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How Many Hens per Rooster

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I have White Leghorns and would like to hatch some eggs.  How many hens can 1 rooster service effectively?

post #2 of 9

10 to 12 hens per rooster is a good rule of thumb. smile

post #3 of 9

I think the average would be around 10.  I have a book on raising chickens, but I'm not at home so I don't have it available.

I think bantams are fewer, and some may be up to 13, but the average is around 10.

post #4 of 9

I have a white leghorn rooster and he is with 6 hens right now,but he wants more D

I heard 10 to 12 hens to One rooster was average.

The chicken is no less complex than man :)
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The chicken is no less complex than man :)
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post #5 of 9

Yeah i was reading it all depends on the breed and the energy of the rooster. Some may do fine with a few hens while others would
be too much for a few hens and he could wear all the back feathers off.  It is a balance between making sure he is not giving them too much attention and not having so many hens that eggs are not all fertile.

Dan in Pacific Northwest
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Dan in Pacific Northwest
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post #6 of 9

For the Mediterranan breeds like Leghorns, the ratio is 10-15 hens per rooster.
For the heavier dual purpose breeds, like RIR's, it's 8-10.

Peace... David
"Poetry often comes in through the window of irrelevance"

 

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Peace... David
"Poetry often comes in through the window of irrelevance"

 

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post #7 of 9
Silly question from this end... What would be the ideal size for the breeding cages in the above instances.
post #8 of 9

Before you start to hatch, you need to check the fertility of your eggs each time you use them. If the fertility is low, then you need to reduce the number of hens the rooster is covering, or get a different rooster. If your rooster has a low fertility rate, you really don't want to breed that into your flock in the long term.

 

However, many things affect fertility, such as feed, day length and age.  If you have 10-12 hens with a rooster, you really need a coop/run, not just a cage.

 

Mrs K

Western South Dakota Rancher
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Western South Dakota Rancher
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post #9 of 9

You can get away with less than 10 hens per rooster in a single rooster flock.  They usually only get aggressive in breeding if there are not enough hens for multiple roosters.  A rooster is driven sexually by the number of hens in his flock.  The more hens, the more sexually active he will become. 

 

However, if you have an H.R.R. (Hen to Rooster Ratio) of less than 10 with more than 1 rooster, when 1 rooster mounts a hen, the other/s will become very competitive with each other.  They don't have intercourse for pleasure, like we humans do, they do it specifically to pass their own genes.  Therefore, if another rooster is mounting a hen, it is a threat to the gene-spreading of the other roosters. 

 

I hope that makes sense.

 

Basically, it's like this:

 

  • 0 to 10 hens for 1 rooster
  • 10 to 12 hens per rooster for more than 1 rooster

 

Remember that age, health and breed are also some of the more important contributors with the virility of roosters.

Here is the link to the Chicken Management Spreadsheet Suite that I am currently working on.  Please go here and vote on whether or not you would find this useful and give any suggestions and/or feedback on what can be done differently.

 

Thanks!

 

This suite is created on OpenOffice which is an open sourced office suite and compatible with Microsoft Office. 

 

http://www.backyardchickens....

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Here is the link to the Chicken Management Spreadsheet Suite that I am currently working on.  Please go here and vote on whether or not you would find this useful and give any suggestions and/or feedback on what can be done differently.

 

Thanks!

 

This suite is created on OpenOffice which is an open sourced office suite and compatible with Microsoft Office. 

 

http://www.backyardchickens....

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