Breeding question

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Meca, Apr 5, 2016.

  1. Meca

    Meca Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I currently have my flock mixed. But I have some hens and a rooster of the same breed. If I separate them out in a breeding pen. How long until the eggs would be pure breed? And what should the rooster to hen ratio be?

    Thanks and I apologize if this is the wrong section.
     
  2. RHBRanch

    RHBRanch Out Of The Brooder

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    I read that a hen can lay a fertile egg for up to 3-4 wks after a roo is removed. With that being said I'd wait for a good month or so before the fertile eggs would be purebreds.
     
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Previous post is pretty much right on the money. General rule of thumb is high fertility for 2 weeks, moderate fertility for 3 weeks and some fertility for 4 weeks after removing a rooster. That being said after 2 weeks given an active rooster most of the chicks will be purebred; although, some may not. If purebred chicks are distinctive you should be able to tell which are purebred.
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    This. A lot depends on what breed the non-desired rooster(s) is and how easy a crossbred chick would be to spot. And how you'd feel about having some mixed breed birds.
     
  5. Meca

    Meca Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks. I've got two Easter egger roosters and a black australorp rooster. I'd like to have pure breed australorps. So when I decide to breed them I will separate out the australorps for at least a month before I want to collect eggs.

    Can anyone recommend how many hens to the one roo? I was thinking 5-8?
     
  6. Rhodebar Lover

    Rhodebar Lover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You should have around 10 hens per rooster to prevent over-breeding. :)
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    How old are they? Many breeders keep one rooster with one or two hens for the entire breeding season with no problems. But one of the keys is that they use mature birds, ones old enough so they know what they are breeding. There can be a huge difference in behaviors of cockerels and pullets versus roosters and hens. It may be a bit of a trial and error for you, especially if they are fairly immature.

    That magic 10 to 1 ratio you see isn’t magic at all. It’s simply the ratio that many hatcheries use with the pen breeding method to ensure fertility. They’ve found that a 10 to 1 ratio when you have maybe 20 roosters and 200 hens in one breeding pen will pretty much ensure all eggs are fertile. It does nothing for roosters fighting or hens becoming barebacked. You can find threads on here where people are fine with very few hens per rooster and you can find over-mated barebacked hens with one rooster and over 20 hens.

    A normally active vigorous fairly young rooster typically has no trouble keeping most hens fertile even if there are 20 or more in the flock, but an older or less vigorous rooster may have trouble keeping three or four hens fertile. The hens have a part to play in this too. Each chicken is an individual and each flock has its own dynamics. There is some trial and error involved.

    Good luck!
     
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    With those breeds, you should be able to spot any Oops crossbreeds by the EE characteristics of pea comb and beard/muffs, so that's handy.

    Agree with RR is's just going to depend on your birds. I've had a mature rooster in a breeding pen with two mature hens for a few months, and they all did well. No bare backed hens, no resistance to mating, etc. You'll just have to monitor your specific birds and see how it goes.

    Something to keep in mind is maybe not having the rooster in with the hens during the withdrawal period. Just pen the hens separate from both roosters, let their systems clear out, then introduce the desired rooster back in, wait about 48 hours for him to fertilize the eggs, and collect to incubate.
     
  9. Meca

    Meca Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks so much!! My rooster will be a year & half and I will separate out the hens first. Thank you for being so helpful with this. I couldn't find an answer to the question..
     
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I’ll mention this as it might help with your planning. An egg takes about 25 hours to go through the hen’s internal egg making factory. It can only be fertilized during the first few minutes of that journey. That means that if a mating takes place on a Sunday, Sunday’s egg is not fertile. Monday’s egg might be but don’t count on it. Tuesday’s egg should be fertile.

    Of course this is after a mating. A rooster doesn’t necessarily mate with every hen in his flock every day, but since a hen normally stays fertile for least two weeks, he doesn’t have to.
     

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