Roo Ratio 1-10?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by megg902, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. megg902

    megg902 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have just started my first flock and I think my boys are starting to show themselves. What I think I have so far is 1 campine pullet, 4 barred rock pullets and 1 barred rock cockerel, 1 leghorn pullet and 1 leghorn cockerel, 8 rhode island red pullets. That gives me an estimated 14 pullets and 2 cockerels. I say estimated because my sex picking skills are questionable, [​IMG] haha. I have heard that the best ratio is 1 roo to 10 hens. Do you think I would be pushing it to leave both roo's? I know 3 is not a good idea but would 2 be so bad?

    Another question for all you seasoned professionals... is it not a good idea to let a hen try and hatch chicks until she gets older? I guess a better question is if we even have any power over that? Will she eventually go broody if you don’t pick up eggs or do you have to just wait for her to start? I know with dogs it's not the best idea to breed them on their first time in because usually they are too young and it is hard on them. Didn't know if age played a factor with chickens too. Not so much with their health but if they made better mommas the older they were?

    Also I have a coop where everyone stays and currently building a good sized run for them. But since we live so far out of town and have lots of open land could I just let them free range and try to heard them up at night? I have no loose dogs but I am sure there are lots of natural predators. It just that it seems the most natural way to do things but I don’t want them wandering off and not coming back. They are still young but I'm already attached! LOL. [​IMG]

    So that was way more than I planned on asking but any advice on any topic would be great! And thanks so much for all the awesome advice I have read on here already. Chickens Rock but the people who own them are Awesome Too!!!!
     
  2. heather112588

    heather112588 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    you should be fine with two roos...heck i had one roo to 5 girls at one time (though not by choice, a fox took 2 of my girls)
     
  3. megg902

    megg902 Out Of The Brooder

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    I was thinking I would be ok, just figured it was better to ask then have beat up hens later. Thanks for you quick reply!
     
  4. Delmar

    Delmar Chillin' With My Peeps

    I had two roos with five hens for a month or two. They got along fine for a while but the girls did start to get a little beat up so we separated one. I would think 2-14 would work just fine unless one of them is a brute. I also think that one healthy roo could keep up with 14 hens, if you wanted to got that direction. You could also consider the option of not keeping either of them in with the girls 24/7.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2011
  5. AKsmama

    AKsmama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    More than likely you'll be ok with that roo ratio. I'd take a wait and see approach- you may have to get rid of one, you may not. I have 31 adult hens and 5 adult roos and other than a few bare backs (that I have GOT to get saddles for) it's ok. I think most of us that like/have/are allowed roos have at least a few too many [​IMG]

    As far as broodiness goes, that's another wait and see. You can't make them go broody, it happens on its own. And they usually go broody when you don't want or need them to. Just like a lot of other birds, springtime seems to trigger broodiness in chickens. It did in my coop- I have all hatchery birds, and none of them really broody breeds at that, and our 2nd batch of chicks hatched out this past Thursday. So now I have five 6-week-olds whose BSL mama just stopped mothering, and six not quite one-week-olds being brooded by a cuckoo Marans. That's all I want for now, and I hope my others don't get any bright ideas. ETA: I think experience makes a good mother, not necessarily age, but they have to start sometime, you know? My adult flock will be a year old in about a month, and I've only had those 2 broodies so far, but they have both done very well for their first times. The Marans was a tiny bit iffy the first day, but my Marans are a little weird anyway [​IMG] She has seemed to settle down and protects the chicks very fiercely and is teaching them like a good mama.

    As long as your chickens have been in their coop for a while and know it's "home," I say let them free range. Generally if they know where home is, they come back at dusk. You can begin by letting them out a couple of hours before dusk so they don't go too far, and call them in for treats to make sure they go back in the coop. But I agree with you- free ranging makes chickens happier. They can live a perfectly lovely life not free ranging as long as they have plenty of room in a coop/run/barn/whatever, but mine are so, so happy when I let them out. Cuts down on the feed bill when things green up and there are plenty of bugs to eat, too!
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2011
  6. megg902

    megg902 Out Of The Brooder

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    I think I have pretty much decided to see what I end up with. The famous wait and see approach. [​IMG] If I have 2 that get along ok and dont tear up the hens to bad then they can both stay but if one is overly agressive then we may cut down to just the other one. Im still a ways off before I have to make any final choices.

    Thanks for the info on the broodiness. I sooooo want to have some of my own little hatchlings but we will just let nature take its course i guess.

    I really want to try the free range way but just worried they wont come in willingly. They are not very affectionate, though not aggressive. Just would rather be left alone i guess. I will keep up the treat time in the evening for another couple weeks and then try letting them out.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2011

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