Positive rooster behavior

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Sheila, Jan 9, 2010.

  1. Sheila

    Sheila Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 23, 2007
    NW MA
    I've been paying special attention to the behaviors in the flock now that the roos are fully grown (eight months), and I've noticed some surprising things.

    If I put a treat down, the roos stay to the side and let the hens have most of it before they jump in. They are all the same age, so it's not a seniority thing.

    It's been very cold, and I'm bringing them cooking oatmeal. I put it in two pans and save some in the bucket. The roos will come and take it from the end of a long wooden spoon, and seem to actually prefer that. I had four of the five roos eating oatmeal that way today.

    When they clean each other's beaks, it looks like they are kissing. Cute. But just as I was about to leave today, I saw a roo standing perfectly still while a hen carefully picked the oatmeal that was stuck to his wattles. This went on for several minutes and he never moved a muscle.

    The family dynamic seems to be growing very strong. We disposed of two of the more tempermental roos (roo soup and roo and dumplings), and these five are very protective but haven't been noticably aggressive.

    Anybody else notice things like this?
  2. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

    Aug 3, 2009
    My demon spawn Leghorn rooster is the same way. He lets all the girls eat first, finds them all the best bugs, watches the sky for predators constantly and is just an all around fantastic flock protector. Only problem is, he wants me dead! [​IMG]
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Mine are hatchery chicks raised without any adults around. Isn't it amazing how the instincts kick in?
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    There's a trick that my roo does, that my former roo did as well.
    He will pretend to have found a yummy treat. He'll peck repeatedly at the ground and make a big fuss, clucking to beat the band. The second a hen gets within range, trying to find out what goodie he has found for them to eat, he jumps her for a mating.
    Sneaky males. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2010
  5. Stephanie-n-Hayden

    Stephanie-n-Hayden Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 15, 2009
    I have a flock of 4 (2 pullets and 2 roos) who are about 3.5 months old living with thier 8 mo. old mother. I have noticed that the roos are very gentle with the pullets. They allow them to eat first. The haven't started "ass-hole-lessons" yet. I am inclined to say that they might just be scaridy cats at this point and want the girls to do things first, but of course I am leaning towards the idea that they will be gentlemen because they are being raised by a single mom. [​IMG]
  6. Chook-A-Holic

    Chook-A-Holic Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2009
    Central, N.C.
    My 11 month old even takes treats to the girls that are in the nest boxes laying at snack time. He will not eat one bite until the girls have almost had their fill. Now, if he will just work on his people skills...LOL.
  7. Robin'sBrood

    Robin'sBrood Flock Mistress

    May 8, 2008
    North Carolina
    I think a thread on the positive aspect of roo behavior is great! Yesterday morning, when I went out to give the chickens water (ugh, when will these below freezing temps go away?!) I noticed that my girls were staying under the tractor (open) instead of running up to the run gate to meet me like they normally do. I thought it was strange but once I got in the run they came out to greet me as usual, so I didn't think anything else about it. After I finished giving their water, food, and treats I was standing on the outside of the run enjoying a little chicken tv when I heard my roo make ONE little sound. Just one. And the girls took off and ran inside the tractor again. About that time I looked up and saw an absolutely enormous hawk flying overhead. This thing was low and it was BIG. We have the run covered with bird netting, so they're safe, but I was wondering if my sweet boy had not sounded that one sound alarm, would the girls - who were busy eating- have even noticed the danger looming above them? It made me all the more thankful for my rooster, and his positive roo behavior. [​IMG]
  8. millie481

    millie481 Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 1, 2010
    Marengo, Ohio
    Now if only some of the men out there would take some lessons from our roos! [​IMG]
  9. Parrotchick

    Parrotchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 13, 2009
    Boonsboro MD
    My three pet Cornish X's are so enormous (15 lbs. +) and clumsy that they have a difficult time walking up the ramp to the coop. They sleep on the floor of of the coop as they physically can't roost at all, not even a few inches above the floor. One of these girls doesn't go up the ramp at all, despite months of prodding and encouraging. I have to be home by sunset every day to put her on the top of the ramp, carry her in, or open the door to the pen so she can walk around to the people door and enter that way. I call her my "special needs hen" and her name is Camo.

    Late every afternoon, my boss rooster, a partridge silkie named Pantaloons, patrols the pen to make sure everyone goes into the coop for bedtime, including the four other roos. He will not go in until ALL 13 of the other chickens are in. I can see he is frustrated by Camo's inability, yet every day he tries to encourage her in. He clucks at her and tries to lead the way. Sometimes he takes advantage of her voluptuousness while he is alone with her. If I am late getting Camo in, she will bed down in one of the duck houses. Pantaloons will stay with her. Once I have gotten her in the coop, Pantaloons will make one last round of the pen, then go up the ramp himself. He also usually prefers to sleep on the floor with the Cornish girls, rather than roosting. But he respects their girl space and will sleep in a nesting box, while they crowd together in their chosen spot.

    I had another "special needs hen" named Khaki who lagged with Camo and got the same attentions from Pantaloons; she died of a heart attack on Christmas Eve. Pantaloons seemed beside himself every evening when she first "disappeared" (I had taken her into my house when I saw she wasn't well; she died the following night). He would look in every nook and cranny in the pen trying to find his missing girl. He would try to wait in the duck house for her after I put Camo in. I had to carry him into the coop for four or five nights after Khaki was gone; he just wouldn't go in without his last girl. I swear he does a head count every night, just like I do.

    Pantaloons is the perfect gentlemen. My other roos are like adolescent boys who are only thinking of their own wants. Except Spitz, my Spitzhauben roo, who is the town gossip and a total drama diva. He's like the announcer for chicken TV; a cross between Howard Cosell and a raging drag queen.

    My Pekin drake Sal takes responsibility for notifying the entire chicken/duck flock of scary things in the sky.

    I love my boys. Too bad they're prone to fighting (and some would say loud noise); otherwise I would take 'em all.
  10. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Quote:Yeah it is!

    Mine checks out the treat, determines if it's really food (you know how suspicious they are of anything "new" lol) and then calls the ladies over!! It's so cute! After he tastes it he doesn't eat any more until they get some first! I knew the roo protected the flock and stuff before I got chickens, but I didn't know about the treats until it actually happened!

    I appreciate all of his rooster-y antics, even when he drives DH batty!! BUT don't tell DH that!!!! LOL!!!!!

    The other day I did get annoyed at him. See two of the Leghorn ladies went into the chicken tractor to dustbath after I cleaned it. I was still in the yard working around. Mr Rooster was standing on the top of the tractor run, where you can look down into the doghouse through one of the windows. He could hear the ladies inside dustbathing and scratching on the wooden floor, but he couldn't see inside well enough to figure out that it was just his ladies.
    He was sounding the alarm and it took me a while to figure out what the heck was upsetting him!! Apparently he could hear them scratching and thought that his own ladies were predators!!!!! [​IMG]

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