Hen/Rooster ratio and logistics

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Minky, Mar 25, 2018.

  1. Minky

    Minky Songster

    Nov 4, 2017
    My flock is currently 6 hens and a Roo... but I have a busy spring and summer coming up.....Chicken math is here!

    By September I'd like to have 25 hens max. Wondering how many roosters I could keep without turning my barn into a noisy or aggressive place?

    Also- I am in the process of dividing up the barn.
    These are my goals.... I think....

    1. Main coop area for flock- nest boxes, food water, roost.
    2. smaller pen ( for maybe a broody with chicks/ bachelor pad/honeymoon suite)
    3. medium sized pen for perhaps growing out chicks until they can be with flock? or maybe where I'd keep a second, smaller flock (-with a second rooster)??

    I guess I'd like to know how it works with 2 or 3 roosters around?
    When do extra roos start becoming an issue? 14 weeks ? 16 weeks? Can you tell who is going to be the best breeding roo by then?

    They would free range every day- but some years we have lots of snow from late NOV until early MARCH.. and thats 3-4 long months of being inside. Dont want my hens abused or the males to fight.

    I am also building a predator safe run, but I'm not sure how to keep it snow-free? (its on the east side of the barn, too so only morning light)

    Any thoughts?
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2018
  2. Chelsa'sChicks

    Chelsa'sChicks Songster

    Aug 16, 2017
    The ratio is 1:10, but I have heard depending on some breeds people have had 2 roos to 6 hens total.

    When roosters mature or start to around 2-4 months (this also depends on breed) is when most notice if the rooster they have is going to be a problem for the future. Most breeds are fully matured around 1 year and some take a little longer.
    Rachealx4 likes this.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    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 cocks and hens and sometimes housing provided.
    Backyard flocks can achieve good fertility with a larger ratio.

    I cull my extra cockerel by 16 weeks, still tender enough for the grill and before they start causing too much trouble, but I only keep small flock of layers and only need 1 cock/erel. Whether you can determine the best cockerel(s) for the job, depends on your goals in breeding, for some goals 16 weeks may be too soon. Multiple males can work out fine...or be a train wreck. There's no hard numbers. too many variables. Always good to have extra space(s) ready for 'problem' males — if and when it goes sideways, it happens fast.

    That's something to think hard about, in conjunction with your inside space.....winter cabin fever can be ugly in the coop.

    Sounds like a great start. I planned an area to be created with a temporary wire wall that I put up in spring for chicks, glad I did and wish it was bigger and/or I had room for several more areas. I brood in coop and integrate chicks early now, much easier than growing them out before integration.

    It all depends on your goals for chickens, which can change down the road.
    How big is barn?
    What are your goals as of now?
    bobbi-j likes this.

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