do hens come in order

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by shmeggs, Dec 14, 2013.

  1. shmeggs

    shmeggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have been wondering does a hen come in heat like dogs and other animals etc or what makes a rooster want a hen? I just got a rooster and want to know what to expect far as that.
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Poultry do not have a heat cycle. Most male birds would breed a rock if nothing else was available. Just as daylength has an affect upon egg laying, daylength impacts testosterone production in male birds. The longer the days or the lengthening of days increases breeding activity.
     
  3. shmeggs

    shmeggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thanks I was a little worried I have had my rooster several weeks now and he is around a year old but I hadn't seen him trying anything with the hens.
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Watch the color of their combs and wattles to deepen to a deep red, signifying fertility. Some roosters also develop a reddish flush on their legs as their hormones reach critical mass.

    Any time after winter solstice, you can expect mating activity to increase.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I agree with what they said.

    Just because you don’t see activity doesn’t mean it’s not occurring. An easy way to check if he is fertilizing eggs, assuming some hens are laying, is to open some eggs and look for the bull’s eye. Here’s a thread with pictures that show you how to do that.

    Fertile Egg Photos
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=16008&p=6

    A hen does not come into heat like a dog or a cow, but there are signs that tell the rooster he should be interesting in fertilizing the eggs. The hen’s comb and wattles turning red is one easily visible, but there are other clues too. For example, I’ve had roosters that when he heard a hen singing the egg song, he’d run to her and mate with her before leading her back to the flock. If a hen is laying eggs, those eggs need to be fertilized. All my roosters don’t do this, but some do. If the hens are not laying, there is not a lot of reason to fertilize eggs.

    The mating ritual is not just about fertilizing eggs either. It’s also a dominance thing. The one on bottom is accepting the dominance of the one on top, either willingly or by force. Even if they are not laying, that rooster should be going through the mating ritual occasionally to establish his dominance over the hens. But that happens a lot less often than “These eggs need to be fertilized!”
     
  6. shmeggs

    shmeggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    does outside temp have anything to do with rooster wanting to mate with hens.
     
  7. Gardner

    Gardner New Egg

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    A new, immature rooster may not have the dominance required to mate. Hens who have had top pecking order will not succumb to a young rooster easily - you may even see them chasing him away. As he gets older and is housed with the girls for a while they'll start to accept him as Rooster.
     

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