Too many roosters?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Witchgrass, Oct 19, 2016.

  1. Witchgrass

    Witchgrass Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 18, 2016
    Bandera, Texas
    About a week ago, a friend offered to give me two adult roosters. So nice I have an old chicken house on my property, I accepted, and decided to clean it out and get some hens as well. I found 4 assorted grown hens and have them all in the chicken house now. The chicken house is about 12' x 12'. They are all pretty tame, and get along very well together. Should I get rid of one of the roosters? I'm only getting 1 egg a day, so 3 of the hens aren't producing.....not sure what's going on with that though. My plan is to start letting them out during the day to range on the 10 acres I have, and lock them back up at night.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Yes, I would subtract one rooster from the flock (many will say you should subtract both!). One rooster per 8-10 hens is pretty standard. When that ratio is out of whack your hens start to get overbred - feather loss on the back, and jittery hens from the constant pursuit and mating.
    Your limited egg production may be due to: the shortened days (hens need 14 hrs. light per day for steady egg laying...or they are going through a molt and energy is transferred from egg production to feather production....or the new roosters have temporarily upset the pecking order - new arrivals can cause decreased laying due to anxiety within the social order.
    In terms of free ranging....that can be a contentious topic on BYC. Some see it as letting their birds live a more natural and freer life - with the added benefits of eating weeds and seeds and bigs, plus getting exercise. Others say it is irresponsible to turn birds with very limited defenses out into a world of predators. I'll let you decide the merits of those arguments. Here's an article talking about the cost/benefit of free ranging.
    Also, stop by the New Member Introduction Forum so we can give you a proper BYC welcome!!

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