My Rooster doesnt do his job

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mix3dbreed, Jan 25, 2016.

  1. mix3dbreed

    mix3dbreed Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 17, 2015
    Well a month ago he had another rooster in the pen for 30 hens. Ive read here that a good number would be 1 for every 10 hens or so.
    But we killed the other one and seems he was the dominant one.
    So i colected 48 eggs from my chickens and started an incubation 11 days ago. Didnt have time to candle it on day 7 so i wated for day 10.
    25 of them were clear and i already opened them and no suprises, just a normal egg. The rest are that optimistic.

    Another thing now is clear as day. Since september i havent seen a broody hen in my flock. There could be various reasons. But not even 1?

    They cant go broody if the eggs arent fertile right? Which makes a ton a sense. I still have 2 roosters. One has feathers in his legs and outside its messy, so hes in a box for now. That rooster is goin in and the mean one ( he atacks people) going outside, maybe i can get some vidoes for youtube loool.

    Does anyone agree with my way of thinking? Or other ideas?
  2. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 28, 2008
    My males are not very active yet. They tend to pick up in February.

    You may have more females than he can cover. On average a large breed rooster can handle 10 hens. Some will need fewer, others wouldn't be happy unless they had twice that number. It could be that it is too early yet in the season, or some of the hens won't submit to him.

    As for broodiness, a hen will try to hatch infertile eggs if the mood strikes her. They can't tell the difference. I've had silkie hens try to hatch pine shavings. Broodiness depends on many different things such as the time of year, the breed of hen and individual temperament.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    I don't know where you live but here in the States it's winter. Hens don't go broody in winter, they'll gear up broody in spring and depending on bird may get in a few to three broods before winter again. That would be an overly broody bird to me but it's certainly possible.

    Hens can't tell if an egg is fertile or not. You can check fertility by cracking an egg and looking for the "bullseye". This of course is a destructive test.

    That would be one very, busy cock to cover 30 hens. It may be possible but a ore likely max number for complete fertility is under 20 hens. If you've a small pen or area and small coop you can always make a breeding pen. Collect the best hens and cock to put in there and only hatch that better quality eggs.
    1 person likes this.
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    How old are the birds in question, especially the male? And what breed?

    Agree with the above about the seasons. Hens tend not to go broody in the winter, it's a bad time to raise babies. Energy is being put toward keeping warm.

    Hens can't tell if eggs are fertile. That has no impact on broodiness. It wold be great if it were true, though!

    How long ago did you cull the other rooster? It may just be taking a while for the remaining guy to step up and cover everyone.

    I'm just now noticing my head rooster courting the hens. I'm not sure he's actually mating anyone, just wing dropping. They're not too interested so he gives up. My other pens don't seem to be seeing much mating activity, either. Of course, my young cockerel is trying to mount anything female, but he's not too successful yet. I think you just need to give it a month or so and try again, especially if the male in question is a young bird.
  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I think daylight is the trigger, the longer days make the sap flow in all sorts of things![​IMG]

    Keep a running tally how many eggs are fertile when you are cooking. Not perfect, but should be fairly close.

    You could have a dud, some animals are not fertile, but it may very well be the day length and hormones are the problem.

    Mrs K
    1 person likes this.
  6. Chicken Egg 17

    Chicken Egg 17 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 11, 2015
    McVeytown PA
    My rooster is active and doing his job year round
    1 person likes this.
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Some roosters have no trouble keeping sell over 20 hens fertile, it’s all some can do to keep 3 or 4 fertile. The age and vitality if the rooster has a lot to do with it, younger ones normally being more active. I don’t mean cockerels versus roosters (though cockerels can be very active) but roosters 2 or 3 versus 4 or 5. How well the hens accept the rooster plays a part. To me it seems that a flock that ranges generally has higher fertility than one that is penned in a small space but I don’t have a good explanation for that. My logic says the opposite would be true but it’s just not what I see. Anyway, 23 out of 48 is not good but let’s be optimistic about those 23.

    That 10 to 1 ratio comes from hatcheries that use the pen breeding system, maybe 20 roosters and 200 hens in one pen. Their business is fertile eggs and they have found that a 10 to 1 ratio is about what is necessary to keep practically every hen fertile. On the farm we’d have one rooster with about 25 hens free ranging and practically every egg was fertile. When a hen went broody I’d grab a dozen out of the egg bucket at random and practically all of them hatched.

    Knowing where you are could help, but you don’t get as many broodies in winter. If you extend your lights and feed a higher protein diet you can increase your odds of a hen going broody but it still just doesn’t happen that often in winter. I never get a broody hen in the winter or late fall but I don’t extend lights or up the protein. Mine normally molt and quit laying for a lot of the fall/winter except for some pullets.

    You do not need fertile eggs or a rooster for a hen to go broody. Lots of people that keep 4 or 6 hens and no roosters in an urban backyard can testify to that.

    I’m not really sure what you are looking for? Did we answer your questions?
    1 person likes this.

    BBQJOE Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 25, 2015
    Void where prohibited.
    I'm guessing demonstrating for him wouldn't work.[​IMG]
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Joe, I’ll admit I often like the way you think but I see you answered Azygous’s question in that other thread. Vodka tonic, huh.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  10. BBQJOE

    BBQJOE Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 25, 2015
    Void where prohibited.
    It's just a bad habit.

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