wisdom or wives tail?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by i<3mych1ckens, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. i<3mych1ckens

    i<3mych1ckens Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 19, 2011
    I'm not entirely sure how common this notion is, but my grandmother said in a small flock of all hens (we're talking less than ten), I should keep the number of chickens odd and they'll be less inclined to fight. Has anyone ever heard this? Thoughts?

    Another two cents: my father swears the hens will feel more comfortable and lay more eggs if there's a rooster around. I personally would think that it's the same as for humans--i.e., ya get more done without a man in the house! Anyone have input on this?
     
  2. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2009
    Kingman Arizona
    I have never seen anything to support that an odd number of chickens would fight less. I would expect the other way around--with an even number, every hen can buddy up in a pair. I keep ornamental fish, and with most species the "rule" is to keep them in pairs or even-numbered groups. They aren't chickens, but they're social animals. With horses, having an odd number means you will have one that is kind of an outcast, as they definitely form pairs within a group.

    The absence or presence of a rooster will not effect the laying rate of hens. If having a rooster around made them lay more, commercial egg producers would keep roosters, and they don't.
     
  3. hennyannie

    hennyannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2011
    North Carolina
    I have a friend who thinks she has to have an odd number of canine friends at all times. I think her total is 7 right now, so maybe she is content. On a serious note, I don't see how the the odd number thing would help, but I have seen a roo make a big differance in the whole pecking order thing. Provided he is a gentleman himself and the hens are not being bullied. My little bantam roo seems to keep the peace among his LF wives and he is a great watchout for them.
     
  4. Kassaundra

    Kassaundra Sonic screwdrivers are cool!

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    I have two small flocks one flock of 9 all girls, and one flock of 10 (has one rooster) neither flock is aggresive or mean to any of the flock members (though I'm sure there is a pecking order). I have noticed a difference in the dynamics in the flock w/ the roo and w/o the roo. The flock w/ the roo is more ordered, they go to the coop earlier, are more likely to stay in a tighter group, are more likely to try new food or a new area (run).
     
  5. macdoogle2

    macdoogle2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I never had a broody hen until I got a Roo. Suddently I had three Broody hens. Broody hens mean less eggs. Of course now I have 12 chicks running round.
     
  6. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our small flock laid better with a rooster. We got busted (roosters aren't legal where we live), and we had to give him away. We miss him! He was a darling. And he did keep the flock together, looked out for predators, and kept the hens from bullying each other too much.

    I think one reason that the commercial operations don't keep roosters is it is just not feasible the way they run their business. If they were going to cram a rooster into the cage with the hens, they wouldn't have room in there for one of the hens. Her production would not be equalled by increased production of the other hens.

    It's much different in a backyard situation. If I could keep a rooster, I definitely would.
     
  7. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:I definitely notice that my roosters keep the pecking to a minimum! Of course they can't keep it all under control, but if one hen is very aggressive to a newcomer or just to one low on the pecking order, the rooster steps in and puts the bully in place. My lower girls look up to my rooster for protection.
     
  8. 33yardbirds

    33yardbirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 15, 2010
    Southern New Jersey
    I just like the look of odd numbered birds. Right now I have 2 flocks 9 and 7. I will be getting more in the spring and I will thin them to odd also. I think this may go back to early duck hunting days when the old timers told me always use an odd number of decoys and let the odd one lag outside the set to entice the loner to join the group.
     
  9. ninabeast

    ninabeast Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Upstate New York
    I have ten girls with no rooster and I never see fighting. FWIW...
     
  10. TrystInn

    TrystInn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 16, 2009
    Southern Arizona
    You get broodies with or without roosters. Its based more on the breed of chicken than anything else, for instance cochins seem to brood if the winds blow on them. Silkies will brood without wind. [​IMG]
     

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