Life with Roosters?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by wendychicklawyr, Jan 26, 2014.

  1. wendychicklawyr

    wendychicklawyr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 28, 2013
    Im getting about 45 chicks in a month, from MPC and McMurray..[​IMG]and i currently have 12 hens, and im trying roosters for the first time.. how many should i have? what is life like with them? pics please
  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 11, 2011
    Since this is your first rooster, its probably a good idea to just start with one.

    Personally, I adore my rooster. He's really a great little guy. Takes good care of his hens and is gentle with us.
    But, there is a flip side. Not all roosters are nice...not to their people or their hens. Some of them can be brutal little balls of aggression, and that can really take alot of the wonder out of chicken raising. A good rooster is worth his weight in gold, a bad rooster can cause alot of grief. Anyway, if you decide to keep one, just be prepared to deal with any bad behavior that might pop up. To put it in perspective, I've had chickens for about 9 or so years now. I've only had one bad rooster (as in, a rooster who thought it was his place to sneak up behind me and all out attack me). Just one, everyone else has been a wonderful addition to my flock, and I have my fair share of roos.
    Here's my buddy, Early [​IMG]
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    What are your goals with roosters? Why do you want a rooster? How much room do you have?

    My recommendation is to have as few roosters as you can and still meet your goals. I’m not going to give you any magic numbers or magic ratios. Those don’t exist. We all keep chickens for our own unique reasons in our own unique circumstances. There is no way one magic number or magic ratio can cover us all.

    You will often see the magic ratio of 1 rooster for every 10 hens. That comes from a specific situation, a commercial flock where they are producing hatching eggs and use the pen breeding method. That’s where you might have 20 roosters in a pen with 200 hens and the goal is fertile hatching eggs. Unless you are using the pen breeding method and your goal is fertile hatching eggs and you have something approaching that many chickens, the 10 to 1 ration has no value for you. It has nothing to do with roosters fighting or hens being over-mated. It makes a decent flock, but so does 1 rooster for 15 or even 20 hens and they are in more of a free-ranging situation. If the roosters are fairly young and active you can still get outstanding fertility with those ratios. Many of us have rations less than 1 in 10 and still have a peaceful flock.

    I understand if you don’t have any experience you need some kind of guideline. So if you can tell us a bit about your goals, room, and how you plan to manage them, we may be able to help you. But unless you consider these things, you really can’t make a solid recommendation for your unique situation.
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    I agree with starting with just one rooster and see how you like having one around. You really just have to try it and see if it's for you or not. I personally don't mind having a rooster around. Mine settled down after he went through the raging-teenage-hormone stage and learned to be decent. He's great with the hens and learned to respect my space. I still keep my eye on him though. It's very, very common to go through an aggressive stage when the hormones hit so be prepared to deal with that. Some settle down around a year old, some just never do.
  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    You have some experience with the hens, and if you are getting a straight run of chicks, there will be about half to a bit more than half generally speaking will be roosters. So you are going to have some to pick from.... Not quite sure where your finally numbers are for the flock next fall. One can get by with more birds, if the extra birds are chicks. Chicks are smaller and take up less space. Summer the days are long, and they spend more time outside of the coup, but as fall arrives, the chicks are now full grown, and you need to get your flock down to a size that can happily remain in the coup for nearly 14 hours a day of darkness.

    so 12 + 45 / 2 (half hens, Half roos) so say 22 hens = 12 original + 22 new = 34 hens and pullets give or take, especially if you lose some or cull out of the older girls.

    I would recommend butchering most of the 23 roosters, and probably putting them into their own pens away from the laying flock, rather earlier than later, 8 weeks or so...... Roosters raised together often times will work well together, but not always. Pick six, whittle it down to 3-4, then again to the final one or two roosters that you want with the flock. I think I would even put a pair in the flock, see how it goes, before I do the final culling.

    Roosters will change the flock dynamics. With just hens, you are in the rooster position, as you bring them food, break up fights, prepare nests for them. The trick is to get a roo that will allow you to keep that position, where as he takes up the slack when you are not there. As the previous posters mentioned, you can get a wonderful rooster, or a nightmare, so don't be too quick with the last cull.

    Mrs K
  6. wendychicklawyr

    wendychicklawyr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 28, 2013
    Wow thx everyone! I just wanted to add a roo or two because I hear (mostly) great things about them. We have 10 acres and I wanted some chicken bosses and to watch predators. There's 190 acres around my farm so a lot of predators. Plus I wanted to keep some babies eventually. I ordered all hens xcept an ameraucana roo. Plus I'm getting the free exotic chick from mcmurry which will probably be a roo. I love my hens and the Roos seem a natural part of all this [​IMG]
  7. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    2 people like this.
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    Hens can be pets, if you want. Treat roosters as intact male livestock, not pets. Have them be respectful of you, not friendly. They'll live longer lives that way.
    2 people like this.
  9. LindaB220

    LindaB220 Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 23, 2013
    Portland/Vancouver area

    What a handy tip to know, Bee. I have my babies coming in March and I planned on petting all of them to have friendly adults later.
  10. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    Been doing this thing for 37 yrs and have never been flogged by a rooster. With the roosters I've raised from a chick there have never even been any acting like they were going to flog or posture towards confusion in those birds whatsoever.

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