1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

How will the flock dynamics change now that rooster is gone to "camp"?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by off-grid hen, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. off-grid hen

    off-grid hen Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,130
    30
    168
    Mar 1, 2011
    Upstate NY
    We had to send the rooster to camp this weekend. This is my first flock, and there are no other roosters. I am going to keep an eye out for new dynamics with the pecking order, and will deal with whatever happens- obviously.

    I was just curious... what did all of you experience with your flock after you went from having a rooster to suddenly not having one?

    My hens seem to suddenly notice that I'm around and are much more affectionate. [​IMG] Will a hen step up and alert the group if a threat occurs, or are they lots more vulnerable to predators now? After a while will they figure out that someone else needs to stand guard? Did you have a sudden hierarchy change or did things stay pretty much the same? Were the girls less stressed? More stressed?

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2011
  2. off-grid hen

    off-grid hen Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,130
    30
    168
    Mar 1, 2011
    Upstate NY
    Oops. hit "reply" instead of "edit". [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2011
  3. off-grid hen

    off-grid hen Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,130
    30
    168
    Mar 1, 2011
    Upstate NY
    Anyone?
     
  4. bustermommy

    bustermommy Chillin' With My Peeps

    734
    3
    121
    Apr 16, 2011
    My hens argued more. I don't really have predators except my own dogs, and the roo was always warning them against us. The biggest change was the noise decreased and that my daughter and I got to sit out and watch them more without that nasty rooster attacking us.
     
  5. Ventura974

    Ventura974 Out Of The Brooder

    22
    0
    32
    Apr 19, 2011
    New England
    In my experiences with having roosters every time we had a rooster the hens were well aware that he was the top of the pecking order. Once we would take the rooster out the hens went back to establishing a pecking order amongst themselves. They will always sort things out on their own. There's always one hen that ends up being more bossy than the rest. The only difference is that once the rooster is gone the scene will be a bit more quiet. Good luck.
     
  6. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

    7,480
    179
    298
    Feb 12, 2009
    Ohio
    I only have a bantam roo and he's too in love with the EE hen, to give a care about doing his job of protector. I had 6 babies snatched by hawks this year. None the previous years and I had Marans roosters protecting the flock.
     
  7. so lucky

    so lucky Chillin' With My Peeps

    470
    4
    111
    Jan 31, 2011
    SE Missouri
    My girls are quieter, calmer and can forage without getting sneaked up on and jumped. The bossiest girl took over as leader. No problems. She does kind of keep watch for hawks, etc, but not as much as a good roo would.
     
  8. off-grid hen

    off-grid hen Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,130
    30
    168
    Mar 1, 2011
    Upstate NY
    Just thought I'd follow up here. Since General Tso has been gone, life has been pretty good. The only thing I miss about him is the crowing.

    My hens pay lots more attention to us, and squat every time we're near. I have noticed that the girls pay MUCH more attention to the sky now that the big boy is gone. When they leave the coop and run area, they go the long way around to be under cover. They don't spend much time out in the open/uncovered areas unless my husband or I am out with them. They still will defend their scratch or BOSS when I throw some down, but I don't know how much that changed from before. They did that in front of the rooster too. It might be slightly more prevalent, but I don't have hens being chased down or getting picked on.
     
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    19,937
    3,093
    476
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I went from one rooster and eight laying pullet/hens to no rooster and eight laying pullet/hens. I did have some young roosters and pullets, but these were definitely chicks, not even close to adolescence.

    The pecking order did not really change that much within the hens. Mine still roamed all over. I did not see anything different in their behavior toward security, but my rooster was not great about security anyway.

    One hen did become the flock leader. She even "mated" with some of the younger hens, even to the point of touching vents. Even with a rooster, that behavior is as much about dominance as it is sex. When the chicks developed enough to enough to start to act like roosters, most of the subordinate pullets would allow them to mate them, but the dominant hen would whip his butt if he got fresh with her. She would also attack the young rooster when he was mating a pullet in her presence. She was the boss. Eventually one rooster matured enough to dominate the dominant hen, but she did not accept his authority easily. He had to win her respect.

    To me, this shows that the flock is more peaceful when one chicken assumes the dominant role and maintains peace and order in the flock. It does not have to be a rooster. So I would say no really serious changes in my flock dynamics. One hen became the rooster, although she continued to lay.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by