rooster question.. age of sexuality

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by augiedranch, May 30, 2008.

  1. augiedranch

    augiedranch Songster

    Mar 14, 2008
    if my roos are crowing and grabbing hens neck feathers.. are they about ready to breed?

    they are 13 weeks old. the boys are crowing alot.. it sounds awful lol.

    also, should i switch to laying mash instead of chick starter?

    thanks guys

  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Cockerals are sexually active at a young age. They will try to mate the pullets from as early as 2.5 months. This does not mean they are fertile. It also has nothing to do with the pullets and egg laying.

    The average on most production breeds is 18 - 20 weeks for egg laying. Many breeds go much later. I have some that did not start to lay until nearly 30 weeks. Large breed chickens tend to lay much later.

    I do not give laying feed until I actually see an egg. Laying feed has more calcium in it for shell production and if they are not laying eggs they don't need it. Cockerals certainly don't need it. Too much calcium unused in their bodies leads to kidney disorders, bloackages and can be fatal over extended periods of time.

    They should continue a diet of chick starter/grower or even something like Purina's Flock Raiser until point of lay then switch to the laying feed. You wll find less waste going with a pelleted feed.

    How many cockerals are you growing out? As they reach sexual maturity some cockerals become aggressive. They assert their dominance and try to jocky for the lead rooster position in the hen house. More than one roo can be trouble in your hen house. Watch carefully as they approach 4 - 6 months. You could have some seriously bloody, if not fatal fights between them.

    Good luck. Enjoy your chickens.
  3. crooked stripe

    crooked stripe Songster

    Jan 14, 2008
    N.E Ohio- Suffield
    I have one black australorp roo and 7 hens. The hens challenge him but he will not back down. At this point he shows no interest in the hens. He is 16 weeks Monday. John
  4. augiedranch

    augiedranch Songster

    Mar 14, 2008
    oh my goodness!

    i have six lil roosters... i was planning on keeping them all...

    full grown- 2 buff orpington hens, 1 rir hen, 1 barred rock hen, 2 golden polishs hens

    13 week olds- 1 blk australorp roo, 2 brahma bantums roos, 1 banty roo, 3 ameracaunas hens, 1 blk sex link hen, 1 new hamp red hen, 1 "mystery" rooster

    2 week olds- do not know age

    1 month old- 1 male rhode island red

    is this a bad set up of males vs females?

    i have grown to love each and every one of these guys and the males seem to be the sweetiest things ever. i didnt know i had to get rid of them... [​IMG]

    11 hens,
    6 roos

    then i dont know the rest
  5. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    I had that problem, so I decided to put all the males together in a bachelor pad. Worked well. I left the 2 roos with the girls that behaved the most. In the bachelor pad, 3 of the roos would flip out if I even looked at them. So I rehomed them. Now I have 2 silkie roos and one silkie hen living together happily, and 8 other hens with 2 roos, an alpha roo, and a low man on the totem pole roo.
    Try waiting it out. If they start to upset the peace in the flock, then rehome them.
  6. yotetrapper

    yotetrapper Songster

    May 3, 2007
    North Central MS
    I had 27 hens and 4 roosters and the roosters made my hens absolutely BALD from the neck to the tail from overmating. I'm afraid you'll have serious problems with 6 roos to 11 hens.
  7. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Not only will you have rooster fighting and other problems but they will cause your hens to suffer.

    They each will want to mate dozens of times each day and that means eventually your hens will suffer feather loss and probably injuries much more severe as they grow their spurs and tend to bite at their neck or comb.

    For 11 hens you only need 1 rooster. Even then you may want to put him in a bachelor pad occassionally to give the hens a break from him for a week or so.

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