Adding roosters to the flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MandiRock, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. MandiRock

    MandiRock In the Brooder

    Aug 29, 2011
    Central Mississippi
    Okay this is sort of a series of questions about roosters [​IMG] We are new to the backyard chickens, save for a few pets my mom had when I was little!

    We are getting 3 barred rock females and 3 white leghorn females, coming as baby chicks next week. So, God willing, we will have a 6 hen flock. We decided against getting a rooster right now bc we (aka, my husband) aren't crazy about the early morning crows lol. Also, our 3 year old son LOVES eggs and so do we, so we are planning to eat the eggs and give any extras to family. For now!

    But I was thinking about the future and possibly adding a rooster later on, if we want to expand the flock and get some baby chicks of our own. So my questions are:

    Do I need a rooster for each breed, or will a rooster cross breed? If they will cross breed, would that be a bad thing or is that okay? How many roosters should I have? Or rather, how many hens should I have per rooster? We do have the space available to expand to a bigger flock if necessary but I don't want it to get too big.

    Any and all advice would be appreciated!
  2. kfacres

    kfacres Songster

    Jul 14, 2011
    If you only stick with 3 BR hens, and 3 WL hens, you won't have to worry about crossbreeding much-- if you get a BR roo... You see the BR hens will lay brown eggs, the WL white-- so it you're worried about hatching.. just put the browns in the bator and you've still got purebred babies. But this is if you only stay with this idea... knowing 99% of chicken people.. YOu'll get the bug for more.

    Roosters will crossbred, they dont' care. If you are just raising birds for meat/ eggs/ or both.. crosses won't matter.. Matter of fact, they may be better due to hybrid vigor.

    I have had a rooster: hen ratio of 1:1 or 1:2 or 1:3 for my breeder pens- 1:5 or 1:10 for our general egg laying pen, or as many as 1:25 (with not much noticeable fertility drop). When we don't hatch throughout the winter, we throw everybody in together and these ratios could be 5:25, give or take.. Right now, I think we have about 8 roos and 11 hens, (with intent to add more quickly).

    Of course this ration is skewed some, as 4 of the roos are culls to be butchered next weekend, and the other birds are all divided up into breeding pens for the winter, with the exception of 3 hens which just remain in the egg laying pen... We don't have any more young birds left other than the 4 anymore...

    Right now, we're just sitting here waiting on more eggs to hatch for the year...

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