How Many Hens per Rooster

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by IndianaLeghorn, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. IndianaLeghorn

    IndianaLeghorn Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 20, 2009
    I have White Leghorns and would like to hatch some eggs. How many hens can 1 rooster service effectively?
  2. B. Saffles Farms

    B. Saffles Farms Mr. Yappy Chickenizer

    Nov 23, 2008
    Madisonville, TN
    10 to 12 hens per rooster is a good rule of thumb. [​IMG]
  3. Carolina Chicken Man

    Carolina Chicken Man Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2008
    Raleigh, NC
    I think the average would be around 10. I have a book on raising chickens, but I'm not at home so I don't have it available.

    I think bantams are fewer, and some may be up to 13, but the average is around 10.
  4. Pinky

    Pinky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2008
    South GA
    I have a white leghorn rooster and he is with 6 hens right now,but he wants more [​IMG]

    I heard 10 to 12 hens to One rooster was average.
  5. gardener

    gardener Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2007
    Willamette Valley
    Yeah i was reading it all depends on the breed and the energy of the rooster. Some may do fine with a few hens while others would
    be too much for a few hens and he could wear all the back feathers off. It is a balance between making sure he is not giving them too much attention and not having so many hens that eggs are not all fertile.
  6. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    For the Mediterranan breeds like Leghorns, the ratio is 10-15 hens per rooster.
    For the heavier dual purpose breeds, like RIR's, it's 8-10.
  7. Tawa263

    Tawa263 New Egg

    Feb 17, 2014
    Silly question from this end... What would be the ideal size for the breeding cages in the above instances.
  8. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    Before you start to hatch, you need to check the fertility of your eggs each time you use them. If the fertility is low, then you need to reduce the number of hens the rooster is covering, or get a different rooster. If your rooster has a low fertility rate, you really don't want to breed that into your flock in the long term.

    However, many things affect fertility, such as feed, day length and age. If you have 10-12 hens with a rooster, you really need a coop/run, not just a cage.

    Mrs K
  9. Roan

    Roan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2013
    West Virginia, U.S.A.
    You can get away with less than 10 hens per rooster in a single rooster flock. They usually only get aggressive in breeding if there are not enough hens for multiple roosters. A rooster is driven sexually by the number of hens in his flock. The more hens, the more sexually active he will become.

    However, if you have an H.R.R. (Hen to Rooster Ratio) of less than 10 with more than 1 rooster, when 1 rooster mounts a hen, the other/s will become very competitive with each other. They don't have intercourse for pleasure, like we humans do, they do it specifically to pass their own genes. Therefore, if another rooster is mounting a hen, it is a threat to the gene-spreading of the other roosters.

    I hope that makes sense.

    Basically, it's like this:

    • 0 to 10 hens for 1 rooster
    • 10 to 12 hens per rooster for more than 1 rooster

    Remember that age, health and breed are also some of the more important contributors with the virility of roosters.
  10. leanne123

    leanne123 New Egg

    Sep 5, 2015
    I will have 4 roosters and 11 hens is that a bad ratio? If they all get along?

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