Yet another ROO to hen ratio question

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by bakerjw, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. bakerjw

    bakerjw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2010
    Johnson City, Tn
    On May 8 I went to pick up some Silver Sebrights. Much to the chagrin of my wife, the gentleman who had them for sale also had some newly hatched White Leghorns so I ended up with 5 of them as well as the SS chicks. As the WLs matured I found myself with 2 roos and 3 hens. I am pretty sure that 2 roos for 3 hens is a bit too much but I am too new to chickens to be sure. My goal is to increase the size of the WL flock so I do need some roos around. If one of them is to sire the offspring of the flock I would prefer it to be the better behaved of the 2 but from my reading here it sounds like roosters have a change in attitude when they reach a year old or so.

    I could rehome one of the roos but with my luck I'd end up losing the remaining roo to a predator.

    I've even thought about keeping one roo separate until some clutches are hatched and then allowing the other roo to fertilize a second clutch or two. That would keep some diversity in the genetics of the birds. Just looking for some thoughts or opinions.

    My eventual plans are to make capons out of roos that I get in the future.
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I suggest you read these three links. You'll get different opinions, some things to look out for, and some good information. I think the first one is especially informative when discussing the 10 to 1 or 12 to 1 ratio of hens to roosters concerning rooster behavior with information from some very experienced people.

    Breeders managing roosters

    Number of roosters thread

    Managing multiple roosters

    I have had roosters change behavior when they mature. I have also had well-behaved second-in-command roosters change their attitudes when the dominant rooster was removed. It is hard to predict what will actually happen when a change occurs.

    If the roosters are raised together with the pullets, there is a fairly good chance they will work out the flock dominance issues without serious injury. There will be some fighting and there is always the chance one will kill the other, but roosters raised together with the pullets or hens in the flock usually work it out. Breed has something to do with it but so does individual personality. How much space they have is also an important factor. If you ever separate one of both roosters from the pullets then try to put them back together, there will most likely be very serious fighting.

    If you keep two roosters with your three hens, both roosters will mate with your hens but you will not know who the father of a specific chicks is. How much space they have comes into play with this too. You really won't know how much genetic diversity you have. Separating the roosters and alternating which is with the hens for each hatch will help with that. Your goals are different than mine. Several different strategies will work for you. My usual recommendation is to keep the fewest roosters that you can to meet your goals to reduce the chance of problems. How many that is and how you manage them is up to you.

    Good luck!

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