Breeding pen question

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by goldie1234, Feb 6, 2016.

  1. goldie1234

    goldie1234 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a flock of 14 hens and one roo. Right now the rooster is separate. I want to hatch eggs from 4 specific hens. I'm not sure which eggs belong to those hens. My question is can I put the four hens with the roo until I gather enough eggs? It would be a 4:1 hen rooster ratio temporarily. Is that ok?
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Yes, put the hens in with the rooster. If you notice excessive wear and tear on the hens, just take him out and allow him in with them every 3 or 4 days. Hens can store sperm from one mating a minimum of 2 weeks with high fertility, 3 weeks with moderate fertility and up to 4 weeks with occasional fertility; therefore, the rooster does not have to be with them 24/7.
     
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  3. FridayYet

    FridayYet Innocent Bystander

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    Just wanted to add on to Sour's comment that since the girls may have been with another rooster, you could separate the girls out first for 3 weeks before you add in the rooster. Then wait a week, and start collecting eggs for the incubator.

    You probably already thought of that, but thought I'd throw it out there just in case!
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Since he's been separated from the hens, he might be a bit over exuberant at first when exposed to females. Why are you housing him separate? To be easier on the hens, I might consider putting him with all the ladies for a few days. Let him "spread the love" for those days until he's settled down some. Then you should be fine to pull the four desired hens and the male to a pen and collect eggs.
     
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  5. goldie1234

    goldie1234 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's not a bad idea. I had 6 cockerels grew out all together. They stayed in a separate pen all together until I decided which one to keep. I separated the cockerels as soon as could tell them apart from the pullets (they are ameraucanas and took a long time) and then integrated the pullets with my other hens. I got rid of the others cockerels recently.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    That makes sense. So is the overall plan to house him with the hens?

    You could also put him with the entire flock and give him a week or so to cover all the hens consistently. You could then pull the four hens you want to set eggs from to a different pen and leave him with the main group--more hens. Those four should be fertile and you can collect eggs over a few days. If they're good layers, depending on how many eggs you intend to set, it shouldn't take more than a few days to collect enough eggs. Then shift the chosen ladies back to the main flock.
     
  7. AuntNomi

    AuntNomi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I needed to know the same, glad you asked. Lots of great info in the answers! Also wanted to ask you since you mentioned the Ams, about how old were your when you could begin to tell the difference of the pullets vs. cockerel? I am having a very hard time telling with mine.
     
  8. goldie1234

    goldie1234 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not sure if I'm going to leave him or not. I'm getting about 15 Marans this spring. I'll keep one of those Roos and all the hens. I have one pretty big pen and two smaller ones. I'm just not sure. If it all works out, I may grow out the AM off spring cockerels and the Marans. Then keep one of each and get rid of him. Then, I could keep the two roosters together (one AM and one Marans).
    I'd like to have flexibility.
     
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  9. goldie1234

    goldie1234 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It took a long time. I separated 6 I was suspicious of at 12-15 weeks. I figured it would be easier to put a pullet back as opposed to being wrong and putting a cockerel in with the cockerels. I ended up being right about all 6, but it took a while before I was sure!
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Good Plan.


    You might want to check yolks for fertility when breaking eggs to cook, once you get the hens separated and laying, before setting to incubate to make sure he got them.
     

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