1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

What if hatch has too many roosters?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chicklets81, Mar 28, 2017.

  1. chicklets81

    chicklets81 Chirping

    Mar 10, 2017
    I joined BYC recently, and know very little about chicken keeping, only that you don't want to keep more than 2-3 roosters in a large flock of hens.

    I have 11 hens with 1 roo in an established large 11 long x 8 tall coop.

    I've got 27 eggs in incubator, (with 10 chicks pre-ordered at store). I know I won't have all eggs hatch.

    I think my coop can hold probably 30 chickens?

    My question is, out of my own hatch, if I end up with a whole bunch of roosters, If I cant sell them or find homes, And I have too many to be kept in main flock, should I house them by themselves in a 2nd coop?

    I have been collecting pallets to make a 2nd coop, but wanted to find out if I should be planning to build it now or wait.

    Any thoughts from more experienced chicken keepers would be great.


  2. peopleRanimals2

    peopleRanimals2 Songster

    Jun 30, 2015
    Rhode Island
    Hi! [​IMG]
    Your coop can hold about 20 chickens, if you follow the guideline of about 4 sq ft per hen.
    I don't know that much about bachelor pads, (the town I live in not allowing roosters) But I'll do some research and get back to you. :)
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    @ 4 s.f./bird, your coop will be maxed out with 22 birds. IMO, keeping a roo requires even more space than that b/c of roo drama. When ever I set eggs, I know that I'll have to cull a lot of cockrels. If I do absolutely nothing to affect the gender outcome of my hatch, I can plan on averaging 60% males per hatch. IMO, the incubator should not be plugged in without an exit plan for the roos. Even with a grow out pen, those boys are noisy, and by the time they get to be nearly old enough for freezer camp, the crowing and wrestling can drive you mad. Unfortunately, males mature sexually faster than the females. So, IMO, it's cruel to keep a bunch of cockrels with developing females.
  4. 10 acre woods

    10 acre woods Chirping

    Mar 2, 2017
    I house all of my chickens in my main house for most of the year. I have four roosters. Starting in January I seperate them into breeding pens. Usually by the end of May I am done hatching and the breeding pens get used as growing pens. I wait for the weekend and turn all of my older chickens out to free range. They are normally so happy to be out that they don't fight that much. It also gives the losers space to run from the victors and prevents them from getting cornered and ganged up on. I do wait for the weekend to turn them out. That way they can be out all day and I can keep an eye out for any bad or lopsided squrmishes and break them up.
  5. keesmom

    keesmom Crowing

    Jul 28, 2008
    Is that 11x8 space just the coop? Do they have a run or get out to range during part of the year? In general it is best not to max out your coop space. It will cause problems during the times of the year when they can't get out. Even the 10 ordered chicks may make things a bit too crowded next winter.

    Even if half of your eggs hatch, half of those chicks will be male. That would give you around 7 of them. That will be too many to add to your current setup. If you can't butcher them then you will need a bachelor pad.
  6. chicklets81

    chicklets81 Chirping

    Mar 10, 2017
    The coop is 11x8, and they free range for half of the day. On weekends, they are out by 11 am, during the week, they are out by 4, free ranging in the yard. They have full range of property. There is a back door to coop to a fenced in area, but since they have grown, they like going out into the yard better, so I haven't been using the back fenced in area since the fall.

  7. chicklets81

    chicklets81 Chirping

    Mar 10, 2017
    10 acre woods,
    How many chickens do you have? And how big is your house?

    I'm learning all of this stuff, its very exciting!
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Don’t count on the hatch being anywhere close to 50-50 related to sex. Most of my individual hatches are closer to 2/3-1/3 than ½-1/2 and it could be either sex. Several times I’ve totaled up the hatches over a two year time span and it’s remarkably close to 50-50, but my last two big hatches were 14 pullets with 5 cockerels and a second 14 pullets with 7 cockerels. But over a 2 year span, there were enough small hatches with lots of cockerels to bring it within 1 chick of 50-50.

    You are correct, you don’t know how many eggs will hatch, but even if you did you wouldn’t know how many would be male.

    I agree very much that you should have a plan for any chick you hatch before the eggs go in the incubator. That includes the pullets as well as the cockerels. It’s very possible you can get rid of any chicks you don’t want, probably on Craigslist if you don’t value them highly and don’t make restrictions on how people handle them once they are gone.

    I suggest you start building that second coop/run really soon. Don’t wait. You might need it as a bachelor pad. You might need it as a grow-out coop. You may really need it to help with integration on fairly short notice. I don’t know how you will use it but when you start hatching eggs or just get additional chicks, the odds are you will be very happy you have it.

    I don’t believe in magic square feet per chicken numbers. You can follow the link in my signature to get some of my ideas about what is important as far as room for chickens. There are just too many variables for any one square foot number to work for every chicken on the planet. But since you are integrating and probably will be again in the future, I recommend you provide as much space as you reasonably can, or restrict the number of chickens.
  9. chicklets81

    chicklets81 Chirping

    Mar 10, 2017
    lazy gardener,
    you mention trying to affect gender ratio in a hatch. What exactly does that mean? Can you do something to get more females?

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by