The rooster initiates courtship by offering food to hens and doing a circle dance around them. When a hen responds, the rooster mounts and fertilizes her. Hens and roosters mate during breeding season, which is spring to early summer.Know More
To attract hens initially, the rooster may offer food by calling them and picking up and dropping the food. He then lowers the wing closest to a hen and hops around her. Sometimes if the hen does not respond, the rooster chases her down, grabs her feathers and mounts her by force. Aggressive roosters are usually more fertile. They do not have penises, but rather try to place the sperm on their vent in the hen's vent.
The sperm of the rooster remains alive within the reproductive system of the hen for seven to 10 days. During this time, when ovulation occurs every 24 to 26 hours, any of the eggs may become fertile. After 10 days, the rooster and hen must mate again to maintain fertility. Usually a hen lays an egg every 25 hours. However, when she has a clutch of about 12 eggs, she stops laying and incubates them. She sits on the nest protecting the eggs, only rising briefly to eat, drink and bathe. She turns the eggs several times a day. At the end of 21 days, the first egg hatches. The rest hatch one day apart to correspond to their having been laid one day after the other.Learn more about Chickens
Baby hens are called pullets and are distinguished from baby roosters, which are called cockerels, by the shape of their tail feathers when the chicks are approximately three months old. The saddle or tail feathers on a pullet are rounded, and cockerels have long pointy saddles.Full Answer >
The age at which a rooster develops spurs depends on the breed. Some roosters completely develop spurs by the time they are 3 months old, but others may take up to eight or nine months.Full Answer >
Chickens mate when a rooster and a hen each brings an external orifice called a cloaca into contact with one another, according to Real Clear Science. The cloaca is found on both roosters and hens. When a rooster and a hen place their respective cloaca in contact with one another, sperm passes from the rooster into the hen.Full Answer >
Chickens do not have to mate for a hen to lay eggs. A hen lays eggs even when a rooster does not live in the flock.Full Answer >