Dominique rooster behavior/maturity?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by elorac, Oct 20, 2016.

  1. elorac

    elorac Out Of The Brooder

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    Back on March 15 of this year, I got 4 chicks, 1 day old, supposed to be Dominique pullets. So, now 7 months old.
    One is a rooster, and I have never had a rooster before.
    Can y'all shed some light on a couple things?

    1.The 3 pullets, same day acquired from a craigs list post, have clearly Dominique combs.
    This rooster has a comb like my barred rocks. You know they look extremely similar. I wondered if a Dom roo can have a comb like the BR?
    I'm not upset if he's a BR. I wanted doms just for nostalgic purposes. No breeding plans and no need for "pure" whatever.

    2.I do not understand his behavior, and how long it should take him (if he does) to start acting more protective and/or show instinctive signs of offering hens food, etc. stuff like that.
    Right now, he does try to mount the younger hens he was born with. Not too often though, they seem to give him a fussin more than cooperating, and even sometimes gets chased by them.
    He does not DARE mingle socially with my hens that are my original flock, they're about 18 months old.
    He is huuuuuuge/fat? he walks sorta wobbly and tends to sit down as if he's tired of standing sometimes. He strikes me as a very awkward teenager who grew a foot in one year and doesn't quite know how to manage or balance their body very well.
    This awkwardness and being so much bigger seems to have come along in the last couple months. I thought he might grow through it, but I wonder how long it will take.
    He does not take treats to hens, as far as I can tell. When I give the group treats, he lays back and has to be cautious about getting some for himself. He gets chased away by the older hens.

    Can any of you tell me what age I should expect him to be more roostery? And when I might determine if he is, or is not, a very good protector or worth keeping?

    I had never had a loss until this summer. Raccoon got a Silver Laced Wy hen during the night. And just today, a hawk got one of the 3 young dom hens. I know these things happen. Mr. Rooster was with one of the other young hens INSIDE the coop INSIDE the box where they used to live. (sort of the transition box when they were too small to mix with my other hens earlier this year). He is twice the size of others, and I wonder if he was a fighter, he may have been able to deter the hawk. Maybe when he's older?

    Thanks for any input. I have no idea what to expect from a rooster as they grow up.
     
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    His more "typical" rooster behaviours could take some time to emerge by the sounds of things. People seem to differ on the effectiveness of a rooster as flock protector - in my experience they do a good job of sounding alarms, but protecting - no.
     
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  3. elorac

    elorac Out Of The Brooder

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    Anyone have thoughts on his barred rock looking comb?
    Odd that the 3 females I got with him have obvious looking Dom combs. Maybe the guy I got them from breeds several types of chickens and didn't keep his eggs marked well. I was curious if he could be a Dom/BR cross and have a comb like that.

    I'd like to hear other ideas on the "teenage" rooster behavior too.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2016
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    A pic would be helpful. Lacking that, go to the Chicken breeds forums, and find a thread dealing with Dominiques. That should give you lots of roo pics for comparison. The rose comb is dominant over straight comb. Some breeders have bred barred rock back into their Dom lines to beef up the breed. It can pop back up in successive generations. What CT Ken said about roos: Agreed. They are great at sounding alarms, not so great at protecting against predators. A rare roo will give his life for his hens, but that's not the norm (IMO). He's more apt to keep a wary eye on the sky and surrounding area while his hens forage for grub. He'll sound the alarm, and then run for cover along with the hens. Sorry for your loss. Your best bet there is to beef up your predator proofing: Make your coop inaccessible to predators, and be sure all birds are shut in securely every night. Be warned that chicken wire will keep your birds in, but will not keep predators out. A coon will floss his teeth with it on his way in, and a weasel will go through any opening that a quarter will fit through. A weasel can wipe out a whole flock in a single night. Your birds are sitting targets and totally defenseless at night. That coon will be back. I had a single coon kill all but 3 of my birds in a single night, and he came back the next morning to finish the job. He got a dose of lead for his effort. Hawk predation is a tough one. A product called "bangers" has limited success. (non lethal shot into the sky) Expensive IMO. Hanging CD's from fish line for the reflective effect. Putting lots of cover opportunities around the yard. Duluth Ralphie has put up fish line and CD's in a maze around his yard, and thinks he's getting some success with that. The presence of a dog is helpful, if the dog is not chicken aggressive. Covered run. Encourage the presence of crows.
     
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  5. elorac

    elorac Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks Lazy Gardener.

    After the coon, we added wire in the gap where roof meets side. It was apparent that's where he went in. The rest of the coop was sound, with tight hardware cloth that is buried in trench. That roof line was a weakness.

    Raccoons are so smart and agile, I hate em! I don't think we have weasels here, thank goodness. If we do, never seen here by me. I live in town, and have to be stealthy shooting anything. But I have. Actually, killed a lot of possum and raccoon with bow and arrow LOL, no neighbors know when that happens. :)


    I can try the cd's. Didn't know that would work with hawks.

    I will try to get a good pic of roo and hen in a bit. He has absolutely straight comb. And hens have absolutely rose comb.
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Can you post a pic of him?

    He really doesn't sound like a Dominique. They're supposed to be lighter bodied than Rocks, smaller birds.

    He's at an age where he should be starting to act mature with the hens, calling for treats, etc. Being raised with older hens is usually a good thing, it' teaches them good manners. But maybe he's just not too assertive, afraid the older ladies will kick his butt more. I'm thinking spring will bring a big change in everyone's attitude when the hormones start flowing.

    Roosters as protectors is pretty overrated, IMO. Yes, there are always stories of valiant roosters who fight off predators or give their lives for their hens. But for every story like that, there are dozens like my rooster Tom. Tom is 18 months old, so fully mature. He treats the hens well, but he's, well, a big chicken. Yesterday I had his flock free ranging and put out some leftover chili for them to eat. He was all excited, calling the ladies "Look what I found for you! I'm such a great manly man, a good provider, look what I found!". He had a nice group of hens gathered there eating....then the dog came trotting over to see what they were eating. Tom shrieked, gave an alarm call, and bailed as fast as he could, leaving the hens kind of standing there puzzled. I called the dog away and the hens calmly resumed eating. Tom wandered back over about 10 minutes later, but by then the hens had had their fill and he couldn't entice them to stay and eat more.

    Anyway, just saying most roosters will keep watch and give alerts, but depending on them to sacrifice themselves, not gonna happen in most cases.
     
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  7. AriadneCastro

    AriadneCastro Out Of The Brooder

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    Why's that?
     
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Hawks don't like crows. Crows are noisy and bossy and chase the hawks away.

    Crows can steal eggs, but I don't think they harm chickens.....someone else will have to chime in there.
     
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  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    If you live in the US, you have weasels. May never see one. May never know you have them till you find a bunch of dead chickens in your coop one morning.

    At least one reader has had to save a full grown hen from attack by a murder of crows. I think it was Island Girl. Crows will definitely kill chicks. But, I'd much rather have crows around than hawks.
     
  10. elorac

    elorac Out Of The Brooder

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    Got some pics today.

    Here is rudy roo

    [​IMG]


    Here is one dom hen

    [​IMG]


    And here is the roo, and one dom, both 7 months old, and the white is EE 19 months old

    [​IMG]
     

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