Making Broody Rooster to Lead Chicks

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by centrarchid, May 14, 2011.

  1. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Conducted brief experiement over last 14 days. I placed a dozen 8-week old brooder raised chicks in a 6' x 8' x 3' coop with an adult game rooster. They were forced to roost in close proximity. He even moved lower to be near chicks at night. First couple days rooster was a little irritated by chicks that would step on his head to get food. Therafter, rooster began tolerating chicks and tidbitting. This morning I released group. Rooster led chicks about yard just like a hen would. Rooster made a sound that was a good approximation of clucking and chicks followed. Scoob (dog) decided to go chicken bowling and rooster positioned himself between dog and chicks and then chased Scoob off.

    Problem with setup is rooster pure game. Eventually he met up with free range game and broody had to be collected to end trial. Next round will be with 1/2 game 1/2 dominique to see if can be repeated without the combative nature screwing things up.
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Interesting.
    However, I've had different results without even meaning to experiment. My turken roo that is the sire of most of my chicks is an excellent protector of all of the chicks, both his and the store bought ones. My other roo is very gentle with the chicks when they are in close proximity to him as well. I have seen him call them to eat.

    The most interesting behavior I have noticed is from my "spare" cockerel. He has appointed himself the provider and protector of the six week old chicks; who all appear to be pullets at this point. This is a good thing in my book, since their mother is no longer caring for them and they are pretty much ignored by everyone else in the flock. I think he intends to have his own little flock of these three little girls.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2011
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    My interest is to reduce losses of chicks / stress on chicks during transition from sleeping in pile to roosting in elevated location. My production chicks get transferred at 4 weeks from brooder to chicken tractor. While in chicken tractor, protection from elements and predators good but intended subequent transfer at 8 weeks to free-range with elevated roost has been problematic. I can get chicks to move to proper location easily through a series of ground moves of roosting site but getting them to go up to a coop elevated 7 foot above gound with access only by flight has been a challenge. Chicks can easily make flight (1/2 game) but they do not want to stay. I think rooster may be able to call them up and keep them there like a hen would.


    With grey jungle fowl at least, rooster (father) takes over rearing during transition from ground to tree roosting. I can find no literature of red jungle fowl during same but we have had American games on walks with only one hen take on parental duty at loss of hen or when she commits to another brood. Aiding with foraging takes place even with hen present, as well as defense of brood which I see now with birds in yard. It is the covering of chicks to keep them warm and leading to areas without food that I am trying make use of.
     

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