Does this mean *I* am the rooster? !

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by FarmerJamie, Jun 13, 2010.

  1. FarmerJamie

    FarmerJamie Songster

    Mar 21, 2010
    Background: We have 10 BR hens, about 18 months old. Had a rooster last year, he's been gone about 10 months now. I like to garden, so whenever I'm out working in the soil for any length of time, I let the girls out to free range. We had a predator issue about a month ago that appeared to shake them up a little bit, but they seem fine now.

    Here's the weird behavior this week as I let them out:

    They follow me in a loose single-file formation to the garden and then disperse, instead of the usual "every hen for herself" prison break. The two smallest/lowest on the pecking order stay within 3 feet of me the whole time. I was on my hands and knees weeding and Nike (the smallest) stood *under* me, picking through the dirt as I loosened it up. When we found a worm she starts carrying on like she hit the lotto, and bam, 6 of the girls are now milling around me.

    After about an hour, I'm looking to head into the house to get ready for the son's baseball game, so I start rounding them up. Nike is wandering around my feet, so I sit down to hold and pet her. Then it gets weird, two other smallish hens start acting like they want mounted, walking around me and squatting with they wings spread out, and the two highest ranking girls come over and start pecking my hand as I pet Nike.

    I'm just a little weirded out. The wife thinks the girls are *in love* with me. [​IMG]

    Are the girls in need of a real rooster?
  2. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    Can you say "COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO" ? [​IMG]
  3. damselfish

    damselfish Songster

    Mar 8, 2008
    Southwest Missouri
    Congrats, you are the dominant bird. No, they don't "need" a rooster, just enjoy your chickens unless you particularly want a roo.
  4. Dingleberry

    Dingleberry Songster

    Apr 22, 2010
    awww, I am jelous. I want mine to do that. you are lucky!!!!
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2010
  5. GotChicken?

    GotChicken? Songster

    Jan 14, 2010
    The Thumb, MI
    My Polish hen used to do that with me when she first began laying eggs. It lasted a month, until she decided that my Silkie roo wasn't such a bad guy.
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    It signals maturity, that she is ready for a mate and to lay eggs soon. Also, means she is submitting to the dominant person/bird. Mine will even do that if I call their names from a distance, on occasion.
  7. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Now, don't you feel important?? And extra manly? [​IMG]

    Actually, I think it's adorable. If you want to replace your rooster, you could. As another poster has said, they don't NEED one, I think every flock should have a rooster. That's just me. Just empirical knowledge, similar to why I think I should be able to have ice cream whenever I want it.

    (The opening statement of my post is supposed to sound affectionate, not snotty. Honest.)
  8. FarmerJamie

    FarmerJamie Songster

    Mar 21, 2010
    Quote:[​IMG] That made me laugh.

    I'm sure in this given situation I described in the orginal post (you all confirmed that I AM the top bird!), there might be some words of wisdom for the wife of 17 years, but I know better [​IMG]
    Could this be the start of a whole new fun thread - Why women are like chickens? Like a handfed treat once in a while goes far? ..... [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  9. RebekahNicole

    RebekahNicole In the Brooder

    Apr 8, 2010
    Sunny SoCal
    My girls do that to me sometimes. I call it "bowing". Henrietta, the lowest on the pecking order, does it whenever I touch her.

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