1 rooster 2 hens?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Newchickenguy, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. Newchickenguy

    Newchickenguy In the Brooder

    Nov 20, 2012
    If I wanted to have a one rooster and 2 hens, would the rooster breed the two hens to death? I keep hearing that it should be one rooster to 10 hens but I just dont need that many chickens of this particular breed. Plz dont laugh if this is a stupid question as I have never owned chickens and I just want to make sure I proparely care for them.

  2. my sunwolf

    my sunwolf Songster

    Apr 22, 2012
    Southwest Virginia
    My Coop
    A lot of people get away with a "trio" of chickens: 1 rooster and 2 hens, apparently coexisting just fine (but I've never tried it). I think it definitely depends on the rooster. If you really only want 3 chickens, you could always put saddle guards on the hens to protect them from excess treading.
  3. David A

    David A In the Brooder

    Nov 24, 2012
    I have 1 rooster and two hens.I see no problems, however I do plan to expand the flock.
  4. TurtlePowerTrav

    TurtlePowerTrav T.K.'s Farm

    Jul 29, 2012
    Oregon City, OR
    My Coop
    I think with breeding trios they are only confined for short periods of time, to collect enough fertile eggs. Then they are put back into a regular coop/run/free-range set up. If they are the only 3 birds in the flock, then yes they can get over bred, just depends on the virility of your cock and the submissiveness of the hens.
  5. stevetone

    stevetone Chicken Advocate

    It depends on the breed and on the individuals in the trio.

    We have had three pairs together in separate pens for the last month. Dutch Bantams, in particular, are relatively gentle with their hens, as are our Bantam Wyandottes.

    But I have heard horror stories from others. So, it just depends.

    Try it and find out, but have a backup plan just in case it turns into a riot [​IMG]
  6. Chickenlover20

    Chickenlover20 Chirping

    Jul 4, 2012
    Even worse... I have 2 roosters with ONLY 1 hen that they really care and love.
    I have 4 hens with them. but the roosters wont breed 3 of others.
    I have 2 nankins roosters, 1 nankin hen and 3 silkies bantams.
    The roosters DISlike the silkies. I also have 35 standards hens with them. but they still wont breed others only will breed with the nankin hen.
    but the nankin hen WILL fight back if she had enough with the roosters, the roosters are very RESPECTFUL to her.
  7. Roan

    Roan Songster

    Apr 8, 2013
    West Virginia, U.S.A.
    Well, to be honest, it seems to me that if the hen has to "fight back" at all, then the roosters are not being very respectful at all.

    I would say that in your case, unless you watch the flock every day, all day, your roosters are breeding with the other hens as well. If not, well, there may be more damage than you realize to that hen. What I would suggest is removing her from the flock for a few days so that the roosters will have to move on to some of the other hens. Hopefully, this will relieve her of some of their attention when she's added back to the flock.

    Also, I'm confused by your post. Do you have 2 roosters and 1 hen, 2 roosters and 4 hens or 2 roosters with 39 hens? If you have 2 roosters with 39 hens, then your H.R.R. is 19.5 which means that you could actually get away with adding another rooster.

    Here's the thing, you can get away with less than 10 hens per rooster IF you have only 1 rooster. If you have multiple roosters in a single flock, you will always be taking a chance.

    That doesn't mean that it can not be done. We have 3 roosters with 29 hens which gives us an H.R.R (Hen to Rooster Ratio) of 9.67. This seems to be safe for the hens because Big Daddy Crow, our BA rooster keeps the other roosters in line. However, I've seen too many cases where hens become terrified to even move because of too many roosters.

    It's important to understand the mindset of the roosters. Roosters have two roles in a flock.
    1. Flock Protection
    2. Breeding

    As for Flock Protection, the roosters will only offer a modicum of protection. (Some more than others)

    As for breeding, the rooster is driven by a single desire, pass on HIS genes. Therefore, if a rooster mounts a hen, the other roosters may go into a frenzy, they will all simultaneously try to mount that same hen, or mount her repeatedly. This can cause external and/or internal damage to the hen and can be extremely traumatizing to her.

    In my younger years of chicken raising, we did not know just how much damage was being done to our hens until we noticed that very few would actually hang around the roosters at all. They would be scattered everywhere. At one point, I walked around the corner of our house and startled one of our hens. She dropped into the breeding position and remained there expecting the onslaught to begin. I literally had to pick her up and just pet and talk to her before she got through this state.

    This, of course, was a worst case scenario. We've also had roosters literally rape hens to death. There is really no milder way to put it.

    Most commonly though, the roosters will not do such permanent damage, however they can and will damage the hens and a stressed out hen makes for a very poor layer, not to mention that it's just wrong for any creature to live in such fear as our flock did.

    Sorry for this long post but this is an area that I am very passionate about. Our chickens rely on us more than anything to keep them safe and secure, physically and mentally.

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