Can a rooster be selective of his hens?!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Sabz, Dec 1, 2014.

  1. Sabz

    Sabz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am starting to think my rooster is racist!! [​IMG] I have 2 brown egg layers and three white. No white eggs have been fertile up to now (I have incubated 30 - in two different tries a few weeks appart - after I posted some pics and we thought they were fertile, but after cracking them open after 19 days I see just a yolk).

    But, I have incubated about 22 brown eggs that were fertile. What's that about?! I didn't even think it was possible that a rooster be selective.

    The hens all have the same age, arrived at the same time in the coop (many months before the rooster) and lay regularly.
    They are always all together - the browns one don't have any special time with Mr Roo.
    One of the brown layer is slightly larger, but the smallest one is the same size as the white layers.

    I would find it strange that all 3 white hens would refuse the rooster's advances..

    I know the rooster is young - he is 5-6 months old, but since he can fertilize successfully the brown layers, I don't see why he wouldn't go with the white ones.

    Anyone have any idea what could be the reason?
     
  2. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Try hatching some eggs after you rooster chick matures. A mature rooster will not be as selective as you think that he will. What is likely happening is that your baby rooster is still afraid of or intimidated by the hens who lay white shelled eggs.
     
  3. Sabz

    Sabz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Intimidated? So that means that the white leghorns are probably refusing his advances or being more active/combative than the brown one.

    At first I couldn't see why it would happen, just based on hen's color.. but I suppose it could possibly be a character trait of the leghorns. Maybe they are a little bit more combative by nature, and like you said, the young rooster would be intimidated.

    Thanks, I think you made me realize what I didn't get before. The rooster might be a little more pacific because he is young and if a hen is too much for him, he will probably walk away.
     
  4. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    I would think that it is a pecking order issue.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2014
  5. Spangled

    Spangled Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, I have had roosters be very selective. One of my wild-type roosters only liked hens that were also wild-type in their coloring/pattern. He wanted the wild-type hens with him, but he would chase off the New Hampshires, Buffs, Silver-Laced, Austra-Whites, etc. That went on for a few months until I rearranged things. Usually my roosters are color blind, but not in every case. Luckily, I wasn't trying to hatch any chicks or I would have had your problem.

    In your case, as mentioned, it could also be that your rooster is young and in a few months may become more dominant ... or maybe not. Time will tell.
     
  6. Sabz

    Sabz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, sure I will let time go by :) I was just intrigued by this behaviour.

    I didn't think a selective rooster could exist. I thought that with testosterone, they would just accept any lady. A little bit like dogs, male dogs don't seem to select the female really, they just take any female in heat and they do their job. I've bred dogs for 9 years and our males would always breed the females, regardless of color or patterns. Maybe roosters are more intelligent ;) Or have more of a mind of their own.

    Thanks for the feedback. When I have fertilized eggs from the white layers I will update the post if I can think about it! I wonder if anyone else ever had these kind of questions.
     
  7. Sabz

    Sabz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I didn't think about pecking order either. I never really "see" it happen. They eat all at the same time, I never see one chasing another. I am not sure who is the boss between the hens. I will try to keep an eye open and try to figure out the pecking order of my flock. Maybe if I put a camera in the coop that could help, but I don't have that kind of money right now!
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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