Help! I need some input on Rooster to Hen ratio...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Kelly G, Jul 5, 2008.

  1. Kelly G

    Kelly G It's like herding cats!

    Okay, all you peeps who've been doing this for a while - I'm close to placing my first order for chicks. I have selected Silver Laced Wyandottes...but Barred Rocks are a tight second (I'd also love to input on both breeds from anyone who knows). I have space for 5 full grown chickens, so my question is this:

    Should I get four hens and one rooster, or should I get three hens and two roosters?

    Thanks SO much, guys!
  2. Chickaroo!

    Chickaroo! Songster

    Dec 27, 2007
    Four hens and one roo. I think the ratio is suppose to be something like 10 hens to 1 roo. So go for more hens
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    I wouldn't get two roosters unless you plan to separate them with their respective women. One roo to every 10-12 hens is good for standard breeds. Hawkeye had more than that later on and he managed to get around to almost all the girls except the ones he really didnt like, LOL.
  4. Kelly G

    Kelly G It's like herding cats!

    Perfect, guys! That's exactly what I needed to know! I have a book ("Chickens in Your Backyard" that says 1 rooster for 3 hens (and I want 5 chickens all together)...but that just didn't seem right, and I'd seen a 10-1 ratio in other books. I know that no one should get all their info from just one source, so I'm very glad I asked. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

    Any opinion on Barred Rocks vs silver laced Wyandottes?
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    For the rooster? You know I love my Barred Rock boys. Love, love, love that breed of rooster! My Hawkeye, Zane, both wonderful guys. I'm keeping Zane's baby brothers Dutch and Mace, too. Maverick, that came from helmstead's flock, was a sweetie as well. I've only had one BR rooster skittish then aggressive, but that was an aberration, I know. SLW roos are handsome, but I havent owned one of those so cant say temperament-wise.

    As far as layers, my Barred Rocks and SLWs are pretty much neck and neck, both fabulous layers. I like the BR personality a tad better. They are very curious, smart girls.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2008
  6. Chicken_Lover4567

    Chicken_Lover4567 Songster

    Jun 22, 2008
    Central Texas
    Barred Rocks are a REALLY tame breed. If you want to have a nice, docile roo, get a Barred Rock. Roggie, my Barred Rock roo is SO sweet.
  7. huntersmoon

    huntersmoon Chirping

    Apr 26, 2008
    We picked up our rooster yesterday, a RIR, and he is in quarantine. One of his littermates is a barred plymouth rock and I would really like to bring him home too (I have 8 barred rock hens). I've seen varying ratios of hens to roosters here when I did a search and I wondered if it would be okay to have the two roosters for 8 hens. I do plan to start 3-4 more chicks as soon as I can manage it, but it would obviously be several months before they are able to breed with the roosters, so the ratio for the next few months would be the 4 hens per rooster. I would like to be on the higher end of the ratio, 5-8 hens per rooster, and plan to get to that.

    The roosters are almost 3 months old, my hens are 3 months old; I don't know if their young age helps me be able to bring that barred rock rooster home too.

  8. HennyRoo

    HennyRoo In the Brooder

    Jul 2, 2008
    Mid-coast Maine
    I have a 6 week old White Leghorn cockerel in our order of layer chicks this spring. Wee-Man, as we call him, is quite busy on sentry duty around the perimeter of the pen and seems to take his rooster role quite seriously in spite of his tender age. I'm wondering if he'll take his job too seriously and get aggressive?

    BTW, I love LOve, LOVE my Plymouth Barred Rocks and Silver Laced Wyandottes both! The SLW are a bit flashier looking but they are both nice additions to the henhouse. Good luck deciding, lol.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2008
  9. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    I have both Barred Rocks and SLWs. They are both really nice big fluffy-butted chickens!

    I think a BR boy is one of the most handsome roosters there are, though.

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