Silly question - hen to roo ratio

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by gritsar, Jul 3, 2010.

  1. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    119
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Yes I've been at this awhile now and know what the rule of thumb answer is, but I'm seeking input from folks that have done it differently.

    Here's my current chicken situation - I have 14 chickens in the adult coop, 1 brahma roo (Thor) and 13 hens. They free range on 80 acres. My brahma roo wasn't always the only rooster. When he was the beta roo, he was very submissive to the point of being afraid of his own shadow. It wasn't until after I re-homed the other roo that Thor found his....courage.

    In the brooder I have 32 chicks, of which 4 are definitely cockerels - a silkie, a naked neck (plan to do some reading on NN roo's personalities today), and two cornish cross. That means 28 pullets to 4 cockerels. I may have to put one of the cornish cross cockerels down for his own sake, but the last couple of days he has been doing better, so I'm not sure.
    The chicks will be moving to their own coop soon, close to the adult coop. The plan is to have them on lockdown in the coop for a week, then in a temporary pen for at least a week while they adult birds get used to them being around. So far when I've done casual introductions between the adult birds and some of the chicks the adult birds act afraid of them and get as far away as possible from the babies. I can keep the babies in the temp. pen for as long as necessary, but really want them out free ranging as early as possible for the CCs sake.

    How many of the baby cockerels can I plan on keeping? Please keep in mind that I know the cornish cross chicks are meant to be fried chicken, but we are not raising them for that. The plan is for them to live for however long they can do so comfortably. My DH's mom raised Tyson broilers as her laying flock and I'm taking my cues from DH on how to manage that.

    TIA [​IMG]
     
  2. TipsyDog

    TipsyDog Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2009
    Aregua, Paraguay
    I don't have a "rule of thumb" for you Grit, but I'd keep them all and only weed out the ones that become a problem as they mature. They may all get along!? Every roo is different. I've notice most problems start when you get a very dominant roo. Who knows how long the cornish will make it anyway. I wouldn't think they would be too dominant over other roos - probably more focused on eating and lying around?

    ETA: If the hens become miserable from all these guys, then I'd take that as a definite sign to re-address the situation.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2010
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    119
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I think your answer may be the correct one Tipsy. Just take it day by day, only stepping in if there's a problem.

    BTW, the meaties aren't as focused on food as I thought they would be. Right at this moment there are four feeders in the brooder and not a single chick is eating. At least half the chicks are running around on the porch [​IMG], nearly half are involved in a community dust bath and the meatie I was so worried about a couple of days ago is sitting on the edge of the brooder, watching the world go by.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by