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CONTROLLING AGGRESSION WHEN PUTTING BIRDS FROM DIFFERENT FLOCKS TOGETHER

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by centrarchid, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Today I went out and setup breeding groups of American games and American dominiques for the collection the 2012 production years hatching eggs to be run through the incubator and brooder system. This meant bringing together birds of opposite sex that did not know each other. Owing to limited holding facilities I also had to create non-breeding groups as well. When rooster was full adult, especially a cock, no problems were evident but when the rooster was younger I occasionally had all sorts of fun with cockerel whooping on the hens / pullets put in with him. As I proceeded through process I released some of the pullets which will be caught roosting tonight on the cages containing their flock-mates they had before move began. To clarify, they followed flock-mates, not cages. The pullets also went about picking fights with penned pullets and hens through cages which I stopped. Real fun was with the cockerels whooping on females not of their previous grouping. I have had this problem before and decided to figure out how to suppress it. Two systems appear to have worked. First is to release offending cockerel in the presence of a cock that promptly went after cockerel causing former to collapse feathers and submit. The cockerel was then safe to introduce to female(s) he did not know. The other trick was to let cockerel stay by himself for a while before introducing females.

    I think cockerels (game at least) cannot just go from one social grouping to the next, at least when confined and groups are so simple. They have to have a mindset change to enable interaction with females they do not know that does not have hurtful intent.

    A couple other cool observations involved how the released pullets interacted with the free-ranging red jungle fowl x American game cockerels. The cockerels chased them all about with feathers and wings distended. The interaction did not result in cockerels actually attacking pullets but they did mate with some.

    When the pullets fought with other pullets / hens in cages a whole lot of audible threats were made.
     

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