rooster problem


5 Years
Mar 24, 2014
ok so i hatched last year and i hatched out 40 chickens I have allot of predators and they kept flying out so now I am down to 29 they were mostly lost to predators and I lost a few to sickness too. I never had a rooster problem until I started losing chickens.well now I have 12 roosters and 17 hens. the hens are getting bare backs and have a hard time leaving the coop. so now every day i get all the roosters out of the coop so its just hens and they have run of the coop for 30 minutes.i bought 6 more pullets and have 16 more coming in august i want to know if you think the the hens can take this until then I have 2 broody hens right now and intend to eat all the roosters.This is my first flock so I was still trying to figure out how to cure them of sickness and keep them in the coop and run .BYC has helped allot.

thank you for any help i am prepared to eat a few even though i would rather not.These roosters are very sweet and love people so it will be hard for me to cull and eat them.
Some cocks are just rougher on their hens than others. Maybe you can identify a few who attack their girls rather than signal to them and go about things more gently. Trimming spurs and nails might help some. You can also make your own saddles to protect the hens who are barebacked, see link here, or you can purchase them for a few dollars. I've made several out of polarfleece. Sweatshirt fabric would work well, too, or even denim, but the stretchiness makes them easier to get on. I don't even make the tail hole, just the two wing holes, and have had them stay on for weeks. Of course, I had to toss a few "first tries," lol.

I don't think anyone can really tell you the best way to handle it -- but I sympathize. I think it helps to know they led a great life, even if a bit short. There is some good info on cooking them in the sticky in our Meat Birds forum. Many people eat them at all different ages, but we found we preferred to process by 16 weeks or so because they are still pretty tender, even though they don't have a huge amount of meat on them then.
No they can't. You need to get rid of 10 roosters. That ratio of hens to roosters is stressful for all of them. A stressed chicken is often a sick chicken, the hens will stop laying, they all fight and get beat up by overbreeding. 30 mins a day of peace is nothing. Build another coop for a bachelor pad if you can't eat them.

I would get things worked out in this first flock before you introduce more chicks.
A flock is quite peaceful with a ratio of 1 rooster to a minimum of 10 hens. When you want to breed, just set up a breeding pen, select your best hens out of the group, trim a little around the vents if they are heavily feathered, set them in the breed pen with the rooster.
I agree, an over crowded, or over mated flock is more unhappy than you think. If you start dispatching roosters, or culling them some other way, you will feel the tensions of your flock diminish. The first time you adjust your flock, and you get that sense of calmness, you really come to terms with the idea that you should not keep them all. It helps if you look at it in terms of the flock, verses each individual chicken.

The first time it happened to me, I was getting the chicken fever, or chicken math, where more is better. A predator really helped me out..... and the out come was very noticeable. The WHOLE remaining flock was much calmer, much happier and laid better. I didn't have too many roosters, at the time, but had too many chickens for the space. I took a head count, and keep that number strongly in mind going into winter.

Nothing causes the chance of disease to skyrocket, like stress, bad habits also skyrocket. It may very well be that none of your roos can get much action unless they take it every chance they get. And I would expect your boys to start fighting too.

I would strongly recommend getting rid of 10 roosters. And while many have a rooster or bachelor pad, it would bother my frugal heart to feed those boys.

Mrs K
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I end up with 30-40 roosters a year and I sure am happy when the last one loses his head.
I still have 1 left from last year that was "sweet" or rather he didn't annoy me too much. He is now the leader of flock #2.

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