Squatting question

Leo1

Songster
9 Years
Jul 1, 2011
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Saco, Maine
I feel like this would have been asked and answered, but I can't find anything. How common is it for a hen to squat, for her human, if there's a rooster in the flock? My hens have always squatted for me, but this is my first time raising a cockeral with them. Curious.
 

ChickenCanoe

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In my experience, not very common.
I've only had a few hens squat for me and I don't think I've ever seen it since I've had roosters running with each flock.
That is after hundreds of roosters and thousands of hen.

I also disagree with the consensus that squatting is an indication that laying is imminent. Considering that I have about 100 or more hens a year that don't squat but still lay consistently.
 

Leo1

Songster
9 Years
Jul 1, 2011
251
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Saco, Maine
In my experience, not very common.
I've only had a few hens squat for me and I don't think I've ever seen it since I've had roosters running with each flock.
That is after hundreds of roosters and thousands of hen.

I also disagree with the consensus that squatting is an indication that laying is imminent. Considering that I have about 100 or more hens a year that don't squat but still lay consistently.
I've got a 9 year old who squats for me and she's not in lay. Only when we are outside, which is interesting and I it comes in bursts. She was not raised with a rooster and finds the cockeral terrifying. And i mean terrifying; he comes near her, she runs for me, yelling the whole way. One of the pullets, squats for me, but runs, like a bat out of hell from the cockeral. So far, 1 of the 3 pullets squats for me, the 3rd hasn't started yet. I'm super curious if she will for me. Sounds like my girl may be the exception.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
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I haven't though of it quite this way before but when you said cockerel it made sense. When chickens mate the one on bottom is accepting the dominance of the one on top, either willingly or by force. Since that hen willingly squats for you she sees you as the dominant flock member. It's something like a dog rolling over and exposing its throat to its master, it's showing submission to the dominant one.

Canoe hasn't seen that with hens, I haven't either, but we have roosters, not cockerels. The hen and pullet don't see that bratty young adolescent as the dominant flock member, you are. When that cockerel grows up and becomes a rooster he will be the dominant chicken in the flock. They will squat for him then.

I often have cockerels in my flock and a dominant rooster. When a cockerel starts bothering a hen she runs to the dominant rooster for him to deal with that bratty cockerel. Just like your hen runs to you.
 

Leo1

Songster
9 Years
Jul 1, 2011
251
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191
Saco, Maine
I'm interested to see how this turns out. They are 6.5 months old. The cockeral is fully aware I'm in charge, so I'm interested to see if this changes the hen behavior. All I have to do is snap, hold up a finger and say his name sternly, if he's going after a girl, and he'll stop mid run. Every once and awhile, I'll get a tiny little challenge from him. He'll make a little poke at my hand and, almost in the same motion, duck and jump away because he knows he won't get away with it. I've never once hurt him, or swung anything at him, and never would. He gets more treats than he does stern talking to's :) but I don't let him get away with anything and I don't let him touch a girl if I'm there.
 

ChickenCanoe

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Not when I'm there and usually they are making a ruckus and trying to evade him.
Why?
Most people keep male chickens for several reasons but usually mate the hens.
A cockerel or rooster with a flock of hens will mate with them. That's what they do.
At 6.5 months a cockerel is more than capable of fertilizing hens. Cockerels are a little more aggressive than older roosters but are often more fertile. They will settle down over time but if I only have a single male with each flock, I never try to prevent him from mating.
Roosters have a definite group of jobs in a flock and I want him to do all of them.
 

Leo1

Songster
9 Years
Jul 1, 2011
251
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Saco, Maine
I'm not most people and I'm sure he pesters them when I'm not around. I also couldn't care less if I have fertilized eggs, which, actually, they aren't. Haven't seen one, even though, like i said, im not always around.
Part of being the dominant flock member is not letting him mate when your around. I don't want him getting any illusions that he's the boss.
Finally, he's seriously upsetting the girls, all but one screams bloody murder when he tries something.
He's here because Meyer thought I needed a forth bird and that it needed to be a rooster. I'm fine with roosters and under all the hormones, he's a sweet boy, but he's a real ass to the girls, currently, and I'm not going to just watch that, even putting aside the behavioral issues that could come with him thinking he's in charge. He's a 9lb bird and I don't need to be trying to correct violent behaviors after they start.
 

ChickenCanoe

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I'm sorry, with all due respect, I disagree with most of that.
I know you aren't most people. We are all individuals but so are chickens. No matter how you dominate your flock, you will never become a rooster and hens will always seek out the attention of another chicken.
I've raised thousands of chickens and hundreds of roosters. I let them be chickens and I don't try to interfere in flock dynamics.
If you don't want or need a rooster and what they contribute to a flock, breeding, predator protection, finding food, watching over the hens while the hens eat, keeping the peace in a flock, then lose the rooster.
What breed is a 6.5 month old cockerel that is 9 pounds?
 
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