Howe many hens can one roo take care of

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by curdogs, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. curdogs

    curdogs Out Of The Brooder

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    The guy I got my eggs from has one roo and 75 hens. I'm hoping the fertility rate will be good.
     
  2. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Per "Storeys Guide to Raising Chickens" the ideal ratio is 1 roo for up to 12 hens. Some roos can cover up to 15 or 20...With 75 hens, the roo will choose his favorites to breed. Afraid the rate of fertility for your eggs will be slim. Hope this helps.
     
  3. AlienChick

    AlienChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's a pretty large number of hens for one poor rooster.
    The rooster does not have to mate with every single hen EVERY day, so the eggs still may be fertile.
    I, personally, would not keep more than 14 hens per rooster if fertility was really important to me.
    Good luck with your hatch!
     
  4. what did I do

    what did I do Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I set eggs last year from someone who had 60 + hens to one rooster. I set 42 and had 32 hatch. Second hatch had 34. I think it all depends on the rooster.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Wow! I would not have expected those rates, but you are dealing with living animals. You can’t know for sure what will happen in any one flock.

    I agree the rooster’s vitality is really important but there are other things at work. Obviously with 60 hens and setting 42 eggs at a time, you did not set each and every hen’s eggs. All of them might not have been laying. There have been studies that show roosters tend to mate with hens that are laying eggs.

    I don’t know how you selected which eggs to set. That may have had something to do with it. You may have just been blind lucky both times. But your post shows there is a lot more going on that some mystical mythical hen to rooster ratio. I try to not tell Mother Nature what she can’t do. She will often surprise you at what she can accomplish.

    I think it bears saying that the hen to rooster ratios are there to help assure fertility in a vast amount of different situations with a lot of different roosters. The hens have a lot to do with it too. If they don’t cooperate the fertility rate can really drop.

    However this happened, I congratulate you on your success.

    To the OP, I would not count on anything like What did I do’s success. I would not expect your hatch rates to be close to this, but the way you find out is by trying it. Your question was how many hens a rooster can take care of. The answer is a bunch. What none of us can tell you is how many that one did take care of.

    I wish you success.
     
  6. what did I do

    what did I do Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with ridgerunner, you never know what you will come up with. I have a bunch of green eggs and a few brown and white set right now . I don't think the roosters are covering all the green egg laying hens but the others are fertile. I don't think I've ever seen one of my roosters cover the Ameraucanas.
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I recently hatched eggs from three different green-egg-laying hens. They are all different shades so it’s easy to tell which hen laid which egg. I have one rooster with a total of 11 hens. Eggs from the other eight were fertile.

    Eggs from two green-egg-laying hens were fertile, but none from the third hen was. One clue a rooster has that a hen is laying eggs is that her comb and wattles are red, not pale orange. Since you mention the problem with your green egg layers, I wonder if because she has a pea comb, she may not be high on his “date” list? Now that you mention it, my rooster does seem to favor the single combed hens.

    No conclusions, just a thought.
     
  8. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is a very interesting thought-It would be facinating to have some one do an informal study on mating in a large flock/fertility with pea combs/signle comb hens!!!
     

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