Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
Southeast Louisiana
Just to confirm they are not considered an Australorp? Should I not breed them then?
People get so hung up on labels. Everything has to be a breed, something sold under a marketing name, or a cross with a nickname. Whether or not you should breed the depends on your goals and what you want.

I don't know where you are located. A breed is defined by a country's poultry association. Different countries can have different requirements. A good example is the Araucana. The appearance of the British Araucana can be a lot different than the American Araucana. I'm not talking about feather color, I'm talking about body shape and even whether they have tail feathers or not. There are a lot of different things that go into what makes a breed: eye color, comb type, feathering, ear lobe color, leg color, color of eggs they lay, body size, and body conformation. A good judge can probably tell breed by looking at a black and white silhouette of the chicken if it is a good representative of the breed. Body conformation is a huge part of a breed and that can be different in different countries.

Along with the requirements of the breed you get approved colors/patterns. Some breeders do not consider color as part of what makes a breed. If you are showing them then colors become important. If you are trying to get a new color or pattern approved you need everything else to be right for it to be that breed. This can get confusing. To many people color is a very important part of the breed, to others not so much.

I found this little blurb on Australorp.

Here in the US the recognized color is black. However in Australia they recognize the black, white and blue varieties. You can even find this breed in buff, splash, wheaten faced and golden.

In Australia they have approved three different colors but they have other people breeding Australorp in different colors. I don't know why, they just are. In the US the only approved color is black but at least one hatchery sells Blue Australorp. The one I'm thinking of said they imported them from Australia. I don't know how well they meet the US SOP (Standard Of Perfection) breed requirements or how closely they meet the Australian breed requirements.

As I said, whether or not you should breed them depends on your goals. If the breed requirements are important to you then you should find your country's breed requirements and breed them if you believe they will give you chickens that meet those requirements. You may want to show them, sell eggs or chicks as representatives of that breed, or it just may be important to you. If you just want chickens and those meet your requirements then breed shouldn't necessarily matter. They will still lay eggs, taste like chicken, and do all the things that chickens do. It just depends on your goals and wants.


Premium Feather Member
Jul 31, 2018
Catalonia, Spain & UK
My Coop
My Coop
Why do you want to keep him? What are your goals relative to keeping him? When people talk about making decisions or what to choose it will be different for all of us. We have different goals and different circumstances. Any decisions should be made on your goals, not mine. The only reason you need a rooster is if you want fertile eggs, everything else is personal preference. Nothing wrong with personal preferences. I have a few myself. But those are based on a want, not a need. I generally suggest you keep as few boys as you can and still meet your goals. That's not because you are guaranteed more problems with more boys, just that problems are more likely the more you have. To me, this has nothing to do with ratio.

Overmating is a term that gets tossed around a lot and can mean different things to different people. Sometimes when chickens mate some feathers are lost. That's not a problem at all unless it becomes excessive to the point that that the skin is bare. That may be on the back where his claws rest when he is mating or that may be the back of the head. In the mating act the male grabs the back of the females head. This is her signal to raise her tail up out of the way so he can hit the target. Without the head grab there would be no fertile eggs. Sometimes there are bare spots on the back of the head or, as Shadrach mentioned, he may grab her comb and tear it. Usually these bare spots upset people more than it does the hen but there is a risk that those claws or beak may cause a wound. Chickens can sometimes become cannibals if they see a raw wound or blood so it is something you have to watch for.

Some pullets or hens are more susceptible to feather loss. Some can have brittle feathers that break really easily. Even if the rooster is a perfect gentleman those feathers can break. Some cockerels do not have a good mating technique and during adolescence mating is often by force. Usually when the mature the boys develop better technique and the girls quit resisting so strongly so this gets better, but some never grow up.

Typically when they mature they calm down a lot, but when the pullets and cockerels are immature it can be anything but calm. The hormones "can" hit the boys hard and the girls are still so immature they don't know how to cope. Sometimes this isn't a problem at all but it certainly can be. It looks like yours free range. All that space is a big help, I consider it pretty important. As someone on here once said, watching adolescent boys and girls go through puberty can be hard on the faint of heart. At that age mating has nothing to do with fertilizing eggs, it's about establishing dominance. The one on bottom is accepting the dominance of the one on top, either willingly or by force. At that age it is almost always by force. Since it is by force it can be violent, hence a risk of injury. I've never seen a pullet injured by this, I think having a lot of space helps, but it can sometimes be violent so injury is possible.

You may notice I'm using a lot of weasel words like can, often, sometimes, or usually. That's not because I'm a lawyer, I'm not, but because different things happen. Each year is different. Each brood is different. You can see these behaviors but it does not mean you will.

Sometimes, especially when they are immature, the cockerel will try to mate the pullets so often and they really don't want him to that they spend most of the day in the coop when he is in the run. They may even spend most of the day on the roosts to avoid him. I hardly ever see this but it's more common if room is tight. I have multiple food and water stations so the pullets can get food and water. This stage usually doesn't last for long and doesn't hurt them but it can be hard for people to watch.

To me those are the potential issues. Reading this forum you'd think all this is guaranteed each and every time. If that were true chickens would be extinct. These things can happen and an injury can be serious, so pay attention. But I totally agree with Shadrach, go by what you see instead of what some stranger over the internet like me tells you will absolutely happen. If your goals don't include having a rooster getting rid of him might potentially simplify your life, especially before adolescence hits. But adolescence may be no big deal for you.

Quite a change for Spain where you were looking after multiple roosters with very small hen to rooster rations. You were always good at observing, I'm sure you are enjoying this opportunity.
It's different. They are all rescues or Ex Batts in far from ideal condition, living in an undersized coop and run.
I've made some changes and I will make more and one of thos changes may well be the addition of at least one other rooster.

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