Chickens / Community Chickens / Management

Setting Up Breeding Pens


Late January to mid-February is the ideal time to set-up breeding pens for spring hatching.  Hens sometimes require a few weeks to warm up to a new rooster, and they can store rooster’s genetic material for up to a month.  To be sure that you are setting eggs from your most recent pairing, wait until the breeding group has been together for at least two weeks and a full month if you want to be certain of parentage…

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8 thoughts on “Setting Up Breeding Pens

  1. I have a rooster that was sort of a rescue from the very irresponsible people at my previous barn. He now lives very happily with my mare at our new barn. The barn owner says he can stay as long as he doesn’t get aggresive. My opinion is, as long as I don’t get him a hen he should stay the passive guy he now is. Am a right about this? I’d hate to have to get rid of him since my girl is much calmer with him.

    • In my experience, roosters do stay easy-going until they have a female to defend and feel responsible for. My hens do also seem to prefer having a rooster, and I think they free range much more safely with a rooster. If he is with a hen, I’d still wait and see how he does. Not all roosters become aggressive. I hope it works out! I think it’s great that you rescued him and give him such thought and care.

      • Thank you for answering. “Rooter” is a bachelor. I thought about bringing the one and only hen left at our old barn because I’d like to have eggs to eat. But I’ve also seen and heard how the roosters get too protective of the hens so decided to leave well enough alone. He is a character. He’s already won over the people at the new barn. I don’t know what breed he is. He’s in between a banty and a regular size rooster, shades of red all over. He was originally bought for one of the teens as a
        4-H project but was quickly forgotten about. Thanks for the advice.

  2. I googled chicken breeds and came across the New Hampshire breed. Of the breeds shown that is what “Rooter” most looks like. Maybe he is? I don’t think he cares:)

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