One Calls the Others in for the Night?

Dracarys

Chirping
Sep 24, 2019
17
34
51
NW Georgia
Hello, all! I'm new to the world of keeping and raising chickens, having the responsibility of seven hens fall into my lap earlier this year. Now I'm raising thirty (as of today 6-week old) chicks.

One of my chicks corrals the others, and I'm not sure what to make of it. Every evening at sundown, (s)he will walk around outside the brooder in the temporary run with a very throaty chirp (very much like the "help me" chirp). If there are any stragglers, (s)he will stand in front of them or at the bottom of their perch and give an even louder throaty chirp until those stragglers go in for the night. Once the last chick is in the brooder, (s)he will quiet down and go in.

Does anyone know if this is this normal for a pullet? This sounds like rooster behavior, so is she actually a he? I know sexing chicks isn't 100%, so I'm always on the look-out for the male that slipped through.
 

SurferchickinSB

Free Ranging
Feb 23, 2018
2,866
4,432
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California
Hello, all! I'm new to the world of keeping and raising chickens, having the responsibility of seven hens fall into my lap earlier this year. Now I'm raising thirty (as of today 6-week old) chicks.

One of my chicks corrals the others, and I'm not sure what to make of it. Every evening at sundown, (s)he will walk around outside the brooder in the temporary run with a very throaty chirp (very much like the "help me" chirp). If there are any stragglers, (s)he will stand in front of them or at the bottom of their perch and give an even louder throaty chirp until those stragglers go in for the night. Once the last chick is in the brooder, (s)he will quiet down and go in.

Does anyone know if this is this normal for a pullet? This sounds like rooster behavior, so is she actually a he? I know sexing chicks isn't 100%, so I'm always on the look-out for the male that slipped through.
Sounds like a very good rooster!
 

SurferchickinSB

Free Ranging
Feb 23, 2018
2,866
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California
LOL I guess hens don't do this? I just didn't think the gender specific behavior would show up this early. This is going to be an interesting experience with a rooster. Thanks!

BTW, I'm not kidding when I say I laughed out loud when I read your reply.
Actually, hens will do that when they are calling in there baby chicks to the coop, but they don’t round up the others that are already grown.
 

Dracarys

Chirping
Sep 24, 2019
17
34
51
NW Georgia
I do not have a rooster anymore with my big girls. My light Brahma has taken lead role of top hen. She also makes sure everyone gets in at night.
Okay, so this is interesting. The chick is a Buff Brahma. I'd read that the top hen will wait around at the coop entrance for everyone to go in for the night. I haven't experienced this with my older girls because the one I believe is alpha will walk past any stragglers to go into the coop for the night. She doesn't care about status except when it comes to food, treats, and roost.

The thing that surprised me was that this chick is very vocal and aggressive about it. It won't just wait but goes up to the stragglers and chirps loudly. One of its targets rushed at her/him after jumping off their perch and this chick stood their ground and eyed them until the target backed off and slunk into the brooder.

Does your Brahma chase after the others to get them inside?

Actually, hens will do that when they are calling in there baby chicks to the coop, but they don’t round up the others that are already grown.
That's exactly what I'm wondering. I guess it's normal for a top hen to wait around for her flock, but it doesn't sound like hen behavior to be this aggressive and loud about it.

Can cockerel behavior show up this early (6 weeks)?

Thanks to both of you for your input on this. Having info from others with more experience helps me try to figure this out and prepare.
 

SurferchickinSB

Free Ranging
Feb 23, 2018
2,866
4,432
532
California
Okay, so this is interesting. The chick is a Buff Brahma. I'd read that the top hen will wait around at the coop entrance for everyone to go in for the night. I haven't experienced this with my older girls because the one I believe is alpha will walk past any stragglers to go into the coop for the night. She doesn't care about status except when it comes to food, treats, and roost.

The thing that surprised me was that this chick is very vocal and aggressive about it. It won't just wait but goes up to the stragglers and chirps loudly. One of its targets rushed at her/him after jumping off their perch and this chick stood their ground and eyed them until the target backed off and slunk into the brooder.

Does your Brahma chase after the others to get them inside?


That's exactly what I'm wondering. I guess it's normal for a top hen to wait around for her flock, but it doesn't sound like hen behavior to be this aggressive and loud about it.

Can cockerel behavior show up this early (6 weeks)?

Thanks to both of you for your input on this. Having info from others with more experience helps me try to figure this out and prepare.
I would think so if he is going to be an effective rooster, sounds like he is very genetically programmed to know what to do! He will most likely be a really good protector!
 

Chicken Heel

Songster
Jun 8, 2019
575
1,672
171
I have seen Bantams exhibit this trait more than larger chickens. I currently have a Barred Rock Bantam hen that herds the other 15 hens into the coop before she enters for the night. The flock is 1.5 years old and this began when they were about six weeks old. She also tries to crow on occasion.
 

Mybackyardpeepers

Free Ranging
Mar 22, 2019
2,750
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Michigan
Okay, so this is interesting. The chick is a Buff Brahma. I'd read that the top hen will wait around at the coop entrance for everyone to go in for the night. I haven't experienced this with my older girls because the one I believe is alpha will walk past any stragglers to go into the coop for the night. She doesn't care about status except when it comes to food, treats, and roost.

The thing that surprised me was that this chick is very vocal and aggressive about it. It won't just wait but goes up to the stragglers and chirps loudly. One of its targets rushed at her/him after jumping off their perch and this chick stood their ground and eyed them until the target backed off and slunk into the brooder.

Does your Brahma chase after the others to get them inside?


That's exactly what I'm wondering. I guess it's normal for a top hen to wait around for her flock, but it doesn't sound like hen behavior to be this aggressive and loud about it.

Can cockerel behavior show up this early (6 weeks)?

Thanks to both of you for your input on this. Having info from others with more experience helps me try to figure this out and prepare.
No my Brahma has never been aggressive with any of my pullets. She does not screech or touch the others. She does come out of the coop if anyone is left outside, seems to usher them in. I have a girl that was raised with her that even follows along.
 

MANNA-PRO

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