Owning a farm, and raising 40+ chickens can open the door to a huge variety of questions from the average visitor. People want to know if we actually need a rooster for the hens to lay eggs, how do they actually create eggs, and mostly, how do chickens mate?
First off, there isn’t a whole lot of romance in the chicken mating game. While the rooster WILL dance around his hen, call her over and feed her the tasty morsels, the actual act of mating is quick, and somewhat rough.
So, how do chickens mate?
The rooster will, with or without the hen’s permission, climb on the hen’s back, often biting on her comb, or the feathers on the back of her head and neck.
Visibly this looks like the rooster “tucks” his tail while on top of the hen.
After transfer, the hen will “shake”… this is usually a good sign that things went well, and mating was achieved.
So, why WOULD you want to know how chickens mate?
If you are breeding birds, you need to ensure that the eggs are getting fertilized, and of course mating is required. As well, a good rooster will mate with his hens, and then continue to nurture and protect them while they range. You need to know the answer to the question “how do chickens mate” and ensure that they do to get the babies you are wanting.
Not only that, but it gives you a sense of the health of your chickens, and the order of your roosters! Literally, who’s on top!
As well, the first time you watch a rooster mate with his hen, it can be a little alarming. Trust that a good rooster will not hurt his hen while he mates with her, and while it is a nicer experience to witness when the hen is willing… all in all it works out ok.