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Who the daddy?

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by ChickenFox, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. ChickenFox

    ChickenFox Songster

    Mar 5, 2013
    West Virginia
    So I have 2 siblings that I hatched several months ago and now I'm wondering who the pullets father was. The Roo I know for sure and was pleasantly surprised as my drk Cornish banty roo is not the dominant boy so the fact he snuck a baby in was surprising...

    This is momma (please forgive the muddy conditions. The snow and rain have been unrelenting this winter)


    My Dominant Roo

    My Cornish Banty Roo


    Now here are my siblings.
    She's all black which makes me believe the black Roo is the father but her head kinda makes me think possibly the cornish is too...although she has a straight comb unlike her brother

    This is the brother (where that white came from I have no clue) Very much like his father except color. Sweet temperament as well

    So what are your thoughts as to " Who the Daddy?"
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2014

  2. redrooster99

    redrooster99 Songster

    Jun 14, 2013
    i think the dominant but that white is surprising
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    The pullet probably came from the first (black) rooster, but I don't think the rooster chick came from either of those roosters, or maybe not from that pullet. Are you sure she didn't incubate someone else's egg, or another rooster?


    Dec 3, 2012
    I agree
  5. ChickenFox

    ChickenFox Songster

    Mar 5, 2013
    West Virginia
    Those 2 are the only Roos in there and i was actually there to watch her lay the eggs. So I'm positive...maybe a weird recessive fluke?

    Now that I'm not typing on a phone I'll elaborate. She was in the nest box laying 2 days when I went out to collect so I'm 100% she's the momma. As for the Roos they are the only 2 in there and the only 2 I had at the time....Now I do have a black tailed white jap banty but she lives in the house and as i said i saw Ziva lay the eggs....Is it possible maybe the mother has a recessive white gene? I'm truly perplexed as how i got a mostly white bird. He's the sweetest Roo though. Just like his father though more people friendly.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2014
  6. chooks4life

    chooks4life Crowing

    Apr 8, 2013
    I found my subordinate roos always fathered far more offspring than the dominant ones. I have a theory as to why but that's based on mammalian traits so I don't know if it applies. I'm a newcomer to the 'theory' of chickens, having mostly done 'practice' before. :p Bear with me, it's a little off-topic.

    I was taught that with mammals the female reproductive tract is acidic and the alkaline ph of semen (as well as the alkalizing covering of the heads of the sperm that burn to death along the way) neutralizes the tract as they progress, allowing the rest of the sperm to follow until the egg/s can be reached, and then even more sperm die in order to break down the acidic shell of the egg until finally one (or more) can combine with it, but I don't know if it's the same for birds. This is what I've been taught about mammalian reproduction anyway, and I know it's in total conflict with the computer generated imagery that always shows the 'one that wins the race' being the single one to fuse with the egg.

    In mammals the "johnny-come-later's" sperm is fairly often the sperm that successfully bonds with the egg, provided the matings aren't too far apart and also provided both males are producing fairly equal-quality sperm. This is why dogs 'tie' when mating, to prevent just such an occurrence, and even then it's still not uncommon for multiple dogs to be represented in a litter of pups. I theorize (while awaiting better information) that it's the same with birds, and the sperm/semen that 'blazes the trail' is potentially superseded by that of a secondary mating since the first lot is tired and has been doing all the hard work so the second lot doesn't have to. Riding on the coattails as it were. Seriously, what a load of cliches and puns, I'm sorry. Anyway, you might have seen your dominant male not care so much about the subordinate mating with a hen he's already mated with. I know it was often that way with mine. My doms would let subs mate with their exes right in front of them, as long as they'd gotten there first, but the bulk of any offspring were always the sub's, which I think might be the case with yours.

    Sperm get tired too, lol, and a male who isn't at peak health isn't producing the best sperm. Even if he was sick weeks before mating (or wormed using a chemical wormer for example) his sperm can be low quality once he himself is recovered, due to the production delay.

    Anyway, as a general rule of thumb in any species whose female produces more than one egg at a time, there can be more than one father represented in the litter, clutch, whatever. I think that's possibly what you're seeing here.

    Also, there are any number of reasons one male may be producing defective or weak sperm, very slow or very few sperm, or even none at all, and being dominant or producing semen is not actually a guarantee of his breeding capacity; temporary infertility is common enough too. One of my dominant roosters was almost totally infertile, and with many other animals also the dominance of the animal does not depend on its actual ability to breed, just its general hormonal state and other factors unrelated to the quality of its eggs or sperm. Best case scenario is that the healthiest males are also more dominant and also more fertile. But it doesn't always work out that way.

    Another thing is that even if your dominant male has good sperm and is healthy, if he produces slower sperm, and your subordinate male faster sperm, that's the 'race' lost by your dom right there. Maybe your dominant male produces sickle-tailed sperm that only swim in circles, or something like that. There are any number of reasons a dominant male can fail to be the sire of the offspring. A lot can go wrong with sperm. Also, there are mechanisms in the female that destroy sperm based on a variety of factors, so even if he's 100% she may be negating that.

    Another thought is that perhaps she wasn't with that rooster two weeks before laying those eggs you collected. Recent matings may mean nothing if the objective was already accomplished. What male was she mating with around two weeks or so before you collected the eggs? With a healthy and fertile male, a single mating can 'do the job', but often there are multiple fathers represented in clutches in multiple-male flocks.

    In studies on hens, they have been shown to reject sperm and deposit it on the ground if they don't approve of the male, despite apparently willingly mating with him. Does your mother hen show any preference for one roo or the other?

    I always noticed my hens managed to only breed the males they wanted, despite mating with many others, and finding that little fact out made a lot of sense. I was previously thinking (still am to some extent) that perhaps they didn't line their reproductive tract up when mating with males they didn't like, so the sperm didn't go into the reproductive tract but rather into the eliminatory one, but I don't even know if that's possible.

    I have done an overhaul of my PC and the sites are showing differently so I'm not sure, but I think this is the site I found some of that info on. I visit a bunch of these sorts of sites though and they're all rather similar so if you search for this stuff you can come across others like it. Not all of their studies have strict enough criteria etc to persuade me but most of it's pretty sound. Here's a link anyway, might be helpful. Argh, this new browser's even done away with my ability to quote properly. Still working out the kinks lol. Everything's different, some things don't work anymore. That's what I get for using a second hand PC. ;)


    And a distant and unlikely but still possible scenario is one in which your hen has part of the ovarian tissue of another hen, i.e. a twin who was absorbed into her before she hatched, and that part of the ovary has produced eggs which have become fertilized right alongside those of the surviving twin. Not too likely but certainly not unheard of.

    If you breed her again, a few times, with the same roo, or both at different times, and other roos, you'll get a good idea of what her genetics really are, despite her appearance which may be deceiving. Perhaps your roosters have deceiving appearances, too.

    Anyway, have fun with your paternity quest. Best wishes.
    1 person likes this.

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