Most of the chicken farmers ask how many hens per rooster do I need? Are you also worried about this?
Don’t worry. After reading this guide you will easily understand what is the perfect ratio of hens vs rooster do you need?
We all know the difference between a hen and a rooster. If you want to know more, here is the complete article on hen vs rooster.
Understanding the correct number of roosters for your hens is very important for better productivity. If you keep the correct ratio of hens versus rooster, then you will get more and more eggs and chicks.
If you want to read about best chickens that lay lots of eggs, here is the detailed article.
How Many Hens per Rooster?
A rooster can easily manage 7-13 hens easily. But you may see the difference in different breeds and sizes of chickens.
Managing and serving is not the only thing that is important in poultry. You also have to consider the age of your roosters.
Most of the smaller breed of roosters handle only 5-6 hens. So, if you have smaller breed chicken flocks, keep 1 rooster for 6 hens and for big breeds keep 1 rooster for 10 hens.
If we take example –
- Small chicken breeds like bantam Sebright and Silkie need 6-7 hens per rooster.
- Large size chickens like Jersey Giant and Orpington need 10-12 hens per rooster.
Always remember to keep young roosters (cockerels) because old roosters are not that much fertile. After 72 weeks of age you can see decline fertility in roosters.
But in young age roosters (cockerels) are good at mating, so you must need 1 rooster for every 6-7 hens. You can keep double the required numbers of cockerels with your hens.
So, use the above calculation according to breed. This will help you understand how many hens per rooster do you need?
Importance of Keeping a Perfect Rooster to Hen Ratio
Keeping a perfect ratio of rooster to hen is one of the easiest and important things to keep your flocks healthy. Imbalance in rooster vs hen ratio may cause problems in egg laying and brooding processes.
Let’s understand some common issues which you may face if you do not keep a perfect rooster to hen ratio.
More Roosters Less Hens
If you have more than required roosters-
- You must see lots of fights between all the roosters because roosters do not tolerate other roosters with their hen flocks.
- Some roosters may go away to your neighbor farm if you have free-range chickens and
- The hens look so ugly because of the increased number of mating.
- Sometimes hens do not care for their newly hatched chicks and start mating again.
- More roosters in flocks stop broody hens to sit on eggs.
Less Roosters More Hens
If you have very fewer roosters than required-
In a standard chicken farm, keeping less than 4 hens with 1 rooster is not recommended.
- Keeping less roosters in flocks will reduce the number of mating processes which will reduce fertilized egg production.
- If you are a chicken farmer, it will be a loss in business because you need more eggs and healthy chicks to grow your business.
- Your fewer roosters cannot manage lots of hens if they are not in perfect ratio.
How Many Roosters Should I Keep?
As you know, it depends upon the numbers of hens and their size. But be sure to keep only 1 rooster in a flock. If you have a multiple group of flocks, you may need more.
For every flock of 10 hens of large chicken breed keep 1 rooster and for 6 bantam hens keep 1 rooster.
You can see pecking order in your chicken flocks.
In chickens, pecking order is a natural process which shows a hierarchy of top power roosters to lower one. Sometimes you can see the fight between them when they are serving their hens.
However, you can see pecking order in hen to hen, and her to rooster as well. So, keeping as less as a rooster to keep the flocks calm and easy to mate.
Do You Need a Rooster for Eggs?
First the question is do you want a fertilized egg or non-fertilize egg? Hens can lay eggs without a rooster, but the eggs are not fertilized. So, you don’t get any chicks from that.
If you need fertilized eggs, then chicken should mate to lay eggs. In that case, you need a rooster.
But it is not important to own a rooster for getting eggs. If you have few hens in your farm, you can give them some open space to mate with roosters of your neighbor farm.
If there is no rooster in your farm and you need eggs for breeding, then you must need a rooster for your hens.
Summary on Correct Rooster Vs Hen Ratio
A rooster with your hens fulfills your backyard chicken farm needs. They are so funny and their crow is the pride of your farm.
Also, they will protect and manage your hens. Now you understand what is the perfect ratio of rooster vs hen and why it is very crucial to maintain.
Hope this article helped you to understand how many hens per rooster do you need in your backyard coop? If you have any query about this topic, comment below.