BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying › can i keep rooster in a breeding pen with a bantam hen who is making a clutch or is better for her to be alone ?
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can i keep rooster in a breeding pen with a bantam hen who is making a clutch or is better for her to be alone ?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I want to hatch some chicks this year so i have decided that i would let one of my bantam hen to make a clutch so she can sit on her own eggs.However, i have got a question can i keep the rooster with her in the breeding pen? I am asking because he keeps on going in the nest and he moves the straw around also, i want her eggs to be fertile thats why i keep him with her in the same pen. But what is the best thing to do? Thanks

post #2 of 8

He's going in there to show her that it's a good place to lay. Do you have any other hens? Has this one shown signs of going broody in the past?

post #3 of 8

As long as he is not messing with the eggs than he can stay in there.

Is he a bantam?

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

No i purposefully don't have any other hens just the two of them because if there is other hens they would be going in each others nests and messing things up. Also, yes this bantam hen which i have selected has being broody over 3 times before. The rooster is a silkie bantam.

post #5 of 8

If you had other hens I was going to suggest you separate the one hen in one pen and the others in a separate pen. Then you could rotate the male from one pen to another until she goes broody. At that point you could leave him with the other hens to give him something to do. Since you have no other hens I would just leave him in there.

post #6 of 8
Hens have been laying eggs, hatching chicks, and raising chicks with roosters and other hens in the flock since there were chickens. In your first post you say this is one of your bantam hens so you do have others. I’m not totally sure why other hens in with her messes things up. Do you specifically want only her eggs to hatch? A hen will hatch any other hen’s eggs, it doesn’t have to be her own. What many of us would do is to leave them all together, then when one went broody collect eggs from all the hens until we got enough to hatch, then start them at the same time. But if you specifically want her eggs that won’t work.

There is debate on whether allowing eggs to pile up will cause a hen to go broody. I think it can help if you have a hen that often goes broody, but I’ve tried it a few times without success. The only time I had a hen go broody when I did that was on a different nest. Sheesh!

Since the hen doesn’t care whose eggs they are, you could just mark one egg a day in the nest and leave those while taking all the others so the number builds up. You may or may not get a broody hen. You probably have a better chance of getting a broody hen this way but it may or may not be the one you are talking about. Does that matter?

If you get so many eggs in the nest that your bantam cannot cover them all you won’t get a good hatch. You can let them pile up all you want until she goes broody, but after she goes broody (hopefully she will) you need to remove any extra eggs so she can cover what is left. If you try this and you want to hatch some of those eggs, I’d write the date it was laid on each egg so I’d know to throw away the oldest. If you collect new eggs to give her when she goes broody that won’t matter.

There are a lot of different ways to go about this. Exactly how to do it depends on what results you want. I’m not exactly sure what your concerns are or what you want to get out of this, other than baby chicks.

Some roosters will help the hen find a good nest, some even help her incubate the eggs but those are really rare. If you just have the two of them locked up in there the odds of him helping increase a little but it’s still rare. One of a rooster’s driving instincts is to make babies. Often a rooster will help a hen raise her chicks, but most of the time they don’t. But it is extremely rare for a rooster to be any kind of a threat to a hen and her clutch of eggs or baby chicks. That’s just not the way it works. After they mate a hen will normally lay fertile eggs for about two weeks, maybe a few days less and probably a few days more. So the rooster does not have to stay with that hen full time for her to lay fertile eggs. You can alternate him in and out if you wish. But once a hen goes broody she has no need to remain fertile. While I doubt he’d cause any problems with her, I’d certainly take him out of the breeding pen after she goes broody. He really doesn’t serve a purpose then.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gmb123 View Post

I want to hatch some chicks this year so i have decided that i would let one of my bantam hen to make a clutch so she can sit on her own eggs.However, i have got a question can i keep the rooster with her in the breeding pen? I am asking because he keeps on going in the nest and he moves the straw around also, i want her eggs to be fertile thats why i keep him with her in the same pen. But what is the best thing to do? Thanks

Generally the rooster is not a threat to the incubation efforts but you can expect some variation on that for a variety of reasons. When I breed a given rooster to multiple hens at same time and I want to know with certainty who the mother is, then I have each hen in her own pen supplied with a nest. Then I arrange conjugal visits where rooster is allowed in her pen once every 3 to 4 days which gives similar hatch rate as when rooster covers hen multiple times per day. For fun last year I allowed a couple of hens to be mated until the first egg was laid then kept separate from any rooster activity. Clutches varied as typical from 10 to 14 eggs when set. The hatch rate was similar to that of hens with continuous contact with the rooster. Hatch rate generally averages about 95%.

Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.

 

 

Reminder to self: August 2021 Check Post #15852 in Show Off Your American Gamefowl

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Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.

 

 

Reminder to self: August 2021 Check Post #15852 in Show Off Your American Gamefowl

Reply
post #8 of 8
I personally agree with centra but in your case I think you'll have more problems with 2 hens together than the rooster
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BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying › can i keep rooster in a breeding pen with a bantam hen who is making a clutch or is better for her to be alone ?