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Mating Behaviors?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Apopka Cluckers, Jan 17, 2009.

  1. Apopka Cluckers

    Apopka Cluckers Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 29, 2008
    As I was installing the laying boxes in the coop, which I think was too early BTW, I noticed that two of my roos started to strut around flapping their feathers and basically making themselves look big. I took this as they were showing off trying to get me out of the coop but the behavior continued after I left.

    I also noticed that the two roos are grabbing the hens by the back of the neck causing great commotion in the pen.

    Is this mating behavior? The roos don't seem to be even trying to mount the hens but that might be because of the opposition from the other roos.

    Is it safe to say that if they grab a chicken by the neck than that chicken is a hen? Is it also safe to say that after they grab one, if one of the other chickens makes them release that hold, they are another roo competing?

    Thanks
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    The rooster grabs the hen by the neck to hold her still for mating. If the hen is not mature enough yet she will scream and squirm and try her best to get away.
    If the roo is a subordinate one, he typically will turn loose and hightail it outta there if confronted by the alpha roo.
    My girls, once mature, would squat willingly for the alpha, but fight to get away from the sub. roo.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2009
  3. Apopka Cluckers

    Apopka Cluckers Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 29, 2008
    That is enlightning.

    So, if the hens are not mature enough yet, does that mean that I need to remove the roo or they will just deal with him until they are ready.

    All of the birds are around 12 weeks old which, from what I read, no where near laying age or mating age.
     
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:There are those that remove the rooster until needed for mating. I keep a rooster for alot of reasons besides mating. He's a great protector of my hens, he finds food for them to eat while free-ranging and he keeps the girls more or less all rounded up. I only have one roo now. I gave my alpha away yesterday to a friend who needed a rooster to protect her new flock. Both of my roos grew up with the girls and were never seperated from the hens at any time. Yes, they were annoying when they hit puberty, but the girls were none the worse for wear. Once the girls were ready to be mated the boys settled down.
     
  5. AmazinglyBlessed

    AmazinglyBlessed Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 17, 2009
    Quote:It also depends on your ratio. We ordered a bunch of roos for meat. We had plenty of hens, so decided not to get any more (other than a few for the green eggs). A week before the new birds were to arrive, the neighbor's kid broke into the chicken coop, and her dogs went on a rampage. 42 dead birds, 5 survivors, 2 very angry chicken owners.
    Fast-forward a few months, and all those roosters we got for meat hit puberty, and there were only 5 mature hens available. Torn combs, bald backs...the roosters got separated, and most slowly made their way to the table.
     
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:It also depends on your ratio. We ordered a bunch of roos for meat. We had plenty of hens, so decided not to get any more (other than a few for the green eggs). A week before the new birds were to arrive, the neighbor's kid broke into the chicken coop, and her dogs went on a rampage. 42 dead birds, 5 survivors, 2 very angry chicken owners.
    Fast-forward a few months, and all those roosters we got for meat hit puberty, and there were only 5 mature hens available. Torn combs, bald backs...the roosters got separated, and most slowly made their way to the table.

    I agree. It's important to maintain a good hen to roo ratio. If I were going to raise meat birds, they wouldn't be in with my layer flock at all.
     
  7. Hen'nbiddies

    Hen'nbiddies Out Of The Brooder

    This is good info for me. I ordered some chicks from Ideal and they will be including some males for warmth they said. At what age can I cook up the roos I don't want? (Apologies to the chicken pet people)
     
  8. AmazinglyBlessed

    AmazinglyBlessed Out Of The Brooder

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    Hen'nbiddies :

    This is good info for me. I ordered some chicks from Ideal and they will be including some males for warmth they said. At what age can I cook up the roos I don't want? (Apologies to the chicken pet people)

    It depends on the breed and how much meat you want. Accoding to McMurray's, Cornish rock males will dress at 3-4 lbs at 6-8 weeks, females a week longer for the same weight, and butcher at 2-2 1/2 lb live weight for cornish game hens--my guess would have to be 3-4 weeks for that...The chance of them including cornish rock is pretty slim, though.
    10-12 weeks would probably be good. Some people put the roos in a chicken tractor until they're big enough to eat. Remember, even a dual purpose bird isn't going to be nearly as big as the supermarket meat breeds.​
     

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