Flock Behavior


10 Years
Aug 27, 2009
I just finished building a brand new coop. I recently got rid of my Sultan rooster as he had gotten really mean so I had 2 sultan hens and 3 bantam cochin hens left in that coop. In another small coop I had 2 bantam barred rock hens and 1 bantam barred rock rooster. I decided to combine them in the new coop. WOW was that interesting!!! I sat to observe the outcome for over an hour.

The cochins immediately climbed to the top of the roosting ladder and proceeded to hammer away at any barred rock within reach, including the rooster (although he stuck up for himself enough that they eventually stopped).

The Barred rock hens hid next to the rooster who did nothing to protect them from the barrage of pecking the cochins were giving. They finally managed to arrange themselves so the cochins couldn't reach them.

The sultan females (who are bigger than the rooster) went up to him and made themselves really tall and gave him the hairy eyeball for a few minutes until he finally just whacked them a few times and they went and hid in the corner. No blood, only a few feathers missing but a LOT of small battles.

All the fighting seemed to be surrounding the roosting ladder. Nobody hogged the food or water or prevented anyone else from getting food or water. Once I shut the light off, there was minimal fighting and this morning all seemed ok, no visible war wounds.

The most fascinating thing about this was the the cochins were at the bottom of the pecking order when I had the sultan rooster. Now it seems the sultans are - I have NEVER seen my cochins peck anything other than food!!

I will be checking on them frequently to make sure everyone is getting along, but so far it seems to be working ok. If they are ok by tonight is it safe to assume they will continue to co-exist peacefully?
I have no experience with Bantams, though my Sicilian Buttercups are smaller Large Fowl. Way back when, when I moved a young mixed flock of Pullets to a new Coop, all went well for 3 days, next morning I had a Naked Neck so bloodied that I had to put her down. I had to clean the Coop from top to bottom.

So I would not relax until they have co-existed for a week. The bantom Barred Rocks are the ones to worry about. I assume they are in a run during the day or are let out to run about. So, it is in the evening and early morning to be watchful.

Everything should be fine, though. Good Luck.

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