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Genetic Behaviours versus learned behaviour

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Totalcolour, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. Totalcolour

    Totalcolour Songster

    I have a "mutt" rooster that I kept because his papa was old and I thought the young feller was
    an Orp - turned out he was an Orp/Amereaucana (judging by his grown body type and colouration).
    We had Orps and Ameracauna hens at the time.

    Now, he has some really tremendous behaviour towards the ladies, always does the dance, waits
    for them to accept him, finds treat for them and is a real gentleman. The thing is, I bought some
    Blue laced red Wyandottes, one of which is a really gorgeous cockerell. He is about 14 weeks old and
    hasn't started to crow or shown any interest in the ladies yet.

    I know that not all roo's do the dance, and some can turn out aggressive, so I don't want to get rid
    of this fine bird until the younger one has grown up more. Do or can birds learn by imitation from
    older birds? "Sarge's" papa didn't do the dance and wasn't as gentlemanly to his ladies so it's obvious
    it is an inherited behaviour (on the mama's side; we got rid of Papa before Sarge was hatched).
    If the young roo didn't inherit this behaviour, can he learn it from the roo we have, and what are the
    chances that he will?

    Any info on Rooster behaviours would be very much appreciated - THANKS [​IMG]

  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I cannot give you a definitive answer to the second part of your second question: If the young roo didn't inherit this behaviour, can he learn it from the roo we have, and what are the chances that he will?

    However, I bet he would be able to learn it by observation of the older rooster's behavior and success at it.

    And you can certainly keep the younger rooster as secondary, without getting rid of the older one, even if he DOES learn and demonstrate the preferred behavior. Unless there is some reason you don't want to keep the older one who behaves so admirably.
  3. Totalcolour

    Totalcolour Songster

    Thank you Gryeyes:-

    it's not that I don't want to keep the older rooster; despite the fact he's wonderful, he's really a mutt. My experience so far (18 months only) is
    that some roo's don't work well with others. The older one is exemplary, but not sure about the younger, since we've only had him for 2 1/2 weeks;
    and only in gen pop a few days.

    much appreciate the input. Saw you in Mahonri's Easter hatch - fun isn't it [​IMG] I'm setting 13

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