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Normal behavior for 3-4 week old chicks? Pecking order or roosters?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I've got 7 baby chicks. 5 were sexed pullets from MPC-delaware, cochin, australorp, dominique, and RIR. I also picked up 2 bantam cochins out of a straight run bin at the Orschelns. The bantams are probably in the neighborhood of 4 weeks old, the standards from MPC will be 3 weeks old tomorrow. These are my first chickens so I'm learning as I go.

 

In any event, I'm positive I have at least one roo (see below) but when I was watching them this morning there was a lot of flying around into each other, chasing, posturing, etc. It wasn't just a few, it was the whole group. Normal? Are they sorting out the pecking order or am I going to have a bunch of little crowers? I have a place I can rehome a few roosters but I'd like to keep at least 4 hens for eggs.

 

I've been convinced that my buff bantam cochin is a rooster for about 2 weeks as his comb started developing really early, he has pinkish red waddles, and acts very "male". Here is a picture of "Pico" as of this morning-

 


Im starting to wonder about the other bantam, Jodi Foster. She's not developing as quickly but the waddles look pinkish although not as pronounced as Pico above.

 

 

Thoughts? Is what I described above normal hen behavior for a bunch of 3-4 week olds? Is Jodi a rooster or is it too early to tell?

 

Thanks for the help! 

Pugs, Chickens, and The Worst Cat EVER. 
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Pugs, Chickens, and The Worst Cat EVER. 
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post #2 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by lutherpug View Post
 

I've got 7 baby chicks. 5 were sexed pullets from MPC-delaware, cochin, australorp, dominique, and RIR. I also picked up 2 bantam cochins out of a straight run bin at the Orschelns. The bantams are probably in the neighborhood of 4 weeks old, the standards from MPC will be 3 weeks old tomorrow. These are my first chickens so I'm learning as I go.

 

In any event, I'm positive I have at least one roo (see below) but when I was watching them this morning there was a lot of flying around into each other, chasing, posturing, etc. It wasn't just a few, it was the whole group. Normal? Are they sorting out the pecking order or am I going to have a bunch of little crowers? I have a place I can rehome a few roosters but I'd like to keep at least 4 hens for eggs.

 

I've been convinced that my buff bantam cochin is a rooster for about 2 weeks as his comb started developing really early, he has pinkish red waddles, and acts very "male". Here is a picture of "Pico" as of this morning-

 


Im starting to wonder about the other bantam, Jodi Foster. She's not developing as quickly but the waddles look pinkish although not as pronounced as Pico above.

 

 

Thoughts? Is what I described above normal hen behavior for a bunch of 3-4 week olds? Is Jodi a rooster or is it too early to tell?

 

Thanks for the help! 

It's normal:)

The girls will posture, chest bump, chase, kick, peck and run around like a bunch of maniacs.

I'm no expert at all on sexing or even breed, but the Buff does look slightly boyish, but alas, time will tell. I could have sworn one of my sexed SLW was a boy every now and again, but she lays lovely eggs. The other, just don't know:idunno

 

I'm sure someone else will come along with better input than I.

Good luck with your cute babies!

post #3 of 7
I don't like guessing when they're young. I usually wait until they start growing so I can be sure.
post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by I Love Layers View Post

I don't like guessing when they're young. I usually wait until they start growing so I can be sure.

2x, 4 wks old? Pretty hard to tell till their at least 12-14 wks. My 6, 5 wk olds are all girls and they do all the chest bumps and flying and challenging each other's since the 1st week.
Edited by Spartan22 - 5/1/16 at 9:02am
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Basic starter: Personally designed & built Shed/Coupe/Run: 3 Leghorns, 2 Plymouth Barred Rocks, 5 Silver Laced Wyandottes

NEW ADDITION: 4/21/15
Rhode Island Reds, Plymouth Barred Rock
Black Copper Marans & Blue Marans
12x24x7 additional run


NEW BABIES: 2/17/16
New Hampshires, Black Australorps, Amerecaunas,
Easter Eggers & Black Sex Links

NEWER YET: 3/16/16
Spe...
Reply
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Basic starter: Personally designed & built Shed/Coupe/Run: 3 Leghorns, 2 Plymouth Barred Rocks, 5 Silver Laced Wyandottes

NEW ADDITION: 4/21/15
Rhode Island Reds, Plymouth Barred Rock
Black Copper Marans & Blue Marans
12x24x7 additional run


NEW BABIES: 2/17/16
New Hampshires, Black Australorps, Amerecaunas,
Easter Eggers & Black Sex Links

NEWER YET: 3/16/16
Spe...
Reply
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the replies! Good to know they're just being normal chickens. I'm still suspicious of my little Pico as his comb and waddles get redder daily but we will stay the course and see what happens.
Pugs, Chickens, and The Worst Cat EVER. 
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Pugs, Chickens, and The Worst Cat EVER. 
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post #6 of 7

Yes, all chicks will chest bump and 'play' fight.

But red wattle growth at 4-6 weeks is a big time cockerel flag for me, pretty accurate on most breeds.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

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Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
I thought so too based on other threads I've read on here.
Pugs, Chickens, and The Worst Cat EVER. 
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Pugs, Chickens, and The Worst Cat EVER. 
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