Bull Mating is the practice of mating a top stock cock with several hens during the same period.
If one has a exceptionally good stock cock or have brought in an cock to Outcross into your loft with the hope of injecting hybrid vigour and improving your race performances. It could be beneficial to mate this cock with several hens during the same season.
The Pre-Pairing process starts during the off season or some time prior to your mating when you are planning your pairings. The Bull Cock obviously selects himself you then select a number of hens (two to six) that you think would be beneficial to pair with the Bull Cock. Also select the cocks that you wish to pair with the hens that will help the hen to raise the young birds. The Bull Cock can also have a ‘permanent partner hen’
Pre-Pairing is the procedure of introducing the Cock to the Hen, in this case you introduce the Bull Cock to the several hens you have selected, so that they are friendly and not strangers. This can be done in a mating pen or any area aviary or compartment where they have some exclusive space, when the pair are becoming interested in each other separate them, this procedure can be done more than once during the offseason if you have the time. This is also a good time to start keeping the records as it can get more complex if you have not recorded what pigeons are in what nest boxes etc.
The cocks that are going to be fathering the offspring should be introduced to their respective next boxes. It is also a good idea to have an aviary in which the cocks can go to and be locked out of the nest box section. Let the cocks get familiar with their boxes and also being locked in the aviary ( with food and water)
Bull Mating relies on two facts that hens are promiscuous and their instinct to mate i.e. when they are at their most ardent and receptive is between 5 and 8 days after mating.
To start the process proper put the Cocks in the Aviary. Hens are generally more amorous when they are fed and watered so put the hens in the nest box and lock them in a compartment so the cock cannot get at or tread them. Let the cocks back into the loft, where they will immediately go to their respective next boxes and start/renew their courtship of their hens.
Leave the pigeons overnight – in the morning check that all hens are still secure in their boxes, although not critical at this stage it is essential when they are is ‘season’.
Put fresh food and water in the aviary and let the cocks out and lock them out of the loft. Now let the hens out of the boxes for food and water and a stretch hopefully they will return to the right boxes with some assistance from yourself. When the hens are back in their boxes lock them in their compartments and let the cocks back into the loft. In the afternoon repeat the process of isolating the cocks and letting the hens out for food and water, you may wish to put additional food and water in the boxes for the hens.
Repeat this process for three or four days on the fifth day it is time to introduce the Bull Cock.
Lock the cocks in the aviary with food and water, let the hens out for refreshment and get them back locked into their boxes.
Let the Bull/Stock cock into the loft where he will strut his stuff and fly up to several of the hens in the nest boxes and introduce himself where the hens will respond to his attentions. After 10 or 15 minutes let the hen in Nest Box 1 out she will immediately respond and go to the cock, Let them mate and as soon as the action has taken place lock the hen in her box, remove the cock to another section for a 30 minute rest and make a record of the coupling.
After 30 minutes let the cock back into the compartment with the hens and let the Hen in Nest Box 2 loose to mate with the Bull Cock. As before when the task is complete lock up the hen and isolate the cock for a 30 minute rest.
Repeat the process with up to 5 to 6 hens. It is possible to give the cock a longer rest for a couple of hours and repeat the process with a further different 5 to 6 hens say in the late afternoon although personally I have not extended the operation to that number.
When all the hens are locked into their compartments let the cocks from the aviary back into the loft.
On Days 6 and 7 repeat the process of letting the Bull cock back into the loft with each hen in turn.
On Day 8 there could be some eggs laid, the hens with eggs will sometimes not respond to the Bull cock but the process should be repeated each day until all the hens have their first egg, although many of the hens will not respond and come down to the Bull cock for mating.
The cocks are allowed back into the loft each day but are kept separated from the hens.
When the second egg is laid the cocks are allowed access to the hen and they will generally sit the eggs as though they were their own and subsequently raise the young.
This process can be repeated for a second round or you can let the ‘paired pigeons’ raise a round naturally.