Are Young Cockerels Raised by a Broody Hen More Gentlemanly Than Those Raised in a Brooder?


5 Years
Apr 7, 2014
Byron, Illinois
I am seeing many posts on rooster integration as right now is the time when many young cockerels hatched in the spring are feeling their first hormonal rush. In my flock, like many others, the peace level is down as both the older and younger females are being frequently accosted by the over-zealous adolescent roosters. Registration for freezer camp is already underway.

I have noticed, though, a difference this year between those boys that were raised by a broody hen and those I hatched separately and raised in a brooder that is inside the main coop visible to all. They have all been fully together now for about a month and a half, though the broody and her chicks were integrated within two weeks of hatching.

There is only a 10 day difference in age between my boys that were raised by mama and those I hatched later. However, it seems that those raised by mama are much more gentlemanly toward the girls, which includes the one that appears to be alpha as I kept no roosters from last year. They are getting the job done, but not being as violent toward the girls as those that were raised in the brooder.

Has anyone else observed this, or is it just the way mine are behaving? Does integrating the young ones with a doting mother very early on, teach more "respect" and "gentleness" to the boys?

What are your thoughts and experiences?
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Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 3, 2009
New Jersey
In my experience cockerels that are flock raised especially with a dominant rooster present are more mannerly than young adolescents introduced to the flock. Even with a rooster not present the mature hens tend to teach them 'manners' as they are growing up.
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