How many roosters?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Minky, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. Minky

    Minky Songster

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    So.....

    I will have a flock of about 26 laying hens by Sept/Oct .
    I currently only have 6 adult layers but the other 20 are growing up fast!

    I currently have 1 adult rooster.

    I also have 5 little cockerels that are 2.5- months old (brothers that were hen raised by my broody)
    I also have a one cockerel who is a month older, hand raised.

    The 5 flock together with their sisters and the 1 older one flocks with the 3 hens he was raised with.

    The adult rooster only hangs out with the 6 hens.

    They are all in the barn together and free range 8 am -8 pm. (but all separately for some reason. Is this normal??)

    My question is how many roos can i keep without too much drama? and
    Will the roos from the same "litter" (the brothers) be easier to keep together, or can I mix and match? or will it totally depend- I will just have to wait and see.??

    Also- when will they "bond as a flock" and stop free ranging separately?

    Ideally, I'd like to keep 3 roosters. two brothers and the one I hand raised. Id like to get rid of my adult rooster because he is not child-friendly.

    Thanks for any suggestions/tips/advice
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

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    3 maximum.
    Don't make the young ones pets or they won't be child friendly either.
     
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  3. coach723

    coach723 Crowing

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    Average number is 10 hens per rooster, so for 3 roo's you're going to need about 30 hens. Reality is dictated by the birds themselves, so numbers can be a bit more or less and be successful. If you are breeding, then too many hens to roo's will result in more unfertilized eggs. Too many roo's will result in beat up or injured hens.
    Roo's kept with hens are usually better when raised together. If you have young cockerels that grow up with the adult roo, they will be viewed as part of the flock usually. However, as they mature it is really based on the birds themselves. Some roo's will not tolerate another male at all. Some will. When hens are in the mix, anything can happen, and it can be brutal. And it can happen any time. When you have a mixed age flock they will usually group themselves generationally. That's not to say that there isn't some mixing, but grouping in general will be with their age group/hatch mates. I don't keep aggressive roo's, I'm pretty picky about the ones I keep. Young cockerels that are very friendly can often turn into awful, aggressive roosters. The ones that are a bit standoffish, and get out of your way, generally turn out better, in my opinion. Every one of them is an individual. If they fight, more than pecking order spats, then you will need to consider separating them, or separating the flocks. When keeping multiple roosters the more space the better, and housing can also be an issue. Multiple roosters in the coop may mean adjusting your roost layout to accommodate them each having a 'space'. I have two roo's right now and they each have a 'loft' space on opposite sides of my coop and it's peaceful.
     
  4. 123RedBeard

    123RedBeard Songster

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    I'd pick 2-3 of the broody raised brothers ... broody momma teaches them how to behave!
     
  5. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Crowing

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    Two to three.
    Nothing wrong with a male being a pet as long as you guys have boundaries and trust,you have to know how to work with them.All my boys have been hand fed and held and never have had any issues.
    Once the new birds start laying eggs that’s usually when I see them clique up
    More.
    There is no guarantee you won’t have an issue with them fighting but no guarantee you’ll have an issue,
     
  6. Chickassan

    Chickassan Crossing the Road

    Totally normal for littles to range seperate from bigs, they won't join up until your littles are almost the same size as your bigs. As for the roosters, that depends on the boys themselves you can maybe have 2 or 3 but if they have issues you'll have to weed out the trouble. You won't know your answer until you see for yourself.:)
     
  7. Minky

    Minky Songster

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    Thank you to all the wonderful, thoughtful replies! I learn so much on here, its great!!
    When do you think trouble will start brewing with the cockerels? 16 weeks? older?
    I'd be happy with 2 roosters. Our jerk rooster is just the most gorgeous rooster ever- and very alert/protective, otherwise he'd have been gone a long time ago. I have been keeping him because I cant decide if I want to try and rehome him, eat him or keep him to breed just one clutch of pure bred eggs (CLB) then rehome him. LOL I carry a BIG STICK when my kids are close to the barn, and it takes all the fun out of it for my 3 little kids. There are 4 potential roosters out of the 6 we have. (2 are albino and Id rather not breed them- they sort of look like meat birds!)
     
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  8. Chickassan

    Chickassan Crossing the Road

    Yeah around that time.Usually if they're going to be buttholes they can't wait to do it. You'll get little squabbles but the real stinkers usually stick out early.:)
     
  9. Minky

    Minky Songster

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    Interesting...I think Ive been noticing one of my albino roosters is a real jerk. You know, goes out of his way to bug the littles.
     
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  10. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

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    He perceives his jerkiness as being protective.
    Most predators are small and move quickly. That also describes children running around the barnyard. They equate the two.
    I know it is hard but in future generations of roosters, it may go better if you can encourage the children to move slowly around the flock. However, playing with and picking up hens is a problem too. They are his hens.
    IMO, human aggressive roosters tend to beget human aggressive roosters.
     

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