how many roosters

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Cynth, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. Cynth

    Cynth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2011
    Lyman, Maine
    right now I am not sure if we have any roosters. We are buying chickens from local farm stores. Now that I am on here I will buy from others that are selling, but how many roosters are good to have? Do they have to be the same breed or do roosters cross breed. I am clueless on chicken rooster egg fertilization.
  2. Cats Critters

    Cats Critters Completely Indecisive

    Roosters will breed with any hen in site, so no worries about not having fertile eggs from a different breed rooster. And most people recommend 8-10 hens per rooster for the best fertility rates. But just a note you don't need a rooster to get eggs, just in case you didn't know. [​IMG]
  3. chicken crazed 1o1

    chicken crazed 1o1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2011
    Dugald , Manitoba
    It all depends on how many hens you end up having. Roosters do crossbreed with other breeds. hope you have fun with them [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2011
  4. Cynth

    Cynth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2011
    Lyman, Maine
    today I heard that any cross bread is a meat bird and not good fo egg laying. Is this true? What terms a"meat bird" or jus a "layer"? can any bird be eaten? or is the meat yuck? How old does a bird have to be before they can be eaten and I know how long it takes most hens to lay.
  5. Lacey1988

    Lacey1988 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2011
    Roosters don't care lol [​IMG] I have all different breeds of hens and he doesn't care one bit lol
  6. QualityPolish

    QualityPolish Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2011
    [​IMG] I've heard 4 hens per rooster but I've always done more around 8, I don't want any conflicts.
  7. Cindilou

    Cindilou Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 2, 2011
    Largo, FL
    Any bird can be eaten but many are specifically bred to be larger for meat purposes. Cornish and Cornish crosses are apparently good meat birds. Other birds are specifically bred for egg production. Some that you usually find at feed store are generally egg layers. Good ones are hybrids which is a kind of crossing of breeds, generally so that they can be sexed at birth. For example, I have a black star, she is the product of, I believe, a Rhode Island Red rooster and a barred rock female. Females born from these lines are black with spots on the head at birth while males are black with no spots. I also have another sex link, a red star or golden comet (these are all corporate made up names for them), females are red while males are white. My black sex link just started laying and she lays very big eggs, double yolkers so far. She is also incredibly nice for a bird, does not run away and allows us to pick her up and seems to enjoy human attention. If I had known how great she would turn out I would have gotten more. I have different types of Plymouth Rocks, some easter eggers and a jersey giant. These were all picked for the understanding that their general temperament is good as well as good egg production. I also have 2 minorcas that were basically mislabeled. I would not have originally got them but they have turned out to be rather fine birds but not nearly as "nice" as the rocks or the sex links.

    Any chicken can mate with a chicken of the opposite sex to fertilize and produce offspring.

    Keep looking on this site, you will be a pro in no time.
  8. lady feathers

    lady feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 29, 2010
    Quote:There are many different categories for chickens some of the main ones are meat, dual purpose, and egg layers.... all chickens will lay eggs (except roos [​IMG] ) and all chickens can be eaten! The differences are in how quickly the bird puts on weight and how often they lay eggs!

    If you want to keep birds mainly to eat and not so much for the eggs then you should do a search for meat chickens breeds and you should find quite a few (cornish, cornish crosses, jumbo cornish crosses, dark cornish, etc...) there are diferences between each breed and with minimal research you should find the one that suits you best. The cornish crosses can be ready to dress (butcher) in as little as 5-8 weeks, while some of the heritage breeds such as the dark cornish which we raise are ready somewhere between 16 and 24 weeks according to preference. As to wether the meat is yuck... chicken is chicken what makes it slightly different is when you butchered, how it was prepared, and in some people opinion the breed itself makes a more quiality meat. In general meat birds will lay less eggs than layers but they will still lay eggs if allowed to reach laying age.

    A dual purpose chicken is a chicken that puts on a decent amount of weight/meat but lays a fair amount of eggs as well (some consider this to be ideal and many of your common backyard flock chickens fit this category- barred rock, australorp, RIR, etc...).

