Does a rooster know when a hen is ready to breed?

ldrchickens

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Hey guys! Kind of a dumb question but i gotta know lol. The title says it all. Does a rooster know when a hen is ready to breed? We raise cows and i know a bull can tell when a cow is "in", does the same go for roosters. I have 3 hens total. Two of them are singing their egg song and have been doing so for a month now and one is not. The two that sing are constantly getting chased, harrased, and mounted by the roosters where they run and hide constantly but the other does not even get looked at and she just chills with the boys. So do they know they are about to lay? And by the way one has started laying because she gave me my first little egg on Thanksgiving and then another this morning. Thanks!
 

adstowe

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Just like any other animal they know when they reach breeding age.That's not to say you won't get overexcited cockerels now and then. I wouldn't be surprised to see one hump a shoe, but basically yes, they know when the girls are ready to produce.
 

aart

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It's not quite like mammals where the females go into 'heat'...
...but, yeah, there are signs that a female chicken is ready to lay.

Depends on the cock/erel.
A good and mature cockbird will know,
a young cockerel just coming into his hormones may not know and try to mount everything.
How any 'roosters' do you have and how old are they in weeks or months?
Multiple males can create havoc in the chicken world, maybe in the cattle world too, eh?


FYI.....semantics, maybe, but can be important communication terms when discussing chicken behavior.
Female chickens are called pullets until one year of age, then they are called hens.
Male chickens are called cockerels until one year of age, then they are called cocks(or cockbirds or roosters).
Age in weeks or months is always a good thing to note
 

Wyorp Rock

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I have 3 hens total. Two of them are singing their egg song and have been doing so for a month now and one is not. The two that sing are constantly getting chased, harrased, and mounted by the roosters where they run and hide constantly
Can you tell us how many roosters you have?
What are the ages of your hens and the roosters?
 

Shadrach

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Hey guys! Kind of a dumb question but i gotta know lol. The title says it all. Does a rooster know when a hen is ready to breed? We raise cows and i know a bull can tell when a cow is "in", does the same go for roosters. I have 3 hens total. Two of them are singing their egg song and have been doing so for a month now and one is not. The two that sing are constantly getting chased, harrased, and mounted by the roosters where they run and hide constantly but the other does not even get looked at and she just chills with the boys. So do they know they are about to lay? And by the way one has started laying because she gave me my first little egg on Thanksgiving and then another this morning. Thanks!
That call you call the egg song is a call for a rooster telling the rooster that an egg needs fertilizing.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...-not-about-the-egg-it’s-an-escort-call.74386/
 

meetthebubus

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That's true you did say roosters on plural if those 2 are being harassed by more than 1 roo, poor babies and they might then not be at peace to lay. My girls never hide from their roo, they may not want to breed always but they dont hide
 

123RedBeard

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Sounds like they are all young ... with one just starting to lay ...

Maybe ... the one that is not getting chased ... is actually a "late bloomer" COCKRELL! ;)
 

Ridgerunner

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Hey guys! Kind of a dumb question but i gotta know lol. The title says it all. Does a rooster know when a hen is ready to breed? We raise cows and i know a bull can tell when a cow is "in", does the same go for roosters. I have 3 hens total. Two of them are singing their egg song and have been doing so for a month now and one is not. The two that sing are constantly getting chased, harrased, and mounted by the roosters where they run and hide constantly but the other does not even get looked at and she just chills with the boys. So do they know they are about to lay? And by the way one has started laying because she gave me my first little egg on Thanksgiving and then another this morning. Thanks!

There are signs that a rooster can pick up on. The main one is that the comb and wattles turn a bright red instead pink or orange. A mature rooster is much more likely to mate with the ones with the bright red.

I think the egg song has two purposes. The hen just came off the nest and does not know where the flock is so she calls to them, asking where are you. I've seen some (not all but some) mature roosters leave the flock to go get her and escort her back, usually mating her in the process. So not only does the hen find her flock, a hen that is laying gets mated to assure fertile eggs.

A hen that is laying is often more receptive to a rooster's advances than one that is not. She is more likely to squat than run away. I'm not sure how much a rooster picks up on that though. I've seen a rooster dance for a hen and she ran away. He chased her instead of paying attention to the hen next to them that squatted for him.

There could be other signs but those are the ones I know.

These are with mature responsible roosters. It sounds like you may have immature cockerels. With them their hormones are so out of control and their self-control is so absent I'm not sure these signs mean much to them. And since yours just started to lay they are still pullets, not hens. They may not yet be mature enough to know how to handle their part.
 

ldrchickens

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Sorry guys i should have gave a little more info. They are all about 5 to 6 months old so yes they are pullets and cockerals. I have three pullets and three cockerals. They are not living in the same pen any more. It was only a short time until it was literally constant chasing. I guess i should have added that. The pullet that never gets looked at is the one that has started laying.
 

MANNA-PRO

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