Cockerels - how many is too many?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by 2mnypets, Apr 11, 2007.

  1. 2mnypets

    2mnypets Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I see that I forgot to mention in my first message that my hubby went to the store two weeks ago and bought 5 Black Sex Linked chicks. I am learning not to send him alone to the local farm store to buy chicken feed.

    My concern is I think all 5 are cockerels. They all have the white on the top of the head and are now starting to get some white on the wings. I hope I'm wrong. If this is the case my question is this? What is the final outcome for the 5 cockerels? Are they going to fight or is my hubby going to have to do something I didn't think we would have to do.

    We were hoping for a good number of pullets and a possible cockerel for future generations. We have never been gambeling people, yet when we purchased our 15 chicks, it was a straight run. I just want to ensure happy, healthy chickens. Please advise on what the general consences is regarding more than one cockerel or rooster.
     
  2. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think that one roo per 6-8 hens is acceptable. Seems I recall reading that somewhere here on BYC. The roosters will figure out their own pecking order within the flock, as will the hens. There will be times that roosters holding lower positions within the flock will 'challenge' the alpha rooster, but as I understand it, they generally live peaceful together as long as you have plenty of hens.
     
  3. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    I have 11 hens, and 2 roos....all seem to get along just fine. Every once in a while.....Ruby..the ALPHA ROO..will have to get into it with Mr C....over a hen...but not very often, and no blood. They are all about a year old, and get along just fine.
     
  4. 2mnypets

    2mnypets Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I was hoping for an answer other than the one that kept popping up into my head. I didn't want to put the cockerels in a position where they had no choice. Thanks for informing me that there can be harmony occasionally within the infra-structure of the cockerel and rooster. [​IMG]
     
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    If they're Black Sexlinks, all the cockerels have the white spot on top of the head. Pullets that are sexlinked do NOT have the white spot. Sorry. That's what sexlinking is, that you can tell, in this case by that spot, which are male and which are female immediately.

    The optimal ratio is one roo to 8-12 hens.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2007
  6. 2mnypets

    2mnypets Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you Speckledhen! That's what I thought, but just wanted to make sure. Keeping my fingers crossed to the numbers of pullets in my reds and whites now. I don't want to see my lil black's go to pot if you know what I mean. [​IMG]
     
  7. allen wranch

    allen wranch Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    If you have an abundance of roosters, make sure they have plenty of room to run around and get away from each other. Same thing for the hens to get away from the roos.

    When the roos reach maturity, they will sometimes gang up on a hen and all mate her. This can result in injuries for the hen, especially if she is at the bottom of the pecking order or very timid.

    With straight run chicks expect to get around 50/50 on the sexes. This would give you approximately 7 roos with the straight run and the 5 sex link roos. Twelve roos to 8 or so hens is way too many for peace.

    Do you intend to keep all your roos ? If so, I suggest keeping the one you want to breed with the hens and have a separate area for the bachelors.
     
  8. 2mnypets

    2mnypets Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I know we aren't going to keep that many roo's. Question is whether we give some to family or cull some. Thanks for the advise and information though. I will make sure that the roo or roo's that we intend to keep separated from each other as well as the pullets and hens.
     
  9. Kirstyaa

    Kirstyaa Out Of The Brooder

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    We have 8 hens, and 2 cockerels, but one cockerel has removed himself from the group (now sleeping in the garden, not the coop) after they had a fight a couple weeks ago involving blood. Wasn't very nice. We plan on getting rid of the agressive one so the other can go back, plus we have a chick at the moment which could end up being a cockerel as well.
    Keeping that in mind, they did all lived happily together for 6 months or so - i think you have to judge it individually, but personally, i dont think i would like more than 1 cockerel for any group smaller than about 8 hens.
     
  10. 2mnypets

    2mnypets Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My feelings exactely Kirstyaa. I'm afraid we will have to cull some. That will definitely have to be my hubby's department cause I can't bring myself to do it. Take me deer hunting and I have no problem....just don't make me help you with the chickens or the rabbits [​IMG] BTW....my sister's name is Kirstie [​IMG]
     

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