Need help with Hen to Roo Ratios please


In the Brooder
8 Years
Dec 25, 2011

am getting ready to build our new chicken barn but need some advice before doing so on flock numbers... we are wondering what a good Hen/Roo ratio is? I only plan to keep 1 Roo per pen but am not sure how many Hens would be an appropriate number. We have a few different breeds and are kept seperate (my mom's a chicken nut) so I will list them seperatly below.

Silkies = 1 Roo to ? Hens

Bantam Cochins = 1 Roo to 5 hens (I was told by a friend who raises them is that correct or way to many?)

Seramas = 1 Roo to 3 hens? or would 2 be preferred? I have been told both

Standard Rumpless Arauchana = 1 Roo and 5 hens is what we currently have is this ok or should we downsize a little bit?

We are planning on building a 20x20 with indoor and outdoor areas completly enclosed in both areas so not sure that room will be an issue I just want to make sure we get good coverage for fertile eggs and so our chickens remain healthy and happy and not overly bothered by the Roo.

Thanks in advance!


8 Years
I just typed up this big long answer and then lost it....
Here I go again...

The answer is it depends. It depends on the personality of the roos as well as how the hens relate to him as well.

The textbook answer is 10 hens to 1 roo. Although I have had 5 hens to 1 roo at one time. It really depends on the power dynamics between the roos. Currently I have 4 roos with 9 hens.

So far so good (knock on wood..)but I have to watch closely to be sure no one gets hurt out there.


Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
13 Years
Nov 9, 2007
SW Arkansas
If you don't want your hens to look beat up all the time, I wouldn't go below 8 hens to 1 rooster, regardless of breed. Even with that ratio there's a chance of a rough rooster that tears their feathers up or a rooster taking a liking to one particular hen and keeping her raggedy looking.

I've had more roostesr than that ratio and lots of hens, but it just gets too chaotic.


11 Years
Aug 28, 2008
Lexington, Kentucky
I agree, since a rooster mates about 25 times per day, I think 5 hens per roo is not enough in most cases. I think 1:8 is a good ratio up to 12 hens. Then, if you have an older roo, or a lazy roo, maybe 4 or 5 hens will be enough. Fertility rates go way down if you have more than 1 rooster in each pen and NOT enough hens. The roos fight each other and the hens never get settled. You can always buy hen saddles if you have a problem with a over-zealous roo. Also, keeping fluffy butts trimmed will help.

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