Queries about mating

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SunflowerTheBun, Aug 29, 2016.

  1. SunflowerTheBun

    SunflowerTheBun Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi all,
    So recently my rooster (Prince) started mating with my hen (Mr. Feathers).
    I have two silkie bantam hens and one silkie bantam rooster.
    The one being mated with is the only one laying right now.
    He's been doing it a lot and he hasn't mated with the other girl at all, that I've seen.
    I've never had a rooster before and I'm not sure what normal is, but I think every time I let them out of the coop and into the run, he pounces.

    Is it normal for him to only mate with one of the girls?
    Is it weird that she's the only one laying?
    I know silkies are very unreliable layers though.

    Thanks!
    Sunny.
     
  2. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    He will only mate with the laying hens or soon to be,or every other week or day layers.Basically the only ones he can fertilize.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Yes, a good, and fully mature cockbird, will only mount females that are in or near lay.
    A bad, or young immature cock/erel, will try to mount everything.
     
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  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Don’t get too hung up on what normal behavior is. They are living animals, about anything can happen. However there are certain things that tend to happen more often than others. To me it sounds like yours are fairly young, so they are still pullets and a cockerel, not hens and a rooster. There tends to be a lot of difference in the behavior of pullets and cockerels compared to hens and roosters. If yours are that young it sounds like you have a very well behaved cockerel and pullet.

    When a pullet or hen starts to lay, her comb and wattles normally turn bright red. This is one indication to the rooster that she is probably laying and he should fertilize her eggs. She is much more sexually attractive to him when she is laying eggs. There are other clues to him too but the red comb and wattles is a big one you can probably observe. So it is perfectly normal for him to prefer the one that is laying. A mature rooster will normally leave immature pullets alone. Cockerels, well not always.

    The mating act is not always about sex, it can be about dominance. The one on bottom is accepting the dominance of the one on top, either willingly or by force. That’s a big reason you read so much on here about the turbulence with cockerels and pullets going through adolescence, hormones are running wild and things are often done by force. That’s why it sounds like yours are so well behaved. I’ve seen a 13 week old pullet willingly squat for a 13 week old cockerel, two months before she started laying. It is really normal for my 4 to 5 month old cockerels to force mating behavior on pullets not ready to lay when the pullets do not accept the cockerel’s dominance. It can get really wild down there. Not all cockerels are that aggressive and not all pullets resist with such fervor, but often them going through adolescence is not for the faint of heart to watch. With mine this turbulence is what I consider normal behavior during adolescence. You are doing well assuming yours are adolescents.

    When I separate a rooster from my flock for a little while, the first thing he normally does when I put him back is to mate a hen. This is dominance behavior, he is demonstrating that he is in charge. When I remove a hen from the flock for a while and put her back, the rooster often seeks her out to mate with her, again dominance behavior. Often when I let them out of the coop in the morning the rooster mates with a hen pretty quickly. Again, dominance behavior to show he is in charge.

    The behavior you are observing sounds perfectly normal to me. If they are young, you are doing really well.
     
  5. SunflowerTheBun

    SunflowerTheBun Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks everyone for your help. I am now fully informed! Thanks for your kind comments about their behaviour too. :)
    For you information, my hens are 1.5 years old and the boy is about 9 months (yeah age gap I know).
    Can someone tell me, what is the difference between a cockerel and a rooster? I know pullets becomem hens when they start laying, right?

    Thanks again!
    - Sunny
     
  6. DancingWthDucks

    DancingWthDucks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A cockerel is a male chicken under a year old, and a rooster is 1 year or older.
     
  7. SunflowerTheBun

    SunflowerTheBun Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ah okay, so I have a cockerel. Thanks!
    (and so much for silkie bantams being quiet crowers!)
     
  8. DancingWthDucks

    DancingWthDucks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lol I know what you mean- I got a bantam Wyanndotte cockerel instead of a LF thinking the smaller the bird, the quieter the crow. BIG mistake- he's loader than any LF cockerel that I've ever had!
     
  9. SunflowerTheBun

    SunflowerTheBun Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lol yes!
     

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