How many is TOO many?

Mimi13

fuhgettaboutit
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Everything we read regarding rooster to hen ratio varies from 10-14 hens to one rooster. My presumption is that ratio is to make sure all the hens are successfully mated.

However, I wonder if too many hens can be detrimental to a rooster? I have one cockerel and 37 hens/pullets. I am not concerned if he is breeding them all or not, I just wonder if there is the possibility of either his health being put at risk (due to over exertion) or of him being injured (not so much I don’t guess since there is no appendage to break).

In the grand scheme of things I know this has no relevance, but I am that kind of person who wonders about everything. And I will say my wondering has taught me a lot. ;)

FWIW, every egg I have cracked is fertile.
 

Folly's place

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Sep 13, 2011
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He should grow up a very happy camper!
It's best to raise new roosters as chicks in the flock, because introducing adult roosters to each other is generally a bad idea. I grow chicks every year, and will keep an extra cockerel who fits into the group as an emergency replacement for the flock rooster. Most often this works out just fine, but if they don't get along as the youngster matures, one of them leaves, and we try again. This helps insure that there's always a rooster, or two, in the flock.
Game breed roosters won't get along, but I don't have them.
Mary
 

Mimi13

fuhgettaboutit
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He should grow up a very happy camper!
It's best to raise new roosters as chicks in the flock, because introducing adult roosters to each other is generally a bad idea. I grow chicks every year, and will keep an extra cockerel who fits into the group as an emergency replacement for the flock rooster. Most often this works out just fine, but if they don't get along as the youngster matures, one of them leaves, and we try again. This helps insure that there's always a rooster, or two, in the flock.
Game breed roosters won't get along, but I don't have them.
Mary
This boy is one I raised and has fit the bill tremendously. I just don’t want to hurt him by making him think he had a lot to do or accomplish. :lau He is mixed so I’ll only use his offspring for my meat and eggs. Later on I do plan on bringing in a purebred cockerel chick to place under a broody. My plans will be to keep him up in a trio. :fl Thank you for your response.
 

Mimi13

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The 10-14 hens/rooster is so the rooster doesn't overmate the hens and cause the hens to have problems. Sounds like your boy is in rooster heaven. Don't worry, he's not going to hurt himself.
Thank you.
 

slordaz

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I think he thinks he's in heaven only rooster with so many hens, it's not detrimental they will do what they can and some of your eggs may not be fertilized if he gets tired or bored is about the only issue you would have it won't kill him and does give your hens a good break as mating can produce fertilized eggs for if I remember right about 2 weeks, so he may just have his favorite that becomes the alpha hen and rotate the others if he doesn't have time or energy
 

jrjoplin

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I agree with everyone that your guy will be fine. A good way to look at is that he’s going to mate the same amount of times a day regardless of the number of hens. Let’s say that number is 10 times a day. If you’ve got 30 hens hypothetically each hen only gets his attention once every 3 days. If you’ve only got 5 hens each gets to see him twice a day. Add more roosters and less hens you see how that can quickly lead to over breeding issues.
 

Mimi13

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Don't worry, he'll be fine. He won't hurt himself :)
:lau I just didn’t want him to over exert himself. Wouldn’t you know, I’d be the one to finally find a good rooster and the dang thing dies from overmating. :lau

Reminds me of the old, and I mean old, joke about the rather amorous rooster who had bred all his hens to death. One day the farmer looked out and saw his rooster laying on the ground, presumably dead. The old farmer gets his shovel and heads out to bury the rooster. As the farmer nears, the rooster opens one eye and tells him, “Get back inside. The buzzards are circling. Surely one of them is about to land.”:gig I honestly don’t have a clue how I even remembered that. Usually it is a long drawn out joke with the rooster mating everything in sight until there is nothing left to mate.
 

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