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 Post subject: Ratio
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 9:31 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:37 am
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Location: Beverley, Western Australia
Just wondering what the best hen to rooster ratio is?
I am setting up a few runs to accomadate the hens I have (mostly mixed breeds but a few pure) and want to know how many runs I will need to accomadate for correct ratio for ideal fertility my only rooster at the moment has 8 hens and only 1/5 eggs are fertile.


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 Post subject: Re: Ratio
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:49 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:26 pm
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Location: Dooralong NSW
6-10 hens to 1 rooster but no more then 10 as the Cock won't be able to affectively service them all.

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 Post subject: Re: Ratio
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 10:52 am 
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Club Official

Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:18 pm
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Rooster fertility changes depending on age and time of year. We use our cockerels to breed early in the season as they are more fertile, where as the older cocks become more active later in the season. The other thing that can affect fertility is the type of comb the rooster has. There is a link between lower fertility and Rose comb. Our large Rose comb Wyandotte cocks are less fertile than our Light Sussex with straight combs. So we will run our Sussex with flocks up to 12 although usually 8. We won't run our Wyandottes with any more than 5.

Reduced fertility can also be caused by overly fluffy bums and vent plucking will improve fertility.

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 Post subject: Re: Ratio
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 3:50 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:18 pm
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Location: Canberra
We've got a ration of 3 to 1 with our wyandottes, but sadly in the wrong gender. Should had been 1 rooster, 3 pullets, but looks like the 2 extra wyandottes which was hopefully pullets looks definitely more like roosters every day, so will have to either try and sell the extra two roosters or swap them with someone(one glw and the other is blg).

The wyandottes did come from show quality heritage (koomooloo farm).


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 Post subject: Re: Ratio
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:53 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Location: Dooralong NSW
The other thing you may want to consider is, if you only have a trio, the hens really do cop a pasting, we have a quad in one pen and one of the poor hens has been trodden so much, she is stripped of all her saddle and back feathers.
This Rooster would be better having another 3 or 4 hens to harass.

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 Post subject: Re: Ratio
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:40 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:04 pm
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Location: Perth
Lacy wrote:
The other thing you may want to consider is, if you only have a trio, the hens really do cop a pasting, we have a quad in one pen and one of the poor hens has been trodden so much, she is stripped of all her saddle and back feathers.
This Rooster would be better having another 3 or 4 hens to harass.


Put him in his own pen and only let him with the girls every forth or fifth day, for the day.


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 Post subject: Re: Ratio
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:07 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:37 am
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Location: Beverley, Western Australia
Thanks I think my rooster is getting on in age and so he will go with 5 to start with and lower the number of hens until he is getting a good fertility rate :)


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 Post subject: Re: Ratio
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:35 am 
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Wise Wyandotte
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Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 3:52 pm
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Location: Outer Western Suburb of Melbourne, Vic
Wyandottes I used to run, 1 rooster with 3-5 hens plus 1-2 other hens that laid a green egg, meant I could tell the pures from the crosses, and it helped share the "love around". Fertility was always fine up around the 85%,

Backyard layers was 1 rooster to 8-10 hens fertiltiy was again 90% minimum,


Ron

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 Post subject: Re: Ratio
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:10 pm 
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Superior Bird
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Location: Hamilton VIC
Yep, check the age of the rooster as well. 1/5 fertile eggs is not a lot for 8 hens. I had an old rooster I really wanted some eggs from - kept him til spring and got a few fertile eggs in the spring, otherwise all other eggs for the previous year had been clear. Many breeders keep 2 hens to a rooster in trios but that is hard on the hens. A happy group seems to be about 7-8 hens with good fertility coverage but a favourite hen or two will still loose feathers off thier back.


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 Post subject: Re: Ratio
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 2:51 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2009 1:26 am
Posts: 377
Location: N.E. NSW, Australia
It is not my experience that pairs or trio ratios are harder on the hens. Quite the opposite. Once they get used to each other (bond) they seem to get bored or something, like an old married couple :) You rarely see them mating (except by nature more active in the afternoons). Breeding pairs is the most common set-up I have used for many years, as it is an accurate means to track pedigrees.

Yet, rotating roosters amongst single hen breeding pens or other, tends to make the roosters more aggressive. They don't bond as much to the hens.

Usually the most stressed are pens with multiple roosters & hens, where males are competing with each other.

But this past breeding season, I even had 4 Modern Game bantam roosters (all full brothers from the same clutch) to a single breeding hen (due to a shortage of breeding pens & excess roosters). She was the boss (had her pick), & is now on her 3rd setting of eggs for the season. Lol, maybe this is why she set so much. P.s. - she has a full set of head feathers ;)

It depends alot on the breed too (the general nature).

--------------------------------

On the QLD DPI website there is an article on moulting that mentions that roosters can become infertile during moulting.


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