Adding a rooster?


Apr 24, 2016
UP of Michigan
We started our flock of Lavender Orpingtons last year and currently have 11 hens and 2 roosters, all just over a year old. This weekend we hatched our first batch of eggs and want to keep an additional 16 hens (we set 42 eggs, of which 30 hatched; we're setting another batch of eggs tomorrow). Our plan is to add 16 hens every year, butchering the older hens after their fourth summer. If we get 50/50 boys and girls, we'd need to hatch at least 32 eggs to get 16 pullets, and we'll butcher the rest in the fall.

If we add 16 hens this year, we'll then have 27. I want to ensure that our eggs are always fertile and read that a good hen to rooster ratio for Orpingtons is 9:1. So with 27 hens, we could/should have 3 roosters.

Can we keep one of the cockerels that just hatched and integrate him into the flock at the same time as the 16 hens we keep? Our two roos that we have right now grew up together, and for the most part get along. They had one bad scrap maybe two months ago, and the winner will occasionally chase the loser to keep him in line - so sometimes the loser is on the outskirts of the free-ranging flock, sometimes on his own, and most of the time right there with everyone no problem.

We were planning on putting the new chicks in an adjacent room to the coop (that has a hardware cloth door, so everyone can see each other) after they no longer need a heat lamp, and then merging the two groups when these newbies are 16 weeks old (October 1st), so that they are close to the same size as the older birds. Will a new roo be ok? Should we integrate sooner, when he's younger, so he's less of a threat to the two older roos?

Any thoughts or tips would be greatly appreciated!!


Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Jul 16, 2015
I have no troubles adding rooster chicks to the flock, they are treated the same as the pullets. If you are going to have problems it won't usually be until they sexually mature, or mostly until the following spring when rooster hormones are surging, and young roosters are wanting to move up in the pecking order. I personally see nearly no rooster on rooster aggression. My roosters can always get away from each other.


5 Years
Apr 19, 2014
NW Florida
I agree with Old Hen - my current rooster was raised in a flock with his father, and they had no issues. He and his brother would scrap every now and again, but mostly, it was peaceful. I have two hatchlings from my incubator that I am pretty sure are cockerels, and since I now have around thirty hens, both can stay as long as they are as nice and non-human aggressive as their father. My original rooster, and the brother of the one I have now were taken by a predator, and the brother got into the backyard and the dogs killed him. It doesn't happen often, but it did this time. Usually, they just fly back over the fence and everything is fine. An extra rooster or two doesn't hurt if you are set up for them.

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