How many roosters are too many?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chickyrookie, Jul 20, 2018.

  1. chickyrookie

    chickyrookie Chirping

    Mar 4, 2018
    Red Bluff, California
    Long story short...I learned how to incubate eggs and now I have too many roosters (I think). I have a 1.5-year-old Ameraucana rooster who is amazing. He is the boss of 3 adult hens. I recently bought 4 hens and hatched 8 chicks. Out of the 8 chicks, I KNOW at least 3 are roosters. Everyone seems to be getting along okay, but how long will this last. One of the new roosters are already chasing the new Copper Marans. He seems dominant, but doesn't mess with my original rooster's flock. Can I keep them all if they get along? Wishful thinking...
    Rraggs likes this.
  2. Not with so few hens. I keep 4 roosters in a flock of 20 hens and it works fine, but not recommended. Even if your roosters get along, your hens will get the bad end of the deal. And by bad, I mean potentially deadly.
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Waiting on a Fresh Garden Salad

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    You can keep all the roosters in a separate flock if they get along. I wouldn't keep more than one rooster with you hens.

    If you keep chickens long enough eventually you need to become comfortable with the idea that some rooster are only good for eating, and others are worth trying to keep around.

    You may not see troubles until next spring as far as fighting, but it's best to plan ahead before you suddenly find bloodied birds and have no idea what you are doing next.

    I tend to separate out troublemakers as they crop up but often that means the roosters won't get along if penned together at that point. We butcher extras. A few good ones we make accommodations for.
    Sneebsey, Geena, chickyrookie and 6 others like this.
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Other than kept in a separate flock, you need to lose all the young males or use one as a replacement for the adult rooster.
  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    You have too many roosters. If there aren't fights yet, I'd have a plan in place for when it happens. The other thing that can (and likely will) happen will be that your hens will be harassed without end. When my ratio was about 1:1, the cockerels would chase and gang breed the pullets non-stop. Those poor girls couldn't eat, drink or dust bathe without 2 or more cockerels going after them.

    Until you decide what to do with extra males, I would suggest not hatching any more eggs or you will be overrun with males that will be eating you out of house and home.
    Geena, chickyrookie, aart and 5 others like this.
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    If it was my flock, I would keep only the original older rooster. He's a known quantity.
    Sneebsey, Geena, chickyrookie and 7 others like this.
  7. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I hatch out all of my chicks. I leave the males and females together for the first 3/4 months then I move the males to bachelor coops and pens. For the most part they all get along as long as there are no females. Once in awhile they may pick on one of the males then I take the one being picked on out.
    2014-05-28 17.09.15.jpg 2014-11-11 09.59.28.jpg
  8. Chickassan

    Chickassan Wattle Fondler

    Unless you're having issues with your mature rooster I wouldn't even think of keeping more than one. The timeline for weeding out the duds varies, you will see more and more true behaviors as your boys mature some will be nuisances and some will be dealbreakers. The path to finding out which is which is never fun and will probably leave you covered in rooster bites.:caf
  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    Agreed with all of the above. Only one roo. If you keep more than one, you should plan on having a bachelor pad for the rest. How do your neighbors feel about the 4 am cockerel chorus??? How many sq. feet do you have in your coop and run?
  10. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    All good advice! I don't have a separate coop and run for the boys, and go through the 'sift and winnow' process with my cockerels every year. I'm working on it now; a few chicks and adults left three weeks ago, and more will leave later in August. Most cockerels hatched do NOT find new flocks, and that's tough, but it's how things are. Providing a meal for a family is a good thing, when life has been good until that day, IMO.
    Your hens and pullets deserve to have good lives too, and that includes not being driven wild by over-attentive males.
    Rraggs, Sneebsey, Geena and 5 others like this.

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