can we have 7 roosters with 40 hens?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by kris1990, Feb 26, 2016.

  1. kris1990

    kris1990 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have 2 roosters now and we have 24 hens. But we bought some chicks straight run from Tractor supply and we know we have few roosters there. And we planing on getting some more. Can we keep 7 roosters with 40 hens? Or we need more hens?
     
  2. kris1990

    kris1990 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are all different breeds
     
  3. Grub Digger

    Grub Digger Chillin' With My Peeps

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    1 rooster to 18 hens for bantams or 1 rooster to 8 hens for heavier breeds, ideally. They'll fight for breeding rights and possibly bloody up a few hens from over-breeding. So yeah, more hens. [​IMG]
     
  4. bubblebean11

    bubblebean11 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have quite a few roosters and have not had a problem with them bloodying the hens... In fact when a roo goes for another roos hen, they chase them away before anything happens. I have a very happy flock even having a large number of roos.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Breed is a manmade thing. Chickens have no concept of breed. Breed isn’t really relevant to your question unless some are from a strain of Games that have been bred for fighting. In that case you will have a problem, whether you have one hen or a thousand.

    You’ll often see some magic numbers of hens to roosters given, 10 to 1 being a real common ratio. That has nothing to do with your situation. That 10 to 1 is what many hatcheries use when they use the pen breeding method, and is about fertility. They’ve discovered that if they want practically all eggs to be fertile they need to use that ratio, say 20 roosters with 200 hens in the same pen. It has nothing to do with roosters fighting, bare-backed hens, over-breeding, anything like that. If you house them in a different situation that ratio has no effect on fertility.

    In my opinion how successful you will be in trying to keep those will depend on how much room you have. Very few of us have enough room. What often happens once the roosters reach maturity is that they determine how they rank, then each rooster gets his own harem. Each rooster establishes his own territory that does not overlap any other roosters. This way they can avoid each other.

    One of our forum members, Centrarchid, keeps a lot of chickens this way. I don’t remember him quoting a specific ratio but sort of reading between the lines, I suspect your ratio of 40 hens to 7 roosters is more in line with what he keeps. That would make a good question to him. He has some interesting posts on the topic in this thread.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1071793/free-range-only-no-feed/20#post_16587440

    There is another option. Build a bachelor pad. If you house the cockerels and roosters together with no hens to fight over, they quite often live quite peacefully together.

    You can try keeping them all together. They are living animals, no one can give you any guarantees about any of this. Just have a plan B ready in case you need it quickly. And be prepared for things to get pretty wild during their adolescent phase. The cockerels have hormones going wild and little if any self-control. The pullets are too immature to know what is going in and do their part. The adolescent phase can get pretty wild until they reach maturity.
     
  6. mellcrowl

    mellcrowl Out Of The Brooder

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    At one point I had 70 hens with 12 roos. It was a mixed flock of standards and banties. Almost all the hens were standard size, dual purpose bred hens, with about 15 being cochin banams. But 10 out of the 12 roos were cochins. The other two were a silver laced Wyandotte and a RIR.
    They all did fine together. Some of the banty roos had what I call "little man syndrome" and had t be weeded out but it all depends on space nd the individuals. A couple of the roosters were bad seeds. Happens in every flock. The roosters were all raised together and got along well. I think when all was said and done there were 10 roos that stayed. They would get in little arguments here and there, which is perfectly normal, but were perfectly happy birds.
    There were 3 roosters that pretty well had their pick of hens and the ranks went down from there. It was very fun to watch them inteact with each other. I think you'll be fine as long as they have enough space to assert their territories in. You may find one or two will have to be sold/culled due to just not being good roos, but as long as they have their girls nd their personal space, they'll be fine.
     
  7. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Cock birds can be a grand site. Even so I don't know why people want to keep so many of them. They make fine eating, it's the ugly and mean ones lot in life- Sunday chicken dinners. I'm sure you can figure a way to keep that many cockerels/cocks but have to ask- Why?
     
  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    I think a lot depends on the age of the roos. If they are youngsters, you are going to have a lot of raging hormones, and you'll see 2 or 3 roos ganging up on the low gal on the totem pole. They can be downright nasty, and beat the tar out of her. I'll not stand for that in my flock, and when it starts in, all the boys go to the bachelor pad. I have one roo who easily tends to 24 gals. He takes good care of his chicks. By having that many hens, there is not any feather wear this season. Fertility is good. If I see that it's not so good, I'll just isolate him for a bit, then put him with the gals I want to breed from.
     
  9. RodNTN

    RodNTN Following Jesus

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    i would get more hens, but could you possibly pen a few hens in with each rooster? separating all of the roosters? Just a suggestion [​IMG]
     
  10. RodNTN

    RodNTN Following Jesus

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    what breeds are your roosters?
     

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