1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Normal behavior for 3-4 week old chicks? Pecking order or roosters?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lutherpug, May 1, 2016.

  1. lutherpug

    lutherpug Chillin' With My Peeps

    285
    22
    98
    Jan 5, 2014
    Kansas City, MO
    I've got 7 baby chicks. 5 were sexed pullets from MPC-delaware, cochin, australorp, dominique, and RIR. I also picked up 2 bantam cochins out of a straight run bin at the Orschelns. The bantams are probably in the neighborhood of 4 weeks old, the standards from MPC will be 3 weeks old tomorrow. These are my first chickens so I'm learning as I go.

    In any event, I'm positive I have at least one roo (see below) but when I was watching them this morning there was a lot of flying around into each other, chasing, posturing, etc. It wasn't just a few, it was the whole group. Normal? Are they sorting out the pecking order or am I going to have a bunch of little crowers? I have a place I can rehome a few roosters but I'd like to keep at least 4 hens for eggs.

    I've been convinced that my buff bantam cochin is a rooster for about 2 weeks as his comb started developing really early, he has pinkish red waddles, and acts very "male". Here is a picture of "Pico" as of this morning-

    [​IMG]

    Im starting to wonder about the other bantam, Jodi Foster. She's not developing as quickly but the waddles look pinkish although not as pronounced as Pico above.

    [​IMG]

    Thoughts? Is what I described above normal hen behavior for a bunch of 3-4 week olds? Is Jodi a rooster or is it too early to tell?

    Thanks for the help!
     
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    7,087
    729
    296
    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    It's normal[​IMG]
    The girls will posture, chest bump, chase, kick, peck and run around like a bunch of maniacs.
    I'm no expert at all on sexing or even breed, but the Buff does look slightly boyish, but alas, time will tell. I could have sworn one of my sexed SLW was a boy every now and again, but she lays lovely eggs. The other, just don't know[​IMG]

    I'm sure someone else will come along with better input than I.
    Good luck with your cute babies!
     
  3. I Love Layers

    I Love Layers Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,302
    415
    216
    Apr 25, 2015
    Middle of Nowhere
    I don't like guessing when they're young. I usually wait until they start growing so I can be sure.
     
  4. Spartan22

    Spartan22 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,100
    220
    216
    Sep 2, 2014
    North Canton, Ohio

    2x, 4 wks old? Pretty hard to tell till their at least 12-14 wks. My 6, 5 wk olds are all girls and they do all the chest bumps and flying and challenging each other's since the 1st week.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2016
  5. lutherpug

    lutherpug Chillin' With My Peeps

    285
    22
    98
    Jan 5, 2014
    Kansas City, MO
    Thanks for all of the replies! Good to know they're just being normal chickens. I'm still suspicious of my little Pico as his comb and waddles get redder daily but we will stay the course and see what happens.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    30,509
    3,396
    516
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Yes, all chicks will chest bump and 'play' fight.
    But red wattle growth at 4-6 weeks is a big time cockerel flag for me, pretty accurate on most breeds.
     
  7. lutherpug

    lutherpug Chillin' With My Peeps

    285
    22
    98
    Jan 5, 2014
    Kansas City, MO
    I thought so too based on other threads I've read on here.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by