ROO QUESTION? and suggestions needed...HELLP

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Tracie70, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. Tracie70

    Tracie70 In the Brooder

    Mar 24, 2010
    I have 7 roo's and 36 hens. I hate to get rid of my roo's because they seem so sweet.... They are about 6 months old and they all still seem to getting along really well. They are housed now in a coop with just 11 laying hens. I have another coop that I am working on for my new pullets (24) that I am going to move two of my roo's in with. Now with the other 5 roosters should I just add some more hens and split the roosters up 3 in one coop and 4 in another coop. If I add more hens to the flocks will my rooster be okay with eachother. I understand that I need about a 1 to 10 ration so if I put 40 hens in one with the 4 roo's and 30 in another with the 3 Roo's will they be okay with no fights. Also they free range after 5p.m. at night and put in the coop at dark will they all be okay to free range,and to sleep at night. Any suggestions would be great!!!!!!
  2. mmaddie's mom

    mmaddie's mom Songster

    You MIGHT get away with this if they were free-ranging ALL day so they can stay away from each other and have their own territory and hens, but in a coop there is no place to run.
    At 6 months they all seem sweet but age and hormones will soon kick in... this is just too many roos for an enclosed space.
  3. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Wow... you have enough space and coops with space for that many chickens???

    The 10 hens to 1 rooster ratio is about the best one can have to make sure all the hens are being covered and all the eggs will be fertile. You MIGHT get away with a ratio of 6, 7, or 8 hens to each rooster, but some of them might be over-mated and get bare-backed as a result. If you go higher, with 12 or 15 hens per rooster, you'd be better off. (And so will the hens!)

    Some flocks are as large as 40 or 50 and only have two roosters, one is Alpha and one is Beta, the "second in command." Beta roosters generally wait to take over if something happens to the Alpha rooster.

    7 roosters is a LOT of roosters. I understand not wanting to get rid of any, because I have an Alpha rooster, which is a large fowl EE, and I also have 3 bantam roosters who have just come into sexual maturity. (Not emotional maturity, just into that 'teenaged' Must Have Sex Now - With Anything That Won't Get Away From Me.)
    I just don't want to get rid of them... but 4 roosters is still lots fewer than 7.
  4. Tracie70

    Tracie70 In the Brooder

    Mar 24, 2010
    Let me make sure I am understanding this..... So I shouldn't house no more then two rooster's per coop. It wouldn't be a good idea to split the rooster 3 in one coop and 4 in another and get the appropriate number of hens to each rooster. So if I have a third coop would this be better? And also if they free range at 5 till night how will the rooster get along roaming around? Another question is I said the roo's are 6 months when will they start to get mean toward one another? How much time do I have left so I can get them safely away from eachother? Thanks again for any help
  5. mmaddie's mom

    mmaddie's mom Songster

    Just so Im clear... 7 is TOO MANY roos... unless you have 7 coops.

    2nd question... SOON.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2010
  6. Buttercup Chillin

    Buttercup Chillin Songster

    Oct 27, 2008
    SouthEast TX
    mmaddie's mom Just so Im clear... 7 is TOO MANY roos... unless you have 7 coops.

    2nd question... SOON.


    Be prepared if your ROOS start breeding/fighting for dominance tomorrow, before more coops are finished. You will need to separate them all, together, far away from any hens or the hen coops. You will need to prepare yourself for nature to take over. If you let nature take care of itself, it will. Nature will reduce your number of roosters. It will be painful and it will be final.

    You never said what breed of chickens that you have? What are you going to do with all those eggs from all the chickens you are willing to buy for all your Roosters that you don't want to get rid of?

    By the way I have a Sicilian Buttercup Roo and at one time he breed 24 hens with a very high fertility rate. I am going to have to cull a young Cockeral I was wanting to keep. Because Little Guy only has 16 hens to breed right now. If I don't cull the young cockeral, Little Guy is going to kill him early one morning. So far he's been lucky and I have gotten him out of the hen house early enough. But I know my luck won't hold. They all free range all day and are only in the one coop at night just before dark to sleep. I let them out at 7AM in the morning and I let the young cockeral out first, so he has a head start.

    This is what we are trying to warn you about. You could go out to your hen house and find it bathed in blood. I am not being melodramatic. This happens and it is a fact of life if you raise chickens. It has happened to me just after tranfering hens to a new house. At that time I only had hens, but they got into one major argument and one hen lost her life. I had to clean the hen house literally from top to bottom on the 3rd day of use.

