How old is too old to breed?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by matilda.b., Sep 16, 2011.

  1. matilda.b.

    matilda.b. Out Of The Brooder

    14
    0
    22
    Sep 14, 2011
    My friend has a couple of Cochin Bantams and is interested in breeding them, however, he's curious if they are too old. What is the ideal age to breed this type of chicken, and how old is too old?
     
  2. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,474
    309
    246
    Jun 4, 2011
    chickens will breed until they die (or stop laying) Every egg is a potential hatchling, so as long as the rooster is doing his duty, the eggs can be hatched
     
  3. matilda.b.

    matilda.b. Out Of The Brooder

    14
    0
    22
    Sep 14, 2011
    He has other other roosters besides his one Cochin Bantam. Should he separate that one rooster and his hens from the rest of the flock to ensure the chicks are also Cochin Bantams?
     
  4. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,474
    309
    246
    Jun 4, 2011
    you'll have to keep the hen separated from the other roosters for about 2 weeks before letting her start to set. Hens can store sperm for 10-12 days, so you'll want to make sure all the chicks are from the correct rooster.
     
  5. Pickaduck

    Pickaduck Chillin' With My Peeps

    232
    0
    79
    May 21, 2011
    Alabama
    Quote:This may be a dumb question but are there any problems with chicks from older hens? I mean, I know it's a lot different than how it is with human mothers but I was curious if chicks that older hens have are more prone to genetic problems/illnesses versus chicks from younger hens.
     
  6. matilda.b.

    matilda.b. Out Of The Brooder

    14
    0
    22
    Sep 14, 2011
    Thanks so much for the help! He currently has two hens for that rooster. Will they be able to raise chicks at the same time if they are kept together?
     
  7. wood&feathers

    wood&feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,018
    24
    178
    Dec 22, 2009
    E. KY
    I don't know if there is anything to it, but one of the aphorisms I have heard is that ideally you should put older hens with a young rooster, and young hens with an older fella. [​IMG]

    How the hens work out together is up to them. Personally I would isolate whichever one is setting with the most determination. Sometimes my girls will share duties, especially in the first week. But sooner or later one will decide she wants the eggs and will fight to keep the clutch. This can result in at least a lot of egg rolling, and often breakage!
     
  8. matilda.b.

    matilda.b. Out Of The Brooder

    14
    0
    22
    Sep 14, 2011
    Yes, one of the hens always steals eggs from the other girls- even the Rhode Island Reds. It's just so funny to see this tiny little girl on top of a bunch of huge eggs. I'm guessing she would be our best bet to pair up with the rooster to get chicks. The rooster is extremely social and kind of runs the entire flock. Will separating him with a single hen change his behavior or the "pecking order" of the rest of the flock. Also, because both the hen and rooster are older will there be less eggs or a smaller chance of the eggs hatching?
     
  9. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

    7,187
    22
    271
    Mar 29, 2008
    Riverside/Norco, CA
    I pulled my java hens away from an orpington rooster and it was two months before their eggs were no longer fertile.
     
  10. matilda.b.

    matilda.b. Out Of The Brooder

    14
    0
    22
    Sep 14, 2011
    So should we wait several months before letting the girl keep her eggs? Also, at what age to hens stop laying?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by