More Questions about Cockerel Behavior

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by PunkinPeep, Dec 12, 2009.

  1. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    O.k., to start with, i think i did this wrong.

    My flock was originally 3 young male rir who are now 11 1/2 weeks old (the little reds), 21 pullets, mix of rir, bo, and br, who are now 13 1/2 weeks old (the girls), and 3 older male rir cockerels who are now almost 17 weeks old (the big reds).

    A couple of months ago, we (me and my friend who gave me some of these birds) thought that one of the little reds was looking more like a girl, and 'she' went to live with my friend. We'll call her 'Soupy.' Not too much later, we figured out that Soupy was definitely not a girl, and we arranged for him to come and live with me again. Soupy has been in quarantine, and his 30 days are up on Dec `17.

    So i was thinking about making the transition back with his original flock as smooth as possible, and i imagined that i would put his brothers (the little reds) in with him until it's time to join the flock. My thinking was that integration goes better in groups.

    Soupy is larger than his brothers. Initially, i took the larger of the two other Little Reds, Nuggets, and put him in with Soupy. But Soupy was very mean, and Nuggets, a gentle soul, managed to escape when i opened the door and ran for dear life. After a minor fiasco to catch Nuggets, i put him back with his flock. (Yes, i realize now i have kind of screwed up 'quarantine.')

    My next thought was maybe i could put the smaller of the Big Reds in with Soupy and see how that would go.

    Here's how it went and where the most interesting and unexpected thing happened:

    We'll call the smallest of the Big Reds, 'Dumplings.' I put Dumplings in the quarantine cage with Soupy. At first they sort of ignored and eyeballed each other. And then a little inconsequential tussle. And then Dumplings seemingly ignored Soupy while Soupy ran around the pen in circles making strange noises. This went on for a few minutes, and then the two had another weird little tussle. After this second tussle, i heard nothing from Soupy. So i opened the door, and looked to find Soupy with his head in the corner, and his bum in the air, stiff as a board - but breathing. I waited a little, and when he never emerged, i was a little freaked out that he might be hurt, and i removed Dumplings back to his flock. As soon as Dumplings was gone, Soupy emerged, quiet but unhurt.

    So i've never seen or heard of this particular behavior before, and i would like advice. Should i have just let Soupy stay in the corner and eventually expect them to become friends? Should i put the Little Reds back in there and hope for the best?

    As soon as Soupy is finally re-integrated with the flock, i plan to move the two younger of the Big Reds to the quarantine cage to get ready for freezer camp.

    All advice is welcome. Thanks.
     
  2. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    Anyone?
     
  3. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    Sounds like Soupy was hiding in the corner to save his life. Hunkered down and not moving - he had no where to go and did not want Dumplings to notice him any longer.
     
  4. momreda

    momreda Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 31, 2009
    Cumberland Furnace, TN
    I am still a bit new to this also but when we got our fitst chickens, 16 of them we wound up having 15 Roo's (long story)! They battled eachother continuously and I always took the "head in the corner, rear in air" to mean they conceeded and the other Roo had won. It seems that the dominate roo will eventually make all the other roo's conceed.
     
  5. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    SouthEast Texas
    Quote:Once they had conceded, did they live in semi-peace at any point?
     
  6. momreda

    momreda Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 31, 2009
    Cumberland Furnace, TN
    Quote:Once they had conceded, did they live in semi-peace at any point?

    Some days are better than others. They will get into every now and then but it doesn't last long.
     

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