    Good luck in what ever you decide to do, but be prepared for anything if you decide to keep all the Roos.​
  7. dieselgrl48

    dieselgrl48 Songster

    Feb 21, 2010
    I guess it depend's on how the bird's do together.If I had 10 hen's I wouldn't go below 3 roo's.You need to think about if you lose a roo.I currently have 3 or 4 outnumbered roo's to hen ratio but not giving up any roo's just yet.I have 2 black sexlink roo's in with a mix of 4 BSL hen's 5 Red SL hen's And 6 EE hen's.I wont cross breed if DH decides to keep the roo's.They were supposed to be be JUST for eating egg's anyway.I have 4 redpyle game roo's/2 hen's.I wont even go futher with the mismatch of roo/ hen I got this time. I will rehome the extra's once they start laying but will alway's keep an extra roo.I am now trying to find a speckled OEGB roo in brown and white and a black bantam sumatra roo and a bantam EE roo. Yipe's.Sometime's it's too many chief's not enough Indian's.Then again Squaw without warrior!

    JROOSTER Songster

    Mar 3, 2010
    I have read and seen ppl who have an all roo coop far from hens that seems to work.
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging 9 Years

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    The 10 to 1 ratio is about fertility only. It is not a magic number concerning roosters fighting or barebacked hens. Some roosters are more vigorous than others. Most full sized roosters can keep many more than 10 hens fertile, but some are not energetic enough. But if you have a flock with one rooster for every ten hens in that flock, you can be pretty sure that all are fertile.

    The 10 to 1 ratio has absolutely nothing to do with whether roosters will fight or how vicious those fights will be. When you have more than one rooster in a flock, one will be dominant over all the others, whether it is one other rooster or six other roosters, whether there is one hen in the flock or fifty. They determine which is dominant by fighting. They do the same thing to determine the pecking order. The dominance fights are often more vicious, but the pecking order fights can also cause chickens to die. Usually one rooster will dominate the other and they become a good team, working together to take care of the girls. Sometimes neither rooster is willing to accept the subservient position. In this case they fight to the death. Old English Game Roosters have a reputation for this, but it can happen in any breed. And sometimes the dominate rooster will kill a much weaker rooster that might be willing to accept the subservient position, as if to say the weak one does not deserve to be his partner. He can't trust the weak one to defend the flock. So their personality has a whole lot to do with it.

    There are other factors involved too. It does help if they have a lot of room. That way, the roosters are not in each others face all the time. I had about 15 hens and three roosters while I was deciding which rooster to keep. The dominate rooster and one other rooster hung in a group with about half the hens. The other rooster and the other hens hung in a different group. They slept in the same coop at night and I could leave them locked in the coop and 12’ x 32’ run without them fighting, but as soon as I let them out, they separated into their groups. I think having separate food and water spots helps keep conflict down too, but I only had the one.

    If roosters are raised together in the same flock, either as brothers or in a father-son relationship, they often work out their differences at a very young age. You may not see a lot of dominance fighting, even when they are young. At any time one of the others may challenge the dominant rooster and a vicious fight can ensue, especially when a son gets mature enough to really challenge his father, but even then these fights often do not end in serious injury.

    Any time two roosters meet each other for the first time, they will fight for dominance if hens are present. If you separate roosters for a while then put them back together with hens present, they will fight for dominance. These are the fights I most worry about serious injury. It is still quite possible that one will accept the subservient position and they will get along, but as I said, these are the ones I worry about. So if you do keep more than one rooster with a flock and they get along, don't go swapping them out or adding more roosters.

    The 10 to 1 ratio is certainly not a magic number concerning barebacked hens. There are a lot of factors involved with whether a hen is barebacked or not. Some of it involves the technique of the rooster, the difference in size between the hen and rooster, whether or not a hen resists, how determined the rooster is (usually worse with an adolescent), how much room the hen has to get away if she does resist, and other factors. How many hens are in the flock does make a difference, but one poster on here had one rooster and 18 hens. Some of them were barebacked. Not all but a few. I think one way to help dispel the myth of the 10 to 1 ratio being a magic number concerning barebacked hens is to read this thread. I have a lot of respect for the experience of a lot of the posters in this thread.

    Breeders managing roosters

    My normal recommendation is to keep as few roosters as you can and still reach your goals. The more roosters you have, the more likely you are to have a problem. There is no guarantee that having more than one rooster with a flock will cause them to fight to the death nor does it guarantee barebacked hens, but both are possibilities.

    Good luck!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: