Cockerel or prickly pullet?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Adoravachick, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. Adoravachick

    Adoravachick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We are off to a great start with our babies, they are growing like weeds. We have 12 little ones. 3 bantam cochins, 3 silkies (All 6 weeks and straight run), 1 rhode island red, and 5 americaunas ( all 4 weeks and pullets). The 4 weekers have been in a pen with 1 of the very sweet and gentle cochin and 1 silkie (like a little mommy). I am completely in love with them, so friendly. The other 2 cochins and 2 silkies have been in another pen together and do just fine. I am beginning to notice that 1 cochin in this group has recently become aggressive. He or she will let me pick it up and will eat from my hand one minute and run at me with fluffed feathers and peck me the next. Lately....just the pecking is the favorite past time. Yesterday, I picked up the other cochins and it ran at me all fluffed up when I picked the other one up and when I put it down. I did have to combine the two groups together yesterday and all was well...except that one cochin. It was bullying everyone and then he enlisted another cochins help to do the bullying. All the chicks got so upset and stressed out that I had to remove the two cochins. Is there any indication that this is a roo or just a prickly hen? I don't mind a roo if he can behave himself, but not if he is going to be like that. Is there any way I can kill it with kindness and calm it down? I have a 3 1/2 year old daughter and I don't want to this bird to scare her into not wanting to be around the rest of the chicks or run up on her and peck her like it does me. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
     
  2. hollychicken

    hollychicken Out Of The Brooder

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    You could put the chicken in a hutch or you could possibly go to your vet and ask them to put him down for you.
     
  3. leadwolf1

    leadwolf1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We are talking 4 week old chicks, right? At this age, you may be seeing some signs of it being a rooster. Does it have a comb that is larger than the rest? Turning a little pink? A photo would be a great help :)

    At 4 weeks old, they are testing their wings, just like all animals. They peck and poof, chest bump, display and be all around brats sometimes. There cerrtainly is no need to be talking about euthanizing a 4 week old for just being a chick. OP, I know that you didn't have that as a thought. Just continue to play with them. I used the time out method that you are using. I would pick up the offending chick and hold it for about 15 minutes or if I didn't have time, just a few to give it and the others a break. It didn't take long for them to realize that they weren't going to fight and get away with it. It also gave the 'aggressive' chick for hands on time and it became my favorite and most loving chicken :) And yes, it did turn out to be a roo but it has never offered to hurt my 7 year old or anyone else.

    Chicks are looking for food also when you put your hand in since you are the provider of food, treats and love...all things wonderful for babies :)

    Remember, chickens work on a pecking order and will start and develop it in their little flocks early on...this will happen, there is nothing that you can do to prevent it. Just keep loving them and I think you find that this to will pass :)

    If you are worried about your little girl, remove the little cochin before she plays with them. She is also old enough to explain to her that chicks 'touch' and 'explore' their world with their beaks...that's how they learn. She will understand and not be frightened by a baby being a baby. Kids are wonderful that way :)

    Good luck, I've NEVER had a mean cochin and I highly doubt that you will either...just keep up the good work!
     
  4. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

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    I had a nasty RIR chick that turned out to be the sweetest hen. I for sure thought it was a boy due to behavior. Nope, just a hen challenging me frequently. When she was 15-20 weeks she full blown attached me, usually from behind. She even flew at me legs first. That didn't hurt nearly as much as her pecking and breaking skin. I kept my cool and carried her around for 3 days often, after each attack.

    Now she's a whole new hen, as sweet as my d'uccle. My RIR is the one who sits on me the longest. I can not believe how sweet this nasty mean chick was. For a while, I thought someone went in my coop and traded hens. I'm so glad I stuck it out with her. There were many times I was going to give up and bring her back where I bought her from. They take chicks back and resell or keep them. My RIR is one of my best layers, her eggs are very big.

    My oldest EE is a bully to the other chicks and recently has a feather picking problem. Once I get the dog kennel in there, she'll go back into time out. This has worked in the past.

    At 4-6 you can usually tell if the comb is starting to turn pink. I just switched a 4 week old cockerel maran for a hen. He had a bright pink comb and I really wanted a chocolate layer, plus hubby says no roosters. :(
     
  5. Adoravachick

    Adoravachick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
     
  6. Adoravachick

    Adoravachick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I certainly would like to work with this chick, it has been one of my favorites until this bratty behavior started. Should I put it back in with the others and just monitor the interaction and behavior? I can do the time out, treats, and carrying it around.
     
  7. leadwolf1

    leadwolf1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would put it back and use time out as necessary. On top of breaking up the unwanted behavior, it will show the chick who is boss..and, that is you :)

    The comb is a little pink but certainly isn't very big! I would wait it out and see. If the comb keeps growing and getting redder in the next couple weeks, you will know for sure that you have a roo instead of lead hen :)
     
  8. KLRA

    KLRA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I too have had rotten chicks that turned out to be the sweetest hens. Don't stress too much and just let all the chicks settle. If you just put them all together, of course they're going to be stressed for awhile trying to get used to each other. I don't think that cochin is a cockerel--the wattles and comb would be more prominent and red at this point. The boys usually make their gender known around here by 3 weeks old. And now is probably the best time for your daughter to handle and get used to the birds--it just gets harder as the chicks get older. Obviously if she doesn't like the chicks then I wouldn't force her, but if she's interested, let her hand-feed and hold them.
     
  9. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

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    That looks very much like a female.
     
  10. Adoravachick

    Adoravachick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You were right, turned out to be a nice little hen. Unfortunately, I lost her and my awesome little roo to a predator.
     

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