Adding more hens...what if I get another rooster?


In the Brooder
6 Years
Nov 18, 2013
We currently have 14 hens and one rooster. We are planning on adding 15-20 more hens. The coop and run are plenty big enough to double our flock. I realize having two roosters together is usually a recipe for problems. If we should happen to get another rooster would there be so many more hens than the two roosters that the two would be less likely to try to be the "man" of the coop and not be so inclined to fight one another? I know that have a small hen to rooster ratio puts a lot of stress on the hens and causes many problems, but if there is too big of a gap in the ratio from hens to rooster will it just do the opposite and cause a lot of stress for the lone rooster?


12 Years
Mar 15, 2010
On the MN prairie.
Like everything else in chickendom, there are no hard and fast rules. According to an old book on poultry raising that I have, 10-12 chickens per rooster is optimal because too many and he can't fertilize them all and you could be getting unfertilized eggs - not good if you want to raise your own chicks. Too few, and the rooster is so busy breeding the hens, they don't lay well. Now, I'm not saying this is a "rule", either. Just what the book says. In my experience, when a new rooster is added, there will be a fight for dominance between the new guy and the established one. It could be a quick skirmish, it could be an all-out war. Even when they decide who's boss, the subordinate one may challenge the other from time to time, just to make sure nothing has changed.


Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
Southern Oregon

The guide for ten hens per rooster is for optimal fertility only. It's the general balance between a rooster being able to mate all the hens and the hens not getting overmated. That's it. One rooster would be thrilled to have 30 hens to himself! I have one guy in this position right now, we butchered all but one rooster and he's the lone guy with about 35 hens. He's calm, contented, and so is the flock. He's not stressed about mating every single hen every single day by any means.

No matter how many hens there are, two roosters will always, always, always have to decide who is boss over who. How dramatic that gets depends on the specific roosters involved. Usually, the loser just runs away and it's not too bad. But, when I had multiple roosters, they spent more time worried about if the others were breeding a hen to worry about taking good care of the hens.

Unless there's a good reason to get another rooster, I'd just add your hens and call it good.

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