Keeping a Broiler Rooster to breed

ChrissySa

In the Brooder
Oct 12, 2021
4
19
26
Can a Murray's big red broiler rooster be kept to breed?

Our flock is all 10 weeks old and we have a variety of breeds including some Murray's big red broiler cockerels, some excellent layers, and some dual purpose. We are wondering if we can keep one of these broiler cockerels to breed to our other hens, when they mature, to have some crosses that will be good for meat? Obviously they wouldn't be as big or grow as fast as the straight broiler breed but we'd like to be more sustainable and not have to order meat birds all the time. I saw several threads about creating your own meat birds through crossing other breeds but didn't see one about keeping broilers to breed themselves. They are big and heavy compared to the others, is this a good or bad idea? I read/heard somewhere that meat birds quality of life is not as good after they mature. Is this true?

Thank you!
 

Geena

Free Ranging
7 Years
Aug 17, 2014
931
5,651
521
Maryland
You can! But if you have some red broiler pullets and a dual purpose cockerel, I would start that way instead. The broiler roosters get huge and can be hard on your girls. Also, and maybe it's just my luck, but every red broiler male I've tried to keep ended up being a complete a$$hat.
 

ChrissySa

In the Brooder
Oct 12, 2021
4
19
26
You can! But if you have some red broiler pullets and a dual purpose cockerel, I would start that way instead. The broiler roosters get huge and can be hard on your girls. Also, and maybe it's just my luck, but every red broiler male I've tried to keep ended up being a complete a$$hat.
Thanks! We have two of the broilers but they're supposed to both be males, the larger one has a much bigger wattle and comb and he's actually pretty friendly and let's you pet him. the other is a little smaller, skittish and looks slightly different but I'm pretty sure he's a cockerel also. The other breeds I have are Black Australorp, Light Brahma, Silver laced wyandotte, Leghorn, Minorca, blue Andalusian, Ancona, and Americauna. The Broiler would definitely be too big for one of the smaller ones but might be OK for the Australorp or Brahma?
 

Geena

Free Ranging
7 Years
Aug 17, 2014
931
5,651
521
Maryland
Thanks! We have two of the broilers but they're supposed to both be males, the larger one has a much bigger wattle and comb and he's actually pretty friendly and let's you pet him. the other is a little smaller, skittish and looks slightly different but I'm pretty sure he's a cockerel also. The other breeds I have are Black Australorp, Light Brahma, Silver laced wyandotte, Leghorn, Minorca, blue Andalusian, Ancona, and Americauna. The Broiler would definitely be too big for one of the smaller ones but might be OK for the Australorp or Brahma?

Might as well give it a try then, one of them might do well with some or even all of them. It's hard to say until they get 4 to 6 months old how they might turn out, because some tend to have a real change of attitude once their hormones start flowing, especially those "friendly" ones, unfortunately. Hope it works out well for you!
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
28,078
22,814
907
Southeast Louisiana
Another option might be artificial insemination. I haven't tried it but from what I've read it isn't that had to do, more being willing and able to do it. With the way the hens store the sperm you'd only need to do that once or twice a week to keep the eggs fertile. Or you could time it so you only need to do it once or twice, especially if you have in incubator instead of depending on a broody hen. Choose your breeders form what you hatch to get a sustainable flock.

You may already know this but I'll go through it anyway. It takes around 25 hours for an egg to make its way through the hen's internal egg making factory. That egg can only be fertilized during the first few minutes of that journey. That means if a mating or AI tales place on a Wednesday, Wednesday's egg is not fertile. Thursday's egg might or might not be, don't necessarily count on it. Friday's egg should be fertile.
 

CNJ

Songster
Oct 12, 2020
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The Broiler would definitely be too big for one of the smaller ones but might be OK for the Australorp or Brahma?
I would go with the Brahma, my Australorps were small, and their body seem to be bred for egg laying. By the way, can you tell me if those red broiler roosters crow a lot? I can control the sound of my Dark Cornish, but my white Plymouth Rock's crow, power through my no crow collar.
 

ChrissySa

In the Brooder
Oct 12, 2021
4
19
26
I would go with the Brahma, my Australorps were small, and their body seem to be bred for egg laying. By the way, can you tell me if those red broiler roosters crow a lot? I can control the sound of my Dark Cornish, but my white Plymouth Rock's crow, power through my no crow collar.
We may end up not keeping him. I read on a Facebook chicken group that someone had a broiler to try and keep for breeding, a hen, and that their heart burst! 😔 My husband and I are still thinking about it, though.

So far, not crowing yet and they're almost 11 weeks now. However, they are both near the bottom of the pecking order and the tail feathers are sad since they were pecked a while back 😕. I have one cockerel that is crowing and it's the blue Andalusian that definitely seems dominant. I read/heard that a non-dominant rooster usually doesn't crow, even if they could, but I don't know if that's always the case.
 

CNJ

Songster
Oct 12, 2020
594
1,012
216
I read/heard that a non-dominant rooster usually doesn't crow, even if they could, but I don't know if that's always the case.
I read online that the dominant rooster will start the crowing first and the others will chime in............I think this is true.
 

HomesteadNowhere

Songster
Dec 2, 2020
178
274
128
Ohio USA
Before I got the excess cockerels in the freezer there was a few more dominant ones that crowed the most, the others would be "background singers" for them or if they tried to crow alot the dominant ones would start picking on them.

Now I'm down to the 2 cockerels I will breed from and even then Big Red is dominant and seems to crow most of the time and Pretty Boy much less so.

Back to the OP... if the birds are already older I would be hesitant trying to keep one on. I have freedom rangers and I restricted fed them pretty much from the second week on. I'm keeping the pullets to breed from with the two cockerels that were the best, not rangers. Even now coming up to 30wks old and alot of pullets laying, the two cockerels are much bigger than the rest of the pullets. I have only seen them mounting the others (any not ranger pullets) twice and the cockerel is much bigger and the pullet was not happy about it.

I'm hoping by the spring the other pullets will have grown up more and will be able to be bred more reliably. I'd bet right now that trying to hatch from those eggs would be alot of non-fertilized.
 

CNJ

Songster
Oct 12, 2020
594
1,012
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I am doing an experiment with a spray bottle. Every time my rooster goes on a crowing spree, I go out and shoot him with water.
 
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