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Rooster nearly 1-year-old, not mating yet

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Flock Leader, Feb 8, 2016.

  1. Flock Leader

    Flock Leader Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a beautiful Black Brahma roo, currently the only roo in our small flock. He is nearly 1 year old, large and heavy with beautiful feathering, but has only recently developed a prominent comb and wattles and started crowing. I've never seen him try to mate with the hens yet. Is his recent crowing a sign that he will be ready to mate soon? I know some of my hens will probably go broody in a month or two, as they have already begun laying again (those sneaky girls hid 10 eggs in a common nest in a secret nook in the yard!), and I'd love to have some chicks this spring.

    I know Brahmas are generally slow to mature. I've never known a roo to take so long to start crowing or mating.

    Also, some of the hens in my flock are rather petite and the Brahma roo is a heavy bird. Do you think it will be a problem?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Have you opened the eggs to see if they're fertile?

    Do you know how much he weighs?

    It can possibly be too heavy for successful mating.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016
  3. Flock Leader

    Flock Leader Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ChickenCanoe, I haven't opened the eggs, but how can I tell if they're fertile if they hadn't been sat on? I know for sure none of my hens had gone broody yet. They're all on the roost come nightfall.

    No, no idea how much he actually weighs, but he's big. Anyway, so far I haven't seen him even trying to mate. I guess I could wait until he starts and see if there's a problem, and consider getting another rooster (though I really like this one, and I don't want to keep two).

    But will he be ready to mate soon, now that he started to crow?
     
  4. Soylent Chick

    Soylent Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Mating takes seconds so if you turn your back, you'll miss it.

    The hugeness may be feathers.
    I have big looking birds but when they molt, they look tiny.

    Look at the blastoderm/blastodisc on the yolk. If it is a white dot, it's infertile. If it is a white halo, it's fertile.
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

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    I had a Faverolles cockerel who was 9 months and had just started to crow. About 6ish weeks after he started crowing he clumsily tried to start mating. Those big paddle feathered feet got in his way, poor guy! Anyway, I'm thinking with spring coming and your guy crowing, mating won't be far behind. I'd keep an eye out especially in the mornings, that's when most roosters seem amorous.
     
  7. Flock Leader

    Flock Leader Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow! This is mind-blowing! I've been raising chickens for years, incubating, hatching chicks under broodies, and I never knew I can tell if the fresh eggs I'm about to scramble had been fertilized or not! Thanks a lot for enlightening me on this score. There's truly no place like BYC.

    Donrae, I believe and hope you're right!

    ChickenCanoe, of course theoretically it's possible he just mates really quickly and does it when I'm not looking, but I tend to spend a good portion of time each day outside in the yard with my chickens around me, and with our previous rooster, I always observed at least 2-3 matings in a day, while this one I've never seen either mating or engaging in "chicken courtship" (dancing around the females, showing them food, etc).
     
  8. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Late bloomer.
     
  9. Flock Leader

    Flock Leader Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's what my husband says. :eek:)
     
  10. Flock Leader

    Flock Leader Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Also, I wonder if mating-readiness will also bring the typical rooster "gentlemanly" behavior - watching over the flock, calling the hens to food, etc? My previous rooster (who fell prey to a fox) was really wonderful in that respect. He'd even show the hens good places to lay eggs. Whenever he found a place that he considered to be a good, discreet spot for laying, he'd call a hen over, sit in the chosen spot, and start softly clucking (just like a broody hen). The hens would then lay in those places. It was amazing to watch.
     

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