How soon do cockerels start to try to mate with hens?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Blackberry18, Dec 22, 2015.

  1. Blackberry18

    Blackberry18 Songster

    Mar 25, 2015
    I'm ordering a couple of male Light Brahmas this year to show in Breeding Class at my county fair. I'm giving one to the neighbor as soon as possible, and trying to work out how to give away the other one, because I only need them until July (I'll be ordering mid-January, so they'll be about six months or so). I'll have them living with my other hens, but my problem is I don't want them to be mating with all the hens; it ruins their feathers for show, and plus I generally prefer a rooster-free flock. I'm going to be keeping them separated from the rest of the flock to prevent this, but how soon should I (I'm not sure when I'll move them up to the coop; the winters here are cold, but I have a heat lamp, and so far it has been pretty mild, thoughts on this?)? How soon do rooster attempt to mate with hens? Thanks in advance.

  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Depends on the breed but Brahmas would probably be about 6 months - IMO they're a little slow.
    Jaerhons here have been as early as 3.5 months.

    Brahmas shouldn't need heat after 6 or 7 weeks even in MN if properly acclimated.

    Raise the boys together and away from the flock.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Blackberry18

    Blackberry18 Songster

    Mar 25, 2015
    Thanks a lot! So, should I not have the roosters with the rest of the flock? I had originally thought to have them live together but have them separated. So do I have to have them completely separated, as in a different place? How much room would they need? I'm guessing about six square feet.
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Crowing

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    The whole reason to keep them together but completely separate from the flock is so that they don't feel the need to compete for the hens, which they would do if they are kept within sight of the girls.
    1 person likes this.

  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Completely separated from females. The males can live together in absense of females. If females are present, you will have fighting between the males as competition for the females.

    If they are housed together, with the females, you will have fighting among the males, possibly overmating, and certainly feather loss in the females from mating.

    The general rule of thumb for housing is 4 square feet per bird of indoor space and 10 square feet per bird of outdoor space.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    If you're ordering a bunch of chicks, you can brood the males with the females and grow them out for a few months. Brahmas are slow to mature, so you should have at least 3 months to separate them.

    So, you're ordering two, and giving one away asap? How soon is that, like 4 weeks? Are you going to have only the one male for a few months? It's hard to keep a single bird alone, they often do poorly. Do you have a hen or two you could put in with him (taking into account he's immature and not going to be aggressive about mating during this time, most likely). or are you keeping both cockerels until fair? If the two males are together, with no females, they should be fine but you'll just have to watch them. They'll need a lot more than 6 feet, though. More like 20. Brahmas are big boys and need space.
  7. Blackberry18

    Blackberry18 Songster

    Mar 25, 2015
    I'm going to wait at least six months to give away one cockerel. Then I'll be able to determine which is the better quality to show. I'll try to find a spot for them, but I don't have a lot of room.

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