How many roosters can be in a flock?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by HeatherTheMommy, Apr 18, 2016.

  1. HeatherTheMommy

    HeatherTheMommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Right now I have 11 hens. I got 6 chicks, 4EE 1 polish and 1 frizzle. The frizzle looks to be a roo and I think the polish is too. Im wondering if i have another roo in the EE gang. How many roosters can you have in a flock? Im worried about it because right now i dont have any roosters in my established flock. I'm keeping the polish for sure.
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

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

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    There is no one answer to this as there are many variables that factor into the overall success of a multi-rooster flock. The best you can do is see how things play out and have a "Plan B" ready if things start to go sour.
     
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  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    ^ This
     
  4. JadedPhoenix

    JadedPhoenix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The BASIC rule is 10-12 hens per roo. BUT if you have a really dominant roo, you may not be able to have more than one. By the same token, if one is very submissive then having multiples can work. Also, if the roos are raised together that tends to play a role with whether or not a flock can support multiple roos. I have had as many as four roos in a flock of 30 and it worked well but another time two were too many with a flock the same size.

    Another thing that can affect your numbers are your hens. If you have a lot of dominant hens (like I have now) they can hen peck your roo if he is submissive which makes having one pretty much useless.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2016
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Can depend on your chicken keeping goals....why do you need/want more than one cock/erel'?

    The 10:1 ratio is for good fertility rates in commercial breeding facilities......and doesn't usually apply to backyard situations.
     
  6. HeatherTheMommy

    HeatherTheMommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chickens are my pets. Id like at least 1 to protect the flock but wondering how many of my newbs ill need to rehome
     
  7. JadedPhoenix

    JadedPhoenix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Watch your hens to see if they start getting over-bred. That is where the 10 to 1 ratio really comes in handy since having too many roos per hen can really strip them of their feathers. As long as the roos don't have issues with themselves and the hens don't suffer from feather loss then you will be good. That is just what I'd worry about the most with multiple roos.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    You can have 20:1 or 30:1 and have a hen bare backed because she's a favorite.
    You can have pairs, trios, quads with no hens over mated or barebacked.

    You've got to play it by eye and ear with an understanding of chicken behavior and flock dynamics,
    and be willing to cull trouble makers,
    to keep a flock balanced, healthy, and harmonious.
     
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  9. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    It may work, it may work for a while, and it may not work at all. It might if you have a lot of space in the set up, not looking at the free ranging.

    But when you have multiple roosters, you need a place to pull birds out of the flock. Cause it goes from working fine to a nightmare in an instant. I would be planning on culling them however you see fit, but make it so that you can separate them at once, and then deal with it.

    Mrs K
     
  10. HeatherTheMommy

    HeatherTheMommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I won't cull any of my birds. Like i said they are my pets. If they need to go i will rehome them and i so have a backup coop as a hospital coop. Right now my silkie is in it to broody break. I can always put trouble makers there if need be. Im upset i ended up with more than 1 roo. Beautiful ones at that.
     

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