How many to keep?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by marlene, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. marlene

    marlene Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 17, 2011
    I am fairly new to this and need advise from all you experts.
    I have had 2 hens now for a little over 1 year, really have enjoyed keeping them so have decided to expand as i would love more and 2 hens really don't provide enough eggs for my large family.
    Over the last few months i have done a few small hatches, 2 ixworth chicks hatched by my hen and i think they are 1 pullet and 1 roo but i'm not definate, 5 pure white silkies and again i'm almost sure 2 are definate roo's as they keep facing up to each other on a daily basis, 1 light sussex almost definately roo.
    I have just hatched 7 pekin/silkie mix bantam, they are only 3 days old so no idea what they are as yet and i'm about to put in 12 black french copper marans in the bator in the next day or 2.
    Sorry this is long winded but trying to explain propely lol. My question is how many roo's can i happily keep together with out fighting, i do plan to keep the batam breeds section off from the full size breeds. They will each have their own coop and run.
  2. tritty74

    tritty74 Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 19, 2011
    I'm trying to decide this also but from what i have read here most people suggest 1 roo for every 10 hens.
  3. hallerlake

    hallerlake Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 30, 2010
    Roosters raised together will figure out who is Alpha while they're still small, and should get along just fine once grown up. Are all your hatches being raised together or separately?
  4. marlene

    marlene Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 17, 2011
    At the moment i have i group in a brooder, they are 2,3 and 4 weeks old and the 3 day olds in another brooder. When they go outside i have 2 coops, 1 for the larger breeds and 1 coop for all the bantams. All the bantams will pretty much know each other but the big breeds will be going in to a coop with 2 older hens and 1 roo? and i pullet? ( not 100% sure of their sex) who are 2 months old now.
    So joining the big breed group will be 1 light sussex and eventually how ever many marans i hatch out from 12 eggs due to go in bator this week, so there will be quite an age gap between these. The bantams are 2wks 3wks and 3 days olds so they are pretty much all around the same age.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2011
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    There are a whole lot of myths about roosters on this forum. Nobody can really tell you what will happen in any situation. There are a whole lot of variables that affect it. The biggest one is the personality of the individual rooster, but breed, space, personality of the hens, age, and many more things enter into it.

    If roosters are in the presence of hens, they will determine which is top rooster. Sometimes that involves a fight to the death. Sometimes they settle it and you never see it. The number of hens does not really matter. One hen or 20 hens can spark a fight to the death or they can share and work quite well as a team in protecting the flock. Often, roosters raised together work it out without too much fighting, but sometimes it gets deadly. Usually, when you introduce two adult roosters in the presence of the hens, they have a pretty serious fight, but sometimes that quickly becomes more chasing and running away onstead of dangerous fighting. You just can't tell for sure what will happen.

    The other big risk is barebacked hens. Again, there are a tremendous number of different factors that can affect that. Personality and age of the hens and roosters are big ones but not the only factors. There is no one magic ratio that quarantees anything, either good or bad.

    The more roosters you have, the more likely you are to have problems, so I recommend you keep as few roosters as you can and maintain your goals. You might be OK with several roosters, but then, you might not. If you do decide to try to keep several, keep an eye on it and have a plan of how to react if you do have a problem.

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2011

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by