Birds of a feather flock together?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by carolinagirl58, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. carolinagirl58

    carolinagirl58 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2011
    Lugoff, SC
    You know the old saying "Birds of a Feather flock together"? It must be true. I have one Delaware rooster in my hen pen. There are 4 Delaware hens, 1 Blue Lace Red Wyandotte hen and 4 red hens (Speckled sussex cross). All of the birds are very close to the same age (spring chicks, so at least 7 months old) and have been together for months. I have seen the roo mating with the hens on multiple occasions, but it's ONLY the 4 Delaware hens. I have never seen him mate with the other hens. I can't believe he recognizes there is a difference in the hens but why else would he only mate with the ones that look like he does? It just struck me as odd. Is this common?
  2. duckinnut

    duckinnut Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2010
    Marshfield, Ma.
    Well I'm not really sure,maybe he just has a keen eye and knows what he wants in a lady.[​IMG] My White Rock is not very picky,he will take whom ever is willing. Although since I trimmed his spurs he doesnt take advantage of the girls like he used to. He has been quieter as well.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Many people think that chickens divide into their subgroups because of color. I think it is more due to breed tendencies. Different breeds tend to have different personalities. I think they tend to hang with other chickens that share some personality traits. For instance, my Delaware (white) and Australorp (black) tend to hang together whlie the Orpington and Sussex tend to hang together. Granted, the Buff Orps and Sussex are sort of reddish, but there is a difference in buff and mahogany red. My Delaware and Australorp tend to be the explorers, going further from the coop when free ranging, are the first to try news things, whatever it may be. They were the first to go into the run when I let then out of the coop. They were the first to try the corn ear worms when I dumped a pile near them. They were the first to come to the feeder when I tapped on it when I first put them in the brooder. It may be color, but I really think it is more personality.

    As to the rooster, they do not keep score in a little red book and rotate their services to the hens. I don't know what triggers it in a rooster as to which one he decides to mate, but I consider them more likely to take advantage of a convenient opportunity instead of going on a mission. I could be wrong, but I think it is more likely that they hang near him so they are mated more often. I've seen a rooster seem to have favorites, but these are the ones that choose to hang with him instead of ones that roam a lot on their own.
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Chickens are very sensitive to "hang" with those who are like themselves. It is absolutely observable and curious.
  5. carolinagirl58

    carolinagirl58 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2011
    Lugoff, SC
    That's interesting. It may be he prefers their personality. The Delawares are the most inquisitive of my birds. They are the first ones off the perch in the morning and the last ones on at night. And if I go out to the coop in the dark, the delawares usually hop down to see if I am bringing them something good to eat, while the other hens sit on the perches. They happily try new things I bring them to eat and the other hens don't seem that interested. I really love those birds. The others are rather uninteresting. Guess my roo agrees with me!
  6. Chic_girl

    Chic_girl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 23, 2011
    Near Columbus OH
    I've noticed this as well with my birds. My polish will hang out in one area, my brahmas in another. Chicken segregation? One polish is popular with the brahma roo, but that seems to be because my polish roo will only mate with a single hen.
  7. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    My observations are that roos are generally opportunists, and the hens seem to prefer their former brooder mates, though the older they get, the more likely they are to hang with a special friend of another breed, but similar personality.
  8. stubbornhill

    stubbornhill Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2011
    Shapleigh, Maine
    It is funny! I just said that to my husband the other night. We have one older Leghorn, "Ms. Leggern" (original I know), and she used to be kind of a loaner. We took in two other Leghorns and after the inital pecking order was established, Ms. Leggern now hangs out with them, they roost together and everything. Before, Ms Leggern would sleep in a nesting box. They are interesting creatures for sure.
  9. carolinagirl58

    carolinagirl58 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2011
    Lugoff, SC
    I used to think Chickens were dumb until I got these Delawares. They sure are interesting birds!
  10. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    I've noticed this with my silkie roo! He only has tried to mount my silkie pullet! She is much younger than he is, and a different colour. She hasn't even laid an egg yet!

    I do notice that he is equally as nice to all of them though. He protects each one, and calls all of them over for tidbits [​IMG]

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