Gender Ratios Plus Docile Roosters

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by SugarGroveFarm, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. SugarGroveFarm

    SugarGroveFarm Chirping

    Mar 12, 2018
    Hello again everyone!
    I have two main questions to ask in this thread!

    1.) What are good female to male ratios in a mixed flock? How many ducks should you have to a Drake? And geese to ganders and roosters to hens? There are 7 breeds of chickens that I am interested in and the hatchery I was looking at (Purely Poultry) has a minimum order of 3 each so that would make 21 hens total. How many roosters should I have for that many hens? Is one rooster fine or should I have more?

    2.) What are some good breeds of roosters that are friendly and docile? I know that you need a rooster or roosters in a flock but every rooster that my family ever had when I was still living at home were mean and always tried to attack me leading to my wariness and borderline fear of roosters. So I was wondering what you guys think about breeds that make docile roosters. I've heard that Barred Rock roosters are pretty docile and easy going, is this true? And what other breed are there?

    Thanks in advance for any replies guys!
    4 ever Orpington likes this.
  2. featheredplanets

    featheredplanets Songster

    Nov 28, 2017
    One cockerel is perfectly fine for 21 hens, but you don’t need one.
    I always think it’s best to find a second hand, older rooster if he’ll be around kids and lots of people, that way you know he’s nice and good with the hens. Any breed can be docile, any breed can be mean, in my opinion.
    But I think Cochins, Brahmas, Orpington’s, Australorps are quite high on the docility list.
  3. Kat C

    Kat C Songster

    Feb 25, 2018
    We have as many as 1 rooster to 5 hens loose in the yard, but prefer at least 1 to 7. Right now we have 5 roosters loose and another 5 in pens (not in the soup pot yet as we want to breed them). They have their fights from time to time but the 5 now loose have pecking order established and mostly it is calm. Roosters are individuals and although some breeds are calmer you can predict what an individual will be like. If you are willing to cull why not try 3 or 4 and cull down to 1 or 2 who work out for you.
    Our most aggressive to human rooster ever was a Rhode Island Red. Most our roos have some measure of game blood....none of them are aggressive to us.
    MotherDucker;) likes this.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC!

    Not sure about ducks and geese, click name links and ask in those forums.

    The 'rooster' to hen ratio of 1:10 that is often cited is primarily for fertility efficiency in commercial breeding facilities.
    It doesn't mean that if a cockbird has 10 hens that he won't abuse or over mate them.
    Many breeders keep pairs, trios, quads, etc
    It all depends on the temperaments of the cock and hens and sometimes housing provided.
    Backyard flocks can achieve good fertility with a larger ratio.

    Human aggressive cock/erels have more to do with human behavior than the birds. Reading this article might help you understand:
  5. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    What breed of Duck are you considering?
    I keep Calls so I have one Drake for three Hens and the other pen has one Drake and two Hens. I don't keep Chickens and Ducks together. My Ducks hate the Chickens..
    I have one Rooster with 7 Hens. I have Brahma and Orpington Chickens and one Silkie cross..
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    My first question is why do you want a rooster? The only reason you need a rooster is if you want fertile eggs. Anything else is personal preference. There are plenty of people on here that would not have a flock without a rooster, whether they want fertile eggs or not and whether they free range or not. There are plenty of people on here that would not let a rooster near their flock whether they free range or not. We all come up with our excuses whether we want a rooster or not but those are excuses. The only true reason is whether you want fertile eggs or not.

    I also don't do ducks or geese so I'll only talk chickens. Why you want a rooster will have a lot to do with how many roosters you may want. How much room you have and how you manage them can have an effect. Each rooster has its individual personality, some can coexist in a flock while some can't. My normal recommendation is to keep as few roosters as you can and still meet your goals. That doesn't mean you are guaranteed problem with more roosters, just that it is more likely.

    I don't get into one breed of rooster being more docile or aggressive because of breed. If you read through enough threads on here you will find a rooster of any breed that is tremendously docile and great but you will also find a post where a rooster of that same breed was a beast, RIR, Silkie, Buff Orpington, or anything else. You are dealing with just a few roosters, you will not have enough of any breed for averages to mean anything. There is a lot of luck in which individual you happen to get. Part of it is that a good breeder can breed aggressiveness or docility into a flock. You still get individuals but on average over time you can make a difference. Part of the problem with that is many breeders and most hatcheries don't care about those traits, they select which chickens get to breed based on other traits.

    Then you get the thing that Aart brought up, nature versus nurture. How much of a rooster's behaviors are based on how they hatch and how they are brought up. A lot of experts a lot smarter than me argue about this. In my not necessarily humble opinion both play a part. Some chickens (male and female) are destined to be brutes from hatch regardless of how they are raised. Not that high a percentage but some. With most chickens nurture can have a huge effect. I'll let others discuss what behaviors affect that but since you have a history of having human aggressive roosters I'd think you should think about why you want a rooster pretty hard. I think they can sense when you are afraid of them and that can lead to aggression.

    I don't know why you want a rooster. If fertility is not involved the correct answer for you may be zero. If you decide you do want one or more roosters, think about your other goals and how a specific rooster may affect that: size, appearance, or something else. It won't hurt to pick one that someone says is more likely to be docile but in my opinion that is pure luck when dealing with a small number of roosters.

    Good luck and welcome, glad you joined.
  7. Roosters110

    Roosters110 Chirping

    Mar 10, 2018
    Rooster to hen ratio should be one to ten hens,but doesn’t need to be exact.Yoi don’t need a rooster but their a great addition to have to a flock and are interesting to watch.When raised correctly you can have a rooster as pet or just a rooster that is laid back.I own a New Hampshire rooster who is a blast and one of the most docile chicken here.Along with three of his sons who were just as friendly.
    Geese are pair for life and it is very rare to have one gander and two females paired for life,1 gander to one 1 goose.
    Drake’s require atleast four or three females each,considering they have high hormones and one or two hens will get wore out easily.
    MotherDucker;) likes this.
  8. SugarGroveFarm

    SugarGroveFarm Chirping

    Mar 12, 2018
    Thank you. The only reason why I say I need one is simply hatch and raise my own hens when I need new ones instead of ordering new hens whenever something happens to some or when they get old. As far as lots of people the rooster wouldn't really be around kids or lots of people other than people simply coming and going from the property where they would be free ranging. I'm really more concerned about him being friendly with me just so I can be around the hens without having to constantly worry about the rooster. I always loved my dads hens but could never be around them because the rooster hated me.
  9. SugarGroveFarm

    SugarGroveFarm Chirping

    Mar 12, 2018
    I'm interested in cresteds, buffs, cayugas, and muscoveys
  10. SugarGroveFarm

    SugarGroveFarm Chirping

    Mar 12, 2018
    Thank you

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