Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by wildchickenmom, May 30, 2016.

  1. wildchickenmom

    wildchickenmom Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 2, 2016
    Northeastern Ontario
    Well, it looks like I might have three males instead of two. Has anyone ever successfully kept multiple roosters with a smaller number of hens?
    I have twelve females, and three males. I do realize that's pushing the recommended numbers... just wondering if anyone has made it work.
    I think there are thirteen Bielefelders, one Barnevelder, and two Cream Leg Bars.
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    The reason for the guidelines are for the safety and well being of the females. I don't care myself if my males squabble, but watching two or three cockerels gang up on a pullet and forcibly mate her doesn't fly around here.

    It's not impossible. I've had 4 roosters with 16 hens, and they did okay. It was only for about a year, and the birds were all free ranged 24/7.

    If you want to try it, you'll have to have lots of space and some hiding places for the pullets to hide from over amorous males. Keep a close eye on your flock and see how the pullets respond to the cockerels. Screaming, excessive hiding, not leaving the roost, getting bare backed, etc means you need to change things. And once things go south, it can happen fast so you'll need to have a contingency plan.

    Another idea is to have a bachelor pad. House the males separate from the females.
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