Am I your daddy, if not I will kick your butt

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by centrarchid, Jul 15, 2011.

  1. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I have a free ranging game rooster (pet lawn ornament) that sires chicks by two free ranging hens as well dominique hens for use in an experiment. He has interacted with chicks of free range hens almost from hatch and with brooder reared experimental chicks starting at 4 weeks. He helps feed the the hen reared chicks and drives off older juveniles that threaten the his hen raised bitties. The hen raised bitties seem to think highly of rooster and show no fear. The rooster beats the snott out of similar aged brooder reared chicks (also his own) whenever they get too close. Why the difference?
     
  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    It is a wise father that knows his own child. ~William Shakespeare
     
  3. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    He sees them as intruders from whom he needs to protect the rest of the flock.
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Any guesses as to how he knows? I was thinking at first maybe down on chicks and the chipmunk stripe but not all chicks have latter.
     
  5. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    They see details that we don't, the same way in a flock of chickens that look identical to us, each of them knows exactly where they stand in the pecking order at all times. They can tell each other apart even when we can't. The chicks your rooster has interacted with from hatch (under broodies) he recognizes. The ones you try to add after incubating, are intruders.
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I can tell birds apart on sight. Also have numbered wing bands as backup. He may recognize chicks as individuals, yes. Hens certainly do. I wander if their are limits to his memory (number of chicks he will tolerate) or do "his" have some special characteristic he detects that does not require recognition of individuals.
     
  7. zookeeper15133

    zookeeper15133 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My hens who raise chicks leave them at around 4 weeks. The roos take over their care. They don't tolerate 'outsiders' even if they are the same age as the chick. If your kids went to a school where everyone wore the same uniform, could you pick them out? So can he.
     
  8. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    Quote:He also knows them from talking to them. He knows what his hen raised chicks sound like, how they respond to him. "His" chicks will be bold and quick to get close to him, a brooder raised chick will generally (not always but generally) hesitate just a fraction or two of a second before approaching him. Brooder raised chicks will also talk different to him, and sound different.
     
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Quote:My hens usually stay with chicks for at least 8 weeks, sometimes as many as 12 weeks when brood number high. When hen starts another brood the juveniles then stay with rooster, at least while he is on roost.


    Quote:He also knows them from talking to them. He knows what his hen raised chicks sound like, how they respond to him. "His" chicks will be bold and quick to get close to him, a brooder raised chick will generally (not always but generally) hesitate just a fraction or two of a second before approaching him. Brooder raised chicks will also talk different to him, and sound different.

    Next year I might be able to test these hypothesis. I will establish more than one one flock and set up so groups can come together. If roosters get too fiesty with each other I can tie them and make it so hens with chicks, of a given rooster and not, can interact with roosters and see if they get equal treatment.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2011
  10. zookeeper15133

    zookeeper15133 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Next year I might be able to test these hypothesis. I will establish more than one one flock and set up so groups can come together. If roosters get too fiesty with each other I can tie them and make it so hens with chicks, of a given rooster and not, can interact with roosters and see if they get equal treatment.

    In my experience, they will not.

    I have 5 tractors with individual groups. I am building a large coop for them all to live in. I bought a Premier One electro net fence. It encloses all 5 tractors. I started by leaving 2 coops out at a time so I could watch the roos. They now all come out together. Each roo has their own family, but there is still one top roo out of them all. Whichever roo the hen belongs to will be 'Daddy" to her chicks.

    One coop has silkies another has black cochins. A cochin hen hatched a white silkie. That chick stays with the cochies (the silkies chase it away). I have another 11 under hens due to hatch next week and I just set 22 more today. (I got tired of trying to break my broodie silkies) They will all be out together and I know which roo will be Daddy already.

    But go ahead and try it. It's chicken TV!​
     

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