Three Roos - One Pen? Who's the Daddy?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by alohachickens, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. alohachickens

    alohachickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 14, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    Hope this is the right spot for this question!

    I have several lovely roos in a pen with my hens.

    Ok, so I've read online that once a roo covers a hen, usually the second or third egg the hens lays after that, is fertile by that rooster.

    Furthermore, I have read online that the hen's eggs can remain fertile by that one rooster, from just that one encounter, for up to two weeks.

    So here's my question - I've seen the same hens be covered by BOTH roosters. I've seen Roo #1 jump on a hen, then the next day, it's Roo #2.

    I know that dogs and cats can mate with multiple partners and can have babies from different dads within the same litter. Are chickens the same way? Or are all her eggs fertile by the first rooster she encounters? Does the DNA from Rooster #1 have to pass through her system entirely before she ever uses the DNA from Roo #2?

    Or is it all stored inside and mixed up in there at random? (In which case, a week's worth of eggs could be sired by either rooster.)

    Totally curious! Anyone know the answer?
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2012
  2. WILD GUESS: your gonna have a batch of rooster #1 and rooster #2 chicks! did you say she layed fertile eggs? XD if she did the best way is to see who the chicks best resemble. XD
  3. alohachickens

    alohachickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 14, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    So you are guessing, too? LOL!

    Actually, in this case, it would be a good thing if things were all mixed up. I have several nice roosters but not enough breeding pens to give each rooster their own. I'm trying to stock up some BYC friends with hatching eggs. It would be really nice is they had as much diversity in the bloodlines as possible.

    We should be able to figure out the dad of the chicks somewhat after they hatch, by looking at the adults. I'm hoping she'd get various eggs with DNA from all three roosters, if that's possible?
  4. i think it is, this is my first year breeding (none yet but my 4 week turken roo is trying to breed [​IMG] but my actually old enogh roo isnt!! grr ) so hope ya get cool mixed up chicks! Keep me updated, i want to see them
  5. draye

    draye Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 30, 2010
    It will be interesting to try to figure out.
    I do the same thing but only have 1 rooster, I just try to figure out the mama chicken.

    That is one way to have genetic diversity. I run only 1 rooster per pen to keep the fighting down and from the constant riding of the hens.
  6. Rosaleen

    Rosaleen Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2011
    Danville, Vermont
    I have a black Cochin bantam hen that hatched out 14 adorable chicks. I know all three roosters bred with her. The chicks are two and a half weeks old and I can see evidence of at least two of the roos, one is a frizzle and there are a few chicks with frizzle feathers. Another rooster is a tricolor Mille fleur and some chicks are looking very much like him. I just love watching them scampering around while free ranging...also my white silkie left her clutch of eggs to help with the child rearing and I have a silver laced Cochin sitting on her own eggs...hatch day in about ten days.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012

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