Author Topic: maturation rates, early crowing and aggression  (Read 1291 times)

Dawnalysce Clifford

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 18
maturation rates, early crowing and aggression
« on: November 02, 2019, 06:42:26 AM »
I noticed early on in breeding that the little roos who started to crow soonest, as early as 2 months, turned out to be more aggressive.  They tended to crow frequently and repeatedly during the day and acted over-sexed, harassing the hens and other roos.  So over time I selected for roos who developed more slowly, using ones who started crowing later, around 4 months or longer and that seemed more calm.  I think that led to pullets who also developed more slowly.  Especially in my Silvers, the pullets didn't start laying until 8 or 9 months, even with several months wasted on supplemental lighting over the winter. 
This past year some new sprig developed in my slow-maturing strain of Silvers.  A few young roos started crowing at 2.5-3 months.  And this September I had 2 pullets begin laying at 5 months.  I plan to use some of these earlier maturing birds as primary breeders next year.  Some of the earliest-to-crow roos are just too aggressive for me.  They can't seem to get along, always picking fights with other roos and mercilessly chasing down hens.  I just can't bring myself to use them.
It feels like walking a knife edge between early maturation and excessive aggression to breed a spring pullet who starts laying in the fall.  I'm hoping by using the early-laying hens and roos maturing slightly earlier than average that I can achieve my goal.

Mike Gilbert

  • Lifetime Member
  • Ameraucana Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 1695
    • Red Stag Acres
Re: maturation rates, early crowing and aggression
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2019, 07:44:17 AM »
One thing not mentioned is that the early maturing, aggressive cockerels will also be the most fertile.   They do go through that stage, and most times they get over it if they have enough hens to service.   It seems like the best solution is to raise the cockerels with an older, dominant male and keep them all separated from the females until it is time to use them. 
Mike Gilbert
1st John 5:11-13

Dawnalysce Clifford

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 18
Re: maturation rates, early crowing and aggression
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2019, 09:11:39 AM »
Yeah, Mike, those early maturers seem to be soaked in testosterone!  I might have just enough room to keep the roos from the hens, except I really like to free range them and of course, the hens will run right over to see the roos in the pen. 

Russ Blair

  • Lifetime Member
  • Ameraucana Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 924
Re: maturation rates, early crowing and aggression
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2019, 05:17:41 AM »
I always look for early maturing birds, around here feed cost money and the sooner they mature the sooner I can cull  ;)
S.E. Michigan

Janie Vilá

  • Associate
  • ***
  • Posts: 55
Re: maturation rates, early crowing and aggression
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2019, 04:28:50 PM »
We held a processing class here at my house and people brought some of their meanest roosters along to process. We made a science lesson out of it for the children.
The most aggressive roosters had testicles 3 to 4 times larger than your average laid back extra rooster. This happened with every single aggressive rooster presented.

Mike Gilbert

  • Lifetime Member
  • Ameraucana Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 1695
    • Red Stag Acres
Re: maturation rates, early crowing and aggression
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2019, 05:50:31 PM »
We held a processing class here at my house and people brought some of their meanest roosters along to process. We made a science lesson out of it for the children.
The most aggressive roosters had testicles 3 to 4 times larger than your average laid back extra rooster. This happened with every single aggressive rooster presented.

Good to know!  Thanks for sharing that info.
Mike Gilbert
1st John 5:11-13

Dawnalysce Clifford

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 18
Re: maturation rates, early crowing and aggression
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2020, 08:47:20 AM »
Wow, interesting Janie!  Since people buying them prefer roosters that are less aggressive and I want to improve the maturation rate of my birds, I'm going to try using mid-range maturing roosters.  I've noticed a few chicks over the years with the slow feathering issue that leaves a nearly bald area over the shoulders.  They also seem to mature more slowly.  Will steer away from using those!