1 hen - 3 roosters. What should I do?

Robinbobbin

In the Brooder
Jul 31, 2020
27
92
46
Hi everyone,

I’m brand new to chickens and raised four lovely chicks together (now at 12 weeks old) and it seems I have 3 cockerels and one pullet. ☹ They are really close and snuggly with each other and I hate to separate them, but I gather this rooster to hen ratio won’t be good once the boys reach sexual maturity.

I’m looking into rehoming options for my boys, but wondering if I should keep one, just so my girl doesn’t end up all alone?

Can it work to have just one hen and one rooster? (I’m not worried about the eggs being fertilized or not, just about the chickens being happy/healthy).

If I have to rehome all 3 boys, what should I do to keep my girl from being lonely? Should I have other girls ready to introduce to her right away, or wait a bit? Should I introduce girls that are similar age, or younger? I like how well my little flock gets along now, and I’d like to recreate that if possible without starting from scratch with chicks (possibly ending up with boys again).

I would try to keep them all or add in lots more girls to make the ratio work, but I don’t have enough yard space to give 3 roosters adequate territory or add more chickens (4 is really the maximum # I have room for).

I posted something in the rehoming thread but may as well mention it here also so if anyone in the southeast is looking for roosters please let me know (I live in Atlanta, Georgia).

All 3 have a friendly disposition and enjoy interacting with their humans. I am unsure what breed they are, possible copper maran? Possible sex-linked?

pic #1 - Thistle - has been a bit slower to mature and is black with red just starting to come through.

pic #2 - Truck - has a fun and friendly personality with lots of antics.

pic #3 - Peppercorn - is maturing more quickly it seems and is a beautiful black/green/red.


Really sad about this. ☹

I appreciate any advice, opinions or rehoming suggestions/offers.

- Robin

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sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
May 3, 2009
105,330
248,544
1,887
New Jersey
Hi, Robin. You are right 3 cockerels and one pullet is a disaster waiting to happen. Most likely there will be fighting and for sure over breeding of the pullet. If it were me, I would rehome all of the roosters and buy some started pullets. 4 H poultry groups frequently have pullets for sale this time of year. Not certain if they are doing that this year because of Covid 19. Try contacting your local 4 H group. Good luck at replacing the cockerels with pullets.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
10 Years
Nov 12, 2009
8,277
9,327
596
western South Dakota
Are they crowing? Cause the last one is a rooster, but I am unsure on the other two.

However, do look at county fairs, poultry clubs, feed store to make connections with local poultry people.

Personally I would advise getting rid of all three roosters (if they are roosters) and keeping a hen only flock. Hen only flocks are nice to start with. And for them all being such great buddies, they will forget a flock mate and attack them as a stranger in a few days of separation. They have very small brains.

Mrs K
 

Robinbobbin

In the Brooder
Jul 31, 2020
27
92
46
Are they crowing? Cause the last one is a rooster, but I am unsure on the other two.

However, do look at county fairs, poultry clubs, feed store to make connections with local poultry people.

Personally I would advise getting rid of all three roosters (if they are roosters) and keeping a hen only flock. Hen only flocks are nice to start with. And for them all being such great buddies, they will forget a flock mate and attack them as a stranger in a few days of separation. They have very small brains.

Mrs K
😄 small brains - bless their hearts.

The only one crowing is the gray one (pic#2) which is also the only one of the 3 that some people are saying may be a pullet. 🤷🏼‍♀️

Thanks for the advice Mrs K.
 

Robinbobbin

In the Brooder
Jul 31, 2020
27
92
46
Hi, Robin. You are right 3 cockerels and one pullet is a disaster waiting to happen. Most likely there will be fighting and for sure over breeding of the pullet. If it were me, I would rehome all of the roosters and buy some started pullets. 4 H poultry groups frequently have pullets for sale this time of year. Not certain if they are doing that this year because of Covid 19. Try contacting your local 4 H group. Good luck at replacing the cockerels with pullets.
Thanks for the advice sourland. 🙂
 

NatJ

Crowing
Mar 20, 2017
2,923
4,341
286
USA
Can it work to have just one hen and one rooster? (I’m not worried about the eggs being fertilized or not, just about the chickens being happy/healthy)..
Sometimes yes, sometimes no. It depends a lot on how often the rooster chooses to mate with the hen-- she can lose the feathers on her back and get rather scratched up if he mates with her too often. And if you put them in separate pens to prevent over-mating, then of course they aren't really together.

If I have to rehome all 3 boys, what should I do to keep my girl from being lonely? Should I have other girls ready to introduce to her right away, or wait a bit? Should I introduce girls that are similar age, or younger? I like how well my little flock gets along now, and I’d like to recreate that if possible without starting from scratch with chicks (possibly ending up with boys again).
I would try to introduce new ones right away, so she doesn't spend a lot of time alone.
Similar age would be good.
Slightly younger is probably fine too, since there should be several of them.

If you do need to start with chicks: you can buy sexed pullets from hatcheries, and sometimes from stores. (But beware of mis-labeled chick bins in the store. Ordering directly from the hatchery seems to give better results if you need them correctly sexed. Yes, there are some hatcheries that will mail as few as three chicks.)
 

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