How many roosters to keep?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by polychickens, May 26, 2007.

  1. polychickens

    polychickens In the Brooder

    Apr 23, 2007
    Ok, since getting our first chickens eleven weeks ago, we have added to the ranks and now have FORTY FIVE!

    Of the straight runs we bought, it looks like we have 8 or 9 roosters. Should we keep them all and just house them seperately? Or should we thin them now?

    I was thinking about making three minicoops with each holding 3 roosters. Then I could allow a rotating schedule of who gets to run with the hens. For example, three roos with 36 hens one week, then a different three the next week, and finally the last three in week three.

    I am new to chickens and not really sure how this works, so if it would be best to trim my feed costs and kill off some roos now, let me know.

    I'm off to expand the coop today by adding a wood/wire wall to an existing shed, so I also need to know what to do to accomodate the roosters if they are keepers.

    Polychickens many pretty girls I can't count them...
  2. Hotwings

    Hotwings Songster

    Jan 27, 2007
    southwestern Michigan
    Wow that is alot of birds for a beginner! You seem to know what you are doing tho. Your idea of multipile coops and rotation set up sounds good to me. I would wait awhile to see which rooster has the best personality and temperment. What till they get to breeding age because their personality can change then. With that many birds you can start your own hatchery! And the eggs!
  3. 2mnypets

    2mnypets Songster

    Apr 11, 2007
    Galesburg, IL.
    Well Polychickens, a lot of that depends on your roo's. Have they all been together since you got them. Are they accumstomed to each other. You are correct when you are saying 3 roo's to 36 hens. The 1:12 ratio is to save the hen(s) from being mauled and potentially hurt from all the roo's trying to mate with her (them). If your roo's are getting along fine with each other, then there shouldn't be a problem with keeping all of them, providing that you make the separate enclosures like you were talking about. Of course every chicken is different just like every circumstance is different. If it works for you, then don't fix what isn't broke. Best of luck to you, and let us know what you decide, and how your decision is working out for you.
  4. Napalongtail

    Napalongtail Longtail Longtimer

    Jan 31, 2007
    NE Washington
    Ok with 36 hens you could safely get away with 3 roos running with them thats 12 a piece about. Providing they've all grown up together you shouldn't have a problem. If however you seperate out the boys they'll develope a stronger sense of dominance and will then want to fight for all the girls as sole property. I personally raise phoenix and other longtails so I keep an abundance of roosters around. However I do have to make seperate accomidations for each and every one in order to keep their tails nice. My guys get dates w/ the ladies then the girls are penned seperately. If I where you I'd select 2-3 males that are similar in size and disposition, and put the others in the freezer or try and find homes if you haven't the heart. It is always a good idea to have a seperate area in case you need in the future to seperate someone , but it will be nearly impossible to return them to the main flock if you need to do that. Good luck:)
  5. polychickens

    polychickens In the Brooder

    Apr 23, 2007
    Thanks for the feedback!
    All but one of the roosters have been raised together and they are around eleven weeks old and not harming each other. These in this flock are my oldest birds.

    There is another flock of 15 pullets at around 6 weeks old and one of these 'girls' is a barred rock rooster. LOL. I am not sure he'll last. The two flocks can't mix yet because the younger ones get attacked. My plan is to mix them when they are all adult size, and I doubt that the younger barred rock rooster will be accepted.

    There is a third flock of pullets (blow-out sale at the farm store...who could resist?). Hopefully these will all be hens, alhtough one of the araucanas is a brown leghorn so who knows, ha.

    The kids and I are having a lot of fun with the chickens. We can almost taste the omelettes now!

    Thanks again!

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