Is it ok to only have one rooster and one hen?

ahoyaki

In the Brooder
Jul 21, 2020
68
22
30
Hi all, Im in a bit of a dilemma, I bought two little chicks from a breeder a while back and they were supposed to both be silkies. One turned out to be sizzle while the other was a half silkie, half ameraucauna. The rooster isn't fully grown yet but I'm worried that when he is grown he'll over breed and hurt my gentle silkie hen. Should I just seperate the two and put them in different enclosures or should I just buy 2 or so more bantams?
 

em_dawson

Songster
Mar 25, 2020
498
793
113
Yes, I might worry about overbreeding. But you shouldn't separate them and make them live on their own; they're social animals and without a flock, there can be some adverse effects.
Chickens do better in groups of (at the bare minimum) three or more. I'd go ahead and see if you can find more pullets. Like you said, at least two. Although, you'll probably end up with fifteen thousand. Chicken Math. :p
 

Sonya9

Crowing
6 Years
Feb 7, 2014
1,875
1,091
271
Georgia
How big is the male going to get? If he is half Ameraucauna he can likely get a whole lot bigger than a silkie hen.

Yes your boy needs a few more females for a harem but size is going to matter. They literally stand on the hen's back when they breed so a huge rooster on top of a tiny hen is a big issue.
 

ahoyaki

In the Brooder
Jul 21, 2020
68
22
30
Yes, I might worry about overbreeding. But you shouldn't separate them and make them live on their own; they're social animals and without a flock, there can be some adverse effects.
Chickens do better in groups of (at the bare minimum) three or more. I'd go ahead and see if you can find more pullets. Like you said, at least two. Although, you'll probably end up with fifteen thousand. Chicken Math. :p
Heh, I kinda figured that when I picked only two chicks up that I was going to end up with a lot more :). But now that I've decided on getting some pullets should I only get silkie pullets or will any other bantam breed be fine?
 

ahoyaki

In the Brooder
Jul 21, 2020
68
22
30
How big is the male going to get? If he is half Ameraucauna he can likely get a whole lot bigger than a silkie hen.

Yes your boy needs a few more females for a harem but size is going to matter. They literally stand on the hen's back when they breed so a huge rooster on top of a tiny hen is a big issue.
They're both the same height that of which being 10 inches but my rooster is significantly heavier
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
25,753
15,854
777
Southeast Louisiana
I'm worried that when he is grown he'll over breed and hurt my gentle silkie hen.

Part of the mating act is that when the rooster mounts, the hen is squatting on the ground. This squat gets her body on the ground. This gets his weight into the ground through her entire body, not just through her legs. Most roosters are heavier than hens of the same breed anyway. The squat is nature's way of protecting the hen. The more difference in weight the bigger the risk but many people keep full sized roosters with bantam hens without a big problem. I cannot guarantee it wont be a problem but it's something I would not worry about very much when they are adults.

Over breeding is a different question. Typically mature hens and roosters aren't too bad about that. Breeders regularly have one rooster with one or two hens throughout the breeding season without problems. But the secret is that they use hens and roosters, not immature pullets and cockerels. Cockerels can get really hyped up on hormones, they can have a strong urge to breed. Pullets generally mature later so they don't know what is going on but they know they don't like it. They resist. So he forces them.

By the time they get that far into it the pullet will squat. That's a protective instinct. I still would not worry too much about the weight difference. But it can be physical when he forces them. The pullet can be injured, more likely by his beak than his claws. A typical injury would be to her comb or the back of her head.

Sometimes this is not a problem, the adolescent part of them growing up can sometimes go really smoothly. It often does. Occasionally you get a hen or rooster that never grows up, just like some humans are still pretty adolescent in their 50's or older. But adolescence is the time of the biggest risk.

You can have these same issues whether you have a male with two females or 20. Adding more, whether two or 20 more does not change this risk. And you have to go through an integration. If getting more pullets is part of your goals go for it. You're going to have to integrate them at some point anyway. But don't expect that to change your risks with a cockerel.
 

em_dawson

Songster
Mar 25, 2020
498
793
113
Heh, I kinda figured that when I picked only two chicks up that I was going to end up with a lot more :). But now that I've decided on getting some pullets should I only get silkie pullets or will any other bantam breed be fine?
It really doesn’t matter what breed you get, it just depends on your choice. Both mixed flocks and flocks of one breed are very pretty!

Personally, if he’s half Ameraucana I might consider getting some normal sized chicks, as he may get a little too big for bantam hens. Just a thought :)
 

Sonya9

Crowing
6 Years
Feb 7, 2014
1,875
1,091
271
Georgia
Hi all, Im in a bit of a dilemma, I bought two little chicks from a breeder a while back and they were supposed to both be silkies. One turned out to be sizzle while the other was a half silkie, half ameraucauna. The rooster isn't fully grown yet but I'm worried that when he is grown he'll over breed and hurt my gentle silkie hen. Should I just seperate the two and put them in different enclosures or should I just buy 2 or so more bantams?
Is the cockerel's daddy a bantam Ameraucauna? Or full sized? That will likely make a difference.

Also if you get standard layers try to choose very gentle docile breeds, such as buff orpingtons or another breed that won't be likely to bully much smaller birds.
 

ahoyaki

In the Brooder
Jul 21, 2020
68
22
30
Is the cockerel's daddy a bantam Ameraucauna? Or full sized? That will likely make a difference.

Also if you get standard layers try to choose very gentle docile breeds, such as buff orpingtons or another breed that won't be likely to bully much smaller birds.
Would leg horns be fine or would they be too much? I assume that his dad was a bantam because the breeder I got him from specializes in bantams although I did see a couple of normal sized chickens
 

Sonya9

Crowing
6 Years
Feb 7, 2014
1,875
1,091
271
Georgia
Would leg horns be fine or would they be too much? I assume that his dad was a bantam because the breeder I got him from specializes in bantams although I did see a couple of normal sized chickens
Hmmm....Leghorns have a reputation for being rather aggressive. Rhode Island Reds and other production layer types often are too. They may not seem that way in a flock of the same breed but when put with smaller birds, especially "special" birds like silkies it can be an issue.

Okay then he probably is a bantam too which is good.
 

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