Do chickens have social groups within the flock?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sono-chic, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. sono-chic

    sono-chic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 19, 2013
    Putnam county Florida
    I have a young mixed flock of ameruacana and barred rock. Bought as chicks I think we have several Roos and had planned on rehoming the amerucana since he wasn't as social as the other Roos. However today I introduced 4 silkies who were met with tolerance by most. Our head roo was a little aggressive but settled down. But the antisocial boy seems to love the new group. Hung with them all day and never attempted to peck at anyone. I have the silkies still separated at night to assure they're safety and when I went to check on everyone the roo was laying down alongside the fence to be close to the new girls. Do Roos claim certain groups to them selves? Will he help defend his girls? I am reconsidering letting him stay after he seems to have bonded with the silkies now.
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Yes each roo has his favorite little harem. Whether or not the alpha roo will allow it is the question!

    If the lower roo has some girls of his own the alpha roo might not let him mate them in his presence. Chickens have all kinds of social cliques and friendships going on. It really is a soap opera out there.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
  3. sono-chic

    sono-chic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 19, 2013
    Putnam county Florida
    So by having his own group of ladies, it might increase the roo rivalry? I was hoping the opposite would happen. They are all still young and finding their role. It was interesting to watch the instant connection though.
     
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Increasing the number of ladies will decrease the roo conflict, usually, unless they are just determined to duke it out. The recommended roo to hen ratio is usually 1:8 or 1:10. Some breeders will run 1:5 for fertility but the hens might be overbred and lose some feathers on their backs.

    Chickens are individuals and you just have to learn your chickens' personalities. But if you want the roos to get along the best, remove ALL the females and make a bachelor pen just for boys. Then they have nothing to fight over, much.

    It depends on the breed too- some of the games will kill each other.

    If you have a relatively peaceful situation and want to keep your roos, then by all means, do! If your roosters are nice and treat the ladies well they are keepers!

    Some roos will turn mean after awhile, like at one or two years old. You just never know. But roos really do help protect the hens and will give up their lives to protect the flock.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
  5. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    My hens always split off into groups, and yes, each roo has his own bunch. Think of it like lots of little kingdoms within an empire, with the alpha roo being the High King.

    The High King allows the other Kings to have their own little kingdoms, but they had better show proper deference to his authority, or there's gonna be a whoopin'!

    I wouldn't expect more rooster aggression. I almost never have any rooster aggression, except in the spring when the beta roo tries for alpha status. Then the alpha roo kicks his butt and we don't have any more trouble the rest of the year.
     
  6. sono-chic

    sono-chic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 19, 2013
    Putnam county Florida
    Thank you for the information. He isn't aggressive, just not as friendly with people as the others and I noticed the occasional challenge by the larger rock roo. Glad to hear he might be able to stay after all. He is by far the most handsome guy out there! And if I need more hens well.....Who really needs another reason to get more chickens.:D
     
  7. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG]

    Chicken math strikes again!
     

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