Rooster to hen ratio

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by happymorrows, Nov 21, 2010.

  1. happymorrows

    happymorrows Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Morganton, NC
    What is an acceptable rooster to hen ratio? I have 9 hens, would 2 roos be too many?
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    1 roo for 10 to 15 hens.

    others say 1 to 5.

    I have 1 in with 7 hens and everyone's eggs are fertile.

    I have 2 in with 22 and I've had a couple without the bullseye, but I've never seen the younger roo even make an attempt at crowing or mating.

    Go figure.
  3. Yazzo

    Yazzo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 23, 2010
    People always like to use specific numbers for this, but it really depends on what the rooster is like. I have 5 roosters with around two dozen hens right now: One is the lead rooster: he's not overly macho, and he's not aggressive, but he protects the hens. The others are super, super nice roosters, the nicest I have ever had, and they totally just leave the hens alone, maybe just chasing after them once in a while. If you have a rooster who actively chases the hens, and attacks other roosters, you'll probably need more hens for him, but if you have more of a docile roosters, he may be fine with just one hen. It totally depends. The more aggressive rooster may be fine with one hen, if he doesn't beat her up, and the docile rooster would probably do fine with a dozen hens, and maybe some other roosters.

    Throughout the summer, I have had a few other roosters, and any rooster that was being too rough with the hens would get penned up in the orchard until I could sell him to a good home, or he would become better with the hens, which often happens over time. If you do have any roosters in a 'bachelor pad' though, they need at least one other chicken with them, and they should be socialized with the other chickens once in a while.
  4. mrsburd

    mrsburd Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 21, 2010
    Hey.... That was my We are new to this chicken thing and after getting our coop built our neighbor gave us 11 birds. We thought we had one rooster but we really have 4.. My husband wants to "freeze" 3 of them..... what do you think. One rooster to 7 hens????
  5. Caseman

    Caseman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 22, 2010
    Lexington, KY
    I like to use 1 rooster to 20 hens..makes every one happy:)
  6. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2010
    Missouri Ozarks
    I like to have one roo for up to about 20 hens. The flock will be much calmer that way, which translates into more eggs and healthier prettier birds. Two roos with nine hens will be kinda stressful, and not much of a life for the submissive roo.
  7. shellyga

    shellyga Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 23, 2010
    Right now we have one rooster with 11 hens and everyone seems happy. We are expanding our flock in the spring with some day old chicks - 25 to be exact-- and wanted to know if we should include one or two day old roos to grow up with these additions? We have researched raising chicks and have a plan on introducing to the flock once old enough.. but wondered what would be best to add additional roosters to our flock...buying grown roosters when the hens are mature or raise them up with the hen chicks. Our chickens free range (in a large fenced front yard) during the day and roost in the secure coop at night.
  8. chickenpiedpiper

    chickenpiedpiper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2008
    New Durham NH
    Quote:I feel it is easier to raise them with the chicks, younger roos have to earn thier place in the flock, and the hens have him in check while he is still small and manageable.

    We raise our young birds with our older birds from about 8 weeks on. The Hens recognise them as babies, not interlopers, and after a little initial curiosity, they ignore them! The younger birds all run in a happy rabid little pack, and the older birds just keep an eye on them... The adult rooster is key here, cause he will be the one watching the sky and bushes for predators. The babies wont know to look until it is too late.

    Watch your flock someday, and you will see, its the rooster looking up and around, while the hens are always looking at the ground!

    Since we let out hens raise what they hatch, we have way too many roosters, but given our predators and hawks, we loose a young rooster every month or so. So we have about 20 roosters of many ages to about 60 hens. I never see a real rooster fight, only stare downs, and my hens seem content.

    I almost never loose a hen to a predator. It always seems to be a roo.

    Interesting side note, only about 5 of my roosters crow. The alpha roo in each weight class, and the OEGB roos are the only ones! (thank goodness!)
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I think a big part of this is how much space there is. If you free-range, you can usually have more roos to hens, cause everyone can spread out. Confined, I don't think I'd go more than one to ten. You could try it, but be prepared to pull one out at any time.
  10. shellyga

    shellyga Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 23, 2010
    donrae.. if they free range during the day but roost in the coop at night.. should all be okay?

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