Can a rooster be attracted to only one hen?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by A roo or two, Oct 14, 2013.

  1. A roo or two

    A roo or two Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a very small flock, 9 pullets, a cockerel and 3 guineas. All of my birds are 11 weeks old or less. My roo and the chick he arrived with are almost 9 weeks. They have been very closely bonded since they arrived. The pullet is finally separating herself a little and sticking with the rest of the pullets more. My roo, however, chirps loudly and excessively whenever she is out of his site. He always wants to be by her and will dart across the yard to be where ever she is. Now my question is, will this change as he matures and hormones start to kick in?
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Yes he will as he matures and the flocks are fully integrated. She may remain his favorite, but he will mate all of the hens.
     
  3. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    He will probably change when he matures. If raised together, chicks tend to become closely bonded. When he's older, he'll pay attention to all of the hens (roosters can't resist breeding as many hens as possible), but he may still like her more than the others.
     
  4. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    I've always raised a large mixed flock but individual males and females will tend to pair off with the mate of their choice. In the wild, the natural family unit is a base of one male, one female, and their offspring. In cases where the territory is rich enough and large enough more females may join the family. But the basic minimum is just one hen, and of their own choice most of my roosters choose just one, and some do so to the exclusion of all others. These are usually the males with the most paternal instinct, too. Some of them never fully recover from losing their chosen partners, so I assume sometimes the bond is very strong.

    He may well change as he gets older, as people have said, but if he doesn't, that's not an indication of him being an inferior rooster or anything. As with some other animals, humans have tried to breed out the natural family unit instincts where it suited production, but some animals retain the instincts.

    Best wishes.
     
  5. A roo or two

    A roo or two Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't mind if he loves just one hen but I want him to do his duties with everyone so later I can replace birds as need be with my own chicks instead of buying more. I think it is kind of sweet to see him by her side all the time.

    He wasn't raised with just her, he was integrated into the flock at 4 weeks old, the other pullets were 6 weeks at the time. I guess I just kind of thought by now he wouldn't be so attached :D
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2013
  6. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    He probably will mate with the others too. It's normal for every rooster and every hen to have a particular mate they prefer, though they'll mostly mate with many others too.

    Best wishes.
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Those two would be closer regardless of gender. Those early bonds are hard to sever!

    Trust me, he'll mate anything female in a few months. Some roosters have favorites, but everyone gets some lovin'.
     

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