Adding roosters to the flock


In the Brooder
8 Years
Aug 29, 2011
Central Mississippi
Okay this is sort of a series of questions about roosters
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!
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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