How do chickens mate?

In this brief guide, we’ll address the search query: “How do chickens mate?” Also, we’ll explore how chickens reproduce, what determines a chick’s gender, and what precautions to take if you’re breeding and raising chickens. 

How do chickens mate? 

Chickens mate with roosters when the latter exhibits courtship behavior and the female positions herself on the ground for him to climb on her. Once on top, the rooster will shuffle to find his balance, and he’ll lower his rear while the hen raises hers. 

With this, they’ll join their cloacas–which is the opening in their rear end– and the rooster will inseminate the hen.  

Chickens mate with roosters in springtime, as this is when they exhibit courtship behavior. Roosters may engage in a -dance- of sorts; they’ll spin and flap their wings around a hen to show their interest, 

If his efforts are well-received by a hen, she’ll dip her body, slightly spread her wings and they’ll mate. 

Notably, all this occurs in just under half a minute, though hens can store a rooster’s sperm in their reproductive tract for up to fifteen days before her eggs are fertilized. 

How do chickens reproduce? 

Chickens are oviparous. This means that their young hatch from eggs and they do not nurse, nor do chickens experience gestation. 

However, contrary to popular belief, for a chick to hatch from an egg, it isn’t enough for it to be fertilized; it must also be incubated at an appropriate temperature for the embryo to develop into a baby chick that will emerge from the egg. 

A fertilized chicken egg will have a blastoderm on the yolk’s surface, that will have a bullseye appearance, whereas an unfertilized egg’s blastoderm will resemble a small white disc. 

Incubation is essential for the cellular division to proceed, and by extension, for a hatchling to develop. 

Humidity and warm temperatures are essential for chicks to hatch 

What determines a chick’s gender?

A chicken’s gender is determined by the chromosomes they receive from the egg cells, unlike other egg-borne animals such as reptiles, whose gender can be determined by the temperatures they’re incubated at. 

Notably, a hen’s gamete determines whether a hatchling will be male or female, 

Unlike humans, who have an XY as male or XX as a female system to determine their sex, a chicken’s sex is determined by the hen, whose egg can be Z or W, whereas a rooster’s gamete will always, unequivocally, contribute to a Z chromosome. 

What precautions should I take if I’m breeding chickens and raising them? 

When breeding and raising chickens, our readers should be cautious of their housing, diet, and health. 

Notably, if you’re also farming hens for their eggs, you should always house roosters separately from your hens, as they may breed and you may find yourself with unexpected hatchlings. 

If you intend to breed chickens, once the hen and the rooster have copulated, you should take careful note of where the hen lays her eggs, as moving them to a different spot may increase the likelihood of her abandoning them. 

Also, you should avoid housing roosters in the same enclosure as hens, as they may squabble and inflict injuries on one another, in an attempt to impress the hens. 

A chicken’s diet is also essential to its well-being. Notably, their diet should be balanced and not lack any essential vitamins and minerals, as these deficiencies will have notable effects on their health and overall performance. 

Notably, calcium deficiencies can lead to abnormalities in their skeletons and bone development, and brood hens that lack calcium can lay eggs with soft, fragile shells. 

A lack of proteins can stunt a chicken’s growth, leading to poor performance both in egg production and weight gain for the meat industry. 

Additionally, malnourishment can make chickens more susceptible to ectoparasites such as ticks and other mites. 

A husbandry professional and a veterinarian can provide you with tailored guidance regarding enclosures, diets, and potential health problems that may arise. 

We encourage our readers to be responsible owners, as chickens with a good quality of life can not only be lucrative but can make wholesome pets. 


In this brief guide, we’ve addressed the search query: “How do chickens mate?” Also, we’ve explored how chickens reproduce, what determines a chick’s gender, and what precautions to take if you’re breeding and raising chickens.