How many females for two cockerels

Ashmt51

Chirping
May 4, 2020
92
88
53
Upstate NY
I currently have 9 pullets and two cockerels. I decided to do chicken math and I ordered more female chicks to keep the boys from fighting when they reach maturity. Currently they are 11 weeks old and doing fine. (The babies will be inside until they are much bigger). Right now I have 3 chicks since two died since getting them from post office yesterday and I ordered ten more from TSC since their orders seem to be expedited with the hatchery. Is approximately 20 pullets (assuming I receive a healthy amount of chicks next week and yes I know don’t count your chicks before they hatch lol) be enough for two males or should I order a few more? The coop is 12x12 and they have a 50x10 run. I rather keep both my boys and if I have to I will build each their own coop.
 

Shadrach

Roosterist
Jul 31, 2018
17,692
138,585
1,582
Catalonia, Spain
My Coop
My Coop
You're going to read a lot of opinions......
A single rooster and a single hen can be fine and it is the arrangement that chickens had prior to domestication.
The really important factor is how you plan to keep them. I read you are willing to build two coops which will essentially give you two tribes and multiple tribes, each with their own rooster are how I keep the chickens here.
Not only do roosters have favorite hens, they also tend to mate most with the most productive hens. The number of hens one keeps with a rooster will not necessarily prevent what gets called over mating. The rooster will mate more with his favorite hens no matter how many others there are. It's just the way it is.
So, if the number of hens isn't going to prevent overmating then it's a matter of looking at how many hens you want to keep.
I try to keep three hens per rooster. There are reasons why such an arrangement is favored by chicken keepers and breeders all over the world.
The reasons may not seem to apply to you given you are going to confine your chickens within a run but I'll briefly explain the reasoning.
A rooster with no hens will try to attract some and in a free range setting this can mean conflict with other roosters.
It's that word "with" that needs some explanation. If one hen is laying an egg, one other sitting on a clutch as far as the rooster is concerned he only has one hen. If he originally only had two hens in the above circumstances, then he doesn't have any hens and this will mean he'll look to attract some. So, that three hen arrangement tries to cover most situations that may mean his hens are not available. It's a kind of insurance leaving a bit of slack in the event a hen gets predated, or goes and sits on a clutch.
When free ranging you want all your roosters occupied with hens and not fighting in order to attract some.
If you have too many hens then the junior hens get neglected; not a problem when the hens are contained but a major problem if you free range.
I think in your circumstances I would go for no more than five hens per rooster and keep them in seperate coops and runs. I think you'll find this works best for you and them.
Good luck.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
11 Years
Nov 12, 2009
8,956
11,358
636
western South Dakota
I think you get better roosters if they are raised in multi-generational flocks. This is why people that have had flocks for years seldom have trouble with multiple roosters, whereas roosters raised by beginners with just flock-mates, or birds born in the same year have considerable more trouble with roosters. People with established flocks, tend to have more room, have more experience with chickens, and a better concept of what works in their own coop/run/range setup.

Your idea might work, and it might not. Roosters are bit of a crapshoot, some fight, some don't. You can influence by space (which you do have, so that is a plus) but only to some extent. If you are keeping multiple roosters, I find a father/ son with the son raised up in the flock tend to work better over the long term...if you have a lot of space, and the stars line up and you are lucky.

Often times, beginning chicken people think that by raising birds together, they will form friendships that will outweigh hormones. That really does not work with chickens. And they think that if the roosters each have enough birds, they will be happy and not fight. That is also not true. Roosters do not understand sharing hens or these are your hens, these are mine. Each rooster will want ALL the hens. Now given enough space, he can really only defend so much area, so many hens.

Two roosters raised together, somewhat like brothers, often will get along until they don't. They may fight once, settle it and be done. They may fight once, wait, fight again, wait, fight. Or they may fight until they are bloody, and one or both could even fight till death. Most people underestimate the violence a rooster is capable of fighting with or attacking people.

If you have small children, I would not recommend keeping a rooster. Roosters take experience IMO. Cockerels tend to attach children first, and being shorter, can take that in the face, then women, then men.

Not all roosters work, regardless of how you keep them, they are rather a crapshoot, with some working incredibly well and pleasure to have in the flock, and others become a nightmare that can ruin the whole hobby. If you keep roosters, you need a plan B, that is set up and ready to go, where you can separate or confine a cockerel immediately.

Cockerel behavior at 10 weeks of age is no guarantee of future behavior.

Good luck, but know going into this, it might not work through no fault of your own.

Mrs K
 
Last edited:

LaFleche

Crossing the Road
8 Years
Sep 22, 2012
5,907
21,756
852
Germany
I think you get better roosters if they are raised in multi-generational flocks. This is why people that have had flocks for years seldom have trouble with multiple roosters, whereas roosters raised by beginners with just flock-mates, or birds born in the same year have considerable more trouble with roosters. People with established flocks, tend to have more room, have more experience with chickens, and a better concept of what works in their own coop/run/range setup.

Your idea might work, and it might not. Roosters are bit of a crapshoot, some fight, some don't. You can influence by space (which you do have, so that is a plus) but only to some extent. If you are keeping multiple roosters, I find a father/ son with the son raised up in the flock tend to work better over the long term...if you have a lot of space, and the stars line up and you are lucky.

Often times, beginning chicken people think that by raising birds together, they will form friendships that will outweigh hormones. That really does not work with chickens. And they think that if the roosters each have enough birds, they will be happy and not fight. That is also not true. Roosters do not understand sharing hens or these are your hens, these are mine. Each rooster will want ALL the hens. Now given enough space, he can really only defend so much area, so many hens.

Two roosters raised together, somewhat like brothers, often will get along until they don't. They may fight once, settle it and be done. They may fight once, wait, fight again, wait, fight. Or they may fight until they are bloody, and one or both could even fight till death. Most people underestimate the violence a rooster is capable of fighting with or attacking people.

If you have small children, I would not recommend keeping a rooster. Roosters take experience IMO. Cockerels tend to attach children first, and being shorter, can take that in the face, then women, then men.

Not all roosters work, regardless of how you keep them, they are rather a crapshoot, with some working incredibly well and pleasure to have in the flock, and others become a nightmare that can ruin the whole hobby. If you keep roosters, you need a plan B, that is set up and ready to go, where you can separate or confine a cockerel immediately.

Cockerel behavior at 10 weeks of age is no guarantee of future behavior.

Good luck, but know going into this, it might not work through no fault of your own.

Mrs K
:goodpost:This is a great post!
 

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