Can chicks start to dominate as early as 3 1/2 weeks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by CartierChicken, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. CartierChicken

    CartierChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 11, 2011
    Stockholm, Sweden
    There is one chick that is showing some roo traits. He will stand at the top of the ramp into the coop and peck each chick that enters. He does not attack them, just a simple peck and peep/squawk. There is another that seems to come to the rescue of any chicks that wonder off. This chick will peep at the lost ones until they are back with the flock. Is that one likely to be a roo also? I'm just a little surprised that such traits would be showing themselves so early. I have one that is a total loner, and a runt. He/she can take care of itself. It just like to take solitary walks and explore on its own.
  2. M.sue

    M.sue Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2011
    Good Morning,
    Pecking order starts very young and what you describe sounds like typical Roo behavior. I'd bet money that you have a Roo in practrice. As for the loner there always seems to be one in every flock. We have 12, they all get along well and yes we have one that always seem to linger behind and do her own thing. She does join the flock activities but always seem to do it from afar![​IMG]
  3. Kaugomu

    Kaugomu Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2011
    San Antonio
    We got ours shipped as day old chicks and as soon as I took them out of the box when they arrived and put them in the brooder they were pecking at each other and establishing their order.
  4. tclegg

    tclegg Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2011
    My girls started their pecking decisions almost immediately after I brought them home--just within the first day or I would not be surprised. Of course, some of the order has changed and been tweaked some and I'm sure will change even more but I'm sure that is what your seeing. Also some of the traits your mentioning does sound like a Roo--but also read somewhere that in flock that is minus a roo--a dominate female will or can take over roo like traits to "round up" and coral in the "girls"--not sure how accurate that is--but that is what I have "heard.."
  5. turbodog

    turbodog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2010
    Independence, La.
    I guess mine always did that in small ways, but it didn't seem to really get serious until they hit about three weeks. Like they were just testing the waters before, and then suddenly they were really trying to dominate each other.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011
  6. Rachy

    Rachy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 5, 2011
    Great timing with this thread! [​IMG]
    I've got 2 2/3 week old chicks and the slightly larger one had a bit of a go at the smaller one this morning, when they we're having playtime. First time this has happened but when they went back to the brooder they were best of friends again. Studying combs, wattles & feathers they look a lot like girls, so I was a bit confused...
  7. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    My dominant chicks were NOT roos in training. In fact, the cockerel is just now starting to assert himself at 9 weeks of age and he alternately still sticks his head under a Welsummer's wing for comforting like he's a baby. So, don't fire up the stew pot yet. At this age, it's just as likely to be a pullet playing king of the brooder.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011
  8. Pele

    Pele Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2011
    Interestingly enough, all of the really bossy and pushy chicks I've ever had turned into a hen. Roos (generally) are sweet as honey apple pie, and seem to make wonderful and friendly pets up until they turn into teenagers. THEN they do what any male teenager does, and irritate the heck out of the flock and sometimes even their owners.

    Chicks do start on pecking order from day one, so don't worry, yours are normal. Its hard to tell without pictures, but from your description, your most likely Roo suspect is the one that watches over the flock and calls the wandering hen home. If he is a little man, what a good roo he's going to turn out to be!
  9. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    Now that you mention it, my cockerel did cry and cry if the group wasn't all together. Hm...
  10. serenityNH

    serenityNH Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 7, 2011
    Raymond, NH
    My chicks will be 3 weeks old tomorrow, the last couple of days I've really noticed them starting to establish pecking order. They have been bumping chests with one another and pecking at each other. Nothing bad, just enough to say "hey knock it off" or "I'm in charge". I hope it's not a sign of being a rooster or I'm in trouble! [​IMG]

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