What is the ideal number of roosters for 40-43 hens?

mtma

Songster
Jul 18, 2018
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About half of our flock is older (1-4 years) and the rest are this spring's chicks. We will keep the pullets and need to decide how many cockerels we can keep. We currently only have one adult rooster and when all is said and done we should have 40 (maybe a couple more) hens. Thanks!
 
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TheDuckGuy

Songster
Nov 29, 2020
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About half of our flock is older (1-4 years) and the rest are this spring's chicks. We will keep the pullets and need to decide how many cockee can keep. We currently only have one adult rooster and when all is said and done we should have 40 (maybe a couple more) hens. Thanks!
4 I would say I recommend 1 per 8-10 hens but depending on space I would say 2 should keep them all fertile but if you have the space you could do 4
 

Weeg

Crossing the Road
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Jul 1, 2020
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My rule of thumb is at least 5 hens per rooster. You could probably get away with 8 at most, though problems could definitely still arise. 4-6 would probably be a good ratio. With 8 roosters you may have competition, since you'll likely get at least one that wants to pick a fight. Hopefully you'll be able to weed those ones out though.
 

mtma

Songster
Jul 18, 2018
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Thanks everyone! The family is pretty attached to these boys 😆! We have 10 cockerels, and I think (based on your input) we will keep 4 and then see who is nice come fall, with the intention of keeping 3 of them around with our big guy. We will get rid of the other six to people who want them.
 

Weeg

Crossing the Road
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Thanks everyone! The family is pretty attached to these boys 😆! We have 10 cockerels, and I think (based on your input) we will keep 4 and then see who is nice come fall, with the intention of keeping 3 of them around with our big guy. We will get rid of the other six to people who want them.
With the extras you may be able to get away with 5. If you pick/end up with mellow sweet cockerels you may be able to have more. Good luck!
 

CluckerFamily

Enabler
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Feb 14, 2016
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I would say 3-4 total roosters if you are looking to have them for protection and they free range on a large amount of land.
If you don’t free range and you don’t need a rooster for protection, 1 rooster would be just fine.
If you are looking to have the rooster for breeding then 4-5 roosters would work.
 

mtma

Songster
Jul 18, 2018
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I would say 3-4 total roosters if you are looking to have them for protection and they free range on a large amount of land.
If you don’t free range and you don’t need a rooster for protection, 1 rooster would be just fine.
If you are looking to have the rooster for breeding then 4-5 roosters would work.
No more breeding next year unless we have predators, as chicken math happened hard this year.They do free range on acreage.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
12 Years
Nov 12, 2009
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The thing about people with 40 head, they tend to have the space situation figured out. However, even with space and a lot of hens, some will work out, and some will not.

Ridgerunner often says - what do you want to do, what are your goals. Take a look, see how they develop, see how they work out in the flock, always solve for peace in the flock.

Cull a few, see how it changes things, cull again.

It is a fascinating hobby.
 

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