Fighting or playing?


9 Years
Feb 5, 2010
Trenton, Florida
Being new, I have no clue about chicken behavior. I just read about dust bathing. I was worried they needed prozac. I'm so thankful this board is here.

My 4 week old Light Braham's are a rowdy bunch. I have 19 and only 3 stay clear of the one's spreading wings & trying to act like an attack eagle. They fly at each other with wings wide open, coming up off the ground while acting like suicide bombers. One of them came at one of the more peaceful ones and he/she bowed it's head and sat down. The bomber left him/her alone. I do not know if this is normal play for all chickens or if a specific sex do this. Although an odd question ... could my chickens be bored? I have a log in their brooder for them to goof off with but what else can I add to keep them happy ... a swing set?

They are asserting themselves to gain rank in the peck order. This is just establishing their ranks. The ones that "fight" the most are your likely roo's. Hens will display dominance too though so it's not a guarantee. The one that lower in peck order and less dominant...hope that it's a hen
It's normal behavior, not boredom.
I am worried most are roo's ... the way it's been described to me today about feathers/black, etc ... At least 12 fit that description. I just hope I can find them good homes if they are roo's.

When 4 of ours were younger, they used to do it all the time and they all turned out to be hens. So it really doesn't mean that they are roosters. Ours would run up to each other and face off by puffing up their neck feathers and staring each other down. Then, they would just walk off. Sometimes they would even kick out at each other like roosters do when they fight. But it was just a way of "play-fighting" and earning their place in the pecking order. They even do it today when they are adults...the ones that are "enemies" (live in separate coops) will fight with each other once in a while just like roosters, even if they are hens.

So just because they are doing that, don't suspect that they are all roosters already.

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