Roo to Hen ratio

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by sierraboots, Apr 6, 2018.

  1. sierraboots

    sierraboots Chirping

    Mar 28, 2018
    Hello all! Generally speaking what is a good roo to hen ratio? Ours are put in the coop at night and we’re keeping them more for eggs/pets rather than needing a roo for fertilization. They’re all almost 2 months and are still getting along great together, though I’m sure that will change. I know we have 3 Roos so far for sure and just want to be able to keep as many as possible. D637573A-E6BD-4C8E-839F-256440140FF7.jpeg
  2. AlleysChicks

    AlleysChicks Enabler

    Oct 10, 2016
    Southern Ohio
    I have to keep at least 10 females per rooster or they over mate the girls and cause damage.
    sierraboots likes this.
  3. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    Hi, hope you are enjoying BYC! :frow

    They can get along great... happily ever after sometimes.

    My personal opinion about your BEST roo to hen ratio... with no need for fertilization... ZERO roosters to as many hens as you like! :old

    Quite seriously... roosters, and especially young cockerels are NO REAL protection for the ladies. They are just a source of harassment, for the most part.

    I find my ladies to be HAPPIER without the affections of a male. Though they like do him and like hanging out. A good rooster is much different than a pushy cockerel.

    If you have NO previous rooster or chicken experience. A male free environment will be MUCH more peaceful once they hit mating age. And should you decide you'd like to try with a rooster... maybe try another year after getting some chicken experience under your belt. ;)

    Even 10-1 can still cause over mating when it includes young cockerels. They could also still focus on their favorite ladies, which usually means most docile as far as I can tell. That's the ratio they suggest to make sure of GREAT fertility. But one male is MORE than capable of EASILY covering 20 females. Also a rooster is NOT needed for a hen to lay eggs. It's a personal choice if you like to keep one or not. :)

    Just for fun and since it was confusing to see the different terms when I first started out... hen and rooster are technically reserved for after they reach one year old. Even then in the show arena rooster is not an accepted term and is called cock. Before the one year mark, they are known as pullets or cockerels. Though we still use the terms hen and roo in casual conversation, it can make a difference in the suggestion you get if you face any medical or behavioral questions. :cool:

    Looks like you got a fun variety! :thumbsup

    Also looks like your ramp might could use a few more rungs (grips). Looks like very nice set up, you must have done some homework! :highfive:
  4. sierraboots

    sierraboots Chirping

    Mar 28, 2018
    I’m loving the BYC website! I found the page on Facebook and it seems folks are not as helpful and fight a lot there. I’ve got nothing but good advice here! I’ve tried to read up as much as possible but it seems there is constantly more to learn every day haha! We’ve got a handful of changes to make to the coop. Thanks for all the advice :) we have one cockerel that is super sweet and my daughters favorite so I’m hoping to at least keep him. She calls him Pumpkin. I bought him as an “Asian black pullet” but having not been able to find too much info on those I’ve been told he’s a BR cockerel. The 2 leghorn cockerels are kind of flighty and not too interested in being handled so I’m thinking they’ll probably end up having to go.

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    Coleman7 and Ariannah like this.
  5. PrettyChickens15

    PrettyChickens15 Songster

    Jan 5, 2018
    I like to have one roo for every 7-10 girls. Recently my rooster gave his life up to protect his favorite hen, so I think they're extremely useful although I don't like having fertilized eggs.
    Ursuline Chick and sierraboots like this.
  6. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    UGH! :barnie

    That would be the one that would HAVE to go first.... in MY experience. :( I had a fantastic loving and sweet lap cockerel... who became a giant wad of raging boy hor mones that waNted to mate and didn't have any fear (respect in the chicken world) of me. He KNEW I was not a threat. And soon commenced to trying to pull hens out of my lap. Once put to the boy side... I felt something brush the back of my leg and thought nothing because he was standing there all innocently. Another day, I felt something again... so commenced a chase of my own. Tried all the rooster training they talk about, but he stalked me from behind the fence, charged me, and pretended to do busy work when I looked, crowed at me. But this was my SWEET boy, and a rare breed anticipated breeder who already passed the cull for faults and was a beautiful specimen. I tried to work with him and gave him a chance to mature past it. That was my first rooster experience and ALMOST ruined me by the time I finally decided I had enough of being attack when my back was turned and relentlessly crowed at.

    Now that won't be the case for all sweet boys... but please be aware that it is a possibility. :hmm

    A rooster that avoids you is actually a good thing. He respects your space. But Leghorn boys are known to be aggressive... though it's probably a true stereotype... One thing I have learned is that ALL birds regardless of breed tendencies ARE individuals and will behave as such. He does look like he could be a barred Rock. Also possibly a sex link, I think.

    It's true BYC really tries to come together and be a safe and helpful learning community. Glad you found us! :hugs

    What age is your daughter? Maybe look into the correct way to handle boys and start working it now... so he might be able to stay and be a great flock head for you!

