Barred Rocks are mean little things

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Mauka, Oct 15, 2014.

  1. Mauka

    Mauka Chirping

    Aug 28, 2014
    I thought I read barred rocks were docile, nice and good around children. Is this not true? Was I just mesmerized by thier good looks and ordered anyway thinking I'd get lucky? I have 3 week old chicks and they are mean little buggers. They are supposed to be girls and I'm hoping they are, but really they are jerks! Is this normal? Will they grow out of it?
  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    I've never raised Barred Rocks myself. But, I do know that in general, chicks change a lot in behavior as they grow up. I've had sweet little chicks turn into skittish hens. Mean chicks have become nice, and nice chicks have become mean. And, some just remain the same. Really, you can't tell the end behavior of chickens from their behavior as chicks.

    Good luck with them! Hopefully they "grow up" and become gentler!
    1 person likes this.
  3. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    I've raised Barred Rocks over the years and mine were generally docile, although I occasionally had an aggressive one. My Barred Rocks tolerated my children, and my handling of them as well, but they were never the lap pets that some of our other really gentle and friendly breeds (Australorps, Orpingtons, Cochins, Silkies, etc.) were.
  4. JensChickies

    JensChickies Songster

    Mar 26, 2014
    I have a patridge and a white rock. They are good with my 4 yo but they are bullie to my other girls! Good layers though.
  5. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Songster

    Aug 11, 2014
    Magnolia, Texas
    I've always known BRs to be aggressive, pushy and bossy to other chickens, especially when in a mixed flock with more docile birds. Just my experience with them. I've never owned them myself, but watching their behavior around some RIRs in a neighbor's flock turned me off. Constantly pecking and fighting and jostling for food and water.

    No, thanks.

    Then again, each chicken is different and behavior can change as they grow... But they appear to be excellent layers, and I know mean birds make GREAT stew. :)

    Last edited: Oct 15, 2014
  6. Mauka

    Mauka Chirping

    Aug 28, 2014
    This is a bummer to hear. I put them in the big girl coop today. I'm kind of hoping the bigger girls will put them in thier place!
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Quote: Okay, mean how? They are not pushovers in a flock, but how mean can a 3 week old chick be, for heaven's sake? Barred Rocks are my favorite of all time. They are never at the bottom of the pecking order, true. They are not always at the top, either, but it depends on the others in the flock, too. The pullets are usually not aggressive to people, roosters can vary as they reach hormone stage, but yours are babies still.

    Good around children? What can a 3 week old chick do to a child anyway? How old are these children? You do NOT want a rooster around toddlers, certainly, but most kids over toddler stage can deal with chickens, generally. Chickens are not dogs and male chickens should never be left alone unsupervised around any small child. For that matter, neither should most dogs. No breed as a whole is "good with children". They are individuals.

    Another issue is are these hatchery stock, which can vary like crazy, or are these good quality true Barred Rocks, good breeder stock? You can have an aggressive strain in any breed, especially hatchery stock. I had some mean-as-snakes Delawares, which is NOT the norm for the breed, but they came from aggressive hatchery parentage. My heritage Dellie stock is fabulous.

    I'd have to have more detail as to how you think they are being "jerks" to help much. I'm just sort of confused that a small chick is that scary mean and you're already judging an entire breed based on a chick 3 weeks out of the egg. Am I missing something?

    Quote: Wait, did you put 3 week old chicks in with adult birds? You won't have any trouble with them for long because they'll probably be killed, if that's the case. I hope there are only chicks in there as well.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2014
    4 people like this.
  8. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    X2 on that. I hope these "bigger girls" are chicks as well, or you will very shortly have some dead Barred Rock chicks.
  9. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    X 2 to everything speckledhen said!
  10. SIMZ

    SIMZ Crowing

    Apr 29, 2011
    Northwest Indiana
    X3! I was hoping I read that wrong when I read that the chicks were now with the bigger girls.

    I've had 7 or 8 hatchery Barred Rocks raised at different times. I've never had one be a "jerk", but that can mean a lot of things. 3 week old chicks can go through a crazy, wild stage where they aren't friendly AT ALL and act like you're simply out to kill them. They get past that. I wonder if that's what you're seeing?

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