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#31971 - 02/22/03 04:43 AM Breeding Techniques

I'm looking for the best way to get fertile eggs. I have 30 hens in a 12x12 coop. Last year I left 3 roosters run with them all winter. I had an excellent rate of fertile eggs, but needless to say, the hens were rough looking by spring. This year, I placed 3 roosters in with them (2 weeks ago) and although the roosters have been penned up together since they were chicks, when they got in with the hens, there was alot of fighting for a few days. They are getting better and starting to do there job more now, but I believe there's a better way about this. Perhaps having separate pens for the roosters, and putting the hens in with them for a short time, or putting 1 rooster at a time in with the hens for a short period. I thought about leaving 1 rooster at a time in with the hens, and keeping the other 2 caged up separately in the hen house, and alternating the roosters every day or two, so there was only 1 rooster at a time in with the hens, so no problem with fighting, or fighting over the hens. What have you other folks found to work out the best for you? Thanks to all in advance for the feedback! Also, does anyone know of a good book or two out there with some useful information on this subject? Thanks!

#31972 - 02/22/03 05:17 AM Re: Breeding Techniques
Chicken Man Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 450
Loc: Canada
hi i think you shoud dived the hens in three pens
and put a rooster in each pen and keep them there
all year and the rooster will be come top of the pecking order and roosters wonted be fighting laugh

#31973 - 02/22/03 05:58 AM Re: Breeding Techniques
Rob Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 783
Loc: Pennsylvania
Are you trying to improve your stock or just make chickens? You could choose the 8 best hens and the vest roo and only mate those for production of hatching eggs. One roo will probably not cover 3o hens, you will get some clear eggs that way.

#31974 - 02/22/03 06:36 AM Re: Breeding Techniques
R. Okimoto Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/18/02
Posts: 1498
Loc: Arkansas
Just from ancedotal evidence I don't think it is the males that make the hens rough looking. I've had bantams in pairs in small cages (sometimes as small as 2 ft X 2 ft) for extended periods of time. My last case was a pair of Partridge Rock bantams that I kept that way for more than a year. The hen looked perfectly fine with just a few feathers missing from near the top of her head. I've had 20 or so females in a pen with no males and most of them get bare backs and necks. This seems to have more to do with the peck order of the hens than the attentions of the males.

It is likely line dependent. Some males are not gentlemen and some lines have soft feathering that is more easily damaged, but I still think that it is the constant battering that other hens inflict that is the cause of most of the problem. A male might mate with a hen once a day or less, but other hens are pecking at her constantly.

#31975 - 02/28/03 05:13 PM Re: Breeding Techniques

i have 3 roosters, and they fight a little, but i haven't had any problems with my hens getting picked. you say you have 30 hens i think that would be plenty of hens for the roosters. if not maybe you could pick your best 2 and eat the 3rd. with only two roosters you should have more than enough hens to go around.

#31976 - 03/02/03 07:34 AM Re: Breeding Techniques

with 30 hens run as several pens 10 each.
if you wish to raise show birds i would recommend a separate coop for your 10 best or 5 best hens, and then one rooster or a i if they have to show this season. then you are suree who is bred or not.
it is easy to put all types of banty breeds together in onepen and get pure breds- if they are a i


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