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hens per rooster?

 
matt dee
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I have 9 hens and two roosters, i need to buy a few more hens! What do you think?
 
Craig Dobbelyu
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Location: Maine (zone 5)
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forest garden hugelkultur
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I think it depends on the roosters. If the ones you have are fighting over the limited availability of hens, then a few more hens couldn't hurt. Last year I had 25 hens and one rooster and he was able and willing to "service' ALL of them. I'm sure he would not have gotten along with another rooster. In fact we culled him before we began raising our new flock of meat and breeder birds. Just knew the stress of new birds would freak him out to no end.

I think there could be a perfect balance where two roosters could be at peace with each other as long as one of them can't possibly hoard all the hens. In other words... As long as they have enough territory and aren't able to manage all the hens, the roosters should get along. Limiting resources (hens, food, territory, roost space) will cause stress.

Then again, some roosters are just too much for any flock and others are complete wimps. Either way, you can't go wrong adding more hens... I think.

Best of luck
 
Jay Green
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Standard recommendation is 10:1 ratio but I find 15:1 a better fit for a mature, breeding age rooster. As they age into later years and breeding isn't a goal, you can get by with a few less hens and still not have too much wear and tear on the hens as the rooster won't be as vigorous.

For 2 young roosters I'd have nothing less than 30 hens for good breeding and minimal fighting for hens. YMMV
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1969
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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bee books chicken forest garden fungi trees
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12:1 seems best to me. I prefer to have only one rooster, for limited fighting and noise. Right now I have 14 hens to one roo and this seems good.
 
Peter Ellis
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Location: Central New Jersey
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heh.

I have three hens and one rooster. It was supposed to be four hens In addition to my area being zoned for no roosters and a max of four hens, I don't think it's practical for the girls to keep the roo'. Kind of a shame, as he's a pretty thing.

 
Craig Dobbelyu
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Location: Maine (zone 5)
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forest garden hugelkultur
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Peter Ellis wrote: Kind of a shame, as he's a pretty thing.


I'd keep him as long as he's not too much for the hens to tolerate. If anyone complains tell them it is a really fancy crowing hen and you'll be happy to give them the first egg it lays, which is an expensive delicacy in -insert fancy country of choice here-. It's worth a try. HA! Most people are so gullible it might just work.
 
Lynn Jacobs
Posts: 40
Location: At home with my soulmate <3 Living in a hot dry place.
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In June we got 12 chicks, supposedly all hens. We were down to 11 the next day. As they grew a bit we began to suspect that 2 of them were roosters, but they were still too young to know for sure. Well, someone else on the property brings home a "free" rooster, because the "girls" are going to need one to be "happy". Well, I don't know about chicken happiness, but I do know a rooster isn't required for egg laying. Anyway, we quickly found out that the two suspect hens were indeed roosters, as they immediately took turns fluffing themselves up and trying to intimidate the newly arrived and much larger interloper. They seem to have settled down, though, so far. Also we have lost 3 more hens to the dog when they managed to get out of the fence. So we now have 3 roosters and only 6 hens. NOT a good ratio! But no problems yet. I imagine we'll end up having to eat 2 of them (oh, darn! lol). Mr Fancy Pants (the new guy) is a banty and I'm not sure I want banty-barred rock mixed chicks next spring, so he might end up being dinner at some point.
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1969
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
69
bee books chicken forest garden fungi trees
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Mrs. EdJacobs wrote: Well, someone else on the property brings home a "free" rooster, because the "girls" are going to need one to be "happy".


Boy are there "free" roosters out there. I've thought of becoming a rooster retirement center, with chicken tractors with only roos in (is it true that they fight less with no hens about?) and eating them on occasion.

I was thinking about this post today and remembered seeing a "breeding pair" of chickens for sale on craigslist for some ungodly sum. Breeding pair indeed.
 
Craig Dobbelyu
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forest garden hugelkultur
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Matu Collins wrote: Boy are there "free" roosters out there. I've thought of becoming a rooster retirement center, with chicken tractors with only roos in (is it true that they fight less with no hens about?) and eating them on occasion.

I was thinking about this post today and remembered seeing a "breeding pair" of chickens for sale on craigslist for some ungodly sum. Breeding pair indeed.



I see free roosters on CL all the time. I've thought of getting them from time to time but my concern is that the birds may bring pests or disease to my property. If you had a good way to quarantine them for a while, that would be ideal I guess. The other thing is that people tend to want to get rid of aggressive roosters. There could be trouble getting so many different birds to get along if they weren't raised together. You might be constantly messing up the pecking order and stressing them out. Maybe... I don't know. Then there's the noise. One rooster at 4 am is sometimes ok. 50 roosters... not so much. I might consider bringing them in, giving them time to clear their systems of any "gick" and then sending them to Freezer Camp. Probably a good way to put up a lot of chicken broth for winter.

 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1969
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
69
bee books chicken forest garden fungi trees
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50 roosters would be nuts! My coop is in the shade of a tree, I've never been bothered by early crowing but maybe a tractor in the field would be different. I hope they wouldn't tear each other apart, maybe I'm being too optimistic.

I wonder about the disease thing too. I was thinking about 4 or five roos, and move them around once or twice daily, getting them healthy and fat and then freezer camp. Not much of a retirement, it's true. I wouldn't put them with my sweet friendly flock
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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