    Layers are chickens that put most of their energy into producing eggs rather than in muscle building, so they tend to be smaller in size and lay more frequently than both dual-purpose and meat birds.... they can still be eaten too, they will just dress out smaller! (an example would be leghorns, sex links, etc...)

    Cross breeds can be in any of these general categories... you can cross breed two types of meat chickens, two dual-purpose chickens, two egg laying chickens, or cross between meat and dual-purpose, dual-purpose and layers, etc.... endless possibilities!

    All chickens can be butchered at any age, and in fact, age often determines whether they are considered broilers, roasters, or stewers, etc... .... once you determine what you want to be your focus with your chickens you can do a quick google will help you determine how and when you want to prepare your birds based on breed.

    A great site that I used when I first started to familiarize myself with breeds/purpose was an online chicken breed chart, just type that into google and hopefully you will find the same one (not sure if I can nam it or not, sorry).... it helped me quite a bit to determine what direction I wanted to take for our needs and helped us determmine what breeds would be good for our climate.

    I hope I didn't comepletely confuse you [​IMG] ! Good luck with your chicken venture, and have fun!
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Every one of us have different goals and set-ups, so you will get a lot of conflicting information on this forum. You will also find that a whole lot of different things work. Chickens are pretty tough and adaptable. As long as you provide the basics of food, water, and proper shelter (which includes predator protection as well as protection from the elements and adequate space) about anything goes. How much effort you put into managing them also comes into play. This is a great forum with a lot of really nice people with a lot of experience. But you need to try to understand where people are coming from to see if that specific advice is applicable to your situation.

    I purposely cross different breeds to get a chicken I can eat but also lay well. Some breeds have been developed for meat. Some have been developed for egg laying. The dual purpose breeds have been developed for both. The dual purpose breeds are not as efficient at producing meat as the meat breeds and they are not as efficient at egg laying as the egg laying breeds, but they are pretty good at both. This means the feed to egg or feed to meat ratios are not as good, but for most of us, that does not matter a lot. We all have different goals.

    Can any bird be eaten? Yes, but you will find that some are bette than others. A leghorn, for example, is a great egg laying bird but there is not much meat there. They are bigger that quail and people eat quail, so you can eat them. They taste fine. Silkies have a dark meat that some people find the appearance unappetizing, but they can be eaten. Age of a chicken has a lot to do with how it should be cooked. The older it is, the slower and moister it should be cooked, but I've eaten an old old rooster and it was tender and delicious.

    At what age do they lay? How high is up? Boy does that vary. Part of it is breed dependent, but it also really varies by the individual. I have had them start laying those tiny pullet eggs at 16 weeks. I've had some not laying at 27 weeks when they were processed. Some people have had them go a year before they start laying. I'd say the average is somewhere around 20 to 24 weeks, but it can vary tremendously.

    Any rooster will breed with any hen, or at least try. You can run into some problems between bantams and large breeds, but bantams and large breeds cross breed all the time. One of the fun things for me is to cross different breeds with different colors and patterns and try to determine what colors and patterns I will get. As someone said, the opportunities are endless.

    How many roosters are good to have? That is a huge question with a lot of different correct answers. What are your goals for roosters? I find there is a lot of misinformation or misunderstanding about roosters on this forum. Many of us have multiple roosters much of the time and don't have serious problems. Some people have real problems with roosters. There is no magic ratio of hens per rooster that solves all your potential problems. The 10 to 1 ratio a lot of people quote only refers to fertility. It has practically nothing to do with whether roosters will fight or whether you might have over-mated hens, which are two potential problems with roosters. I'll give you a few threads that discuss it which might help you. Ny normal advice is to keep as few roosters as you can and still meet your goals.

    Breeders managing roosters

    Number of roosters thread

    Managing multiple roosters

    Hope this helps a bit. You can learn a lot by looking through the Learning Center at the top of this page or by using the search feature for specific questions, but never be afraid to ask a question, even if it has been asked before. Repeat questions are usually easier to answer, I guarantee you someone else wants to ask the same question and will be grateful to you for posting the question, and besides, this site would die if people only asked questions that have never been asked before.

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