The Rooster and his duty....

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LeghornGuy, Dec 25, 2007.

  1. LeghornGuy

    LeghornGuy In the Brooder

    Jul 18, 2007
    New Orleans
    I have several white leghorn hens and two RIR hens. We finally figured out why most of our white leghorn hens always seem to have dirty feathers.

    The rooster is doing his "duty/ mating." We have 12 leghorn hens and there are four white leghorn hens that clean feathers.

    Also- the two RIR hens also have clean feathers (no foot prints or dirt on their backs)
    I want to hatch the RIR eggs this spring.
    Is one rooster able to take care of all 14 hens in the yard? Do you the think all our eggs are fertile?
    Should I separate the RIR hens and coop them together with the rooster? I want to cross my RIR with the leghorn rooster. I plan on purchasing an incubator this spring.

    I usually watch the chickens in the yard for one hour a day. I have not seen him mate with the RIR hens.

    Your comments and suggestions will be appreciated
  2. CovenantCreek

    CovenantCreek Chicks Rule!

    Oct 19, 2007
    Franklin, TN
    I've read that the ratio should be something like 4-6 hens per roo. More than that and fertility rates go down.
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    For a light breed, your ratio of 1:14 is not bad. But, if you want to make sure you max out fertility, 1:7 would work. Just watch out for fighting since if the ratio is too high, there will be more hen grabbing than actual mating between roos. Chances are if you add a roo, the hens you see that are dirty and mated, will be mated even more and start losing back feathers. Lower birds on the pecking order will get the most roo attention. It only takes one mate a week to keep a hen fertile. I don't ever see my rooster mate and fertility is about 90%. He is a heavy breed though and has 10 hens.

    Light breeds: 1:10-12
    Heavy breeds: 1:8-10

    It also depends on the rooster.

    If your guys don't fight, go ahead and pop in another roo for the girls.
  4. LeghornGuy

    LeghornGuy In the Brooder

    Jul 18, 2007
    New Orleans
    Thanks for the information!
    I am going to consider putting the rooster in a small cage with the RIR hens. He is a brown leghorn rooster and I was told to cross it with the RIR hens. Both white leghorn hens and RIR hens are laying machines.
    My next move is to purchase an incubator in the Spring.
    Thanks again.
  5. bigzio

    bigzio Crowing

    Jan 20, 2007
    In my opinion in depends on your roo. Keep a close eye your hens, and I'm sure he is doing a good enough job to have fertile eggs. The roo will always have his favorite hens, but doesn't look the other way at others either. Before I would aquire another roo, I would make sure the present one isn't adequate before I present other problems with more than one roo.

  6. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    I have a barred rock roo in with 12 hens and have a 90% fertility rate. [​IMG]

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