How many hens does a rooster need?

The Rooster. Leader. Protector of the flock. A beautiful, strutting creature just out there trying to live his best life with all his mates. Which brings up the question; how many mates does he need anyway?

Well, it depends on a couple of factors.

What size breed are your hens? Already have a flock? If so, how many hens do you have or plan on having? Those are great first questions to ask yourself.

For the most part, the larger your breed of hens, the more hens to rooster you will need. Smaller breeds will require fewer hens to rooster numbers.

For a lighter weight breed like the Silkie, 1 rooster for 4-6 hens is a good start. A medium weight breed, such as the Sussex, may need 6-8 hens as a solid ratio. And for a larger breed, like the Rhode Island Red, 8-10 hens for each rooster is best.

Monitor your coop’s “social life”. Rooster will no doubt protect his hens. But, he can also be a bit too social, especially if your hen ratio isn’t quite enough. Keep an eye on your girls so that you can make adjustments-should they need a break from the coop party.

Rachel Hutchins
Rachel Hutchins
The Chicken Bawks Copyeditor. Believer. Seeker. Mom. Wife. New Grandma! Crazy Kansas City Chiefs Fan. And of course, Chicken Tender.

March 24, 2023

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