Which roosters to keep

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by bwiechman, Aug 3, 2008.

  1. bwiechman

    bwiechman New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Aug 3, 2008
    Melrose, MN
    This spring I got a straight run of 25 birds, some Buff Orpingtons and some Silver Laced Wyandottes. Slowly it is getting to that time - need to weed out a few of those excess roosters.

    Any good rules of thumb for which roosters are the ones to keep? None are displaying any signs of overt aggression, so there are none that are just working to get themselves turned into soup. I would like to try and see if I can't hatch a brood or two next year so would like keep a boy or two that are going to be frisky and healthy. I have a pair of Wyandottes that are crowing already (at about 12 weeks) and seem to have more or less claimed the coop and I was thinking of keeping one or both of those two.

    Also, how many roosters can I realistically keep. I have almost 40 birds currently, 13 are roosters, the rest are pullets. I'd like to get the flock down to about 25 total birds. Can I safely keep 2 or 3 roosters in a flock of 25?
     
  2. pkeeler

    pkeeler Chillin' With My Peeps

    559
    3
    131
    Jul 20, 2008
    Shamong
    If you leave the top birds, you will have less fighting going forward. I would think 22 hens is plenty for 2 and enough for 3. I also think there are less problems with 3 roosters rather than 2. They seem to keep their pecking order more stable and you have plenty of hens to keep them all busy.
     
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    114
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    With 23 hens, I wouldn't keep more than two roosters. Don't want the hens overmated. If you plan to get serious with breeding than obviously you want to keep the roos that most closely meet the standard for their breed. Otherwise, keep the roosters that appeal to you most, both in physical appearance and personality. I had to weed out extra roos out of a total of five. I'm not interested in breeding, so I kept the two that were the most easy-going around people. They won't win any beauty contests, but I've been happy with my choice.
     
  4. bwiechman

    bwiechman New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Aug 3, 2008
    Melrose, MN
    Thanks for the tips. I think I'll start with three and see if the ladies get too beat up and cull from there if I have to. I may have to wait another couple of months and see if any get too feisty.
     
  5. panner123

    panner123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    A good rule of thumb is 15 hens to each rooster. I have gone as far 20 to 1, but the hacth rate was a little low.
     
  6. silkieluvr

    silkieluvr Chillin' With My Peeps

    944
    0
    159
    Sep 20, 2007
    Marin, California
    People keep everywhere from 2-20 hens with 1 roo, i think 3 is a safe number to start with and take one away if you need
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by