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Roosters - How many?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ChickenScratchin, Aug 28, 2011.

  1. ChickenScratchin

    ChickenScratchin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Short background - I have 21 pullets, ended up with 3 cockerels, a BR and 2 BAs (which I didn't want). I decided to keep one of the BA boys. The other two are (possibly) being sent to live with Auntie to help service her large flock. I don't particularly want chicks for the time being, so I have no need of a roo for that. I have no way to seperate the roos, and I've been afraid they would fight too much (they'd already started until I set up a temporary way to seperate them, but it simply can't be permanent.) The BR is much larger and more mature than the BAs, so the BAs were getting the worst of it.

    My questions:
    I read that one roo can service about 10 hens...is this accurate? What if he has more than that? Will he mount himself to death?
    - So far, the one cockerel still with the girls is doing fine. But some of the girls hang with him, and some don't.

    If I keep 2 roos, does it matter which 2? If I kept two, I'd kind of want one of each, but with the BR being bigger will he just bully (or kill) the BA? Will they calm down once past the adolescent aggression?

    Thanks for any insight!
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    If they are free ranging keep all three. If confined to coop or run, then keep 2 if egg fertility major concern. The damage and loss of life attributed to roosters is very much a function of confinement. Since they are raised together, that will help calm interactions. Make certain adequate space available on roost so subordinate can get out of way. Also, sometimes more is better so condsider keeping all three so dominant has more target for aggression thus spreading out his unlove.

    How birds kept at least as important as information you provided. Space? Roost facilities? How complex is environment?
     
  3. kinsey228

    kinsey228 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 1 cockerel and 20 pullets, and he seems just fine [​IMG] If you only want one, there should be no problem.
     
  4. MEchickenfarmer33

    MEchickenfarmer33 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    JUST ONE!!!!!!!!!!! i cannot stress this enough. when you have 2 roos then they will fight each other for dominance and they will beat up the hens in order to show their authority and dominance over the other roo. i got rid of mine because i had 2. just one should be fine [​IMG]
     
  5. ChickenScratchin

    ChickenScratchin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:They are free ranging most of the time. But I am overcrowded - the coop is rather small (8x7) and the run is rather small (20x18). And while we have relatively mild winters, there will be times when they will have to be confined due to weather. There are plenty of roosts (about 25 ft).

    My other concern is crowing - one crowing is one thing, but if they're going to start having competitions over it, that's too much.

    I can definitely only keep 2 at most (my aunt really needs one for egg fert and I'm already over-crowded). I would much prefer to have only one, unless it will stress him in some way, being the only one.
     
  6. ChickenScratchin

    ChickenScratchin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:This is what I was seeing before I separated them. The BR was being highly aggressive with both the other boys and the girls (and mating the heck out of the girls very roughly.) None of them are aggressive we me yet, but I also have concerns about that. And I know the dynamics aren't done changing yet, as they're still maturing and the BAs are far behind the BR.

    I have kind of a limited window of opportunity to send them to my aunt (she lives far away and someone is driving out there next week). So I can't really just wait and see how they develop their dominance, or the loser(s) will end up in the pot.
     
  7. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 16 pullets and 3 roos, one is soon to be re-homed. The 2 I have are great...there is no over mating, and no fighting...(I think that depends on breed)

    I do know that some roosters will pick ONE hen and that will be his girl...some of the hens will never be mounted...cute huh? lol

    I raised 4 BR roos last year and 5 BA (not by choice...a bit of a 'mix up" at the store!) [​IMG]

    Now all re-homed...both good breeds, the BA is noted for amazing egg laying, if breeding is something you are considering to raise young ones.

    Good luck with your choice!
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Do not worry about one rooster hurting himself with several hens. He won't. A rooster does not mate with every hen in the flock every day. It just seems that way. That 10 to 1 ratio is what the commercial breeders that supply hatching eggs use to ensure a good fertility rate. Roosters mate randomly with the hens. They have found that if they have that ratio with maybe 20 roosters and 200 hens in a pen, the fertility rate will be pretty good. That does not mean that a rooster cannot keep more than 10 hens fertile. That depends on the rooster. A young vigorous rooster with a flock of hens will probably keep several more than 10 fertile. It is the randomness of their mating that gives the 10 to 1 ratio, not the rooster's capacity.

    I very much agree with Centrarchid's post, but you have provided further information since he posted.

    Your space is tight for keeping two. If I were you, I'd get down to one rooster as long as your aunt has the room. If the BR is being rough with the hens, I'd get rid of him and try one of the others. There is a pretty good chance he will settle down as he matures, but no guarantees.

    Good luck!
     
  9. ChickenScratchin

    ChickenScratchin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I may try to breed later on, but I don't have the time or money (for supplies) right now. I do LOVE the BAs...they're my favorite, but they're a bit shy.

    There's another question...Do crosses get some of the personality characteristics from both parents, or tend to follow more one or the other?
     
  10. ChickenScratchin

    ChickenScratchin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Ahhh, excellent info, thanks.

    My aunt definitely has the room, and the need. So, I suppose I'll continue with the plan to send her the BR and 1 BA, and keep 1 BA. I just didn't want there to be problems keeping only one roo with that many hens.

    Thanks again!
     

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