Rooster has a favorite hen?!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by RCCheshire, Oct 30, 2016.

  1. RCCheshire

    RCCheshire Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 15, 2016
    Southeast Missouri
    Hello! I have a quick question.

    We currently have a small backyard flock consisting of one rooster, five hens, one Muscovy duck and three small chicks that we purchased. My question is regarding our rooster, Fred. We got Fred from a friend's farm back in the spring. I'm not sure how old he is now, but I'm guessing around a year.

    A couple months ago, we lost three hens and one of Fred's baby chicks due to a fox. At that time we were left with the duck, the rooster and two hens. Fast forward a month or so and we purchase three more hens from the same friend's farm. The flock still is having issues getting a long with two of the hens, however one of them is now Fred's favorite girl (and mine too - sshh!).

    I spend a lot of time outside, especially on the weekends, and rarely see Fred mating with any other hens. Out of the probably 25-30 hours I have spent outside over the last few weeks, I have only seen him mate with Eleanor three times. Now I know he does it more when I'm not around, but I just find it odd that of all the hens, he is only ever with her. Even just walking around the property, he is always with her.

    I wasn't really concerned until recently because we are looking to grow our flock significantly. I plan to at least double the number of hens and possible add another rooster to the mix when the ratio allows. We purchased an incubator and want to show our kids how the process works and allow them to be a part of all of it. But I don't see it possible to grow the flock from our current hens if Fred isn't fertilizing 4 out of 5 eggs.

    I guess I typed all of that to ask if this is normal? Is he maybe still servicing all of the hens even though we don't see it? I'm still relatively new to the backyard chicken life and I absolutely wouldn't trade it for anything. I love all of my chickens! Any advice or stories of similar experiences would be much appreciated!!

    Thanks in advance. :)
     
  2. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    Have no worries he is breeding all the Hens...He just likes her the most...My new Cockerel loves my one Orpington Pullet..She is passive to his loving...lol
    My dominant Pullet fights him until he wins....Anyways...Have no worries....I have 11 Pullets and I know he is breeding most if not all of them...

    Cheers!
     
  3. RCCheshire

    RCCheshire Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 15, 2016
    Southeast Missouri
    Phew.. thank you!! I wouldn't ever get rid of him because I just love the guy - but that makes me relieved. Glad he's doing his roosterly duty. Lol!
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Sometimes a rooster will favor the bottom ranking hen and takes to breeding her and mostly her. Some roosters aren't confident enough to pursue all the hens, especially if he's the only rooster and is young. I wouldn't just assume he's mating them all. I've seen some roosters bond with a single hen and that's what he sticks with.

    He may become more confident as spring approaches as his hormones surge. This time of year mating slows due to decreasing daylight and their hormones lowering.

    I believe you can tell if an egg is actually fertilized by cracking it open and looking for a certain ring around the bullseye spot.

    Adding another rooster can help a lazy rooster take his job seriously.
     
  5. RCCheshire

    RCCheshire Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 15, 2016
    Southeast Missouri
    Thank you!! We purchased three chicks about a month ago and I'm pretty sure one of them is a rooster. I thought about letting him go when he gets older but instead I think we're going to just keep building our flock. We have the space and now a building big enough for quite a few more. Maybe by next spring Myles will be showing Fred what to do! Lol!

    We have 12 eggs in the incubator now. Maybe we will see if any of them are fertile within the next week. *fingers crossed*
     
  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Hopefully they are. Roosters do mate quickly and often, hopefully you are just missing most of the action. Wishing you good luck for a great hatch.[​IMG]
     
  7. RCCheshire

    RCCheshire Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 15, 2016
    Southeast Missouri
    Thank you so much for the help and kind words! [​IMG]
     
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  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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