How old is a cockeral before he is generally fertile etc...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chicks and hens2, Nov 27, 2011.

  1. chicks and hens2

    chicks and hens2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi I have 11 pullets 9 months old as well as 3 " roo's" and 6 pullets who are 14-15 weeks old.
    1 BCM Roo is mounting some of my older pullets.
    he seems gentle enough with them, quick on/off, but I am still debating if or how many of the Roo's I should keep. By next Spring the girls will all be laying. I'm not planning on hatching any eggs in the near future but....
    It seems since the Roo's are getting older and acting like Roo's that the Hens are laying better.The Pullets (all but 1) have been laying since last Summer, until last week have never gotten 11 eggs/ day. averaged 9 per day now get 11 or ten most days.

    1) how many Hen's to a roo?
    2) how long after they start crowing is it before they are able to fertilize.

    3)I heard that once they start crowing it's too late for butchering unless they go in the stewing pot, is that correct?

    When all the first batch of chicks were in with a roo the same age, I was told I needed to keep them separate for some time, 'cause he was bothering the pullets before they were old enough to lay eggs. I assume with laying pullets now, that I wouldn't have to do that?

    Pro's/con's of keeping Roo's other than the con of the amount of feed they'll consume?

    Any and all advise would be helpful. If I don't keep the Roo's (2 wellsummers 1 BCM) I was going to try to sell one or 2 of them.
     
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    1) The general rule is 1 rooster to every 10 hens. My welsummer rooster has 9 hens and there is no problem with fertility.
    2) Roosters can fertilize hens early, like around 15-16 weeks. (if he doesn't get a beat down from the hens)
    3) For tenderness, you want to butcher before 20 weeks. A 9 month old rooster, you will want to make into soup or cook slowly. (crockpot or coq au vin)

    No need to separate them unless the amount of roosters is overwhelming the hens, or you see gang mating.

    The feed roosters consume is a trivial amount as they aren't producing eggs. A good rooster is priceless - he protects the hens, alerts them to danger so they can hide, will give up his life if necessary to save the rest of the flock, helps integrate new chickens by not allowing fighting in the flock, protects broodies and their babies, etc.
     
  3. chicks and hens2

    chicks and hens2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 28, 2011
    Thank you for answering all my questions I appreciate all the info.
     
  4. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Your welcome. [​IMG]
     

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