Sussex: Cock-to-Hen ratio

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by mdenham, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. mdenham

    mdenham New Egg

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    Jun 18, 2012
    Sussex roosters can be very hard on their hens. Even at expositions one often sees Sussex hens with their saddle feathers ruined from frequent threading. I show my birds but I also need fertilized eggs. In preparation for the 2014 breeding season I have already increased the number of females to avoid this. I enjoy watching the flock but I don't like to see hens with scratched backs in the garden. My question is this: Has anyone any experience with putting a large-fowl breed cockerel to a large number of hens? I specify large because smaller breeds can often manage a larger cock-to-hen ratio. I have 1 Sussex cockerel to 30 Sussex hens. I have the feeling that this is too large a number which he cannot manage. I have tried 1 cockerel to 6-10 hens and all of the hens had their backs/saddles destroyed. Of course the fertility rate in this case was pretty much 100%! However I would love to avoid the "collateral damage" on my hens! I would be interested to have in your opinions.
     
  2. brahmabreeder

    brahmabreeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 22, 2012
    Northeast Ohio
    Not sure what the maturity rate is on Sussex's but I plan on hatching within the next month with my Brahmas. I'm going to hatch into March and then pull males and start getting hens into condition and be done with hatching until this time of year next year. Since Brahmas take so long to mature they should be nice and large for the fall shows I plan to attend next year( starting with fair in August ). I may also add "saddles" to help with the damage. Someone on here sells them in the everything else section in BST. With me stopping hatching then it gives the hens three months to get into condition before my first show in June. I keep one rooster per two hens but Brahmas aren't over aggressive breeders. They just get heavy and bust feathers up. So IMO I would start hatching sooner and then quit two and a half to three months before your first show of the year( the sooner the better ).[​IMG]
     

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