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How many roosters are to many?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Cassey, Oct 19, 2016.

  1. Cassey

    Cassey Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi! I'm a a new chicken owner and I'm wondering how many roosters are too many?
    We have 20 hens and 4 roosters.
    Please let me know! Thanks!
     
  2. PeepersMama

    PeepersMama Overrun With Chickens

    If the rooster is gentle, then 1/10 is the preferred ratio. BUT I've had three roos to around 40 hens, and they all had severe feather loss. You'll probably need to either re-home or dispatch one or two of them. Don't just keep the prettiest one. Pick one that loves his ladies, and is alert to predators.
     
  3. Cassey

    Cassey Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you! We have one that's really rough and we were planning on getting rid of him. Again, thanks for the help.
     
  4. PeepersMama

    PeepersMama Overrun With Chickens

    Glad to help! I am a rooster snob, i.e., I will only keep the good boys. I'd rather have a rooster that's a little aggressive than a friendly one who rapes the hens.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC @Casey !!

    The whole 1 to 10 thing is from commercial hatching facilities ensuring fertilization......
    .......it has nothing to do with a backyard flock and reducing cock/erels over-mating of pullets/hens.

    How many cock/erels you can keep peacefully depends on the individual birds demeanor's and sometimes how much space you have can help.

    Let me ask you.....why do you want 4 cock/erels for 20 hens?
    What are your goals?
    Multiple males can create an environment of competition which can increase all the males aggressions.
    Best to have the minimum number of males you need...and if you need more than one you may have to keep them separated.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  6. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    1 Roo to 10 hens is the proper ratio....Not just for hatcheries...It eliminates over breeding and Rooster aggression. Also hens are way less stressed...

    Cheers!
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    I disagree with above. My roo happily and completely has serviced 24 hens with very good fertility.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    It does NOT eliminate negative male behaviors or pullet/hen stress.
    There are other variables to consider, it is irresponsible to cite such hard and finite numbers when dealing with live animals.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2016
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  9. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    A better phrasing of this would be, 'Many use a 1:10 ratio with success - however there is no one hard, set rule that will work for every flock and even with this ratio you can still encounter issues caused by gender imbalance or individual bird behavior"
     
    4 people like this.
  10. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Really, you are the only one who can answer this question. How are your hens? Are they stressed? Being harassed by the roosters? Do they get to eat, drink and dust bathe without being chased around by several roosters wanting to breed them? Are the roosters fighting? How old are the "roosters"? Have the reached breeding age yet? If they haven't that might be why they're all getting along. When they start breeding, that could change. I'm glad you're getting rid of the one that's rough on the hens. That will help reduce stress on them. Hens don't lay well when stressed. Ridgerunner - a very respected member of the BYC community - suggests keeping as few roosters as you need to meet your goals. It doesn't guarantee you will have no problems, but it does lessen the chances of problems.

    I have two cockerels (roosters younger than a year old) and 20-some hens and pullets. The boys get along just fine - they've had a few skirmishes but have worked things out. I will be separating them and the girls this winter. (Not enough space in one coop for them to be one big happy family when cabin fever hits) Once that happens, they will not be out at the same time again. I'm afraid they will actually to harm-causing battle with one another when they're more mature.
     
    1 person likes this.

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