Rooster / chicken ratio

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by crazychick26201, Jul 31, 2016.

  1. crazychick26201

    crazychick26201 Songster

    Jun 1, 2013
    West Virginia
    Is it advisable to keep a rooster with only five hens? I got a rooster buying pullets. He is a Buff Orpington and 17 weeks old. I have 2 pullets which I need to integrate into my flock of 3 three year old hens. I have tried to give him away without success yet and I will not eat him. I have heard so many horror stories about how roosters are so hard on hens. I don't want my girls to have to go through that. Does anyone have success stories or advice?
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Yes you can find some pretty bad stories on here about roosters. Some of them are legitimate. There are also a lot of very good stories too but people usually don’t post those. I think the biggest thing that gives a misconception of what it is normally like is that people confuse adolescent cockerels and pullets for adult roosters and hens. Just like you’d expect a difference in a group of 14 year old unsupervised teenaged humans and a group of mature adults that are actually mature, we all know some people never grow up but most do, there is a world of difference in cockerel and pullets versus roosters and hens. Many, probably most, breeders keep one rooster with one or two hens throughout the breeding season with no problems. The secret to their success is that they use mature roosters and hens, not immature cockerels and pullets. I think if you look into the horror stories on here it is almost always cockerels and pullets. You have a cockerel.

    Another big factor is people’s expectations. Some people see what many of us know to be normal chicken behaviors as brutality. I agree with immature cockerels and pullets it can get brutal, but most of the time with adult roosters and hens it is not. The rooster will always be the dominant one, he will always be on top. The hens may not always squat when he dances, some chasing may be involved, but that is normal flock behavior and interaction.

    It’s possible your cockerel will be really rough on them. It’s possible the older hens will beat the snot out of that cockerel until he matures. If you can get by that phase they should eventually settle down into a nice flock. This is usually harder on the people watching than it is on the chickens themselves, but they are living animals. They don’t come with guarantees. Sometimes it really is brutal.

    My suggestion is to try it. See how it goes.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I agree with Ridgerunner - she gives good advice.

    But I would add, have a plan B. A place where you can put your rooster away from your hens, in case it does not work out to suit you.
  4. crazychick26201

    crazychick26201 Songster

    Jun 1, 2013
    West Virginia
    My cockerel is 17 weeks old. He is trying out crowing in the early morning, but otherwise is silent through the day. He spends most of the day snuggled up with the two pullets. He chases them occasionally but has never tried to mount them. When can I expect this behavior to change? Thanks for the advice. So is only five hens ok if he is nice? Hate to sound like a moron but this is the first time adding to my flock. I am bummed that I got a rooster and have actually been sick over what to do with him.
  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    It's hard to say when his behavior may change. Although, unless you're watching them 24/7, he may have tried at sometime or other when you're not looking. There's nothing wrong with asking questions. How else are you going to learn? [​IMG]

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