Young buckeye's with an older roo

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by jldaniel33, Feb 18, 2012.

  1. jldaniel33

    jldaniel33 Out Of The Brooder

    22
    0
    22
    Oct 20, 2011
    Ellensburg
    I am pretty new to chickens. I had been given some hens and an Americauna rooster last summer, but due to dog incident only had one barred rock hen and the roo in fall. I have raised 15 buckeyes and they have been out with the two older ones since Christmas with no problems. The Buckeyes are now about 15 weeks old and the big roo is starting some mating behavior I was told: biting the young hens in the neck to subdue them. I read somewhere that a big roo can break bones and otherwise really hurt the pullets by mounting them.

    Should I separate the big roo? We are thinking of giving him away anyway now that the Buckeye roos are getting older. Are the pullets in danger if I leave them together?
     
  2. Ducks and Banny hens

    Ducks and Banny hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 22, 2011
    On a little Farm.
    Welcome to the Backyard Chickens website. Personnaly, it's been my experience that a big boy won't mount a hen until she's sexually mature (aka big enough to support his weight), and a large roo won't normally try to mate with wee little hens. If you witness him actually mounting the hens, and it seems to be hurting them, yes separate them. But I think you will be fine. I have had a semi-bantam rooster mount an OEGB hen several times (he was exactly 5 times her size), and the hen was fine. And yes, grabbing the hens by the back of the head is a mating behaviour, but not neccesarily ideal behaviour. Normally, a hen is first mounted roughly a week prior to her first egg. Ideal courtship behaviour would be if he strutted for the hens first.... Etiquette. If there are any hens with spurs, I would suggest breeding them -- they will have the most supreme sons.
     
  3. jldaniel33

    jldaniel33 Out Of The Brooder

    22
    0
    22
    Oct 20, 2011
    Ellensburg
    Thanks so much for your response. I am enjoying these chickens a lot and watching them grow. I the roo is such a sweetie and handsome and I have never had any issues with him and the kids. I figure I still have a couple of months before I am looking for eggs and need to cull the young roos.
     
  4. chicklover16

    chicklover16 queen of flirts

    5,422
    11
    233
    Jun 3, 2011
    Em's Dungeon

    x2
     
  5. Ducks and Banny hens

    Ducks and Banny hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 22, 2011
    On a little Farm.
    You might also find that the roo may be friendly and sweet now, but most roos will be more aggresive during the 'Rut' (early spring), when they adopt a much more territorial behaviour. Right now, we've been having a bit of a freak winter thaw. My patriarch Bow Lake cock, who is normally very sedate and friendly, will beat the tar out of me if I lay a hand on one of his hens. This seems to be a norm with chickens. After a period of cold, the warming temperatures and increases in daylight seem to spark a behavioural change in chickens - getting ready for the breeding cycle. Therefore, Spring is a really bad time to cull off nasty cocks, mainly because most cocks are nasty during that time. If you have a rooster that you are happy with, breed him, but be forewarned you may have second thoughts when the rut rolls around, but most of the time that behaviour is just a passing thing.
    Most of the time, Buckeye breeders tend towards hyper, excited chickens. Buckeyes should usually have dark meat over there entire bodies (unlike the average broiler), which is actually thought to be caused directly by the flighty behaviour. They are somewhat bizarre for a big breed -- flighty like a little Hamburg, but as big as an old Australorp.
    I have never owned Buckeyes, but I assume since they were grafted from the Brahma and the Rhode Island Red that they lay Brown eggs. You probably already know this, but the best way to observe your flocks laying abilities is Trap Nesting. What you do, is when you build your nest box, drill a hole in the top. Then, make a sliding door (up and down) on the front. This will be propped open most of the time, by a string running up to the ceiling, then back down to end tied to a stick with a notch, catching the hole in the top of a nest box. The hen will go in to the nest box, get settled to lay the egg (meanwhile tripping the stick in the top of the box), and she will be trapped there until you come let her out. This is inarguably the most successful method of monitoring the hens' laying (and you can then breed from the best layers), but it can be impractical - you have to check on them constantly, otherwise you'll have a coop-ful of trapped hens, and a Rooster trying to figure out where his girls went.
     
  6. cgmccary

    cgmccary Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,740
    216
    214
    Sep 14, 2007
    NE Alabama
    Quote: No, Buckeye breeders do not breed for a hyper, excited chicken. Buckeyes, as a breed, are very tame. This is true whether you handle them a lot or not, The roosters are very gentle. Buckeyes run toward you. One must avoid stepping on their feet which is difficult because they want to be be right with you. Buckeyes are the opposite of flighty. The dark meat is indicative of fast twitch muscle which means that they are an "active" fowl. By this, I mean Buckeyes love to forage and hunt for their food. THIS DOES NOT MEAN FLIGHTY. Neither Brahma NOR Rhode Island Red was used in the creation of the Buckeye. The creator of the Buckeye,Mrs. Metcalf, set out to create a large red fowl that was dual purpose and a good farm fowl. Metcalf created the Buckeye before she had ever heard there was such a breed as the Rhode Island Red.

    The Buckeyes creation is well documented by the creator herself from about 1880 to when the Buckeye was admnitted as a breed in 1904 by the APA. Metcalf began by first crossing a Buff Cochin male to Barred Plymouth Rock females. She then crossed the half Cochin pullets with a Black Breasted Red Game male from some eggs (she later said that she realized this Game male had to have been previously crossed with a Cornish because of the yellow legs and pea comb) she acquired the next year. She took the red offspring of this mating to create the breed. Metcalf herself says (in 1909) that when she learned of the Rhode Island Red and acquired some, because of their buff, sorrell color and lack of "Cornish" shape, she never liked them enough to mix them with her Buckeyes.

    To the OP's original question: yes, it is dangerous to mix young pullets with a large rooster. I once had an 18 week old (abouts) pullet's wing broke by a Buckeye rooster. I too believed a grown rooster would not try and cover a young (prior to laying) pullet. I was wrong, and it broke her wing. I saw it happen. A rooster between 1 and 2 years old is most dangerous as they are most vigorous, I have found. I do not take that risk anymore.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by