12 week old already trying to mate hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by shannondee12, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. shannondee12

    shannondee12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a 12 week old BO boy that appears to be trying to mate with hens of the same age. I noticed yesterday that he attempted to mount a hen that was "napping" At first he sit on her head and I thought he was trying to snuggle for warmth but he seemed to realize that he was in the wrong position and turned around and appeared to (gently) mate her. Is this normal for 12 weeks old? I though it would be closer to 20 weeks that I would see this behavior.
     
  2. MamaDoodle

    MamaDoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's what mine did. He was mostly clueless for some time at his attempts, but between that and awful beginner crowing, my adult roosters knew and thus began their problem with him. :tongue
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    That’s a bit young but really not much for the hormones to start with that cockerel. I’ve seen a 13 week old male “mate” with a 13 week old pullet and she willingly squatted for him although she did not start to lay for another 2 months.

    The mating ritual is not just about sex, it’s also about dominance. The one on top is showing its dominance over the one on bottom, either willingly or by force. In a flock without a dominant rooster I’ve seen the dominant hen mate with another hen, going so far as to touch vents, to demonstrate her dominance over that chicken and show her dominant position in the flock. I didn’t see that behavior often with the hen but I did see it.

    That’s why a dominant chicken will knock another chicken off that tries to mate. It’s a challenge to its dominance. That’s normally male behavior but hens can do it too.

    What you are seeing is the hormones kicking in for that young cockerel, partly for sex and partly for flock dominance. That’s pretty normal.
     
  4. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    My earliest mater was 8 weeks. He wing danced at 6 weeks and crowed at 4 days old...

    It is not the average age.. I find 16-18 weeks is the time most boys start to realize they are men. Some start earlier, some start later. It does depend on breed as well. I've noticed Silkies take upwards of 6 months, and same with Cochins... Just my experience.
     
  5. garyed 11

    garyed 11 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have an old English game rooster and he mated at six weeks
     
  6. shannondee12

    shannondee12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I ordered these as day olds. They were suppose to be all girls but I ended up with 2 boys. They are the same age and mostly the same size. They don't fight that I have seen. Does this mean that more than likely, the one that tried to mate is going to be the dominant one?
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    You phrased it right, “more than likely”. There are no guarantees but yes, the ones that start early are often the ones that wind up dominant.
     

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