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I have two unexpected roosters

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chrism, Nov 3, 2015.

  1. chrism

    chrism Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So my young son reported with great despair that "one of the chickens is on top of another one biting its back". [​IMG]
    He's 10 and it's about time to have the "talk". Luckily, I have chickens and bees to use as a teaching aid.

    So... I believe that I know the answers to my questions but hope to get reassurance from those that have been doing this longer than me.

    Are 2 roos too many for a flock of 35 hens?

    I have a mixed flock and am not concerned with keeping them pure breed. I've chosen my flock based on egg laying habits, not aesthetics. Will I be ruining any traits by cross breeding?
    This wasn't part of the plan but now that I have males, I'd like to see how natural incubation works out for us.
     
  2. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Two roosters is fine with a flock of 35 hens, in fact if you want proven fertility you might need another roo or two as the two you have might not cover all 35 hens properly...

    Isn't if fun explaining to kids what they are doing ;) My daughters (3 & 6) sort of get it now with the chickens, but still insist the box turtles are just 'making a chair'...
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2015
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    In spite of a lot of things you read on here there are no magic numbers as to a hen-rooster ratio. You can have the same problems with one rooster and 25 hens as you can have with one rooster and two hens. Two roosters are no more prone to fight if they have 5 hens or 35 hens. Having lots of room is always good when it comes to behavior but a whole lot of it comes down to luck and the personalities of the chickens you get, females as well as males.

    In a free range or lots of room situation, two roosters and 35 hens should make a nice flock. Two relatively young active roosters should keep 35 hens laying fertile eggs for hatching, but that depends on the individuals. No magic numbers either way, minimums or maximums. Sounds really good to me.

    As long as you are not worried about purebreds or color and pattern you will not mess anything up by crossbreeding, you’ll just get a more colorful flock. Chicken breeds are a manmade thing, chicken breeds are not natural. Chickens don’t care about that.

    Whether you crossbreed or stay purebred, there is always the chance you will have a chicken with defective genetics. The way you handle that is to not allow any defective chickens to breed. Most chickens do not have defective genetics to start with. It’s not something you should be concerned about.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  4. chrism

    chrism Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Should I take that to mean that the... um, genetic material could be spread too thin among so many hens that I may not get any fertilized eggs?
    I'm not looking to have a whole bunch of fertilized eggs. Just enough to keep my flock self sustaining.
    I'm sorry that my questions are very rudimentary but I have not done a whit of research on breeding because this was not the plan.

    It won't be fun but better than the locker room/playground education that I got.
    A large part of my reason for my small foray into my family homestead was the ability to introduce my sons to the traditional ways of learning life lessons.
    "making a chair" [​IMG]

    Ridgerunner... I have come to count on your very thoughtful answers no matter what post that you are involved with. Thank you!
     
  5. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    More so they simply may miss some more resistent hens or not have the stamina to cover that many, it all depends on the roos...

    Also worth noting the hens can 'reject' the genetic material after the act from certain or even all roos if they don't find the roos desirable, so that has to be factored into the equation... This is probably not a big concern but it's a valid one sometimes...

    If you just want a sustainable flock the two roos should be plenty, worst case you can put the roos in breeding pens with desirable hens when it's time to repopulate...
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  6. chrism

    chrism Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you.
     
  7. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Had to giggle - when my daughter was around six years old we had ducks. She came to me one day to report that, "The ducks are so smart, mommy.......Bonnie-Bob (he was a surprise drake, originally named Bonnie) is using Judy duck as a step stool to try to get over the fence" ----yeah, no, Bonnie-Bob had no desire to get over the fence at that moment, just happened to be where he caught poor Judy.
     
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  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    With young healthy roosters I don't think you'll have a fertility issue. I've had young roosters cover 2 dozen hens easily and pretty much all my eggs were fertile. As they age, and then when they're older and it's fall, fertility can decline some. But with that many hens, you'll have enough eggs it won't kill you to incubate some infertile eggs. Or, you can always make a breeding pen when you're wanting to incubate, concentrate a rooster's attention to some select hens for a week or so.
     
  9. chrism

    chrism Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you folks for taking your time to answer my concerns.
    I'll spend the time learning the specifics about brooding so that I'm ready for when I want to begin in the spring.
    Since I'll be letting Mother Nature do the job, I plan on waiting until then to let Nature take its course.
     
  10. ChickenGoesRuff

    ChickenGoesRuff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have three roosters that all get along fine with 11 hens. I think it all depends on the dispositions and hierarchies in the flock. At one point I had 5 roos and a single hen in the same pen. Riley (female) was a tomboy hen and highest in the pecking order. Never did aggression occur with the roosters and they all got along well.
     

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