Ratio of roos to hens?

heybarb

Songster
7 Years
Mar 9, 2012
425
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111
North Carolina
I've got 10 chicks (about 13 weeks old) that free range during the day. I've got 6 pullets for sure, 1 maybe pullet/cockeral, and 3 confirmed cockerals. Right now, everyone is getting along fairly well. They've been together since they were a week old, so they stick together. So what's the likelihood that I'll be able to keep all the roosters without adding any hens? Also, I'm not sure if it matters or not, but all 3 of my cockerals are bantams, and I have 3 bantam girls and 3 (or 4) full size girls.

I really don't want any more chickens, but I also don't really want to get rid of the roos either.
 

Judy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
34,024
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South Georgia
The rule of thumb is one roo to 10 hens -- but that's a rule of thumb. Breeders often house one roo with one or two hens, at least for shorter periods, but they are separated from the others, so there is no roo fighting.

But every flock is different. You could wait a while and see how they sort things out. You might have one or two submissive roos who stay out of the lead roo's way, maybe not even crow, and they would only mate on the sly. If you do wait, though, I'd be ready to separate one or two of them if needed. A lot of people have a "roo pen." And of course you will be more likely to have hens with bare backs (and maybe other injuries) from overmating.
 
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Stephanie739

Songster
8 Years
Oct 7, 2011
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I have too many roos. I have 10 hens (LF) and 5 roosters. I rehomed one rooster, and my neighbors decided to move in shortly after. Two of my roosters are bantams. Although there is very little fighting, they are sometimes too much for my hens. For now, I just try to keep a rooster or two (or three) out of the run during the day. They stay close by, just on the other side of the fence. I'm just taking it day by day for now, and see what happens. All of my roosters are breeds known for being docile: brahmas, orpington, and cochin, except my neighbors, RIR, and he must have been on the low end of the pecking order at his previous home. He is still pretty timid around my roos who tolerate him. Hey at least all my eggs are probably fertile!
 

Stephanie739

Songster
8 Years
Oct 7, 2011
1,483
19
143
Here they are, all five are in this picture. Only the RIR is on the other side of the fence right now. They just hang out together, usually pretty calm.
 

heybarb

Songster
7 Years
Mar 9, 2012
425
20
111
North Carolina
Well, things are sorting themselves out. My top (and favorite) roo was killed yesterday by a hawk. It was a very sad day!! I also ended up "rescuing" 2 pullets from a friend that was keeping them in a rabbit cage. So, we now have a total of 11 chickens - 2 roos and 9 pullets.
 

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