Papa roo acting like mama roo. Is that normal in the chicken world?

Tatuana

Songster
Dec 30, 2018
473
989
146
Utah
I'm in the process of moving countries so I rehomed the last of my chickens. The oldest is a black silkie, who was born in the spring. The others were little babies I adopted from IFA. I heard from their owners today for an update. Turns out since rehoming them Papa Roo has grown into the Mama Roo position very well. He tucks his babies under his wing every night (Or tries to, they're now bigger than he is), he doesn't like humans messing with them, he feeds them, and stays with them all the time. He's not great at looking out for danger, but he loves his five babies. He has no interest in merging with the existing herd, not even the females. If a lion eats the other chickens, cool. Just leave his babies alone. We know he's a rooster since he crows a few times a day.

Is it normal for roosters to adopt chicks? I'm thinking it's the age difference. He was already crowing when I adopted the five babies. If so, will he ever grow out of it with his existing herd? His new humans kind of want to breed him with their silkie. I'm thinking he's going to be very, very confused when HE can't sit on the eggs and raise the babies.
 

Tatuana

Songster
Dec 30, 2018
473
989
146
Utah
Broody Roosters.

That first video is EXACTLY how they acted when younger! The two barred rocks would hop up on his back all the time. He would just commando crawl around with them. Since they were so much smaller than him, they'd shove themselves under him for warmth. He got to the point where he could walk with two babies tucked between his legs. I don't think the babies gave him a choice, really. Maybe that added to it. Within six hours of being in the brooder together they were all shoved under him.


Roosters can take the role of raising chicks like mama hens, it's rare, but it happens.
I call them Broody Roos.
He's sure a sweetie. I always assumed roosters were a bit rougher in order to defend their turf. Or at least that's how MY roosters have been. This one kinda threw me through a loop. I've never had a Mama Roo before.


Hope you get settled just fine are you certain the bird was a cockerel Silkie are so tough to tell and a hen will take the job of a rooster if another is not there
Oh yes, he's for sure a he. The lady I got him from was horribly upset to rehome him. He crows once or twice a day, fluffs up all grumpily and flaps his wings, and all the usual rooster stuff. She triple checked before rehoming him since her kids loved him. I don't have a ton of pictures of him, since he's been rehomed, but I can post to check if that helps.


Maybe he's just being an alien silkie and acting wonky as they do. Out of all the chickens I've had, silkies are the weirdest. I never thought a rooster would take up the job of being a mama AND a papa before. It's freaking adorable, but also freaking confusing. He's the one who ended up spending over 24 hours on a shelf (where his food and water dish were) because he couldn't figure out how to get down. The shelf was six inches off the ground. I took him through the process six times and he still didn't get it. Stairs also confused him. It took him six seconds to think about it, and then only jumped when the babies did. He just follows the babies lead through everything, happily following.

It's weird. We love it. I'm worried what will happen when he babies grow up. Will they still be close and be all tucked in? One of his Brats is a male. I'm assuming they won't stay tight knit once the baby matures. Is there a usual age that mama/baby groups tend to break up so the kids stand on their own? I assume they're not all going to snuggle like this forever.
 

MysteryChicken

Crowing
May 31, 2018
3,960
6,754
411
East, Tawas Michigan
That first video is EXACTLY how they acted when younger! The two barred rocks would hop up on his back all the time. He would just commando crawl around with them. Since they were so much smaller than him, they'd shove themselves under him for warmth. He got to the point where he could walk with two babies tucked between his legs. I don't think the babies gave him a choice, really. Maybe that added to it. Within six hours of being in the brooder together they were all shoved under him.




He's sure a sweetie. I always assumed roosters were a bit rougher in order to defend their turf. Or at least that's how MY roosters have been. This one kinda threw me through a loop. I've never had a Mama Roo before.




Oh yes, he's for sure a he. The lady I got him from was horribly upset to rehome him. He crows once or twice a day, fluffs up all grumpily and flaps his wings, and all the usual rooster stuff. She triple checked before rehoming him since her kids loved him. I don't have a ton of pictures of him, since he's been rehomed, but I can post to check if that helps.


Maybe he's just being an alien silkie and acting wonky as they do. Out of all the chickens I've had, silkies are the weirdest. I never thought a rooster would take up the job of being a mama AND a papa before. It's freaking adorable, but also freaking confusing. He's the one who ended up spending over 24 hours on a shelf (where his food and water dish were) because he couldn't figure out how to get down. The shelf was six inches off the ground. I took him through the process six times and he still didn't get it. Stairs also confused him. It took him six seconds to think about it, and then only jumped when the babies did. He just follows the babies lead through everything, happily following.

It's weird. We love it. I'm worried what will happen when he babies grow up. Will they still be close and be all tucked in? One of his Brats is a male. I'm assuming they won't stay tight knit once the baby matures. Is there a usual age that mama/baby groups tend to break up so the kids stand on their own? I assume they're not all going to snuggle like this forever.
I have a Silkie roo named SnuggleBug, & he feeds babies that we add to the coop like a daddy, but doesn't fully adopt them. If I add to many babies, he gets overwhelmed if I do.
Usually a mama hen would kick her babies out of her care at 6-12 weeks of age, so a roo might do the same.
 

Tatuana

Songster
Dec 30, 2018
473
989
146
Utah
Maybe I'll ask for one of his offsprings when he has one. I think the Brats adopted him thinking he was warm, and then he went with it. I guess now he's Mama Roo and very happy! Just strange. Silkies are weird.
 

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