Rooster for 4 or 5 hens?

Georgia Chik'n

8 Years
Aug 14, 2011
I sure hope this gets posted. I'm new here (and lost!) and have been having trouble navigating the forum site.

Anyway, I'm still planning my chicks-to-be. I REALLY want a ROOSTER but was only planning to get 4 hens.... grand total for my flock=5 birds. (chicks) I want a Barred Rock roo and a couple of Barred Rock hens, and maybe 2 Silver Laced Wyandotte hens. Breeding not in my plans right now, but kinda had my heart set on including a beautiful rooster.

Is that not enough hens for a rooster? Will he try and be too 'bizzy' with only 4 hens? Are 4 not enough? :-O Please advise ASAP.

(My set up will be a small backyard barn for shelter, with free access to a good size, secure chain link fenced enclosure... NOT a backyard coop-like environment.)

Fred's Hens

Premium Feather Member
9 Years
This should have been posted elsewhere, I suspect.

However, to answer your question, it depends on the maturity of the rooster. If he's older and takes good care, that ratio can be just fine. If the rooster is young, reckless and full of hormones, he'll wear them out. Signs will be feathers worn of the backs of the hens.

Georgia Chik'n

8 Years
Aug 14, 2011
THANKS FRED!... WHERE should I have posted this? I thought it should be a 'New Topic'? I'm lost in here!


Crossing the Road
13 Years
Feb 2, 2009
Southeast Louisiana
Don't get overstressed about navigating on here or making a few mistakes. You'll soon get the hang of it. And "Managing your Flock" is the perfect place for this question.

There is no magic ratio of roosters to hens that will guarantee that you will or will not have problems. Many breeders keep one rooster penned in fairly tight spaces with one or two hens and don't have problems. Some people have problems free ranging more than 20 hens with one rooster. A whole lot depends on the personality of your specific chickens.

I don't just limit the responsibility to the rooster. I think the pullets have their part ot play in how it goes too, plus there are other factors. But I generally agree with Fred. You are tremendously more likely to see problems when the rooster and hens are adolescents. If you can make it through that phase, most flocks work it out pretty well. Most, but not all.

Good luck!


12 Years
May 5, 2010
Milan, MI
I had that exact situation my first year and my rooster wore the feathers right off the backs of the hens. If you decide to proceed you might want to be prepared to buy some saddles for your hens.


Love My Chickens
10 Years
Jul 28, 2009
Floyds Knobs, Indiana
My Coop
My Coop
I'm sure there are benefits to roosters raised from chicks, but I can't say enough about the benefits of choosing a mature rooster, especially if you can find one from someone you know and/or trust. That way you KNOW going in that the roo is non aggressive with people AND you know his reputation with being gentle with hens. If you don't really care about fertile eggs, and just want a pretty roo, you might even consider a bantam roo. They'll still mate your hens, but in most cases the eggs won't be fertile, plus I think there's less potential for roughing the big girls up. After trying a LF (young, hormonal) roo that my girls hated (feathers were being torn out and combs were being bloodied), we gave a pretty bantam roo (about two years old) a try. My girls really love him, and if they don't squat for him he leaves them alone.
Good luck with your choice!


In the Brooder
9 Years
Oct 9, 2010
New Mexico
When I first started my flock I had 7 girls and one nasty Rooster. He was bad because he didnt have enough chicks to take care of. Now he has 20 girls of his own and he is a "very good boy" now. It really depends on the breed also! Good luck.

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