Easter Eggers: Minimum number of hens with roo?

IdahoMichelle

Hatching
May 6, 2015
8
0
7
Hello,

Newbie here. :)

We'll be setting up our first flock in a couple of weeks. The existing coop is only about 4x5 feet. We're thinking 3 or 4 hens plus a roo. Will that be too small a number of hens to have with a roo?

Thanks!

Michelle in Idaho
 

Michael OShay

Crowing
5 Years
May 14, 2014
25,581
2,436
438
Montana
It may work out. Sometimes those smaller ratios do (obviously it has with HighStreetCoop), but I would personally suggest getting double that number of hens if you're going to keep a rooster. The recommended ratio of roosters to hens is 1 rooster for every 10 hens. As they mature, too many roosters (or too few a hens) can become very hard physically on your hens; over-breeding them, biting and plucking the feathers from their backs and necks, battering them, and potentially, seriously injuring them. I've seen it go both both good and bad with fewer hens to roosters, but when it goes bad, it can get really ugly. The only reason you really need a rooster is to fertilize eggs for hatching and 1 rooster can easily handle 10-15 hens in this regard. If you don't plan on hatching eggs, I wouldn't personally bother getting a rooster at all. I currently have 25 hens and no roosters in my flock, and I get loads of eggs without all the aggression, fights, biting and feather plucking, crowing in the middle of the night, feeding of non-productive mouths, drop off in egg production, over-breeding and battering of hens that frequently goes along with having roosters (especially too many). My hens are stress free and enjoying life without a rooster around.
 

HighStreetCoop

Songster
6 Years
Aug 28, 2014
2,030
222
206
Oakland, CA
My Coop
My Coop
I don't know that most of us set out to "get" a rooster, they just sort of spontaneously happen, LOL!

I really enjoy having one. It's fun to watch him tidbit the girls and to see him court them. And it's just plain interesting to observe the flock dynamics and note how he has a distinct role which he takes SERIOUSLY. He's not necessary for my flock, but I'll be sad if I ever have to cull him.
 

Michael OShay

Crowing
5 Years
May 14, 2014
25,581
2,436
438
Montana
I don't know that most of us set out to "get" a rooster, they just sort of spontaneously happen, LOL!

I really enjoy having one. It's fun to watch him tidbit the girls and to see him court them. And it's just plain interesting to observe the flock dynamics and note how he has a distinct role which he takes SERIOUSLY. He's not necessary for my flock, but I'll be sad if I ever have to cull him.

I actually enjoy watching roosters as well, but I've become very utilitarian over the years and now the major goal of my flock is high egg production, although I do have a few exceptions (a few Buff Orpingtons because I like their beauty and friendly, gentle temperament so much, and some Easter Eggers because they are my granddaughter's favorites. They are not as good at laying as my high yield layers, but they lay pretty well and my granddaughter loves the EEs colored eggs). Also, I don't want any of my neighbors complaining about crowing roosters (although ironically we hear them all the time with all the feral chickens that are running around in our area). :eek:)
 

IdahoMichelle

Hatching
May 6, 2015
8
0
7
It's actually hubby that's most interested in getting a roo. :) As the only male in the household, I think he's hoping for an ally! LOL!

We'd eventually want to hatch eggs, mostly for the educational experience for our kiddos. The idea of being not dependent on buying chicks to replenish/grow our flock is enticing, but that's not the highest priority right now.

Maybe adding a roo later, once we've built a bigger coop, would be a smarter option.

Thanks for letting me bounce ideas off you all - it really helps to get feedback from others!

Michelle in Idaho
 

Michael OShay

Crowing
5 Years
May 14, 2014
25,581
2,436
438
Montana
It's actually hubby that's most interested in getting a roo. :) As the only male in the household, I think he's hoping for an ally! LOL!

We'd eventually want to hatch eggs, mostly for the educational experience for our kiddos. The idea of being not dependent on buying chicks to replenish/grow our flock is enticing, but that's not the highest priority right now.

Maybe adding a roo later, once we've built a bigger coop, would be a smarter option.

Thanks for letting me bounce ideas off you all - it really helps to get feedback from others!

Michelle in Idaho

You're welcome; and good luck with your flock.
 

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