    One thing MOST of us here do understand... is that what may or may not work for you or someone else may or may not work for me. We are here to share our own personal experiences. There is no truly wright or wrong way (well there is actually) but the RIGHT way is the way that works for YOU. Always feel free to get a second opinion on ANYTHING you are told, ESPECIALLY if it came from a feed store employee. Just because they are your neighbor or friend doesn't mean their way will work for you. But it might. WE do our best until we learn something new and then switch it up if we need to. I have seen some terrible things, but we aren't here to judge. WE are here to help and we ALL make mistakes. :old

    Very sorry for your loss. :( Do you wanna share a pic in his honor?

    This is ONE reason I don't think they are useful as protection...

    Some will give their lives while other will duck or run for cover. But those that gave their lives... were just a sacrifice. Most the predators here will scoff at a rooster, as are simply NO match... Though I did accidentally get spurred by sticking my leg between two sparring boys... and way VERY surprised at the force with which my big boy connected! So they CAN provide SOME protection, but not MY reason for keeping them as I consider it inadequate for my area and needs.

    But I do LOVE the beauty that roosters bring... and I really enjoy hearing them crow! It's so much fun to see them drop their wing and do a little dance for the females. They call them to treats and even a little warble type serenade. :love Make no mistake crowing has ZERO to do with the sunrise and starts here around 3:30 AM EVERY day. I don't hear it unless I'm awake getting a drink or using the restroom. And I guess my neighbors are far enough away... because they WOULD let me know. All my neighbors know that while I have the right to do as I please... I please to live in peace and be considerate of them. :D

    Wish to note there is NO difference between fertile and infertile eggs as far as any average person can tell, when it comes to eating.
    Ursuline Chick likes this.
  7. sierraboots

    sierraboots Chirping

    Mar 28, 2018
    Oh man I didn’t even think of him being so comfortable that he wouldn’t think of us as a threat. Hopefully he’ll just continue to always be sweet haha. My daughter is 3 and I’ve read a lot about the damage roosters can do to people especially little ones so that’s always in my mind as well.

    Update after I’ve done a little light research.. we will definitely start being hands off with Pumpkin.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2018
    aart and EggSighted4Life like this.
  8. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I would strongly suggest you not have roosters the first year, especially if you have a 3 year old daughter. Roosters have ruined the whole chicken experience for a lot of people. Often times inexperienced people do not recognize the signs or warnings until a rooster attacks, and roosters will most often attack children first.

    They are not like puppies or kittens, when petted young, remain friendly to people all their lives. In chicken society, fear = respect. When two chickens meet, one will be dominant, the other will move out of the way, or give way. When the rooster is sitting on your lap, he is in the dominant position. Not a good sign.

    Until you get some chicken experience, just have hens. Once your child is 5-6, they are a little taller, won't be getting a rooster attack in the face. They too, will have more experience with the birds.

    Cull all of them, one way or another.
    MRs K
    bobbi-j, aart, Ariannah and 2 others like this.
  9. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    Ah, Mrs. K... the first person I EVER heard the suggestion that a friendly cockerel *could* be an issue. :highfive: I changed my behavior immediately but it was too late for that ONE boy.

    I actually agree about not keeping them at all with a 3 year old. :hmm

    Processing for your family would be awesome. But will say.. that cull doesn't have to mean kill. You can let them go to another home, even start looking now. And there is no shame in letting them feed someone else's family or pets. ;) If you want to give them away you can always say (in your craigslist ad under farm and garden) please don't tell me if you plan to eat them... if it makes you uncomfortable. Leghorn boys might be light bodied, but so are Silkies and they feed my family all the same. :drool

    I didn't realize that they (cockerels) HAD to think of me as a threat... to the point of avoidance... but not attack... I thought if they trust me they won't attack. :gig

    When that rooster spurred me, it left puncture wounds and bruises to my thigh and knee area. It was swollen a little. It hurt for DAYS! I can't imagine being a kid facing that. Literally facing it. My first round of cockerels... gave my dogs the stink eye and came out to the middle of yard to chase them for playing Frisbee. My current rooster doesn't look at my dogs when they play or give them the stink eye at all. He gripes a little as we walk by... or at least once we pass. He's approaching 2 and my daughter (18) reminded me that even good boys need a reminder sometimes. So we do HANDLE him. You should be able to handle a boy. They don't have to like it... But I have a feeling I have still got WAY more learning to do. This year I learned don't stick my leg between two boys fence sparring! :p :pop
    sierraboots likes this.
  10. feedman77

    feedman77 Crowing

    Jun 10, 2013
    If your br cockerel is 2 months old. I would expect a lot more of the silver to be showing. Your bird is showing a lot of black.

    I' m 70 percent sure it's a cockerel of some variety. But if it's a br there is a slim chance it' a pullet
    sierraboots likes this.

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