too many roosters for too few hens... what do i do?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by drewskimac, Sep 20, 2015.

  1. drewskimac

    drewskimac Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 7, 2014
    Siloam Springs, AR
    I have 6 hens and two roosters. I was only supposed to have one rooster... but, you know, there is almost always a "surprise" rooster. Anyways, the hens aren't lookin' too hot these days. So, what do I do? Do I just need to get a few more hens? Getting rid of a rooster isn't an option because, well, I like them both. I have been really satisfied with the breeding results from the two.

    Anyways, is my only choice to get more hens?
    Are they breeding extra heavily right now?
    Do I have time to hatch a batch of chicks and wait for them to grow into adult hens?

    Thankyou all!
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    Since eliminating a rooster is off the table you will either need to increase the number of hens or separate your birds. If your birds are already not looking that great, no, you don't have time to hatch and raise birds to maturity to increase your female numbers *unless* you separate birds in the meantime. Just what sort of damage is showing on your hens - there are varying degrees of damage that you can see from over-mating, understanding what point your girls are at is going to be key. Are your birds housed in a confined area or free ranged? In situations where they are confined, allowing more room for the hens to escape the attentions of your roosters can sometimes help. You may want to get some saddles for your hens if the damage is mostly physical and focused mainly on their backs.
  3. Dinosaur Gal

    Dinosaur Gal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 12, 2015
    North Pole
    If your not willing to get rid of one of the two roosters then get more hens the recomended is 10 hens per rooster to pervent over breeding.
  4. chickmomma03

    chickmomma03 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2015
    North Carolina
    If you won't get rid of 1 you either need to get more hens or separate a roo. If it were me I'd part with one of the roos. I have 1 roo to 10 hens, I plan to add 2 more hens in this spring hopefully.
  5. pfields

    pfields Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think it's cruel or very unfair to have more roosters than hens. It's not much of a life for the hens and they just look worse and worse. My hens give me the eggs so they come first. I'm very sad for your hens.[​IMG]

    I have 1 rooster for 45 hens and have plenty of fertile eggs. Just hatched and sold a batch of chicks so I know they're fertile.
  6. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    6 hens to 2 roosters is not more roosters than hens.......
    1 person likes this.
  7. pfields

    pfields Chillin' With My Peeps

    I was referring to the ratio of roosters/versus hens. Sorry I didn't make it plainer!
  8. MyMonsters91

    MyMonsters91 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 17, 2015
    I understand getting attached. I ended up with 5 roosters out of my 11 chickens, which is actually really good odds, but by the time they were sex-age I had already had them for several months, and it was hard getting rid of 4 of them. I did so immediately, though, knowing it would be harder the longer I waited. I just have the one rooster to my 8 hens now and he's doing very good with all of them. Keeps them in line when free-ranging, calls them all back when they start straying, leads them back to the coop, and my first chicken had began laying and all her eggs are fertilized so far.

    The other posters have given you good advice already. If you're unwilling to re home one of the roosters, you need to expand the space they're in (how big is it currently?) and separate them in 2 halves to give each rooster their own hens to rule and care for. And even splitting them into two groups will cause quite a too few hens per rooster, so I would increase the amount of hens as well, so they don't each over-use the few they have. I don't know what the secrete number is for how many hens per rooster you should keep. If you can separate them into different groups for each rooster, then I would say at least 5-7 for each of them. If you can't separate the two roosters into their own spaces and hens, you might need a lot more then that. There's a reason I kept only 1 of my 5 roosters, and it was to prevent this hardship lol. It hurt to rehome them, but I ensured the rest of my chickens happiness and health in the mean time.. and I liked them all just as much, and making sure they were happy and healthy vs sickly and ill-treated wasn't that hard to choose from. I was more willing to get rid of a few males to keep the rest in good health. I plan on getting more chickens next year, my husband wants a better coop, more space, more run. I want silkies and frizzle chickens and we'll probably end up with 2-3 roosters by next year if we get as many as my husband is looking at, lol.

    I did have to rehome 3 of my ducks the other day, and that sucked. I've had them for about 4 months and seeing them go was heartbreaking, but I ended up with 2 hens and 5 drakes. Nobody was buying my drakes (and the idea of getting rid of them sucked just as much, I'm more attached to my drakes!) but I knew those girls would be dead if I didn't do something. Ended up selling the 2 girls and letting a male go with them to someone who had a single hen duck who needed companions. It was better for them, and now I have a male flock of 4 ducks vs my previous 7.. it's quiet, and a bit lonely sounding.

    Good luck, what ever your choice.
  9. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2015
  10. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Let It Snow Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    You could make a smaller separation pen and trade off which rooster is out until you get more hens, you might even find you or your hens like one over the other.

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