Rooster/Hen Ratio...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Liamm_1, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. Liamm_1

    Liamm_1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have 3 roos and 3 hens, all Black Sumatras, that I was given as straight run chicks. They are approaching 16 weeks of age. The hens have not developed any redness in comb or wattle areas, which apparently is a sign of sexual maturity? I also have 11 sexed chicks of different breeds from Ideal Poultry in the brooder that are about 10 days old.
    A few questions I have:

    1) When will the roos begin to try mating, are there any signs that indicate they are getting ready or do they just one day start mounting hens?

    2) Will they attempt to mount hens that are not sexually mature, or do they know this and wait?

    3) If I rehome 2 roos and keep the top Roo, will a roo be too much for 3 hens?

    4) If I do keep 1 roo, and I let the new pullets outside with the flock at 4-5 weeks (depending on weather), will the roo try mating with the youngsters, or will he know to leave them alone?
    Thanks!
     
  2. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First, Black Sumatras shouldn't have Red faces or combs.

    1&2. Yes, he'll tread them before the pullets are sexually mature. Doesn't hurt a thing as long as they are about the same size.
    3. One cock is fine for the 3 hens. I always keep a spare though. Chickens die!
    4.No, he will not try to tread 4 or 5 week olds. But, since he is young he may try to kill them. Your Sumatra pullets might try to kill them as well.

    Do not let them near those young chicks. The chicks should be around 16-20 before you mix them.
     
  3. Liamm_1

    Liamm_1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks!
    I have read that for 9 pullets you can have 1 cockerel, to prevent the pullets from being 'overused' and possibly injured or worse.
    Are you saying 1/3 ratio is ok, and that I could even have 2 cockerels with 3 pullets?
    As far as not mixing them, does that mean not even while free ranging?
    Are you saying this because they are Sumatras, and perhaps aggressive? Mine don't even bother the finches when they are stealing food.
    The males have very small combs/wattles with some redness, but the females have none. I've seen mature Sumatras with small comb/wattles but still red...
     
  4. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    IMHO, two roosters with three hens will be a very stressful flock, which can lead to poor laying, sickness, etc. My favorite rooster/hen ratio is 1:15-20, and an absolute minimum of 10 hens per rooster. [​IMG]
     
  5. abhaya

    abhaya Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 5, 2010
    cookeville, tn
    I have 6 pullts/hens to 1 roo but he is a very mellow roo. my young birds are sharing a coop with the silkies untill they are closer to the same size as the big girls. When you integrate birds if they are close to the same size it is helpfull but all birds are different, some will take younger ones no problem other welll not so much it depends on your flock.
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    1) When will the roos begin to try mating, are there any signs that indicate they are getting ready or do they just one day start mounting hens?

    They just start.

    2) Will they attempt to mount hens that are not sexually mature, or do they know this and wait?

    I have some trouble with defining sexually mature. They will try to mount pullets that are not ready to lay if that is your question.

    3) If I rehome 2 roos and keep the top Roo, will a roo be too much for 3 hens?

    This one can get pretty complicated. There are a whole lot of different factors involved and we all have different experiences. Some people report no problems keeping 3 roosters with two hens, while others have problems with 1 rooster and 18 hens. It depends on the personalities of the roosters and the personalities of the hens. Age and space is important. You are more likely to have problems while the rooster is an adolescent than when he matures. Same with the pullet's age. My regular advice is to keep as few roosters as possible and still meet your goals.

    4) If I do keep 1 roo, and I let the new pullets outside with the flock at 4-5 weeks (depending on weather), will the roo try mating with the youngsters, or will he know to leave them alone?

    He will not try to mate with them until they get older. That will not be your problem.

    This one can also get complicated. Integration can be a dangerous time, but many of us do it successfully all the time. Many chickens are bullies. They strickly enforce the pecking order. The older ones will dominante the younger ones to the point the younger ones will probably be very afraid of the older ones. Any older chicken, whether hen or rooster, can be a danger to younger chicks. I've found my hens to be more of a danger than the rooster, but that may not be everybody's experience. I've had broodies get on the wrong side of a fence from their chicks and totally forget the concept of "gate" so she does not go get them. At different times when this happens, I've had a rooster go to where the chicks are and just lay down until the hen figures it out. He's there to keep an eye on the chicks. I've had two week old chicks leave their mama and go eat out of the feeder next to adult hens with no problems. I've also had that same situatuion where the adult hen pecked the chick to remind it that it is bad manners to eat with adults. I've got a pretty laid back flock and a pretty good rooster. Others have had the older chickens kill the young.

    There are some tricks to improve your odds. House the young next to the adults for about a week before you try to mix them, where they can see each other but not get at each other. Have them sleep in separate places for a while. I find the most aggressive time for mine is bedtime if they are sharing a coop. Set up different eating and drinking places. The older ones will often keep the younger from eating and drinking if they can. Try to have a safe place for the young with a hole small enough that only they can get through. Something extremely important to me, give them as much space as you can so the young can get away from the old.

    I'm not going to tell you that if you do this everything will defininitely be OK, but I think it will help your odds a lot.

    Good luck!!!
     
  7. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:1/3 is ok. Many Game and Oriental breeders only single mate.

    NO, you cannot keep 2 cockerels with 3 pullets; at least not after they start fighting.

    Free-ranging makes some things different. If you pen the 3 pullets then the 2 stags can/will generally run together longer.

    Just because they don't bother finches doesn't mean they will not bother one another. Finches are not competition.

    You want to breed that red out.
     
  8. Liamm_1

    Liamm_1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Saladin, do you have photos of a mature cockerel with no redness? Everything I've seen online shows slight redness, which is what mine have. Thanks
     
  9. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Go to u l t i m a t e f o w l. c o m

    Then just follow the links. I think you'll see some true gypsy face fowl.
     

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