Monogamous Rooster?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by 6Happiness, Sep 26, 2010.

  1. 6Happiness

    6Happiness Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 31, 2010
    Am I mis-understanding my roo's behaviour, or is he an unusual roo? I got Pasquale, a young rooster/cockeral (exact age unknown) this spring. He was an addition to our small flock of girls- a young hen, Sylvia, and four young chicks hatched this April (purchased, not Sylvia's). At first, besides being *ahem* amorous with Sylvia, he was protective of the 4 chicks, as if they were his adoptive offspring. He'd watch over them, point out good food, and snuggle with them at night time.

    Pasquale, Sylvia, and Doodle are Bantams; the four pullets are not (Josephine and Beatrice are Langsham, Theresa is a Sussex and Mary is an Easter-Egger who is sort of in-between the size of the other three pullets and the bantams).

    We let Sylvia hatch one egg, the resulting chick named Doodle (hatched early June). Since then, Pasquale has been fiercely focused on Sylvia and Doodle. So much so that he is constantly hoovering over Sylvia and Doodle, and chases away the 4 pullets. Sylvia also chases away the other girls. I thought this would be temporary until Doodle was more independent, but it seems to be getting 'worse', not better.

    The Chickens all "free range" in an enclosed area of the back yard, but the 4 pullets keep to their side, and Pasquale, Sylvia and Doodle to the other. If the pullets dare cross the line, Pasquale chases them until they know their place again.

    No one is getting hurt, but I'm not sure the full sized pullets are happy being chased to the "less interesting" side of the garden (where there are less yummy veggie plants and such); and I was really hoping to have chicks from Pasquale and Theresa and Mary.

    Is this normal behaviour? Is it because of the Bantam vs regular size differences? Will he ever accept the other girls? Is there anything we can/should do to help them integrate?
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2010
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Quote:Yes, quite possibly, you never know, no.

    Chickens often, or usually, break up into groups or "cliques." Part of the pecking order process.

    The only real problem, as long as there is no real violence, is overmating. You need to check the hens that are being mated frequently. I lifted one of my hen's wings the other day, who had a little bald spot on her back, and discovered that a large area of feathers was also missing. Next comes some nasty lacerations, without protection (saddles.)
     
  3. 6Happiness

    6Happiness Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Oh, thanks for reminding me about this! Sylvia hasn't suffered from over-mating (yet), but rather than wait until she does, what should I do to prevent problems: does that chicken-clothing (is that what you mean by "saddles?) work? and if so, where are those sold?
     
  4. 6Happiness

    6Happiness Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 31, 2010
    Quote:Oh, thanks for reminding me about this! Sylvia hasn't suffered from over-mating (yet), but rather than wait until she does, what should I do to prevent problems: does that chicken-clothing (is that what you mean by "saddles?) work? and if so, where are those sold?
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    About saddles, I've never bought one. I cut a scrap of polarfleece into an oval then make slots long enough to fit the wings through. The space between the slats only needs to be 2" to 3". You'll know just how to do it after a try or two. You can pick up a piece of polarfleece in Walmart for very little that will last for years, if you don't have sewing scraps. (Well, it's probably called fleece; Polarfleece is a brand.) I cut them about 6" or 7" long. No sewing or hemming needed; the stuff will not fray. I have two wearing them now. I pick them up out of the nest box or off the roost and it's no hassle to put them on. They will fuss at them for a few minutes then forget about it.

    But you can buy them on here, I always see some in auction posts, if you want something that looks impressive.
     
  6. 6Happiness

    6Happiness Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 31, 2010
    That doesn't look difficult; I'll try making some. thanks.
     

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