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How Many Hens Per Roosters Do You Need? Let’s Find the Golden Ratio

How Many Hens Per Roosters Do You Need? What is the Golden Ratio? 

If you have a flock of chickens in your yard or if you are interested in raising chickens, you will have this question of how many hens per Rooster! Hens are the female chicken, and Roosters are the male ones.

As there seems to be a hierarchical order in chicken flocks, you should not rush with the number of roosters you buy.

There might be specific problems if you have not followed the way of living of these chicks!

Knowing how many hens per Rooster you need lets us understand different things about the flocks first. Roosters add security to your flocks and act as Alphas for the flock.

Roosters being the male of the group automatically assumes the role of leader and guards the females carefully.

Your flock will have no other problems if there is a rooster. Females only focus on breeding more eggs and leave additional duties to the Rooster.

Being the supreme in the flock order, Rooster secures the ladies and makes sure that the hens do their job peacefully.

How Many Hens Per Rooster, What is the Golden Ratio?

4 Rooster

How many hens per Rooster comes to your mind if you think about the breeding ratio. There is a golden ratio in maintaining roosters and hens. Typically, the balance is 1:10; 1 rooster per 10 hens.

There are many poultry farms where you can see more than one Rooster per 10 hens. This break of ratio happens when the roosters have no problems to be together. There are several reasons why you do not need to overpopulate your flock with the boys!

The Order of the Flock

Roosters assume the role of being alpha of their flock. By taking the part of a leader, there are certain things that roosters make sure of, and that is the order of the flock. Roosters create an order, a hierarchy in the flock by which the hens follow.

Roosters choose old hens and their favorite hens to be the first ones on the ladder. These first ladies are close to the Rooster, and they share mutual benefits.

Hens that resist the Rooster’s mating advantages and other roosters fall bottom to the flock’s order. These other roosters might try to dethrone the alpha occasionally.

If they succeed, they change the order as per their favorite hens, and if they fail, the order remains the same.

Even if the Rooster succeeded, the failed Rooster might try to re-acquire the throne occasionally. These fights keep happening for the throne.

The Boy Problems!

How Many Hens Per Rooster

The roosters, boys, create a bunch of problems. How many hens per roosters you need is also dependent on such boy problems? Because of the order of the flock, that you should maintain a proper ratio.

More boys in a flock create more problems. When you raise the roosters together, they seem to be more cooperating. But when you introduce the roosters to the flock, they seem to develop some competition and frequently fight to claim ladies’ ownerships. 

Of course, the roosters that grow together right since they came out of the egg seem to develop some bond and remain peaceful. 

But if you introduce a fully grown rooster to an already existing flock, you expect a lot of battles and changes in your group of birds. Regardless of these points, there are a lot of problems that these boys create.

Roosters are famous for the disturbances they create. If you have neighbors around your farm or your backyard, they need to be ‘in’ your farming chickens’ plan.

If they do not cooperate with you, they will face a lot of nuisance, and they might even fire upon you.


The noise that these roosters create might give out as a nuisance if you are not used to them. Roosters are very vocal and act as alarm clocks early in the morning.

They wake their hens with a sound. They make different sounds of passing orders to their hens.

Hens also respond to the demands of roosters. When there is some distress, roosters make a considerable noise that alerts the hens to safety.

Roosters also fight with each other. Their entire focus is upon mating, and sometimes they hurt hens during mating.

The Organisation

There is a behavioral change in the flock after a rooster occupies the position of alpha. These chickens sort out duties and systematically perform specific duties avoiding all the other side duties to the alpha to take care of. 

Consider this alpha rooster as the conductor of music and the flock as its orchestra. How a conductor makes sure every musician is doing his duty, roosters push hens and young roosters to do their jobs.

The Rooster behaves as a guard when hens feed themselves and gather feed for the Rooster. The roosters also find the best feed spot for the hens to eat. They guard them while they eat, true, but they also demand and claim benefits for doing so.

The hens must keep the Rooster happy by gathering tasty food and become mating partners for the Rooster. Young roosters are immature and behave aggressive and dominant towards other hens.

You need to understand how vital roosters are to flocks before thinking of how many hens per Rooster do you need.

Rooster Behaviour

Hens Per Rooster

There are many instances recorded in the history of poultry where roosters sacrificed their life for the stock. In many situations of predator attacks, roosters stand forward without any thinking to protect the flock.

It would help if you bought roosters because of instances like these that prove the amount of security that roosters provide to hens’ flock.

They also train and mold their offspring young roosters in their footsteps. Yes, if you are thinking of the lion king, yes, that is how they behave, organized!

The Golden Ratio

Now it is time to discuss the golden ratio of how many hens per Rooster do you need. Well, the average balance, as explained earlier, is one Rooster per 10 hens. This number is a sacred rule that one must remember while raising chickens on the farm of backyards.

If you understand hens and roosters’ behavioral patterns, you can understand why this ratio is a must. A rooster can take control of ten hens. You can have two roosters, but they need to be friends.

It is not an easy task to bring out a new rooster to an already existing flock. If you are thinking of having two roosters for your flock, you need to make sure that you purchase roosters that grew up together.

You can have multiple roosters if you have more than ten hens on your farm. The minimum number of how many hens per Rooster you can have is 2 or 3. You can have a rooster per 3 hens at least, and it would still need a lot of supervision from you.

Problems of Breaking the Ratio

Suppose you chose to have fewer hens and yet a rooster, like one Rooster per 2 hens. It would cause a lot of problems for your hens. Young and immature roosters are aggressive, and they do not behave thoughtfully.

They are always enraged, and their only thought is about mating. Even while mating, roosters act violently. This violent behavior might hurt the hens. There is a golden rule you can always observe in flocks.

Roosters have favorite hens, and you can spot these favorites by spotting wounds and bald patches on them. You need the ratio of how many hens per Rooster you need to avoid such problems.

Fewer Roosters

3 Rooster

Hens might get tired and fear the Rooster if the Rooster keeps on behaving violently on them. If you have two or three roosters, it is not advised to have a rooster. Rooster might mate vigorously or attack the hens for their aggressive nature.

If you are to bring a rooster to make sure you get an old and mature rooster that behaves well with hens. Sometimes even old roosters act aggressively. Aggression comes from their parent roosters.

As roosters train their young, it is ordinary for a young rooster to be violent if its parent rooster is aggressive.

More Roosters

Too Many Rooster

So, if the ratio is less, you might face aggressive problems. To control your Rooster’s aggressive nature, you must buy a separate pen or the Rooster. It would help if you controlled the Rooster by isolating it occasionally.

If you do not practice such isolation when the Rooster behaves aggressively, you can never control it. If you get more roosters than necessary, you will have territory problems in your flock.

The ratio of how many hens per Rooster is sacred, and you must make sure that you do not break it. There are various other organizational problems if you break the ratio. So, the golden ratio is 1:10, and that is how many hens per roosters you need.

Cesar Millan
Cesar Millan holds a Master’s in Animal Behavior from Cornell University, dedicating his 11-year career to understanding and improving the human-animal bond. Since joining our website in 2022, Cesar has provided insights into pet care, behavior modification, and animal communication. His background includes roles in animal research and as a professional dog trainer. Cesar’s previous roles included working as a veterinarian and animal behaviorist. Cesar is an avid wildlife photographer in his leisure time and participates in conservation education programs.

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