Does anyone own/ed dominique hens and/or roos?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by blueclip, Dec 13, 2015.

  1. blueclip

    blueclip Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd like to know if these birds get along well with other hens in a mixed flock. I would like to add some different breeds to my flock of doms. Tell me, arethe doms toward the top of the pecking order in a mixed flock? They seem calm and friendly to me, but are they mean and bossy to other chickens? Also, hpw are dom roosters? Wikipedia says they can be even more aggressive than RIR roosters, is that true? Should I worry about mine attacking me soon? (He's 5 months old and I've caught him mating with one of the hens already). Thanks!
     
  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Doms hens can definitely be bossy, but it's not RIR level. They're not terribly picky at all. They usually end up being quite dominant in flocks, I've had several lead Dom hens.

    Dom roosters! Where do I start with Dom roosters? I had a really lovely Dom rooster named Nicki a year or so back. He was incredibly sweet and great with the hens. I ended up having to cull him because I originally purchased him for meat purposes, didn't get around to that for a while (kinda was somewhere between falling in love with him and being so busy with my CX meat birds for several months), and I simply didn't have the room for him. If there is one bird I regret culling, it is Nicki. He was a truly wonderful bird, and unfortunately I had a Thai stag turn mean a few days after culling, so there would have been room for him after all... :( I do plan on getting another when he comes along, some Dom boy who needs a home.

    I imagine there are few cocks who might turn as mean as some Production Red cockerels go.
     
  3. blueclip

    blueclip Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So this is how my dom cockerel is: he's 5 months old and the obvious leader of the flock (there's also a dark brahma bantam cockerel in there lol he's very submissive though). My dom isn't what you would call a lap pet. In fact, he runs away from you if you reach out and try to pet and/or grab him. He does however eat out of your hand if you have food. He's never attempted to attack me (yet). He can be mean to the hens. He'll peck them when it's time to eat (he lets them know that he's the first and only one that can eat until he's done). He'll also peck them if they are in his space while he's dust-bathing. However he does call the hens over when he finds food. He also sleeps outside in the run with the bantam while the ladies are on the roost inside the coop (coop is attached to an elevated run where the birds can freely go back and forth between the run and coop as they please). Overall, I would say he is OK at this point. Was nicki like this when he was a little cockerel? Should I be worried about my guy? The breeder that I got him from said his father was aggressive until he "beat him with a feed bag." What do you think?
     
  4. Poop Cleaner

    Poop Cleaner Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a flock of four hens. One is a dominique and she is very nice. The others are all different breeds and noticeably larger than the dom. But, the dom is the lead hen. She is not demanding or bossy to them but they just yield to her whenever she eats food they are eating, etc.

    I would like to have more dom hens and a dom rooster too. I am currently in the process of finding some.

    Also, wikipedia is easily edited so it is generally not a good idea to take to at face value.
     
  5. JanetMarie

    JanetMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Cockerels and roosters should not be pecking the pullets and hens away from the food. He is spiteful towards them, and not a good boy. A good boy lets the hens eat first, and does not peck the hens away. I choose the roosters to keep on how he treats the hens. Does not overmate, does not peck their head while mating, puts the hens first at feeding time. He is a giver and not a taker. While foraging he is standing straight up keeping watch.

    One exception is at roosting time a few of my hens pick on each other too much, and create quite a disturbance, and my Orpington rooster will peck them, because he is fed up with their behavior! At bedtime he is ready to settle down for the night, not have this commotion from these few mean hens. So a rooster is allowed to put a mean hen in their place.

    As for interaction with me, I should be able to pick him up easily for inspection for mites, etc., does not put his wing down dancing around me, does not peck at me. This comes second to his treatment of the hens.

    This year I kept one cockerel out of 13 that has all of these good characteristics. The good roosters are the ones to breed. Good and bad characteristics are passed on to offspring. Doesn't matter on the breed.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2015
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  6. Poop Cleaner

    Poop Cleaner Out Of The Brooder

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    That was really informative. Thank you.

    How long is a rooster fertile, on average? Are they like hens where they start to significantly slow down after three? Are they still protective in their older years?
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    It's not so much about breed as it is about flock seniority and an individual birds 'personality'.

    At 5 months he's just getting started but is still immature....probably why he is chasing pullets away from feeder.
    Not a good sign that his sire was aggressive...but you never know how they will turn out.

    How many birds, of what ages, do you have in your flock?
     
  8. blueclip

    blueclip Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's all very interesting. Yeah I don't know why he pecks the hens, I wish I could blame it on his hormones but he's been doing it for a couple of months now at least. Maybe the fact that he's afraid of me will prevent him from attacking me. Now that I think of it, are dominique gamefowl (aka "bulik") related to the regular dominique breed? If so, is that because the breed's rooster is generally aggressive and that's why it was easy to make a gamefowl version?
     
  9. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop


    Ah, unfortunately Nicki came to me as a 4 month old bird, so I can't speak to his earlier behavior. He was a bit rowdy when I had many other cockerels (I had a big rooster overpopulation the year I obtained him, I hadn't gotten around to a good large culling yet) but he settled down nicely once the others were gone, and stopped his chasing behavior. He was always very good about showing the hens where food was and bein quite polite to them.

    I think that your conclusion of "OK" is really a good fit for him. A really good rooster would always let hens eat first, but a really bad rooster wouldn't even think of calling them to food. If he's not doing any bad chasing and remains non-aggressive toward you, it may be worth it to look past the pecking, as long as it does not escalate.

    It's good that he's afraid of you. That will reduce the chances of aggression. The best way to raise a cockerel is to either never handle him or handle him constantly. He needs to be either terrified of you or in love with you; anything inbetween and you have a bird that doesn't like you and isn't scared of you.

    The breeder sounds like he knew what he was doing. I've only ever seen two cures for a boy who goes mean; a hardy butt-kicking or a nice, long trip to freezer camp.


    Roosters can be fertile on into 8-10 years of age. I've heard rumors out of some gamefowl communities of 20-30 year old breeding cocks, but I'm not so sure I take those claims at face value. Although if there's any bird that could live that long in breeding shape, it'd be a gamefowl.


    Dom gamefowl I believe may have some small amounts of Dominique in their ancestry, but the name mostly came from the similarities of color. Dominiques were the first American breed, thought to be created back in the late 1600s - early 1700s and popular by 1750, so they were quite common in the all same eras when gamefowl where plentiful and cockfighting was seen as a proper and gentlemanly sport.

    Aggression toward other birds and aggression towards people are actually very different traits. Few gamecocks (especially Orientals but in the pheasant-type class as well) are aggressive toward people, and in gamefowl communities they even have a name for them - "manfighters." (A word I've started using of late because honestly, it's both a functional and cool-sounding word.) There are games out there that are dead game if you let them near another bird, but who will sleep in your arms for hours if you let them.
     
  10. JanetMarie

    JanetMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The problem with a rooster being afraid of you is it's more difficult to handle him, and out of fear he may bite and spur you. If you can easily pick up a rooster it's easier to inspect and treat for mites. In my experience roosters are more prone to mites than hens.

    My roosters I choose to keep I can pick right up, without a flap, handle them, look them over, and they never raise a beak or spur at me, or even think it. Roosters can be raised exactly the same way and turn out very differently from each other, as I have experienced.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2015

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