Worried about my little rehomed roo with 36 hens


13 Years
Jan 28, 2009
Cecil Co. MD - 5Yrs. Chickens 4Yrs. Ducks
He's not quite 4 months old yet...and was bought yesterday by a family that has 36 hens. Normally, I would think "what a lucky guy!" but the more I miss him, the more I wonder if thats just too many hens for one rooster to worry about. I mean, they do take their jobs very seriously. I asked them if they would like to take his buddy along, but they declined.

My two adult roos do very well here even with a small number of hens. I dont trust them in close quarters and are cooped separately but outside they seem to work as a team. None of the hens are overmated, the alpha roo pretty much has his main squeeze and the sub roo seems to be the daddy to the rest of the flock. He is even very good with the young cockerals, but I'm sure things will start to change up here soon.

Anyway.... just looking for opinions on when it is desirable - if ever, to have more than one rooster. And if sometimes a real necessity.
Having a rooster is never neccessary unless you want fertile eggs.

Now, having said that - - roosters are nice to have if the hens are free ranging.
A good roo will go a long way towards protecting the flock.

One roo can not service 36 girls as well as he will 10 hens.
However, ever with smaller numbers of hens, the roo will have his favorites
that see more of his attention than the others.

Either way - - free range protector or breeding roo - - with 36 hens, I would think a min of 2 roos is needed.
If this is their first roo, they may just want to try him out first and make sure nothing bad happens and that they don't mind the 4 a.m. crowing . . . If he turns out to be a sweet roo like our guy, they may be back for another one.
thanks for your input.

I doubt they are concerned with breeding, and I suppose now that I think of it..my roos don't necessarily keep the girls rounded up either or worry about keeping them together. But yeah, as a flock protector and even as a yummy bug provider I wish he had some backup. lol. Maybe they will get his buddy before they forget each other...
Other than for fertility, I think rooster-hen ratio is a human worry, not a chicken worry. 36 hens will do fine without a rooster, with one rooster, or with several roosters. They are pretty adaptable. I'm talking about a free ranging flock or one together in a big run, not the breeding programs where you have one rooster separated in pens with one or two hens. Other than keeping a large flock of hens fertile, that's the only case I can think of where you need multiple roosters.

Hens can find their own bugs. They don't need a rooster to find bugs for them. Roosters do that as a courtship thing to try to win the hen's favors. If the hen likes the rooster, there is often a lot less chasing and resisting involved.

My roosters do not keep the hens rounded up in one group and I have a lot less grown chickens than 36. Sometimes they do forage together, but often they break up into groups. Sometimes those groups have a rooster in them and sometimes they don't. Usually with my current flock, the two roosters are in the same group and other groups have hens only. Last year, with three roosters, two roosters would stay together in one group and the third rooster would take his own group away with him. There would still often be small groups of hens exploring on their own without a rooster.

We've all got our different goals. I don't know why that family only wanted one. I don't know what discussions you had with them about why they wanted a rooster. Maybe they don't know that one rooster will probably not keep 36 hens fertile. But I assure you, you are worrying about it a lot more than the chickens are.
thanks Ridgerunner.

hmmm I now have 8 hens and 6 roosters. I guess MY goal is having less roosters. LOL. I have 4 left to rehome. I wish I could keep them all! I just haven't figured out that I CAN yet. :) They are sooo pretty and colorful and I am grateful that I have kept them long enough to watch them feather out. And also grateful that I've been able to find two of them good homes so far. Not yet a "real" farmer though I admire those who can call a stewpot "home"
I have 1 cockerel(BA 9 mo) and 25 girls so at least no ONE girl seems to get harrassed too much because there are so many. But when I want more layers I have an area where he will be kept with 3-4 of certain hens where I will get fertile eggs. Not many of their eggs are fertile now as there are 25 girls to 1 boy. plus when I had 2 roos(bros) for 1 1/2 yrs. one day they turned each other to bloody messes before I found/dispatched them. They were gentle with us and I didn't expect it(let me say I only had 7 hens at the time and that may have prompted such behaviour)
I have a single 5-month EE rooster with 43 hens--a dozen are older, the rest are from the same hatch as he is. He hangs with different groups or they hang with him. This afternoon he managed to get them all hidden when a redtail showed up so he's doing his job that way. He is also covering the older hens--his hatchmates don't seem to be laying yet, some will squat for him but he won't mount. I'd rather have a few more roosters--I order 6 straight run EE's and 5 were pullets--because I'd like to breed the EE's but it may not be possible. On the other hand, he is very gentle with the hens/pullets the only problem is trying to get them all rounded up--he has a problem keeping them together, kind of like an outrider on a trail drive. It's kind of funny to watch.

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