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Momma's Boy Rooster

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi All, first-time rooster owner looking for some advice.

 

Recently we got a new silkie hen ~1-1.5 years old, and she came with her son - a half silkie half ameracauna.  I'm not sure what their living conditions were, but I am pretty sure they were neglected, as they are very very skittish, are unusually skinny.  They have not even attempted to socialize with our other hens since they were introduced, mostly because the roo is so protective of his mother.  The two of them hang out by themselves all day, and when our other chickens try to come near them to check them out the rooster throws himself in front of his mom and tries to keep them away, or runs away himself and she follows.  Same when any of us humans go near them.  He's also trying to mate with his mom occasionally, which I know is normal behavior, but she has not even been laying since we got her, and we have a couple other broody hens who we were hoping he would be into.  Anytime he gets separated from his mom he starts freaking out.  Is there anything we can do to cure them of this insular behavior?  I'm just not sure if this is normal, or if it is perhaps the result of them having been neglected previously, and what, if anything, I should do to socialize them.  I'm thinking about separating the rooster in a different pen out of sight for a while to see if the hen will start to hang out with the other birds, because with him around she can't go anywhere without him.  Or should I let them do their thing and hope they eventually get used to the other birds? 

 

Any input greatly appreciated! 

post #2 of 7

I think you're on the right track with considering separating this young cockerel from his broody mom. The Silkie breed is exceptionally nurturing, so the separation will liberate her as well as force the young cockerel to begin focusing his attention on the other hens.

 

Trust your instincts. It's obvious you spend time observing your flock. This is the very best way to be able to make good management decisions.

post #3 of 7

:welcome

 

How old is the cockerel?

 

What are your plans for him? Do you plan to keep him, is he going to be a breeder, etc?

 

 

Yes, this behavior is totally normal. Not so much because it's mother and son, any two birds kept together and moved to a strange place will act like this as far as insulating themselves from others. If you has two pullets you wouldn't have the cockerel aggression, but still the other behaviors. Pretty much any animal would do this--dogs, horses, cattle, goats, etc. It's a bonding thing. 

 

Now, just cause it's normal, doesn't mean you can't change it. You can separate the cockerel. Yep, he'll throw an ever-lovin' fit. So will she. So what? You're the human, you make the management decisions. They'll be unhappy for a few days, then they'll get over it. Anyone who has children of keeps animals should be accustomed to dealing with displeasure. It's not the end of the world :)

Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

Reply

Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

Reply
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the advice!

 

I estimate the rooster to be around 1 year old, maybe a little less, based on what the previous owner told me.  I do want to keep him around as a breeder, so I'm glad to hear that it would be fine to separate the pair for a while to let mom settle into the flock.  If she is socialized, do you think once the roo comes back she will be less inclined to pair off with him, or is it possible they'll slip back into their old pattern? 

post #5 of 7

They may always tend to pair off. I'd leave them separate for a good month or so and then see how things go. They not only need to break from each other, but bond with other birds. That may be harder for the momma, silkies don't always play well with others and as a single hen she may never fit in well with the rest of the flock. 

Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

Reply

Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

Reply
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

It's worth a shot.  I do have one other silkie who gets along with our "big girls" quite well, and she has been showing lots of interest in the new silkie hen, so I'm thinking they might be able to bond.  But so far my established silkie hasn't been able to get close enough to the new girl to make friends because of the roo.  I'll definitely be making him a separate enclosure this week and getting his mom out on her own!

post #7 of 7

Good luck. Let us know how it goes, it's always nice to hear "the Rest of the Story" :)

Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

Reply

Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

Reply
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