Frisky chickens?!

Duchessk75

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 25, 2010
70
0
39
1.9 Acres Ohio
My 14 week old br roo's and pullets are either practicing really hard or mating already! Call me old fashioned but they are a little young for this right? This is my first flock but my chicken bible aka Raising Chickens for Dummies says they normally dont start laying until about nineteen weeks. . And i know you dont need roo's for eggs but is this a sign that they are getting to that age where i can start expecting eggs?
 

pgpoultry

Songster
10 Years
Oct 16, 2009
2,290
37
191
Wales
Your chickens haven't read the books and are behaving instinctively.
Mating behaviour can precede laying. Look to see if the combs are reddening, if so......expect eggs fairly soon.

Good Luck
Sandie
 

Duchessk75

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 25, 2010
70
0
39
1.9 Acres Ohio
Mrs K-Thanks! Its something that I believe very strongly....especially as a parent!

Pgpoultry- Are you referring to the pullet's comb? Cause they have been red for weeks.
 

gryeyes

Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers
10 Years
Sep 22, 2009
15,506
381
358
My slice of heaven in Somerset, CA
Oh, I was a precocious child, myself, "maturing" physically long before I was anywhere near ready.


14 weeks for some cockerels is quite early, and for pullets, too. But some roos just feel randy earlier than others, and it's like any teenager: Wahoo! Let's try THIS out!

My EE rooster wanted to mount the pullets long before they wanted to submit to him. (Some still won't - and they're 8 months old! I think I have some Feminist Hens.)
 

Wynette

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Sep 25, 2007
25,574
193
421
Michigan
Pullet combs can begin turning red months before they begin to lay - I have a wheaten ameraucana pullet that is 39 weeks old - her comb has been bright red for months now, but she hasn't begun to lay yet.

19 weeks is very early to begin laying; the average time is 24 weeks, and you most definitely do not want to rush it. I do not feel layer feed until I see the first egg. Why? Because if they start laying too early, you often have complications later on such as internal laying or egg binding. So - as much as you want those eggs, don't rush it.

As far as breeding - IMO, they learn from watching others, so if you have adults that are breeding near enough for them to see, they could be mimicing what they are seeing. It's a bit unusual for them to start his early, but not completely out of the realm of "normal" if you know what I mean!

Many folks say that they will not breed until the pullets are laying - that's never been the case at my farm, and not as yours, either, it would seem!

Enjoy your chickens!
 

Duchessk75

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 25, 2010
70
0
39
1.9 Acres Ohio
They're not learning from the older chickens, cause THEY are the oldest in the coop. And the girls are laying down, not putting up a fuss when the roo's mount them. Its mainly my big roo....Roo. Even though they are all the same age, Roo is the biggest of the 3 roosters. I'm not encouraging it...I'm not ready for eggs either! We had planned on building the nest boxes this weekend, cause I know they are approaching egg laying age. I was really surprised when last week, Roo mounted a pullet. I thought maybe he was just practicing. Then over the past week, I've been watching them alot, and it happens VERY often. I've read in here before to discourage the roo's from mounting the hens in front of their "humans" so everytime I catch them I shoo the roo's off of the girls. And I've been paying special attention to the back of the necks of the girls to make sure the roo's are playing nice. I was just wondering why they are going at it at such a young age, and if it was normal or not as this is my first flock
Thanks for the responses!
 

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