How heavy is too heavy for a rooster to breed with a hen?

Mistycarmony84

In the Brooder
Aug 25, 2020
17
16
23
We have a 5 month old Cornish cross, still happy healthy and moving, but he is now trying to breed our Rhode Island reds and golden sex links. We are worried about him hurting our girls Any advice would be appreciated. We just want to know what should be the weight limit on any rooster for our girls.
 

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Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Feb 2, 2009
26,483
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Southeast Louisiana
what should be the weight limit on any rooster for our girls.

I don't know. When they mate the hen squats. That puts her body on the ground so the rooster's weight travels through her body into the ground instead of traveling through her legs. That protects her legs. I'm trying to think of a good analogy. It's not quite like trying to drive a nail into a board point first versus driving it in by the head but more like driving it in sideways. It really spreads the load.

All his weight is traveling through his legs, whether he he is mating or just walking around. His legs haven't broken down yet. His weight will go into her back through his feet which are really spread out. Look at how wide they are. It's not as bad as you think.

People keep bantam hens with full sized fowl roosters, usually without problems. But the more difference in the weight the more the risk. The hen's instinct is to squat. The rooster's instinct is to spread those feet out. That's nature's way to protect the hen. As long as they both do that she will probably be OK. But with living animals no one can give you guarantees as to behaviors or what will happen. You never know for sure.
 

jwehl

Crowing
Nov 3, 2020
3,523
10,449
383
Atlanta GA
Give the girls lots of space to run away and good places to hide and trust their judgement. If they are constantly hiding or they're getting injured, separate.
 

Mistycarmony84

In the Brooder
Aug 25, 2020
17
16
23
Thank you all for all your reply’s I appreciate all the thoughts and information. It really gives me a lot to think about and discuss with my son. They are his chickens lol he is 8 years old so he is really worried about his chickens. He sells the eggs to the local feed store and our neighbors and uses that money to cover the costs of his chickens. So he is really invested.
 

jwehl

Crowing
Nov 3, 2020
3,523
10,449
383
Atlanta GA
Thank you all for all your reply’s I appreciate all the thoughts and information. It really gives me a lot to think about and discuss with my son. They are his chickens lol he is 8 years old so he is really worried about his chickens. He sells the eggs to the local feed store and our neighbors and uses that money to cover the costs of his chickens. So he is really invested.
This is great to hear! 😍
 

Geena

Crowing
Aug 17, 2014
480
1,660
261
Maryland
From my experience it's not the weight of a cockerel/rooster that's an issue. It's that a lot of these big guys are ungainly and when they get up on the hens they can't maintain their footing. They keep sliding off the sides, which makes them try to hold on tighter. I've unfortunately had a few girls that have gotten big slices and even large flaps of skin peeled right off their sides by these big galoots. It's not like normal rooster damage, which is generally superficial and on the back. You'll need to keep an eye on their side areas that are normally covered by the wings. I no longer try to keep XL cockerels like that, they go in the freezer.
 

Mistycarmony84

In the Brooder
Aug 25, 2020
17
16
23
From my experience it's not the weight of a cockerel/rooster that's an issue. It's that a lot of these big guys are ungainly and when they get up on the hens they can't maintain their footing. They keep sliding off the sides, which makes them try to hold on tighter. I've unfortunately had a few girls that have gotten big slices and even large flaps of skin peeled right off their sides by these big galoots. It's not like normal rooster damage, which is generally superficial and on the back. You'll need to keep an eye on their side areas that are normally covered by the wings. I no longer try to keep XL cockerels like that, they go in the freezer.
Thank You for the advice I’ve seen where some people get saddles do you think this might prevent the damage if we decided to try and leave him with the hens? I haven’t looked into them much and don’t even know what they cost, but figured it was worth asking.
 

Elizabethwood09

Songster
Apr 2, 2020
232
258
123
I have a large NHR cockerel and just recently added a bantam girl to the flock. I was worried at first too but he is not rough at all and the few times I have seen him mount her there is no fuss and she just gets up and walks away with no issue. I agree with the others that weight isn't necessarily an issue as much as the mating behavior of the male.
 

Jenjens

Chirping
Jun 5, 2019
151
226
98
IL
My rooster is a BEAST. He is a production red. He mates with my sebright, which is itty bitty.It was so hard to watch that because she would scream during mating. Now, I think he understands and keeps his legs on the ground, and mates with her less often, but most of the time he forgets and I have to pull him off. She is actually the only one that squats for him, which I find odd.
 

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