Couple of ??'s I need help with

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ceeceeholt, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. ceeceeholt

    ceeceeholt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    1. What is the best age to switch my young chicks to laying crumbles?

    2. Will a hen let a Roo mate with her if she is not yet ready to lay eggs or will she try and fight him off? or will he even attempt it?

    Thank you all in advance for your help.
     
  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    I make the switch to layer feed when the grower feed runs out around 20 weeks. So anywhere from 18 to 22 weeks when the current bag of grower is gone.

    My rooster mounted his pullets before they were laying. It's mostly a dominance thing.
     
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    There's no rush, no rush at all on the layer formula. It is merely identical feed as the starter/grower, but with a lot more additional calcium ground in for egg shells. Until they actually lay, there's no need for that.

    Ah, a horny Roo, especially a young one, would mate a fence post if it lays still. [​IMG] You can tell I'm not a big fan of an immature rooster.
     
  4. blefky

    blefky life in the yard

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    [​IMG]
     
  5. ceeceeholt

    ceeceeholt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Fred's Hens :

    There's no rush, no rush at all on the layer formula. It is merely identical feed as the starter/grower, but with a lot more additional calcium ground in for egg shells. Until they actually lay, there's no need for that.

    Ah, a horny Roo, especially a young one, would mate a fence post if it lays still. [​IMG] You can tell I'm not a big fan of an immature rooster.

    LOL, that's what I thought, the ladies that are not ready usually try and run really fast screaming the whole time, but he is starting in on my PR and they are agreeing:) so I'm hoping thats a sign they are ready to join my WL in paying the rent!!!
    Thanks for the tip on the feed. These are the first 12 I raised since day old chicks and it is so different then getting pullets that folks said were older then they were!​
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    1. What is the best age to switch my young chicks to laying crumbles?

    After you see the first egg or 20 weeks of age.

    2. Will a hen let a Roo mate with her if she is not yet ready to lay eggs or will she try and fight him off?

    It depends on the pullet and the rooster. I had one 14 week old that willingly squatted for a young rooster. She did not start to lay until she was 19 weeks old. But that is extremely rare. Practically all my pullets try to get away from the rooster when he starts getting amorous if they are not of laying age. I seldom see pullets actually trying to fight off a rooster over mating behavior. They always try to run away if they are not interested in his advances. He is bigger than them so they know he will win. They just run. I've seen mature hens beat the stuffings out of a young amorous rooster, even if he is bigger than them, but not young pullets. If young pullets are fighting with a young rooster, they are both immature and it is a pecking order thing more than a mating thing.

    or will he even attempt it?

    Some roosters will and some won't. As Fred said, the young ones are much more likely to try. They are immature adolescents with their hormones running wild. They can tell the pullets are female but not whether they are ready or not. Their hormones are just out of control. Most mature roosters have control of themselves and will wait until she is ready, but then some roosters never seem to leave that adolescence phase and actually grow up.

    But it is also a dominance thing. I've seen a mature hen mount an adolescent pullet in an all-female flock to show her dominance. Mounting and mating is how a dominant rooster accepts a new hen into his flock and establishes dominance over her. When adolescent roosters especially are trying to position themselves to take over the flock, they will try to mount pullets that are not ready to establish dominance. It's not just a mating thing. It's as if a rooster that has enough self-confidence in himself to dominate by the pure magnificence of his personality does not have anything to prove, but an immature adolescent is unsure of himself and has to get physical.

    There is another side to this. Unless a rooster can dominate the hen with the sheer magnificence of his glory and personality, even mature egg laying hens will try to run away from some mature roosters. It varies among individuals, but many females, especially the ones past their just-starting-to-lay phase, expect a rooster to find them food, protect them, and keep order in his flock. A rooster that cannot perform his flock responsibilities will find himself rejected by some of his ladies. So a hen's or pullet's response depends not only on her maturity, but on the maturity of the rooster. I've seen 15 week old roosters that mature hens would willingly squat for, but I've also seen much older roosters that got no respect.

    Probably a lot more than you wanted, but a simple, "Sometimes" seemed an insufficient answer. But when they start not running away, it is usually a sign they are getting ready to lay. Not always, but almost always.

    I see you added a bit of information since I started typing. I’ll post my response anyway.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2011
  7. SilkieChickenLover336

    SilkieChickenLover336 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I switched to layers feed around 5 and a half months of age because thats when i ran out of chick feed.
     
  8. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am still holding off on layer feed...I have 11 layers at 29 weeks, but 3 19 week old pullets...I feed starter/grower still with oyster shell on the side. I will switch them all to layer feed when the 3 young ones start to lay.

    My roos mounted the girls before they started to lay...it is a dominance thing for one.
     
  9. ceeceeholt

    ceeceeholt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you Ridgerunner, that is very imformative, as usual, I learn so much from this site! I see the difference in the the pullets I first got and the babies I raised from day olds. I've learned so much! Who knew when DH said "want some chickens for eggs?" I would fall for these great birds [​IMG]
     
  10. lealle4

    lealle4 New Egg

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    I'm not sure if anyone still keeps tabs on this thread...I just introduced a 3 month old ameraucauna cockerel to my 4 1/2 month old pullets and he's trying to mount them left and right. I know it's a combination of hormones and dominance, but I wasn't sure if he was just an aggressive little guy also. It seems to be getting better now that he's sleeping in the main coop with them, and the ladies are learning when to just stay away...but is it a normal part of this type of behavior to be grabbing onto their combs and neck feathers? He never leaves a mark or draws blood, so I'm figuring it's just a dominance thing.
     

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