For varied reasons I have a mixed flock of White Leghorns, Rhode Island Reds and ISA Browns. I will shortly be adding Barred Plymouth Rock and Black Java's. As I work through figuring out which breed I want to keep in my homestead I want to be able to breed and hatch my own chicks. I plan on keeping 1 or 2 roosters of each breed and then put a rooster and some hens in a separate breeding coop. My question is how long do I need to wait before I know the eggs coming out of those hens were fertilized from that rooster and not from another rooster when they were all together in one flock?
Location: North Idaho at 975m elevation on steep western slope, 60cm annual precipitation, zone 4
posted 5 years ago
Roosters tend to be very protective, so the 1 that you see in a group of 1 to 10 that is a rooster will most likely fertilize the eggs of that group. Just keep their boxes separate if possible and voila! Question: Why not (also) let your breeds intermingle and select the best hybrid varieties? You could wind up with the perfect breed for you if you select long enough.
I want to be able to breed by my choice, at least until I get a better understanding of breeding. Also I've got some Black Java's which are a threatened breed and want to at least breed them true to type even if I cross the black java rooster with something else.
While I'm not breeding I want to keep them all together in a mixed flock just to make my life easier.