Ratio of Roos To Hens

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by anthonyjames, May 18, 2010.

  1. anthonyjames

    anthonyjames Songster

    Apr 22, 2009
    Port Washington, WI
    So I plan on trying to keep a few of my naked neck roos I am raising for meat to breed them. My questions are:

    What is the ratio of roos to hens? I am talking to a farmer to see if I can move some of my hens and the roo(s) to his place for the winter to breed so that I can hatch out my own crosses. Currently I have a mix of Buckeyes, Americauana, White Rocks, Austrolaps, RIR, Barred Rocks, EE's, Speckled Sussex and a few others. I have at least 2 of each bird I have.

    The other thing is I plan to keep the roos from my August batch so that they will be ready to breed come spring. Is there a way to introduce the roos to my hens when it comes time to put them all together so there is not any fighting?

    Any other things I should know about?

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Actual results vary with the age and vitality of the rooster, but with full sized fowl like yours, the regular recommended ratio is 1 rooster for every 10 to 12 hens. That way all your hens should be fertile.

    Now the hard question with lots of if's. If you put one mature rooster with a group of hens, there will probably be very little if any fighting. If the rooster is mature and self-confident enough, he will probably dominate the hens by the sheer force of his personality, mate with them to demonstrate his dominance, and the integration will probably go pretty smoothly. One or two dominant hens may not want ot give up their position and may resist, so there could be problems, but usually not. If the rooster is not mature enough to dominate the hens by his personality, then the hens may pick on him mercilessly. So he does need to be mature. Some are mature enough at 6 months, especially with docile hens, but 9 months would be safer. It varies tremendously by their individual personality.

    If you introduce one rooster to a flock that already has a rooster, they will determine which one is dominant. They may reach an accommodation where one is the recognized leader and the other is his able assistant. When this happens, they usually work quite well as a team in protecting the flock. Or they may fight to the death. It can vary some by breed, but it depends on their individual personality. If their personalities are so evenly matched that one cannot dominate the other, then they will fight to the death. Neither is willing to accept the able assistant role. Or if one is very weak while the other has a very strong personality, the stronger will kill the weaker. It makes some difference if you introduce one new rooster to a flock with several existing roosters or if you introduce several new roosters at once to a flock with fewer existing roosters, but anything can happen, no matter how many of either you have. It depends on their individual personality.

    If you introduce more than one rooster to a flock of hens with no existing rooster, the roosters will determine who is dominant, even if they had been getting along peacefully together before. If you have a group of bachelor roosters (or bachelor hens for that matter) they will determine a pecking order. A mixed flock will determine a pecking order. That is just to determine who gets the prime roosting area, who gets to go out the pop door first, certain privileges of rank. Flock dominance by a rooster is different. It is serious business as it determines who gets to breed with whom. It can lead to some pretty serious fights. The roosters in the assistant positions still mate with a lot of the hens according to a lot of studies, but it is still very important to the roosters. They will sort it out.

    Roosters raised in a flock with other roosters, whether father-son or sibling relationships, will often sort all this out without too much violence. Not always, but usually.

    I can not tell you exactly what will happen or how serious it will be, but I can assure you that if you mix roosters and there are hens involved, you can expect serious fighting. It may end peacefully or one may die. That I cannot tell you.

    Good luck! I think what you want is doable, but it may get exciting.
  3. Red&Yellow

    Red&Yellow Songster

    Sep 30, 2009
    Frederick County, MD
    That...was awesome. You answered all my questions before I even asked!

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