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How Many Hens per Rooster

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

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

post #2 of 8

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

post #3 of 8

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 8

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.

4 white hens, 1 blue Andalusian hen, my old turkey hen, 2 australorp hens, 3 buff orp hens, 2 RIR hens, 1 black Sumatra hen, too many game hens, and 8 guinea fowl plus many many fish and shrimp.
A video of my flock

Flock eating a treat

My Cherry Shrimp
The chicken is no less complex than man :)

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4 white hens, 1 blue Andalusian hen, my old turkey hen, 2 australorp hens, 3 buff orp hens, 2 RIR hens, 1 black Sumatra hen, too many game hens, and 8 guinea fowl plus many many fish and shrimp.
A video of my flock

Flock eating a treat

My Cherry Shrimp
The chicken is no less complex than man :)

Reply
post #5 of 8

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 8

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

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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