Too many roosters? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I got a mixed group of straight run chickens, turns out I have one male barred rock, one female, one male white foot, one female, one greenish/black feathered male, one greenish black female. I HAD one of each of the white crested black polish, but we lost the hen. I have heard that having more then one rooster causes problems. I have noticed my roosters fighting one another. Will they stop this eventually, or will I have to choose which rooster to keep and then eat the rest? They are all in one pen together and have been since they were day old.


-- Cindy Cluck (, June 12, 2000


Depends upom the individual personalities of the roosters. Generally speaking, one rooster to 10 or so hens is a good ratio. Roosters will compete for the attention of the ladies, and a really tough one will go so far as to kill his competitors. If you want to raise several breeds, ie. get pure fertile eggs, you'll have to separate those breeds. I have 5 roosters that get along quite well, but I have 30 hens, too. Some roosters ("Darth Vader" comes to mind) will attack anything. Others are less aggressive. You'll just have to figure them out! GL!

-- Brad (, June 12, 2000.


They will stop this eventually, when you choose which rooster to keep and then eat the rest. Brad seems to be about right with the ratios - four or five hens to a rooster seems to be about the minimum you can have without significant fighting, and the roosters (and the hens) will be happier with a higher ratio. On the other hand, if you really want to do the self-reliance bit, you need a spare rooster. On the other hand (that's three hands so far) the world is absolutely full of spare roosters, fertile eggs and commercial hatcheries if the need arises - and most of them don't crow in your ear from about an hour before false dawn, or when the moon is full, or when there's a light in your window, the way roosters with resident competition and a nagging sense of insecurity do. Having only one rooster is worth at least an extra hour of undisturbed sleep a night. Less is more.

-- Don Armstrong (, June 12, 2000.

Are you going to want fertile eggs? If not, eat them all. Probably stew meat by now. Remember that you can get male chicks for about $0.14 each. At most, I would keep two. They eat as much as a hen, and give you nothing. (well, except the pleasure of their company)

-- Rachel (, June 12, 2000.

By the way, your black/greenish birds are probably Black Australorpes and are very good layers. I keep just one rooster of each breed and pen them separately. If they are all going to be together I personally would only keep one. There always seems to be a few more on the way.

-- Jill (AZ) (, June 12, 2000.

Cindy, you probably do have too many roosters. But while it usually means you'll have trouble, in my experience, it doesn't always happen. What I've noticed over the years is that somehow they recognize their own "kind". The RI Reds band together, the Barred Rocks band together, etc, even though they were raised together. When a hen hatches a mixed clutch, the chickens tend to grow up and again split off with other chickens that look the same.

Other years some roosters get the hens and others get none. Those groups tend to be a little more mixed. The "big" rooster has the most, then the other roosters have fewer and fewer 'til you get to the roosters with no hens. Fun to watch the no-hen roosters cackle and scratch as though they've found something tasty to eat, some hens run over to check it out, the rooster, well he does what roosters do, at least until the hens' rooster gets there.

I've occasionally had some blood shed, but I let it go. As long as the hens aren't getting ragged from the roosters, I let the roosters live. Gerbil

-- Gerbil (, June 12, 2000.

Cindy, a few months ago, I took my roosters to a feed store and traded them for a bag of laying mash. I think my hens have done much better without them. I don't really understand why a rooster is needed. If you want chicks, they don't cost much and the ones you buy have their shots and everything and you can get just what you want, roosters, hens, mixed, etc. Roosters just eat and mess around. Hope this helps. Eagle

-- eagle (, June 13, 2000.

Cindy, From experience here, The roosters will fight if they can. We have 3 grown roosters. One Cochin (big) one Banty (little) and one inbetween ( Cujo ). Big one doesn't have to fight much, little one thinks he can and starts alot of em. And the middle one picks on both of them. But the worst is what they do to the hens. If you don't watch out they will keep them bald and frazzled. I'm fixing to cull them and their babies tonight.Our problem is we're attached to the big one. ( BIG JOHN ) too big for banty hens. We may try to keep two roosters but make them so different in size ( will see how it turns out. Of course we have about 2 dozen hens and pullets now.) Bonnie

-- Bonnie (, June 13, 2000.

Bonnie's right about the biggest problem being what they will do to your hens. We had someone give us a bunch of "free" roosters that we kept for meat in case of Y2K. By the time we got around to butchering them, they had really tore up my hens. We finally got down to two roosters for 15 hens and they still were tearing them up so my husband took it down to one and finally my hens are getting some relief. Only thing is now they will have to wait until they molt to get all their feathers back. They are more rested but they still look pitiful.

-- Kathy (, June 13, 2000.

Thanks so much for the info and advice!!!! I will keep a close eye on them and see what I need to do. They are still young enough that I will give them just a little bit more time..let them get bigger unless they get too mean.

-- Cindy Cluck (, June 13, 2000.

yes having too many roosters is a problem it is not good at all you should pick one to keep for sure!

-- unone (, February 17, 2002.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