Chest-bumping in 3 weekers...Pic of the instigator

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Peppermint, May 30, 2010.

  1. Peppermint

    Peppermint Songster

    I have 6 chicks, ranging in age from 2 weeks to 4 weeks old. Roxy, a Rhode Island Red is the youngest of the bunch. Roxy has been with the older chicks for 1 week, and nobody is picking on her and everyone is going about their normal silly business. For the last few days she has been challenging and chest-bumping the other chicks (especially the biggest ones, EE's) like she is queen of the roost. Most of them puff up and stand tall over her looking like "Are you kidding me you little peeper? Step off!!" No blood is shed, they seem to kiss and make up, but is this:

    A) Normal for such young chicks
    B) Is this just the sassy attitude of RIRs
    C) Is this a little cockeral???
    D) All of the above!

    here's Ms. Roxy in case you're waging bets on her gender:


    Here's a pic with her other peeps.


    They live a luxurious life in a huge open dog kennel. I change their water practically every 5 minutes because they're always kicking chips in it, they're on proper starter feed, are all energetic and pooping well.

    Thanks for any thoughts [​IMG]

  2. Jeffomatic

    Jeffomatic In the Brooder

    Mar 21, 2010
    Mine did that at that age. They do it still at 12 weeks. They never actually peck each other, just do that little challenge by standing tall and raising their neck feathers, rushing up to another and doing a little dance thing. They are all girls. It's normal for chickens of all ages, I believe. They establish the proverbial "pecking order" that way.
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Yep, all birds chest bump and "spar" to figure out a pecking order. Boys and girls have similar behavior, even submissive squatting, till the hormones kick in at about 4/5 months old.
  4. Peppermint

    Peppermint Songster

    Yeah, it looks like pretty normal behavior, but I'm surprised to see it coming from the smallest and newest member. I'm still curious to see if anyone has guesses on gender [​IMG]
  5. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    I can begin to guess at the gender of our chicks by comparing comb size at three to four weeks. The little roos grow their combs faster and redden sooner than their sisters. But if your chicks are different breeds and different ages, this method is going to be harder to use because it's the comparison of apples to apples that make differences apparent.
  6. dappertophatter

    dappertophatter Songster

    Mar 1, 2008
    The Jersey Shore
    It's normal, mine did that too. She would like to be the boss, thankyouverymuch, and she's not goin' to let any big bossy EE's stand in her way! [​IMG]
  7. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    It's so normal my 8 wk old Buff Brahma tried to chest-bump a 16 wk old Welsummer through the "segregation/integration" poultry fence between them!

    What was funny is that Laverne looked really startled and ran away! Fence or no fence between 'em, that chick in that pen is one tough girl. Charlotte then huffed her way over to another chick her own age in their pen and dang near bowled it over: a Silver Sebright!

    I think Charlotte is a bantam Buff Brahma, but I'm not sure. She's the same size as the bantam Black Cochin of the same age, but with slightly longer legs.

    In the brooder, they were chest bumping each other as early as 2 weeks old. Even the little Sebrights.
    Last edited: May 30, 2010

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by