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Can you have more than one rooster with your hens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by foxrfarm, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. foxrfarm

    foxrfarm In the Brooder

    Jul 13, 2011
    Medina, MN
    I'm fairly new to this (since March), and have my first rooster that is 1 month old. I think a couple of my new babies may be roosters also. Can they get along - sharing hens, or do they need to be separated. I suppose I could wait and see what happens when they mature, but I was wondering what everyone else's experience has been with multiple roosters.

  2. 15shenyl

    15shenyl Chirping

    Jul 14, 2012
    Yakima Washington
    I have 3 roosters and only 7 hens, they did just fine. They were the best of friends, they did everything together. Wate until they want to mate with you hens and see if they become mean. I know someone who sells there roosters once/if they become mean. Once there older, they may get more protective over there hens, I know mine are, they puff up now trying to show me that the hens are there's, mine became protective when the pullets started laying at 5 months. Never had biting or attacking at me or to each other.
  3. I have 6 roos (4 of which are related and grew up together, 2 that are recent additions) and only 15 hens, so far no trouble. When I was growing up, though, we had about 30 hens and could only manage 2 roosters at a time. It all depends, there are so many factors, space and personality being the big ones.
  4. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Crowing

    Apr 8, 2008
    I would say that it can be done, but you have to watch very closely for stress in your flock. If your hens are over-mated (and they most likely will be) they'll be more susceptible to disease, behavior problems, and poor laying.

    Your hens would thank you if you pared your boys down to just one for every 10 hens or so.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2013
  5. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Songster

    Sep 4, 2013
    Lower Alabama

    Chicken code, Conventional Wisdom, and They Say sets the hen/roo ratio @ 10/1. In my experience, as long as no excessive mating, fighting or other drama takes place you can keep any combination you feel like buying feed for.
  6. aoxa

    aoxa Crowing

    Come breeding season there will be competitions for the hens. The girls will be over mated if the boy:girl ratio is too high.

    They can get along well, so long as they know their place in the pecking order.

    6 boys to 15 hens as posted above is way too much for the girls. Each boy should have a minimum of 4 hens each. More is better.

    Bantam roosters can take on less hens than that and be fine. I do trios with silkies (two girls, one boy) and have not experienced a lot of missing feathers from mating.

    I have 5 adult boys and 15 adult girls. Many of the girls have bare patches on their back while I wait for my juvenile girls to grow out. I feel for them... They don't seem to mind it though, and it's only two girls that have the damage.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2013

  7. Yeah, I have been a bit worried about my ratio. So far, though, the one roo is quite happy with the one lady that he's ALWAYS with, the phoenix boy is still too young to know better and the 4 brothers don't squabble at all yet and only one (of the BA bros) has made attempts at breeding. I'm working towards a self-perpetuating flock of both layers and meat birds so I'll likely always have too many roos but, considering they're destined for the dinner table anyway, I'm okay with it. Any trouble-makers will always be the first to go ;)

  8. aoxa

    aoxa Crowing

    That's how I work it as well. I have a lot of juvenile boys. Only a couple are attempting to mate, and they are only attempting to mate the young girls (which is hard for them, because the girls run away).

    Some breeds tend to be much more randy than others... my naked necks are the worst by far. They started forcing themselves on their brood mates as early as week 8.
  9. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Crowing

    Apr 8, 2008
    Holy moley! That's incredibly young. I had no idea any chicken breeds attempted mating much before 16 weeks.
  10. aoxa

    aoxa Crowing

    I've had a six week old cockerel dance! His first crow was at 10 days old. Insanely quick to mature.

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