Is 8-10 weeks a young age for Crowing, courting, etc..??*with PIC*

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lisahaschickens, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    I am raising my first batch of chicks and they will be 10 weeks old tomorrow. This is my first time having any chickens myself, and they are all from the same place and are all the same age.

    I believe I have four cockerels, all Cuckoo Marans. One of my boys, JB (short for "Johnny Bravo") has always been ahead of the curve in development. He has always been biggest, he got the most feathers the earliest, his comb and wattles turned red and started to grow first and they are now the biggest and reddest of the group. At about 8 weeks old, he started to crow and is now pretty good at it. I've been hearing from people that 8 weeks is pretty early to crow... is that true?

    And just now this evening, I was out with them while they free-ranging and I heard terrible squawking. My first thought was - oh no! Predator attack! But no, it was my man, JB. He had a hold of a BO pullet's head feathers and was trying to get on top of her from behind while she fought with all her strength to get away. After a few seconds he let go of her and went back to grazing.

    A little while later, I heard cute little clucking noises and JB was standing with one of my Cuckoo Marans girls and he put his left wing down on the ground and started dancing in a circle around her while clucking/singing at her. I tired to look it up and I think this is courting behavior - is that right? He did it again to one of the BOs too before I put them away for the night.

    Am I right in guessing that this is mating/courting behavior? If so, isn't this really young? At 10 weeks old, my girls have another 10 or more weeks to go before they start laying, right? My other roos are not nearly as developed as JB... smaller, pinker combs and wattles, no crowing, etc.

    Anyway, just looking for opinions and clarifications on the behavior I'm seeing [​IMG]

    Here's my big boy at 9.5 weeks old (this past Monday - I don't have a more recent pic that is in focus):

    [​IMG]

    oh heck, here's one from yesterday, sorry it's blurry and a bad angle:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2009
  2. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    nobody has any thoughts?
     
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Yep, everything you described is mating behavior. He'll likely be your alpha roo.
    Mine started trying to mate the pullets at 10 weeks old too - real young for a brahma.
    The pullets hate it, but they'll come around when they are getting ready to lay.
     
  4. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    cool cool... thanks for the input. I thought that's what he was doing, but it just seemed so young, I wasn't sure.

    He's definitely in charge of everyone right now. The other boys challenge him but they don't have a shot. He's also started to look out for the other chickens a bit already, and often makes sure they're all in the coop/run before going in himself. Pretty cute, really. He's my big man [​IMG]
     
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Just make sure he maintains a healthy respect for you. When I walk out amongst my chickens my rooster backs wayyyyy up. He knows I'm the true alpha of the flock and he doesn't want a piece of me. [​IMG]
     
  6. luvmychicknkids

    luvmychicknkids Canning Squirrel

    Mar 6, 2008
    Floresville, Texas
    UGH.....it must be in the air or something! I have 11 week old boys acting the same way! I have had quite a few batches of babies and this is the earliest I have seen this behavior!!! One is even a Silkie!!!
     
  7. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    yeah, I've been trying to keep that in mind. He's actually really scared of me - always has been. Which is cool. I'd rather he be a cuddly lap-baby, but since he's not, it's good that he fears me. I still try to get in his face and wave my hands at him and talk to him like I'm big and scary and in charge so he doesn't get any funny ideas. It's pretty funny, though, to watch this big tough guy jump and squeak like a baby if I so much as try to touch him. He's always been that way, for some reaon.
     
  8. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    luvmychiknkids -

    maybe it's a little spring fever? There is so much mating and nesting going on with the wild birds around here... maybe it's giving them ideas at these young ages?
     

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