I'm new to BYC and to raising chickens

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by farmerfogg, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. farmerfogg

    farmerfogg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 31, 2012
    Richmond, VA
    I'm new to raising chickens and to BYC. About a month ago, I was given the opportunity to choose laying hens from a friends flock. I chose 6 beautiful chickens. I brought home 2 Leghorns, 2 Rhode Island Reds, and 2 Dominiques (one with stripes the other is gray and has a hawk like appearance) . The Dominiques were just hatched out in June, they are about 15 weeks old now. The Leghorns hatched out last December and the RIR's hatched out in January.

    As time has gone on, I have noticed that my striped Dominique is not a hen, but rather a rooster. I really didn't want to have a rooster, I was more interested in collecting eggs, not looking to have chicks anytime soon. It has been dominating the other Dominique be grabbing her on the neck and getting on her back. His tail feathers all curl, unlike all of the other chickens, who's tail feathers are straight. It seems like it has begun growing spurs.

    The pecking order is a bit difficult to watch. It sometimes seems cruel and painful. In my observation, the order goes as follows, RIR's are #1 and #2, followed by the Leghorns at #3 and #4, then the Dominique rooster is #5 and the Dominique hen is #6. Although the rooster dominates the Dominique hen (Mya), he also protects her from the other older hens, who peck at her. So I have decided I will keep him.

    I have some questions.
    * When will the rooster start crowing?
    * When will the rooster be #1 in the pecking order?
    * Will the older hens eventually shop picking on the two younger chickens?

    I look forward to getting to learn all I can about my flock.
  2. jbirds2012

    jbirds2012 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 14, 2012
    paicines, ca.
    answers :
    possibly never, or until the older ones turn into fried chicken or chicken soup :)
  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Hello and welcome to BYC [​IMG] Glad you joined us!
  4. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas, farmerfogg, and [​IMG]! Great to have you here! Happy you have some birds, even if one is a rooster (not necessarily a bad thing). I think the rooster should be giving you morning announcements soon. Although I have a rooster with my hens who has yet to crow and he is about two weeks older than yours. He'll also be "top dog" in the pecking order soon enough as well. But again, I have some established hens among my flock and they still boss him around. Lastly, the older girls will always likely be higher in the pecking order than the new girls - not a bad thing, just their nature. But that doesn't mean they will always pick on them - just outrank them. I introduced 8 new girls into my 10 older ones and none of them are picked on but all are clearly subordinant to the older ones. Make sure they all have plenty of space. Meaness is intensified in cramped conditions! Good luck to you!
  5. farmerfogg

    farmerfogg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 31, 2012
    Richmond, VA

    Thanks! And I'm not sure there's gonna be any fried chicken or soup down the road, but it could happen some day. :)
  6. farmerfogg

    farmerfogg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 31, 2012
    Richmond, VA
  7. nova022

    nova022 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 3, 2012
    [​IMG] This a great place to share and learn about your chics. Welcome!
  8. farmerfogg

    farmerfogg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 31, 2012
    Richmond, VA
    Thanks everyone for welcoming me!
  9. weimarmama

    weimarmama Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 4, 2010
    My Coop
    :frow & :welcome from Alabama. Glad you joined us. Great answers given - Congrats and good luck :thumbsup
  10. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Hi and welcome to BYC from northern Michigan [​IMG]

    Once your birds are all mature the pecking order will settle down and as long as you have plenty of space there will be very little fussing.

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