Silkies - How many hens per rooster

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by SGAFFNEY, Sep 25, 2015.

  1. SGAFFNEY

    SGAFFNEY New Egg

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    Mar 18, 2015
    Webster, WI
    I have 4 - five month old silkies. I have two roosters and one hen for sure. I am unsure as to whether the other one is a hen or rooster because it doesn't crow yet and the others do.

    I'm worried as to what will happen if I have 3 roosters to one hen, or even 2 roosters to 2 hens.

    I plan on getting more newborn silkies in the spring, however, will my 1 hen be ok over the winter if all the others are roosters?

    I don't see her being picked on yet, but she seems lonely.

    Thanks for any feedback.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    They will be overbred. With most breeds, rule of thumb is 1 cock per 10 hens. Heavy breeds closer to 8 per, light breeds 12 per.

    ETA
    Is that a sauger or walleye in your avatar?
    Nice!
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2015
  3. SGAFFNEY

    SGAFFNEY New Egg

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    Mar 18, 2015
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    Walleye - thanks! Any idea when the breeding begins? I don't know if it matters that they are bantam silkies or not. They are 5 months old and I wasn't planning on getting more until spring.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    they're slow to mature so perhaps 6 months or more. I've only been around mature silkies
    it seems like cockerels mature a bit before the pullets.
     
  5. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    X2 on the above post. As they mature, too many roosters will become very hard physically on your hens; over-breeding them, biting and plucking the feathers from their necks and backs, battering them, and potentially, seriously injuring them. The only reason you really need a rooster is to fertilize eggs for hatching, and 1 rooster can easily handle 10-15 hens in that regard.
     

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