Minimum hens with one roo?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by farlo4, Jan 12, 2015.

  1. farlo4

    farlo4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 13, 2014
    I currently have five hens and one roo. They are all just under one year old. The hens are all full sized and the roo is a White Cochin Bantam. They have all been raised together. At the moment I am low on funds and am considering getting rid of a few to cut down on feed costs. I was just wondering what is the lowest hen amount I can get away with? So far I have no problems with missing feathers from the roo mounting. I want to for sure keep the roo because he is my favorite (of course my favorite chick ended up being a roo :p ). I was thinking keep two or three hens? He is a small roo - does that make a difference in the amount of hens? Thanks :)
  2. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2013
    Eastern WA
    I think it would be pushing it. There's the standard 10:1 "rule" (10 hens to 1 roo), but lots of folks do fine with more or less. Depends upon your flock, but you could try it. I've heard roos can take up to 2 years to fully sexually mature, so it's possible your rooster's personality could change. We have a 6:1 ratio and it seems to be working for us so far. One roo is 20 months old and the other two are only 8 months old. Keep that in mind as none of our roos are fully sexually mature yet.

    Not that it is any of my business...but if you're finding it hard strapped to buy feed for 6 birds, then feeding only 4 really isn't going to make a huge difference. There are ways you could find to feed them for less. Food banks, grocery store throw-aways, restaurant leftovers. Be careful with that last one, avoid foods with lots of salt, which would be most of it. Also, ask your neighbors if they have any food they no longer want.
    2 people like this.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    It might work, lots of breeders house 1 roo with 2-3 hens, so you could try it.
    have another crate/cage ready to separate that roo if he gets too aggressive with the hens.
    1 person likes this.
  4. ThePRfan

    ThePRfan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 27, 2014
    I have 19 hens,and 1 roo.Like pdirt said,"Rule".
    Your rooster being a bantam,his average would be about 4 or 5 hens.

    Now,I will say I think bantams are better at carrying,so he could possibly do more hens.
  5. Naser

    Naser Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 29, 2014
    Other things you can do is check if you are loosing feed to rodents or birds. you can try to sell eggs or you can try to find "free food" from places like fish shops or restaurants by taking away the parts they through away.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2015
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    Or you could switch to fermented feed. that will stretch your feed budget.
  7. torilovessmiles

    torilovessmiles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 19, 2014
    Central West Virginia
    Some do fine, some don't. Some people even do okay with 2 hens and one rooster, but I wouldn't push that! I have six hens and one rooster, and that's about as low as I'm willing to go with mine.

    There are plenty of ways to cut feeding costs, if you want to keep all of your chickens. I allow mine to free range as much as possible, and feed lots of kitchen scraps. I feed them crushed eggshells to make sure they're getting enough calcium where they're eating less layer feed. Do some research on what is toxic to chickens, and other than those items, throw out nothing. Stale cereal, stale bread, crackers, leftovers that no one wants, vegetable and fruit peels, things like that. This should be combined with feed, of course, but it helps to stretch your chicken food. We rarely throw away food in my family, there is something that can eat that! Free ranging helps the most, but I know that's not an option for everyone. H
    I hope that helps :) Good luck with your chickens ^.^

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