Rooster Mating?

newchck

Songster
Apr 20, 2020
207
383
136
Midwest
Good morning all! We have had our rooster for about a month and neither me or my husband (who works from home) have noticed our roo mating with any of the girls. According to my coworker he is about 18 months (the same as our girls.) He hangs out with them all day long, and they are very friendly with each other. Do some roosters not mate? Is it best to just incubate some eggs to find out if they are fertile? Thanks!
 

Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Sep 20, 2015
41,754
61,110
1,412
Southern N.C. Mountains
@newchck you don't have to incubate eggs to find out if your eggs are fertile. Next time you are going to cook, take time to look at the eggs cracked open. You should be able to see one "spot" which is the disc on the yolk. If the disc has a "bullseye" or ring around the disc, then it's fertile. This tells you the rooster is mating with the hens.

Some roosters are very good with the hens and you may not see them mate. My roosters have been most active first thing in the morning, after a hen lays an egg and late in the day about an hour or so before dusk (roosting time).

Here's a couple of half way decent descriptions of what you are looking for.

https://blog.meyerhatchery.com/2020/03/how-to-check-eggs-for-fertility/
https://www.mypetchicken.com/backyard-chickens/chicken-help/Are-fertilized-eggs-okay-to-eat-H48.aspx
 

newchck

Songster
Apr 20, 2020
207
383
136
Midwest
@newchck you don't have to incubate eggs to find out if your eggs are fertile. Next time you are going to cook, take time to look at the eggs cracked open. You should be able to see one "spot" which is the disc on the yolk. If the disc has a "bullseye" or ring around the disc, then it's fertile. This tells you the rooster is mating with the hens.

Some roosters are very good with the hens and you may not see them mate. My roosters have been most active first thing in the morning, after a hen lays an egg and late in the day about an hour or so before dusk (roosting time).

Here's a couple of half way decent descriptions of what you are looking for.

https://blog.meyerhatchery.com/2020/03/how-to-check-eggs-for-fertility/
https://www.mypetchicken.com/backyard-chickens/chicken-help/Are-fertilized-eggs-okay-to-eat-H48.aspx
Thank you so much!! We ordered 16 more hens for the spring (one surprise who we assume will be a roo) and made sure to get some Buff Orpingtons because we would love some broodies! We are really hoping by the time they are mature we will have fertile eggs
 

newchck

Songster
Apr 20, 2020
207
383
136
Midwest
Are they laying?
They are of the age to be molting, a good cock will not mate a hen that is not in lay.
Wow that is super informative, thank you so much. One hen seems to just be getting over her molt, one is having a pretty rough first molt. We have 7 hens and to my knowledge only those 2 are obviously molting. Is it sometimes not obvious? I ask because it seems that only 3 of our hens are laying, but they do free range (so maybe they are hiding eggs, we have been looking but no luck in finding any) and the sun is less and we do not supplement light. We moved in Sep and inherited 2 hens with the house, they actually roost and lay in a hay loft of the enclosure for the sheep and they have continued laying, but they are a few months older than our original girls so they probably molted before we moved. We have not gotten any brown eggs in our coop, so it seems only 1 of our EE's is laying.
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
8,679
19,018
726
USA
We have 7 hens and to my knowledge only those 2 are obviously molting. Is it sometimes not obvious?
Some hens lose a lot of feathers and once and then regrow them (obvious) and some do just a few at a time (not obvious.) You could part the feathers and look for new ones growing underneath.

I ask because it seems that only 3 of our hens are laying, but they do free range (so maybe they are hiding eggs, we have been looking but no luck in finding any)
You can often tell if they are laying by looking at their vent and feeling their pubic bones.

If you look at your rooster (not-laying) and the hens you know are laying, the differences will probably be obvious, and then you can check the hens you aren't sure of.

I think of it as: could an egg come out of here? Yes for layers (vent large and stretchy, pubic bones spread apart), no for non-layers (vent small and puckered, pubic bone ends close together and right under the vent.)

Here's an article with more detail:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/who-is-laying-and-who-is-not-butt-check.73309/
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom