How many roosters per hen?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Aldar43, Dec 16, 2018.

  1. Aldar43

    Aldar43 In the Brooder

    May 1, 2018
    I have 4 roosters and 14 hens, would you guys say that's too many roosters?
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  2. SongBaby33

    SongBaby33 ~In Memory Of Songbaby, A Wonderful Hen~

    Nov 15, 2018
    My Coop
    I think one Rooster
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  3. HoopyFrood

    HoopyFrood Songster

    Mar 21, 2016
    Maine, USA
    My Coop
    I have not kept roosters but have heard a rule of thumb is about 10:1 hens to roosters. Hopefully someone with more experience can clarify that?

    So to me it sounds like you have a lot of roosters... But their behavior will tell you in no uncertain terms when you have too many, right? If there's not enough hens aggression will show and fights may break out. When in doubt, observe carefully :)
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  4. Trux

    Trux Songster

    Mar 26, 2018
    Depends on the Roo to be honest. Some will service all 10 hens some will have their favorites and ignore the others. It also depends on what you are trying to accomplish as far as the flock goes. My boy has a circle of 5 hens he likes, the other hens run or scrap with him. I have a mixed flock, and I'm fine with his choices, so I will be having orp/rock crosses and orp/wy crosses and orp's
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  5. sagehound

    sagehound Chirping

    Sep 21, 2017
    Powell Butte, Oregon
    I had two roosters with 14 hens and that was too many. The hens were getting beat up. The roosters were only 16 weeks old so they weren't fighting but I ended up rehoming one of them to an animal sanctuary. I was more worried about my hens.
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  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    Generally speaking, you are asking for a lot of trouble with that many roosters in a smaller flock, and probably a limited area. If this is your first time with chickens, and you are raising your first chicks and now realize that you have 4 roosters, I would strongly recommend getting rid of all the roosters. That many will run your hens ragged.

    Roosters take experience, and in my opinion, roosters raised with just flock mates tend to become bullies very early. All those hormonal driven tendencies will make them more aggressive to the pullets, more aggressive to each other, and often towards people too. They tend to attack children first, then women and finally men.

    Roosters are a crap shoot, some can become very aggressive, really hard to believe if you have not seen them. People without experience often times do not recognize the signs of an imminent attack. This forum is full of posts where the darling became the nightmare in an instant.

    Personally, I have a father/son in a group of 15 hens. I am hoping to get to summer and then cull the old rooster. At this time, the juvenile rooster, is low man on the pecking order, and that is good for him. Ideally, I will cull the old boy before the new boy attacks him. It will take careful daily assessment.

    To have 4 roosters, I would want 50-60 hens and a great deal of space. If yours is a true backyard set up, I would recommend no roosters. If you have young children, I would recommend no roosters. If you are determined to keep all of them, I would recommend a separate bachelors quarters away from your hens.

    Mrs K
  7. N F C

    N F C is it nap time yet?

    Dec 12, 2013
    I agree it depends on the rooster. I got an "oops" rooster in my group of 6 so had 1 male to 5 females. That guy decided 2 of the girls were his favorites and ignored the rest. The 2 he liked got pretty worn out with his over-mating them. Between that and the neighbor complaining about the crowing, we had to get rid of him.

    The general rule of thumb I've always heard was 1 rooster to 8-10 hens. Guess you'll have to judge for yourself how the flock dynamics work out.
  8. JedJackson

    JedJackson Crossing the Road

    Jul 6, 2016
    NW Washington state
    Depends a lot on breed and individual temperament, but most likely one rooster will be plenty for your flock. Pick one that is easy going but a little afraid of you, for the best chance of not having to deal with aggression towards humans. If you want to keep all four roosters, it is best to keep them in their own separate pen, away from the hens.
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  9. Pork Pie

    Pork Pie Flockwit

    Jan 30, 2015
    Cock birds do not mate equally with all hens. The more superior in the hierarchy the hen is - the less she will accept being mated. The result can be over-mated subordinate hens.

    I agree with Mrs. K and forget cockbirds and enjoy your flock for the time being. The more experience you have before keeping cocks, the better your chances of having a positive experience once you take the plunge, imo.
  10. Trux

    Trux Songster

    Mar 26, 2018
    At that age they are basically horney teenagers full of testosterone, best to keep them separated till there lots older. My guy gets out to commune with the ladies everyday thru the run fence, and before I let the girls out for their yard time he gets put back in his pen
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