I was surprised to find a rooster in my brood of ladies...


Free Ranging
May 21, 2017
Okay, so let's say I have 2, maybe more cockerels, roosters, troublemakers...you choose the name. What do I do?? Do I need to get rid of one? But we love them, We thought they were all ladies but it's fine. We can deal with it. Do I get more legit pullets? :yesss:
You could keep the flock how it is and see if any changes need to be made, get more pullets, make two separate flocks with one cockerel in each, or separate the two cockerels from the hens in a bachelor pad. That is, if you want to keep them.


In the Brooder
Apr 15, 2018
I had two super sweet roosters (along with about 9 hens, which I know is a ratio that's too low), but they all got along really, really well. Unfortunately they were both killed in a coyote attack.

Currently I have two roosters who came from the same hatch. Things were just fine. There was an "alpha" and a "beta", but it was peaceful with little/no conflict. Then one day it was like a switch flipped and the "alpha" decided to drive the beta away from the flock. Things got bloody.

So now I have the alpha an a hen in a smaller coop (they get along really great and he seems to have mellowed) and the beta is in my larger run/coop with the other hens. If you have the ability to keep chickens in two separate locations, then you have a good backup plan if they don't get along.

I like having a rooster or two around. They're pretty. They keep an eye on the hens and keep them organized when they are out free ranging. I "tuck them in" each night, so their crows are very muted and do not disturb me or my neighbors.

I would like to emphasize what an earlier poster said: if you do let your hens hatch their eggs, or if you buy a brooder and hatch your own eggs, it's really, REALLY likely that you will hatch about 50% roosters. While you might be okay with 1 or 2 roosters, would your flock work with 4 or 5?

I've been nervous about hatching my own eggs for this reason. I know that I'm not someone who could kill an animal because of its gender (or give it away knowing it would soon be soup). I have read about rooster-only flocks being kept away from the hens, and that this allows the roosters to be mellow with each other. Sometimes I think about setting up a third chicken location that would be a little rooster frat house.

I think that your best bet is to be very observant about the dynamics in your flock. Keep an eye out for any injuries (my roosters seem to go for each others' combs/heads), or any hens who might be over-mated (look for feathers pulled out). Just take the time to watch how they all interact.

If the sound of the rooster isn't an issue for you (or your neighbors), go into it optimistically, but be prepared to make changes if any of the animals are showing signs of injury or stress.
Based on the photos it appears you have a larger breed rooster with mostly medium to large breed hens so you should be okay with one caveat. His trying to mate with the smaller Polish hen (with crest) might cause some angst. But you should see my Bantam Red Pyle rooster try to mate with much larger Calico Princess hens; now that is a hoot.
My Barred Rock roo still can't figure out what to do with my two Polish hens! He knows they're hens and will do his best dance for them, but when it comes time to seal the deal, their feathery heads just confuse him and he gives up!😂😂😂


7 Years
Jul 13, 2012
Out of my first 7 pullet chicks, 6 ended up being cockerels. I ended up adding more when I found out I had so many boys. I had no problems with them though. I separated all but a couple of them from the hens so the hens wouldn’t be overused. Mine were all standard size roosters, a variety of breeds: White Rocks, Barred Rock, a mixed breed “Easter Egger”, a couple of true Ameraucanas, then took in a couple of abandoned roosters, including a Black Copper Marans. Those separated from the hens, paired up in twos to free range and put themselves back in the barn with the rest of the boys to roost at night. The only time I had to separate a hen from the roosters, or the other hens is if one got sick, or if one had a particularly bad molt, leaving her too bare backed to hang out with the boys. I kept chicks and juveniles separate from, but visible to the rest if the flock until they could handle themselves with the big girls. None of the roosters were mean. All could be handled and were people friendly, dog and cat friendly and bird friendly. (Not all breeds of dogs can be trusted with chickens unsupervised). If you give the hens a place they can run under to get away from any over zealous rooster trying to do his job, you can avoid the hens loosing too many feathers on their backs from mating. A low bench, branches, a step stool,...all low enough that when a bird runs under it, she can’t be mounted or pestered by a pushy hen. Safe havens also help juveniles integrate in with the larger birds as well, giving them a place to chill until the big girls get used to them.


Nov 23, 2016
If your neighborhood will allow you to have a rooster, go for it. I had 3-4 roosters at one time and that gets a bit problematic since they can fight over the hens .
The rooster will be the lookout for the hens when they are free ranging. He will also likely be the first to get taken by a predator, since he will try and protect the hens.
Some roosters can get mean and aggressive. I prevented this by socializing them at night, bringing them in to sit with me in the evening. Even so you might find that a rooster will sneak attack you outside. just don't let them think they are the boss. If one attacks me, I round him up under my arm and then parade him in front of his hens, so he knows i'm the boss.
Breeding can be fun, especially in a mixed bunch. when your hens are laying, you will probably be able to figure out which egg color belongs to which hen. Assume ALL the eggs are fertile. You can see that when you eat them. I found about 90% to be fertile.
The easiest way to raise your own chicks is to have a hen go broody, meaning she sits on the nest 24/7, only coming out to poop and eat a quick bite. You can then put a collection of eggs under her and she will sit on them until they hatch. It's best to collect the eggs you want, keeping them on the counter at room temp without any jerky agitation, until you have selected which will go under mommy. I keep my broody hens busy with fake eggs (golf balls).
Usually mommy can take care of the chicks by herself, but a couple time when they start hatching, i've had to help a chick out of it's shell, before it dies trying and of cold/dehydration. They survive then just fine, so you don't have to let nature takes its path.

good luck
rooster and girls.jpg

Chicken Heel

Jun 8, 2019
My Barred Rock roo still can't figure out what to do with my two Polish hens! He knows they're hens and will do his best dance for them, but when it comes time to seal the deal, their feathery heads just confuse him and he gives up!😂😂😂
Fortunately for my Red Pyle Bantam rooster I also have a Polish hen in the pen with him, the two Calico Princess hens, and a Turken. Last night just before they went to roost, he mated successfully with her and he was so excited he probably had trouble sleeping thinking about what today will bring.

Chicken Heel

Jun 8, 2019
My tiny OEGB roo jumps on the backs of my LF hens and just stands there. Poor fellow, but he does have bantam hens too.
I also have 16 Bantam hens in a separate flock and there are four Crele ones that I will probably cross with him at some point. That cross should make some beautiful birds. Right now he is loving life with the "big" girls, especially the Polish. He just mated with her again and promptly flew up on the coop and crowed several times. He is something else.
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