Really dumb question....

Wisconsin-Chick

In the Brooder
5 Years
Sep 11, 2014
14
1
22
Kenosha, Wisconsin
I don't know if this is where I should post this, but it seemed like the closest forum to what I need to ask. I have one male & one female RIR. I know I need to get 9 more females to keep the ratio correct. Do the 9 females I get have to also be RIR's? Or can I get mixed breeds?
 

LALA13

In the Brooder
5 Years
Jun 19, 2014
58
5
33
Southeastern Utah
Soooooo not a dumb question! You should see mine! Anyway, I have all different breeds of chickens...it really doesn't matter!
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HighStreetCoop

Songster
6 Years
Aug 28, 2014
2,030
222
206
Oakland, CA
My Coop
My Coop
You can mix breeds, and you don't have to get exactly nine more hens. That ratio is the max number of hens per rooster if you want to insure your eggs will all be fertile.
 

BayBay Peepers

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 5, 2013
5,156
1,126
338
Wisconsin
The only advice I would give it to try to keep the hens like sized to your rooster. And I agree it is not necessary to keep exactly 10. You can do whatever you'd like :) If you want the eggs get more or even add a few as the first group ages to keep a steady flow. If you want chicks don't go over ten unless you get another rooster. Good luck!
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,101
19,562
857
Southeast Louisiana
I totally agree. Breed or mixed breed, different colors or patterns, it does not matter. To a rooster a hen is a hen.

If you want to use that 10 to 1 as an excuse to get more hens, go for it. I do think you need a few more with that rooster. But don’t get hung up on the magic numbers and ratios you see on this forum. There is nothing magical about them. Many many people have ratios much smaller and many many people have ratios much greater than the 10 to 1 and do fine. That 10 to 1 ratio comes from a certain commercial situation, often at hatcheries. They have discovered the best ratio for all eggs being fertile if you use a pen breeding system to maintain genetic diversity is 10 to 1. Pen breeding is where you have maybe 20 roosters and 200 hens in one pen and your goal is fertile eggs. 10 to 1 does not stop roosters from fighting. 10 to 1 does not stop some hens from being overbred or becoming barebacked. Those can happen with any ratio, even 25 to 1. In a lot of situations one rooster can easily keep 20 or more hens fertile. Many breeders keep one rooster with one or two hens for the entire breeding season without having barebacked or overbreeding problems.

10 to 1 makes a nice flock but don’t expect any magic out of it.
 

Wisconsin-Chick

In the Brooder
5 Years
Sep 11, 2014
14
1
22
Kenosha, Wisconsin
Thank you all for the info!! I don't want a ton of chickens, I just want a small flock & wanted to make sure I was going about this the right way. As of right now, I have no interest or plans at all to let Copper fertilize any eggs that Penny lays-however, if I get some new breeds, and Copper gets a hold of an egg before I do, can a RIR fertilize another breeds egg?
 

Blooie

Team Spina Bifida
6 Years
Feb 25, 2014
17,197
32,567
827
Northwestern Wyoming
My Coop
My Coop
Thank you all for the info!! I don't want a ton of chickens, I just want a small flock & wanted to make sure I was going about this the right way. As of right now, I have no interest or plans at all to let Copper fertilize any eggs that Penny lays-however, if I get some new breeds, and Copper gets a hold of an egg before I do, can a RIR fertilize another breeds egg?
I'm not sure I understand the question.....the eggs are fertilized before they are laid, not afterwards.
 

Wisconsin-Chick

In the Brooder
5 Years
Sep 11, 2014
14
1
22
Kenosha, Wisconsin
Ok now I really feel like a complete *** because someone told me that the male fertilized the egg after the female laid it.....I seriously am beyond Embarassed right now...
 

BayBay Peepers

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 5, 2013
5,156
1,126
338
Wisconsin
Don't be embarrassed. We all had to learn this stuff too :) He will indeed fertilize eggs before they are laid, but don't think you're eating a baby chick or anything. It only starts to develop after a certain amount of time at the correct temperature.
 

Blooie

Team Spina Bifida
6 Years
Feb 25, 2014
17,197
32,567
827
Northwestern Wyoming
My Coop
My Coop
Ok now I really feel like a complete *** because someone told me that the male fertilized the egg after the female laid it.....I seriously am beyond Embarassed right now...
Don't be silly. None of us were born knowing everything there is to know about chickens just on the off chance that sometime in our futures we would own them! I have plenty of my own "oops" questions posted in various places here on the forum. So at least you now know that the person who told you that is probably not the best one to answer any future questions you might have about raising chickens, right?
idunno.gif
 

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