Do pullets "play fight"?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Bookworm chick, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. Bookworm chick

    Bookworm chick Songster

    May 27, 2009
    Salem County, NJ
    Don't know if this is just a roo behavior. They are 12 weeks old and I've noticed them both doing their little "dance" with their neck feathers ruffled up and hopping and sort of bumping chests. I have a stinking suspicion that at least one is a roo. It has a "fluffier" sort of tail feathers with one curling down. However, the comb isn't even pink and is small. Haven't heard any crowing other than the daddy yet.
  2. SillyChicken

    SillyChicken Crowing

    Jan 12, 2010
    yes they all do... roos more than hens, but I see my hens squaring off all the time. They have social order with a head hen and roo
  3. AKsmama

    AKsmama Songster

    Jun 20, 2010
    South Carolina
    Yes, pullets will do that. There's a pecking order among the pullets, among the cockerels, and among the pullets & cockerels. Chickens may be simple little creatures, but their social order isn't. Mine are all about 8 weeks old and every morning when they come out into the run, they flap around and immediately begin pecking, flaring, and sparring with one another. Even the head cockerel (although his place is being challenged by another now) gets pecked on a bit by some of the pullets.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Agreed. Pullets will square off, though usually not as much as cockerels. When you have all pullets, sometimes a pullet wil sort of take on some of the rolls of the rooster. Behavior of young chickens is not something to really rely on to determine sex.

    At 12 weeks, someone should be able to help reassure you that the suspicious one is really a pullet. That sounds like your real concern. With some breeds combs are not always the best thing to look at. Maybe you could post a picture or two. The head is important but also the full body configuration, especially showing the small of the back (saddle), the neck, and the legs.

    How to post pictures/avatar
  5. Aymitelli

    Aymitelli In the Brooder

    May 7, 2010
    Hello, I'm a newbie - so I may not have much to offer, but I asked for females when I bought my chicks, I'm trusting at this point (with no other choice but to) that I have females (11 week old pullets) close in age to yours.

    Mine do the same little dance - lovingly referred to at our house as "The Hoppin' Mad". Of course this relates to growing up watching cartoons where the characters hop (similar to the chickens) when they are frustrated or angry. I read SOOOO much before finally getting the chicks about behaviour and pecking order and of course caring for them... I have to say... I expected more of this pecking order thing or at least more often. Not too bad, we only see it a couple of times a week... if that?!

    Still when the babes decide they need to square off (and it's usually the same two - which I'm guessing are 2nd and 3rd of 3 in the pecking order so far) we can't help but stop what we're doing, call out "Hoppin' mad! - Hoppin' mad!", and just watch how they sort it out. They are too cute and it ends so quickly!!

    2 cents and a fun chicken story. [​IMG]

    1 person likes this.

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