How many Roosters do you really need?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by docdandc, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. docdandc

    docdandc Out Of The Brooder

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    My city is reviewing and currently re-writing its chicken ordinance. They are considering limiting roosters to no more than 3 per property. Most of the lots in town are 1/2acre and above and zoned for animal keeping of all types. However, One of the neighbors has gone into the gamefowl breeding hobby and has 70 roosters and 200hens. The roosters are being roosters and making alot of noise and pissing off the non-chicken neighbors. This has sparked local petitions to end the chicken hobby in our town and people from both sides of the issue are currently presenting their sides of the argument before the vote. I am wanting to breed Rhode Island Reds for show standards. If I practiced rotational line breeding, is it possible to make it work with only 3 roosters or do I need more? If I had two breeds, (say RIR's and Barred Rocks), would this be possible? I think that the city should consider at least 6 roosters, in order to have two or three breeds progressing and breeding out obvious faults.

    The issue here is to stop the noise for the neighbors near the gamefowl house, and yet allow the hobby person to have chickens for show, like FFA and 4H.

    I would like to ask the show breeders out there, HOW MANY ROOSTERS ARE NECESSARY FOR BEING ABLE TO IMPROVE A BREEDERS SHOW LINES AND BE SUCCESSFUL? Is it just a pipe dream for someone to get into showing chickens if you can only have 3 roosters?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    There are different strategies to use for breeding show chcikens, so how many mature roosters you need depends on your specific strategy. I don't do that, so I'll let others come up with hard and fast numbers.

    I will mention though, that to breed show chickens you need to hatch out a lot of chicks. A lot of them will be roosters and you will need to allow them to mature to a certain level before you can choose which ones you want to keep. Be careful how you present the ordinance. If you only think of your mature roosters, you may be in violation because of your immature roosters.
     
  3. docdandc

    docdandc Out Of The Brooder

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    Good Idea. I hope to hear from some experienced breeders as well.
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I like to have at least three times as many roosters on ground as needed to actually make desired crosses. It provides a realistic pool from which to select animals based on whatever criteria you are using and provides backup to losses and infertility. Not all selection can be based on juveniles prior to crowing start.

    I am one of those game rooster guys but moved out of town in part to reduce stress on neighbors and me dealing with stressed neighbors. The birds are pretty important.
     
  5. kfacres

    kfacres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    having roosters.. catch 22..

    in most cases, one, two, or three is plenty... roosters really don't do much other than eat feed and waste money.

    in the other, it never hurts to have plenty of backup breeding options.

    if you have more than 2 breeds that you plan to reproduce, obviously, you'll need 2 or 3 times as many roosters.

    if you have one breed that you want to reproduce, and one breed just for eggs.. then obviously, you'll only need one breed of rooster, as who cares what breeds the egg layers.
     
  6. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    Quote:I agree with this one. I really prefer to have three mature roosters of whatever breed I want to use to breed with.

    If this fellow is on one of those typical half-acre lots and has over 250 chickens then I can't blame the neighbors for being upset.
     
  7. docdandc

    docdandc Out Of The Brooder

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    A.T. Hagan :

    Quote:I agree with this one. I really prefer to have three mature roosters of whatever breed I want to use to breed with.

    If this fellow is on one of those typical half-acre lots and has over 250 chickens then I can't blame the neighbors for being upset.

    This is what I am thinking also. At least three times as many roosters would ensure good breeding choices for the standards to be met and diversify the gene pool. This way a breeder would not have to introduce new blood to the mix and dilute good traits.

    How old are the roosters before a breeder can make the cull list? I'm sure gross faults can be seen early but what is the best age to know what you have in a bird? RIR's, Rocks, dual purpose, show stock?​
     
  8. Blue

    Blue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    While 50 roosters seems a bit much, especially on a 1/2 acre lot (or does this neighbor have a larger lot?), if the guy is breeding many different varieties of game fowl, he may feel the number is justified. Have the neighbor's around him tried to discuss the rooster problem with him? Was he unwilling to downsize his operation? Maybe he is breeding many varieties, but would be willing to cut down to a few favorites. I have 5 adult roosters at the moment, and 6 other young ones that aren't crowing yet, maybe 7 (we're not sure about an EE). I do plan to downsize the cochin roosters (there are 5 of them, and I plan on getting rid of all but a couple of them). However, I don't worry much about the noise level of my roosters, but I'm on 5 acres surrounded by woods, so I doubt the roosters are overly loud to the neighbors. I can see how it could be a major problem on a smaller lot in a city setting.
     

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