I have 12 hens and 11 roosters. I get 12 eggs per day but now one of them is fertile. Everytime one of the roosters gos for a hen another rooster comes to her rescue. I don't know how many roosters I need per hen. When I bought these chickens they all came togeather as a bunch. Please someone help me?
How many roosters per hen
The fewer roosters, the better. I usually say 1 roo for every 4-5 hens, but it does depend on the breed.
It also depends on how much run space everybody has. The more room the roos have to keep a distance from each other, the less fighting there will be. The problem w/ too many roos is not only the fighting, but the hens will get torn up. Soon you'll have hens with bare backs and they'll get pretty nervous.
I would pick the best, sweetest & prettiest roo & the runner up as a spare. The eat or rehome the rest. If you have space, you can set up a 'batchelor pen' seperate from the hens.
Right now I have 1 Buttercup Roo for 17 hens and he takes care of most of the girls, no bare backs. However, I will be adding one of my hatchling Naked Neck cocherals to replace the one that I lost last fall.
I go with 1 Buttercup Roo (Smaller of the Standards) to 8-12 hens and 1 Naked Neck (Larger Standard) to 6-8 standard size hens. It really depends on the Breed of chickens and the individual roos. I have never kept the most agressive (1st to breed).
I watch for a young Roo with manners, that will find food for the pullets, that lets them eat first and that will dance for the hens, (Cocherals kind of stumble around the pullets showing off their stuff). When you find one like that your hens won't have bare backs and he's worthy of being your main breeder. Once you have one, the cocherals growing up will imitate him and you'll have your replacements in line. My Naked Neck Roo taught my Sicilian Buttercup Roo as a young Cocheral and he is teaching this batch of Cocherals coming up. He will also teach his replacement next year.
Double post - Sorry
Edited by Buttercup Chillin - 2/5/10 at 1:00pm
Wow, that's a LOT of roosters. I've heard guidelines anywhere from 6-12 hens per rooster.
Our rooster count fluctuates occasionally around here, but we've had anywhere from 1 to 3 roosters in a flock of around 25. Even with just the one rooster, our eggs have always been fertile and the flock well organized. Right now, we have 3 roosters in a flock of 24, and thus far things are going okay, but we will definitely keep an eye on things, and downsize roosters if trouble starts.
Our flock lives right in our backyard on our small farm, so for us it's very important that we have nice roos and that they all get along-- cockfights and roosters attacking us would seriously impair our quality of life!
If it were me, with 12 hens, I would only have one rooster. MAYBE two, at the absolute max. Eleven? I'd have Sunday dinner for weeks. . .
I have one rooster. I have read that 8-10 hens per rooster is ideal.
However, a woman who has raised chickens for years tells me that if you have only one rooster, three hens is about right. That's what I have, 3 hens, plus one Bantie hen who is too tiny for my rooster to mate with.
So far there have been no bared backs. I do have chicken saddles on hand, just in case.
The rooster and the girls all seem happy.
My roo does his mating dance around the little Bantie, showing his interest, but he seems to sense she is just too small to mate with. His favorite hen is the oldest, my 2 year old Barred Rock. The other girls are 26 weeks old tomorrow.