comes down to individual temperament and to an extent, breed. The good news is that we always have a large number of cockerels of different types, sizes and characters to chose from and our staff will happily give you honest advice about each one.
Hens like having cockerels around so are often calmer and happier as a result. Cockerels have little patience for in-fighting between hens so will often put an end to squabbles within the flock. It is also a myth that you can't have more than one although to have two would mean having a large enough area that both would have their own space. If you are concerned about ending up with chicks, be aware that eggs will only develop into chicks if they are incubated.
This means after laying a clutch, a broody hen needs to sit on them for a period in order for them to eventually hatch. As a hen never lays all her eggs in one go, simply remove the eggs once a day and they will never get the chance to mature. Even if the eggs were left, hens have to become broody in order to incubate and some hens simply don't have that much of a maternal instinct! Commercial ex laying hens such as the rescues at Raystede have been bred specifically not to be broody so are even less likely to attempt to raise chicks.
Finally, cockerels can look absolutely stunning and by giving a home to one from Raystede you are allowing us to open up another space for another unwanted cockerel needing a second chance at life.