Author Topic: How many hens to a breeding pen?  (Read 869 times)

Penny McDonald

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How many hens to a breeding pen?
« on: May 12, 2020, 01:16:00 PM »
Just a curiosity...How many breeding pens do you keep (within a single variety) and how many hens per pen?

Ive separated my 4 best hens to put with my best rooster....is this average, or too many? 

Don

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Re: How many hens to a breeding pen?
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2020, 10:04:03 AM »
Penny, the four hens should be fine with one male especially after some time when they all settle in during the season. If you look at some of the commercial flocks they often will have 6-10 females to each male. The only thing to watch for is sometimes a female will hide from the male in groups more than 2 and you may start off with some infertile eggs. If you have room it's nice to be able to put two hens in two separate pens and rotate the male every couple days. Of course the Best of all worlds is one hen per cage so you can pedigree your hatches, but most of us don't have that much space especially with LF. This will also lessen the damage the males might cause a pen of hens over the season. I have a couple pens where the hens are missing feathers now and it would be great to have an extra pens to keep the males alone for several days at a time now. I've found that the fertility will maintain after several weeks even if the males are missing several days at the time. 

Hopefully some of the other members will join in here and tell you about their experiences too.

Good Luck with your season!  drc
Don Cash
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Lindsay Helton

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Re: How many hens to a breeding pen?
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2020, 11:14:41 AM »
Just a curiosity...How many breeding pens do you keep (within a single variety) and how many hens per pen?

Ive separated my 4 best hens to put with my best rooster....is this average, or too many?

Penny,

I keep three pens per variety. I have my pens set up as pairs, trios or quads. Keeping the size of our breeding pens small enables us to keep up with what each mating is producing better. Pairs are preferred, as they enable us to determine exactly what the male and female are producing when paired together.
-Lindsay

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Birdcrazy

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Re: How many hens to a breeding pen?
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2020, 02:25:05 PM »
Penny, another thing to consider is the age of your male birds. Young cockerels 10 months or so I usually keep in pair or trio breeding. Year to three year old cocks I usually put with 2-4 hens. Older cock birds 5 and older I usually go back to pairs or trios.
 
AT the present I have 4 black breeding pens, one Blue breeding pen (I have a 2nd Blue cock but not in love with his oversize comb-so not using him) I will probably cull down one of the older Black pens and set up at least 1-2 new Blue pens from chicks I am watching from this years hatch.
 
Gordon Gilliam