Do Your Roosters Mate less in the Winter?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Ellie, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. Ellie

    Ellie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 10, 2007
    Redding, Ca.
    I just noticed that my two roosters are not mating the hens as much now that Fall and Winter approach. Has anyone else noticed this? I was talking to another chicken friend, and she said that it could be that since the egg production goes down, that could be a reason. Makes sense.

    Your thoughts, observations?
     
  2. jeepguy982001

    jeepguy982001 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i don't have any roosters so i'm unsure, but the less egg production theory seems to make scense to me.
     
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I am the friend Ellie's talking about-we were discussing fertility going down in cooler months and I said I was never sure if that was because the actual sperm count was down or because the roosters mate the hens less, perhaps because the hens are laying less, drawing from the fact that animals mate for reproduction. My own Suede rarely mates his girls anymore, but then, he's also an older rooster. Hers are less than a year old.

    Anyone have any ideas why her two low-key Cochin boys have just quit mating? Or do you think they've just slowed down so that she's missing it when they do?
     
  4. ChobeeChickenMommy

    ChobeeChickenMommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okeechobee, FL
    I was wondering the same thing. I'm glad I found this post before I asked the same question... I have noticed that both of my roo's have stopped mounting my hens. My hubby & I did seperate them though until we can build another decent sized run & a small coop for our silkies & can keep our EE's on one side & put the silkies on the other. I would love to know the opinions about the roosters.
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Holts Summit, Missouri
    My free-ranging games greatly curtail mating starting about September. For last month or so mating has almost completely stopped. Confined birds on other had are still mating although rate is reduced their as well. Mating will pickup again as soon as both day length and temperature pickup in February. This must all be taken in context of where I am located.
     
  6. jeepguy982001

    jeepguy982001 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was thinking maybe its a instinct thing. shorter hrs means less light less light less heat. So technically if they were in the wild chicks would have a much harder time surviving being born in the middle of winter then closer to spring. just my thinking.
     
  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Basing my answer soley on my late rooster Thor, yes. Thor would almost completely stop mating in the winter and when he was molting. What I found most interesting is that during his molt Thor also stopped feeding his hens. I don't know if you remember this or not Speckled, but we had discussed it a few years ago when Thor was young and healthy.
     
  8. Ellie

    Ellie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 10, 2007
    Redding, Ca.
    This is amazing! I'm so glad I asked here on BYC. Looks like my two boys are fairly normal then. I've not had a rooster for more than 6 months so did not know about this. [​IMG]
     
  9. Chickie'sMoma

    Chickie'sMoma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2009
    Rochester, NH
    i was thinking it could be because most birds are going through their fall molt and the roos probably know the girls will be hurting from all the new feathers coming back in. my top roo doesn't seem to think he should leave the girls alone that are back into laying! [​IMG] but most of my girls just got brought up to their winter coop where the boys are kept year round and they have been waiting all summer for some action! [​IMG]
     
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Chickie'sMoma :

    i was thinking it could be because most birds are going through their fall molt and the roos probably know the girls will be hurting from all the new feathers coming back in. my top roo doesn't seem to think he should leave the girls alone that are back into laying! [​IMG] but most of my girls just got brought up to their winter coop where the boys are kept year round and they have been waiting all summer for some action! [​IMG]

    I do not think the rooster is being considerate of the hens molt status. Some of my game roosters seem to have no interest in mating even when hen solicits it. I have seen molting rooster reject hens by flogging them so I take that as evidence he is not being considerate of their needs. Only exception to this appears to occur near dawn as birds come off roost. Rooster then covers some of the hens. He does not need to cover hens every day to ensure good fertility, at least so long as he is producing good sperm.​
     

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