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Can I keep 3 roosters and 25 of same breed together?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by WrapChick, Dec 7, 2014.

  1. WrapChick

    WrapChick Out Of The Brooder

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    To ensure I get fertilized eggs, can they all be kept together or should they be separated into 3 different coups/runs? They are now about 7 weeks and have been together since they were born. Thanks :)
     
  2. Toddrick

    Toddrick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm curious to know the answer to this too. Obviously, if you wanted to breed specific Roos, then they'd need to be kept in separate flocks. But I wonder if they'd get along okay together with enough hens.

    I'm going to try and keep two Roos with only three hens, so that's going to be tougher I suspect.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014
  3. Naser

    Naser Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Keep them now and when they are older cull one of them, you need two rooster for 25 hens to be sure eggs are fertilized. keeping two is more than enough and much easier than 3. as with 12 to 13 hens per rooster they will be "satisfied" and less likely to fight. I have done that before in 24/7 free ranging hens with no problems.
    Now I have 20 hens, one active rooster and 2 roosters POF. I will cull one of them when I know who is the meanest.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014
  4. WrapChick

    WrapChick Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for your reply :) so I feel like I've read over and over that you need at least 1 rooster for 8 hens to be sure all the eggs are fertile, no? Or are you saying do no more than two because of the fighting but possibly some eggs may just not be fertile?
     
  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    This is one of those questions that doesn't have a clear cut answer. You can keep them all together for now and see how things go. They may kind of separate themselves into 3 separate flocks. There may be fights as they seek dominance. You might want to separate them into 3 groups ahead of time if you want certain birds bred to one another. It will work out better if you have plenty of room for them all. Are they able to free range? That would help. Each rooster and his harem can go their own ways. I can't tell you how many square feet per bird is ideal, as I don't operate that way. I watch my chickens for signs of overcrowding instead. All I can tell you is, the more space per chicken the better. You are dealing with living animals and what might work for someone else's flock may not work for yours.
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    If you like all the roosters and they're all keepers, go ahead and try it. You'll just have to see how they all get along. I've had as dense a ratio of 4 roosters to 16 hens and everyone did fine, but they were all free range and I belive that made all the difference.

    Breeders say for optimum fertility you should have no more than one rooster per 10 hens. I've had one 2 year old rooster covering my layer flock of 20ish hens and I swear every egg was fertile. He was one happy guy [​IMG].

    You do have enough wiggle room to get rid of a rooster if one turns into a jerk. Two roosters with that many hens should give you all fertile eggs, especially when the roosters are younger and more vigorious. If you have fertility issues down the road, you can separate a rooster with 8 hens and test fertility, then do the same with the other rooster. In all my years of rooster keeping, I've had only one bummer who just didn't have good fertility. He was young, healthy, a nice guy to me and the hens, mated the hens, but the eggs didn't develop. I culled him and have another cockerel coming up now to for the same breeding project. The nice thing is roosters are usually pretty easy to find if you need replacements.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Naser

    Naser Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had 15 hens per rooster and 100% fertility, I put 24 eggs in incubator. 20 hatched, I opened the 4 "those didn't hatch" and all of them contained embryos.
     
  8. WrapChick

    WrapChick Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok great! Thanks everyone. And they are not out now due to snow but normally yes, they have a huge run area :)
     
  9. WrapChick

    WrapChick Out Of The Brooder

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    One more question! When pellets first start laying, are the eggs fertile at that point or do you have to wait a period of time before we would collect to put in the incubator?
     
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Conventional wisdom says to wait until a bird's been laying a month or so to incubate her eggs, just to let the eggs get up to size and allow her system to work out any glitches. Pullet eggs are often fairly small and I'd wait until the egg size was medium or large (depending on the breed) before I incubated. Small eggs = small chicks and that's not good.
     

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