Rooster choices when mating

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by dogkahuna, Mar 16, 2016.

  1. dogkahuna

    dogkahuna Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our flock is 6 1/2 months old--1 rooster and 10 hens. The rooster is mating with the 6 smaller hens but not the 4 larger ones. I'm guessing it's inexperience/lack of confidence. Has anyone else had a rooster that took awhile to muster courage for the big girls?

    Thanks!
     
  2. LRH97

    LRH97 Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Oh yes. Most of my younger roos tend to mate with the girls closest to their age or younger. Sometimes they yuck up the courage to get with some of the older ladies. They have to be pretty discreet to make sure that my top roo doesn't catch them though! (He thinks all the hens are his, of course, but he seems to be especially protective of older flock members for some reason.) The longer they're in the flock, the more comfortable they get with mating. Some hens will sometimes even stand up to roos that have just started breeding, which I find quite hilarious. If you only have one roo, he won't have any competition and he'll get courageous pretty quickly as his hormones pick up.
     
  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Agreed - with any new roo in my flock the alpha female is the last to accept his advances.

    CT
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    How old are the smaller and larger hens?

    It's usually the girls' 'choice'.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2016
  5. dogkahuna

    dogkahuna Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry, I thought I made this clear in the original post. The flock is all the same age. They were all brought home together and have been together as a flock the entire time here. Some hens are just bigger breeds.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Sorry, missed that.
    Hard to say....usually a young cockerel tries to jump every bird.
    Are the smaller ones laying and the larger ones not laying?
     
  7. dogkahuna

    dogkahuna Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can't tell--6 different hens are laying (I can tell from the egg colors) but they all lay during the day when I'm away working. I can only connect two colors with a specific layer and they are both small. Would it make a difference whether the roo is mounting with egg production?
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Well older cocks will usually only mate a laying birds, cockerels are usually not as discriminating, but maybe yours is.
    Could be the smaller 6 are laying, and being mated?
    What are the breeds?

    Signs of onset of lay---I've found the pelvic points to be the most accurate.
    Squatting:
    If you touch their back they will hunker down on the ground, then shake their tail feathers when they get back up.
    This shows they are sexually mature and egg laying is close at hand.

    Combs and Wattles:
    Plump, shiny red - usually means laying.
    Shriveled, dryish looking and pale - usually means not laying.
    Tho I have found that the combs and wattles can look full and red one minute then pale back out the next due to exertion or excitement, can drive ya nuts when waiting for a pullet to lay!

    2 bony points(pelvic bones) on either side of vent:
    Less than 2 fingertip widths apart usually means not laying.
    More than 2 fingertip widths apart usually means laying.
     
  9. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nope,my cockerals had the guts.Some are shy.
     
  10. dogkahuna

    dogkahuna Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the eggcellent (is that allowed here?) information. Our roo is now mounting all the hens so I guess he was just warming up!
     

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